Monday, January 16, 2017

Natural Beauty - Andrea from Organic Beauty Lover

Hi Lovelies,

Welcome back! And if you are new here, welcome 💕💕💕






Today I bring you the interview with gorgeous blogger Andrea from Organic Beauty Lover website. She works in a corporate world and travels a lot, yet she finds time to run her website about the green beauty. Not only that, but she recently created a Marketplace section on her website (coming soon) where you can sell or swap gently used green beauty goodies, how cool and thoughtful is that? We connected via Instagram and she is a real sweetheart, she will take time to answer your comments and questions, and that is rare and precious in a blogging world. And her travel pictures are to die for, giving you that wanderlust feeling! You will find her social media linked below. So, let's get into the interview:



💕 Tell us a bit more about yourself? Why did you start your blog/website?

Hi Green Life in Dublin readers! I'm Andrea and I'm excited for you to get to know a little bit more about me. After graduating I became interested in making healthier choices and I started with affordable organic skincare brands like Acure Organics. One thing lead to another, and I started trying out organic makeup products (as a skeptic at first) and falling in love with green beauty. I then started an Instablog to share this journey with others and I found a thriving and supportive community of green beauty aficionados on Instagram. I was very busy with work and life, and though I toyed with the idea of starting a blog, for the longest time I shied away from it because it seemed like too much effort. I'm so glad I did last year, because despite the work it demands, it has been so much more rewarding than I could have imagined.
💕 How has going natural and non toxic in your beauty regimen changed your overall health and beauty?

Going natural in my beauty regimen has made such a big impact on me in other ways, and I think the same has happened for many others. Diligently learning more about organic beauty, the beauty industry and toxins in our products has taught me to lead a more conscious lifestyle and I now I think about things that I used to never think about before like who and what missions am I supporting through my everyday purchasing decisions when it comes to clothes, food etc. I still have a long way to go in this area. Turning my beauty "routine" into a "ritual" has taught me to that taking care of myself is a form of self-love and it has steadily brought down the walls of self-hate that formed throughout my adolescent years. Green beauty has also introduced me to the world of holistic wellness that I'm increasingly fascinated by, particularly crystals and their healing properties, flower essences, essential oils & reiki.
💕 Three things that make you happy?

Most definitely traveling, dogsitting and summer.
💕 What people inspire you?

Courageous women, moms & working moms, and in general badass ladybosses.
💕 What are your three (or five) can't-live-without-it beauty products? Pic please!

I tried to imagine myself having to go on a camping trip and being allowed to bring 3 products only.




Sunscreen. I try to follow the 365 day rule, whether I'm indoors or outdoors, rain or shine. There are so many great natural options!

NU Evolution's Camouflage Cream. My dark circles have gotten to the point where I can't go out without concealer and this nontoxic one does an amazing job.

Ursa Major's Face Cleasing Wipes. If I'm wearing makeup, I always always always use a makeup remover wipe sometimes 2. I can't rely on just cleansers. Cleansing is the most important skincare step for me and I'll sometimes even triple cleanse at night followed by a detox mask to remove all impurities. None of the next steps matter if you haven't completely removed all traces of makeup, impurities, dirt and oil.
💕 What do you like and dislike about yourself?

I like that I'm an optimistic person who tries to look at the bright side of everything. One thing I don't like about myself is that I am not as outgoing & fearless as I wish I were.
💕 Your proudest achievement?

I'd say earning a half-ride scholarship so that I could afford to go to the university of my dreams.
💕 What are you currently reading?

Ever since I started working I honestly haven't had much time to read but I recently finished "Start with Why" and have been re-reading the book "Thrive" by Kamea Chayne.
💕 What food do you like to cook/eat?

I'm not much of a cook, but my favorite food at the moment is a Thai soup called Tom Yom. I order it at least a few times a week these days. I can't wait to eat real Thai food in Thailand in 2018!
💕 Your guilty pleasure? 
RED VELVET ANYTHING💕 Your top tips for being healthy and happy?

Do more of what you love
Get moving & exercise
Eat well, travel often.
💕 What scents excite you? 
Anything coffee, cinnamon and coconut


💕 Favourite affirmation if you have one?

Whenever I'm feeling down about mself or I start fixating on something I don't like about myself I stop myself immediately and repeat "Your are beautiful" and those thoughts go away so I can focus on more important matters.
💕 What's your favourite beauty trend at the moment?

There are so many cool beauty trends at the moment. My favorites are

- super glossy lips

- long California girl-style textured waves

- unapologetically pink lipstick
💕 Once an week for my health...meditation using guided videos
💕 What is the best advice you've been given?

Don't dwell on things that are out of your control and instead focus on the things that are.



So that is all for today my lovely readers, I hope you enjoyed getting to know Andrea more, and go follow her on her social media, you will love what she is all about. And I kept one little surprise to the end, go to her website to read her interview with me!


Andrea's website:


Her Instagram


And read my interview on her website here.


Lots of Love,
Renata.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Amazing Baobab And It's Benefits

Hi Lovelies,

Welcome back! And if you are new here, welcome 💕💕💕

Organic baobab powder

How is your new year going? Are you detoxing, hitting the gym hard and doing a cleanse? More power to you! Or maybe you are like me who is working on my winter body eating all the cookies in the house? One way or another, I've got the perfect thing for you! It's organic baobab powder and it is a new superfood on the block, full of antioxidants, fibre and and it is very high in natural form of vitamin C, which is what interests me the most. Did you know that man made vitamins are absorbed at only 10%- 20% rate by your body? Where does the rest of it go? Well your poor liver has to work extra hard to get rid of it! You might not think of your liver much right now, or even what vitamins you are poping into your mouth (and believe me, I used to be that girl thinking that all vitamins must be the same and going for the cheapest option) but believe me, you can live until your 30s like me and then get the bombshell that your liver is waay compromised and can only do it's job at a very low capacity, meaning my body's way of finding a way to get rid of the toxins via my skin, aka me getting my dermatitis! Don't want that to happen to you? Take my advice and switch to clean natural (preferably organic if your budget can allow it) vitamins and minerals. There are plenty of good quality ones out there! Food based vitamins, or superfoods? Even better, because it means your body will recognise it as a natural thing and will absorb it fully. That is where baobab powder comes in. We all need vitamin C to function properly and even more of it during winter and when we are sick, and may I say we need it in much higher doses than your recommended daily allowance? What I didn't know and many people still don't, that recommended daily allowance is not designed for us to function at our best and optimum level, it is absolute minimum that we need  as not to get so many horrible diseases.  Don't believe me? Just google "Optimum Nutrition Patrick Holford" and your life will be changed forever. You can take me later. Better still, you can read his book named the same, Optimum Nutrition. Even though he suggests man made vitamins and believes they work just as good, thankfully we can make our own choices. And I much prefer to get my vitamins and minerals in purest natural state if I can get it. And that is why I love baobab powder so much. It is amazing in my eyes and I am so happy it came into my life! Take it if you want to be healthy and function at the optimum level as opposed to just existing. If you are someone with no immune system and get sick eight times during winter, make this your best friend and soon you will notice a difference! Give it to your kids too, and if they won't take it (my four year old is fussy like that) hide it in their smoothie or tea (adding some honey to sweeten it up) and they will drink it for sure without even knowing. All mums have some tricks like that up their sleeve. I personally love the slightly tart fresh taste of it, I mix it with some water or fresh juice and get it down in the mornings. Always try to get the powder in raw form too, because heating destroys those precious nutrients we are after, and that is the reason I don't recommend cooking or baking with it. Well, sure I say go ahead and sprinkle it on your morning porridge or add it to your raw super balls (you know, nuts, seeds and date mix blended and shaped into balls) but I wouldn't add it to your brownie mix or anything that requires baking.
Fun fact : did you know that baobab fruit is the only fruit in the world to dry up naturally while still up on the tree? Want to know more nutritional facts about it? This powdery fruit provides up to six times more vitamin C than oranges, more antioxidants than blueberries, more potassium than that in bananas and twice the amount of calcium you get from downing a glass of milk. This tasty and nutritious powder has a delightful citrusy and tangy flavour while it is also a powerhouse of minerals including iron and magnesium. It also has a high fibre content, and as if that wasn’t enough, it's rich in prebiotic complexes that will leave your gut healthy and your body free of harmful bacteria.Vitamin C, plus calcium plus prebiotics to keep your gut healthy? Well, that is music to my ears!
Fun fact two: baobab's fibre is used to make cloths, ropes, matts and even shelter. All that and it has medicinal uses too! Truly the tree of life!

Are you on board yet?

P.s. Sample that you see here was provided by Pandavita but I went on to purchase it on my own too. Fear not, you will get 100g or 250gr of product instead of just 25g which was sent to me. So you will get much more uses out if it.



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

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Mahalo Review


Hi Lovelies,

 
Welcome back! And if you are new here, welcome 💕💕💕






Where do I even begin?? I was late to the Mahalo party, and I would have missed out on it at all, if I didn’t win their Instagram giveaway! I still can't believe my lucky stars, as I used to be the girl who never won anything in her life, and now this happened! I am extremely grateful and thankful. Mahalo was the brand on my radar and I always wanted to try it and see what the buzz is all about, everyone in the green beauty community seems to love it and l am yet to come across a bad review. The thing is I am living La Vida Broka life right now, so I thought these products were forever out of my price range, but I am changing my way of thinking - I would much rather invest into something I know will be working for me, rather than buying and testing ten different budget options. As well as blogger, I am your regular consumer, so as much as I want to continue to bring content to you guys, I don't need to chain test every single product on the market, right? Especially as my uber sensitive skin protests wildly if I do so! This whole line is aimed at people like me, with problematic skin, and let me tell you it is amazing for dermatitis and other skin irritations! Not only that, their products are wholesome in a holistic way, it will work on so many levels, your skin will be nourished, calmed down, fed and happy!

Now, let's break it down to the individual products and see my thoughts on them, shall we?
Want my thoughts in a nutshell? The products are amazing and I think they are worth every single penny. I don't say this lightly, products have to go the extra mile to impress me, so hear me out!


Rare Indigo Balm
Hear this out - two samples worth of it impressed me enough to include into 2016 Favourites! I have no words how much I love this product, I never want to run out of it! The first sample was provided by gorgeous flame haired beauty Sasha from Balanced Beauty Bristol, and I fell in love hard! It is amazing for calming and treating my dermatitis patch, and any other red patches that you might have, it helped me so much with the seasonal change, when my skin was freaking out. And I was freaking out running out of sample too, thinking what I am going to do now, when the Universe provided me with another sample, and so much more! I am talking about the giveaway here of course. It has amazing ingredients and it pretty much the only thing I plan to invest in in the 2017. Of course no one could stretch the whole year with buying just one product, I meant to say I am willing to compromise in so many other areas in order to have this. This is a must for me, for life! One little thing to add though, this balm is time sensitive, so it is best if you used it within a year.
Ingredients:
cannabis sativa (hemp seed) oil*, astrocaryum murmuru butter*, orbignya oleifera (babassu) butter*, sclerocarya birrea (virgin marula) oil*, vitis vinifera (grape seed) oil*, camellia japonica (thea seed) oil*, aleurites moloccans (kukui) oil*, euterpe oleracea (acai) oil*, in-house biodynamic proprietary infusion (astragalus, chamomile, comfrey, gromwell, hibiscus, indigo)*, polygonum tinctorium (indigo) extract, achillea millefolium (yarrow) oil*, matricaria chamomile (chamomile) oil*, helichrysum italicum (immortelle) oil*, cananga odorata (ylang ylang) oil*, citrus aurantium bergamia (bergamot fcf) oil*^, lavandula angustifolia (lavender) oil*, boswellia frereana (frankincense) oil*, rosa damascena (rose) oil*, ubiquinone (coenzyme Q10), daucus carota (carrot seed) CO2 extract*, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate (vitamin C ester), non-gmo mixed tocopherols, vanilla planifolia (vanilla) oil, rosmarinus officials (rosemary antioxidant) CO2 extract, iris pallida (orris butter) oil.

The Bean Mask
This is a gorgeous product, but do I need to say that? All Mahalo products gorgeous! Again, this mask has beautiful ingredients, and it does work on so many levels, your skin will be left nourished, smooth and happy, all the irritations and red patches you had will be gone and your skin will stay plump for a few days afterwards. Definitely treat yourself if you get the chance! The only thing I found to be a slight con, is that the mask is kind of thick and a bit hard to spread, so in order to thin it out a bit (and make the mask go further, not gonna lie), I mixed it with a bit of rosewater or toner. But that is not even a con, I hate to say anything that would be perceived as negative about this product, so let's make it into a positive thing - it’s a good thing that the mask is in concentrated form, it is up to you however way you will use it!
Ingredients:
Not currently on the website as this mask is not up for sale yet, but I am sure the ingredients are all natural and amazing! Have no doubts about that.

Vitality Serum
Now, the thing is, I discontinued the use of facial oils prior to winning this, as it is known that dermatitis hates oils, and I kind of didn't want to admit this, as facial oils and not creams were the exact thing I used for so many years previously. So I was a bit apprehensive that I wouldn't get much use out of it. Oh boy, how wrong I was! Not only my skin LOOOVES it, it also helps with dermatitis! It is the only facial oil that goes on my face these days, and needless to say I never want it to run out! I mix it with my favourite facial cream of the moment, Neal’s Yard Remedies Palmarosa one and my skin is ready to face the day! If I am feeling extra dry, I will add this oil neat but that very rarely happens these days, this is a winning combo for me, and I don't want to test any other products right now, my skin is looking and feeling the best it has been in a really long time! So there you go, that is a big claim and a testament in one.
Ingredients:
calophyllum inophyllum (polynesian tamanu) co-op grown oil*, salvia hispanica (chia seed) organic supercritical CO2 extract**, aleurite moluccans (kukui) nut oil*, nigella sativa (black cumin) organic supercritical CO2 extract**, daucus carota (carrot seed) organic supercritical CO2 extract**, hippophae rhamnoides (sea buckthorn) organic supercritical CO2 extract**, curcuma longa (turmeric) organic supercritical CO2 extract**, helichrysum italicum (immortelle) flower oil*, pelargonium graveolens (geranium) flower oil*, boswellia carteri (frankincense)oil*, citrus aurantium var. bergamia (bergamot fcf) bergapten-free, non-photosensitizing oil*^, rosa centifolia (rose de mai) flower oil*, ubiquinone (coenzyme Q10), non-gmo mixed tocopherols

Mahalo Balm
This gorgeous orange coloured pot brings me so much joy and much needed TLC to my winter parched skin, I am telling you! Isn't the colour everything? I admire it every time I open this jar. I wasn't a big balm user until last year, but I am making up for the lost time, mind you! The balm has turmeric in it, which is one of my favourite ingredients when it comes to skincare right now, and I assume it's what gives it's distinctive orange colour too. I use it on the dry patches on my face or all over. Kiss goodbye to winter parched skin with this beauty. And it can be used as under eye balm. How fabulous is that?
Ingredients:
macadamia integrifolia (macadamia) oil*, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) oil*, persea gratissima (avocado) butter*, theobroma cacao (cocoa) butter*, vitis vinifera (grapeseed) oil*, calophyllum inophyllum (Polynesian tamanu) oil*, cera alba (beeswax)*, rosa rubiginosa (rosehip) supercritical extract**, aleurite moluccans (kukui) oil*, prunus amygdalus dulci (sweet almond) oil*, azadirachta indica (neem) oil*, calendula officinalis (marigold) flower*, hibiscus sabdariffa (hibiscus) flower*, symphytum officinale (comfrey) leaf/root*, hippophae rhamnoides (sea buckthorn) supercritical extract**, daucus carota (carrot seed) supercritical extract**, non-gmo mixed tocopherols, curcuma longa (turmeric) supercritical extract**, citrus aurantium var. bergamia (bergamot fcf) oil*^, lavandula augustifolium (lavender) oil*, pelargonium graveolens (geranium) oil*, santalum paniculatum (Hawaiian sandalwood) oil*, pogostemon cablin (patchouli) oil*, jasminum grandiflorum (Hawaiian jasmine) extract*
Unfortunately I won't be able to afford all these products, so this will have to let go of Mahalo Balm, even though I don't want to let it go! Even though Rare Indigo balm is more expensive with less product in the jar, it is amazing for inflammation, so it kinda does double duty, and that is why I will be investing in it, and I hope it will last! With my zero income and 110€ price tag, I need it to last!

Vacation Glow (sample)
This is a body oil, very nice and luxurious. The cute sample bottle provided me with one use for half a body application, so I can't claim to have a firm opinion on it and what it does to the skin. It is definitely softening and the smell is gorgeous. Also it sinks in really fast leaving no residue on the skin whatsoever, so if you are afraid of using body oils thinking they will leave you greasy, this is the one for you.
I won't be able to treat myself to this either, but I am ok with it, the way I see it, I am happy to invest in skincare, but I have to choose the hardest working products that would be the best for me. But if you are a luxury lover looking for amazing products to treat your skin, this is a product for you.
Ingredients:
Again, not currently on the website. I think this is a seasonal product and will be up for sale once the summer will grace us. Correct me if I am wrong.


My thoughts and the verdict:
I am in love! And I know this is forever love. I am so glad to have gotten the chance to try out these products, otherwise I might have missed out on such an amazingness. I am very happy to change my mind and go from frugalista to being happy to invest in my skincare, because it is your skin after all and it deserves the best attention after all! Maryna’s creations are just wonderful and I have never come across a line of products that EVERYTHING would work for me and give me zero reactions. And Maryna herself is the sweetest woman ever! I am entering into the long haul relationship with these amazing products from the sunny Hawaii. The call is strong.

Happily for me and my fellow green bunnies in the EU, these amazing products are available here too in a few online shops, such as Reina Organics, Alyaka and a few others (the list can be found on Mahalo website) but I must also say that my products were sent directly from the Hawaii and I didn't get any custom fees.

It sort of became of tradition of mine to end my review posts with a wishlist from the brand I am reviewing, and in this case it is very short and simple - I want EVERYTHING! Maybe starting from the Unveil cleanser, because that beauty is calling my name like no other. And I just found out it touted as one of the Top Five Cleansers by Vogue, can't be better than that! Maryna, thanks for making me a very happy woman, you have my eternal gratitude. And thanks for making amazing products! I feel like Maryna knows my skin, I have never come across a line of products that would work so well on me. Even though I am very sensitive to essential oils (another reason I was apprehensive), I haven't had any reactions at all, so I am confident that anyone can use and enjoy these amazing goodies.

So that is all for now. Have you tried Mahalo and what are your favourite products from the brand?



Lots of Love and Aloha!
Renata.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Jo Browne Ireland Solid Perfumes Review - Irish Series

Hi Lovelies,


Welcome back! And if you are new here, welcome 💕💕💕



Jo Browne Ireland Solid Perfumes






So today I am continuing my Irish brands series, and I am very pleased to present you with fabulous solid perfume brand called Jo Browne, handmade here in Ireland by lovely lady Josephine Browne, she is qualified refrexologist and holistic terapist with a passion for essential oils.
She first contacted me a good few months ago and I’ve mentioned them on my Instagram here, but I held off from reviewing them for a couple of months to see how they will fare a few months on, and I am pleased to say that they are still going strong! The reason I wanted to wait is that these are not my first solid perfumes, and most often they lose their smell in the first two months. So not the case with this product, I think you will get your money's worth from these products. They retail for 18€ each and the shipping to other countries is very reasonable too.
The packaging is adorable, everyone who knows me knows I am a sucker for bamboo packaging, as I find it gorgeous (the fact that it's natural and sustainable can't hurt either). They are made with organic beeswax and the formula is 99% natural, they are made with essential oils with a drop of fragrance to boost the natural scent. All product are handmade from scratch, and hand poured too. The process of it takes six months! The base is made of mango butter, jojoba oil, organic beeswax, rice bran oil and vitamin E. All ingredients are chosen organic where possible.and the package is eco friendly too, as we all know, bamboo is very sustainable and one of the fastest growing plants out there. I am the most sensitive of them all (lucky gal, I know) and if I haven't had any reactions, that means you can go ahead and use them with confidence. There are six scents available, and from all six I like five of them, and that is also good news, because I am very picky with my perfumes, I can easily reject 200 of them to find the “one”. They last around 5-6 hours on me, and I really like that, because it is rare not only in a green beauty world, but in conventional scents too. The last perfumes I tried prior to these were Pacifica ones, and they lasted for only an hour on me, I was pretty disheartened by them if I am honest. Let’s not forget that easy compact packaging makes it very easy to carry them around and they are perfect for traveling too, no spills and no confiscating at the airport! And if you are a visitor in Ireland, what a perfect Irish souvenir to pick up for presents, right?




So let's see what's on offer, shall we?
Floral Note (Lemongrass and Wild Jasmine)
Sweet Note (Citrus and Crushed Vanilla)
Oriental Note (Spice Tea and Honey)
.
Woody Note (Sandalwood and Patchouli)
Oriental Note (Saffron and Sweet Amber)

There are three scents for women and two for men, and my favourites are Sweet Note and Woody Note. I will let you into one secret of mine, I use a mix of men’s and women's fragrance to make something my own, I have been doing that for years, as I like the idea of creating my own unique smell that no one else will have! I would use straight up men's cologne too, because I am rebel like that :) Yes, it feels so good to break the rules! So I mix these two favourites, aka Sweet and Woody notes and that's my favourite combo right now. I sooo wish blog or IG would have scratch-and-sniff feature so I could share the scents with you!

You can pick them up via JoBrowne.com website here or check out the list of stockist here. She is lauching in US as we speak and has launced in the UK recently too,  so the best of luck with it, Josephine!

Have you checked out this brand? What is your favourite natural solid perfume?

Psst.. want to check out some more reviews from Irish brands? Click here and here. And I have a couple of more to come real soon.

So that is all for now!
Lots of love,
Renata 💕

Please like and share this or any other post of mine, and you will have my gratitude forever.



Disclaimer: These are PR samples but I will invest my own money once I run out, because I genuinely like the products. All opinions are my own. The link to the website is not affiliated and I am not on their payroll in any kind of way. Thank you for being eagle eyed and reading the small print.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Blogger Mail aka The Edit (Nov-Dec 2016)

Hi Lovelies,

Welcome back! And if you are new here, welcome 💕💕💕






How has been your new year going so far? I hope you are all well! I am all well, working on my winter body eating all the (gluten free) cookies, haha. Blogging wise I am well behind the things, there are many blog post I intended publishing last year, and this is one of them. This is my Blogger Haul for November - December 2016. When I first published this type of post I assumed no one would read it ever, but surprisingly it got a lot of views and likes on Instagram, which made me think that people are interested in seeing what I am getting, so let's keep this up, shall we? These things are a mixture of PR samples, things that I bought with my own money and another giveaway win. o won't go into listing what's what, as I am very clear about how I got my products in review posts, but let's just say that 50% of the things I bought myself, and if you are not satisfied with that and want to know how I got some specific product, well, you can always ask in the comments below. I will list all the things briefly and I will give you my first impressions if I have tried the product yet. So let's get on, shall we, because I know that's why you are all here, and none of us are getting any younger :)


Due to round of flu (including man flu!) I missed my November Blogger Mail post, and then December rolled around, and we all know time goes at a lightning speed then with festive preparations. When hollidays came I wanted to post my Yearly Faves and Year Review and take some time off, as I don't get paid for this. Cue here we are, late with my Haul post. Funny thing is I felt like I didn't get that much products, esp November was a dry spell in terms of products and new purchases, I decided to boycott Black Friday sales, and true to my form, the only thing I purchased that month was a handmade chopping board (you can see it here) and I also didn't treat myself for my Cake Day, but when Christmas rolled around I sort of started feeling sorry for myself, feeling like I am missing out on fabulous new products, so I started accepting PR products again and also shopped here and there, plus to my shock and surprise I won an Earthwise Beauty giveaway on Instagram, so as you can see, the result is this obscene (in my mind anyways) amount of products, but please remember this was acquired over two months period.

💕Tamanu and Cocomanu oils from Be Kekoa Inc
💕Dublin Herbalist samples - of all of their products
💕Warrior Botanicals deodorant
💕Organic Baobab powder
💕Blueberry Iron supplement
💕Naturally Better You package
💕Cecilly’s cream
💕Naobay - face cream and argan oil
💕Bees Flying Wild candle
💕Meridian Blackstrap mollases, organic
💕Xylitol
💕Aloe Vera juice
💕Oreganol
💕Green Frog Organics hand washes and body wash
💕Ko&Humble oils, a few of them
💕Isun skincare algae mask and two samples of oils
💕Earthwise Beauty - the win let me acquire three full sized products and three samples and I’ve been sent a few samples by gorgeous Andie The Green Queen previously. I will post a review soon, but I want to get Mahalo review out first, as I got it earlier and have been using it for more than a month now.
💕100%Pure haul. I got a little order back then when they had a gift with purchase deal a little while ago, as I needed a new mascara, the one I’d gotten previously from them was going off fast on me, and I didn't want to keep using it as not to irritate my eyes, but guess what? The new mascara came smelling of alcohol too! A surefire way of telling it is already off. From 7 mascaras I’d gotten from them this is a third one like this, and for that reason I won't be repurchasing it nor recommending to my readers. EU customers like moi already have to pay custom charges in top of high end price point, and this roulette “will I get a good product or the one that's off” shouldn't be happening in the first place! We should be guaranteed consistency in the product, not this! I am afraid this brand will get a lot less money from me in the future. It is a sad day, because it means I will have to look for a new green mascara, that would be non irritating, volumising and most importantly, not flake. Any suggestions?
💕Root & Flower - Palo Santo roll on and under eye cream. Funny thing is I requested this Palo Santo thingy when they offered to try one of their roll-ons as I’ve been wanting to try/smell Palo Santo for quite some time, but it is not for me I am afraid, so it goes into care package to someone. I will update you on the eye cream once I will try it, but it will be a while as I’ve got Earthwise oil at the moment.

💕I guess i should also include I-am-my-own-Santa present that I got from Content Beauty, a book by Imelda Burke and Infinite Love mist, you can see it here and it also came with 12ml sample of Madara peel mask, because my order was well over £30 but sans the samples I wanted, which I am pretty miffed about.
 
So there you go, that's exactly what I’ve acquired in November-December 2016. I am currently taking stock of what I have and while it may seem like nothing to some of you, to me it is a lot, and I think 2017 will be my Project Pan & Downsizing year. While some of the areas aren't too bad, I’ve managed to acquire a lot of facial oils, and my make up stash is way too much for one person. I will work my way through the products, trying not to have multiple variations of the same products. Thankfully I’ve discovered many great products this year and my skincare is also at the top of the game, where my skin is happy and I don't want to change a thing. Especially having in mind that I can tolerate very few products. I predict very few purchases in 2017, but I still will be dishing loads of reviews out as I managed to get 70+ drafts in my bloggers dashboard, so buckle up and stay for the ride people!


That is all for today,

Lots of Love,

Renata.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

2016 Overview

Hi Lovelies!


Welcome back! And if you are new here, welcome 💕💕💕




So, as the year is nearing the end, I, like all of us, tend to reflect on the year on the whole and weigh in the good and the bad things that have happened.
Let's look at my 2016 blogging year in the retrospective, shall we? 

First of all, thank YOU so much for reading, supporting, commenting and liking my posts, without you my lovely readers I would be nothing! I care about every single one of you and the connection we build is priceless to me 💖 So huge thank you from the bottom of my heart! I just love serving the world by sharing ways to green and eco your life by being super honest about what works and what doesn't. I share my point from sensitive skin point of view. I don't make any money from my blog, but the rewards are different, intangible, I am overjoyed when someone tells me I helped them to make the switch to the green beauty or asks me for clean make up recommendations. I do get a ton of emails in regard to healing dermatitis naturally, so I will do a separate follow up blog post on that, promise. You might be surprised to know that most of my followers/readers come from America and Asia, Ireland being in the third and UK in the fourth place. Life moves in mysterious ways, isn't it? 

Most proudest moments

That would have to be my feature in No More Dirty Looks and Sophie Uliano telling me that she LOVES my work! If you don't know Sophie, you need to know, she is a heavyweight and a major player in a green beauty world as well as New York Times best selling author. So that is a major compliment my way if you ask me :) 


Most reviewed posts

That would be the following :

Hynt Beauty Duo Perfecting concealer review (older review here), the funny thing is, my review for this amazing beauty called Natural Dupe for CoverFX Drops received three times more views versus the one called straight up "Hynt Beauty Concealer Review". It goes to show that people want natural alternatives to the conventional make up stuff, and maybe I should focus more on these types of posts?

You can see the post here, and as I said, I will make the follow up post as it gathers interest. I am more or less 1 year dermatitis free, I am not out of the woods yet as I did have three breakouts where I accidentally glutened myself, but my day to day life is symptoms and itch free. Also antibiotics and steroids free. Stay tuned for this :)

This local Irish company quickly found a place in my favourites, and I never want to be without their products! This is a big claim, but I think this is my Holy Grail company when it comes to body care, I intend to purchase their products until I cease to exist. The balms and the body butter are to die for, minimal natural mostly raw and organic ingredients and the smell is out of this world gorgeous. Not only that, but they are also affordable and ship for free! I've been shouting about this brand from the rooftops, aka all over social media, and we recently collaborated for a giveaway, which I am super stoked about, as you guys can get a chance to try it too.

This was the item I clung onto the most when I made a switch six or seven years ago as it was the hardest to replace, there were nothing even remotely similar to it in the green beauty world. Thankfully the green beauty scene really exploded since, and I am proud to present not one, not two, but FOURTEEN natural dupes! Clearly, I worked really hard on this :)

Clearly inspired by the iconic Master Mixer by RMS. I am happy to DIY what I can, and you seemed to enjoy this post too. If you missed that post, click on the link above. I plan lots of more DIY posts next!

and last but not least, my 


Natural Beauties Series

This is recent addition to my blog, this Natural Beauty Series, where I interview the movers and shakers in the green beauty world. I have to say that I am very happy with this addition, as it gives you the chance to discover more green beauties if you don't follow them already :) Needless to say I am continuing these series in the new year too, and for now, you can check out my interviews with the lovely Sasha from Balanced Beauty Bristol, Vita from Vita Lives Free, Michele from BVGAN and Andie from Andie the Green Queen.


Overall experience

I am so glad and thankful to each and everyone of you who read my posts, liked and commented on any of my social media outlet and to the green beauty community who welcomed me with open arms! So glad to be a part of something bigger than me! In Ireland I am a still a lone soldier in a field when it comes to the all stuff natural. I mean there are a few shops that sell natural products, I don't know any other green beauty bloggers, and there are no expos that would be open to the public! So yeah, I don't have it easy here. I mean we don't even have Wholefoods or even Sephora. Thanks goodness for online shopping! Custom charges are whole lotta of other story, but let's not get into it here. At first when I didn't know where to look for natural products I shopped online pretty much for everything, but now I am coming to realise that Ireland market has changed so much and I can get many bases covered shopping locally (yay or what?) with the odd online order for make up. I also wanted to thank all the brands who worked with me this year, and if your review is not out yet, fear not, it will be out very soon in 2017. I have to say i discovered some amazing products this year, and I am hoping for more amazingness next year!

Goals and resolutions for next year

My previous sentence pretty much sums it up! More amazingness to come please! This was fun, let's keep it up, I mean I hope you found my blog posts helpful and informative. Your messages asking for help in making the switch to the green beauty or help with dermatitis/eczema and/or thank you messages for what I do is the best feeling ever in my mind it confirms I am on the right track! Blogging is my passion and I really enjoy doing it, even though I don't get paid to do so. I sat down the other day and realised I need to learn so much about blogging, of all these other behind-the-scenes things that blogger is supposed to  do, I mean it was only this year I heard about SEO and I realized I never asked you guys to like and share my posts! /Insert hand on the eyes and shaking head emoji here/ I clearly run on passion alone! So my goals for next year are to attend the bloggers conference, meet some fellow bloggers in person - if you are a natural beauty/lifestyle blogger visiting Dublin, drop me a line! Also I want to look into monetisation in non annoying ways. I see many bloggers who make their entire blog and IG feed shoppable, and while I can't blame them for wanting to cash in on their hard work (because it IS hard work, everything from testing the products to writing/photographing takes a lot time and effort) but at the same time I do not want to become a giant add myself, cash is not my goal, I want it to be a rather by-product of blogging and it is clearly not what i am in for! You know that honesty is what I am all about, and I've been told this is exactly what sets me apart from other bloggers, and I intend to keep it that way. So if you will see an affiliate link, it will be to only brands or online shops I believe in. I won't be attaching my name to anything that comes my way, much in the same way that I reject 90% of products offered for review. I also want to continue to host giveaways, I love when I get to share the products i love with you guys! I also plan to expand my content a bit, and introduce more varied topics, you can expect easy, healthy and quick to do recipes, maybe some fashion in a form of outfits of the day and a bit of shopping here and there, book reviews and who knows, maybe 2017 will be the year I will start my YouTube channel? It is something I want to do, but because of my insecurities I always take one step forward and two backwards about it. Another things I need to do is to make a blogger business card and media kit


So there you have it, my thoughts on the blogging business and the goals for the next year. What are your goals, please share with me?

 
With this I want to let you know I will be taking the rest of the year off, makes sense for the Holiday period, no? Try not miss me too much, and if you will, re-read any old post of mine, I wrote 80 posts this year, so you won't be short of topics, 2016 Best Products is a good way to start 😉


Wishing you all the best this Christmas and see you all here in 2017. I raise my glass of bubbly to you! 

Grateful heart is a magnet for miracles. Photo via Pinterest.
  
Lots of Love, 
Renata.