Wednesday, September 30, 2015


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,

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, 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 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,

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

What Cosmetics Are In My Travel Carry On Bag?

What's in my travel carry on bag?

Hi my loves, today I wanted to share with you what I took with me for my holidays a little while back. This is my liquids bag as you can see, meagre 15x15cm you can take with you to the plane. I was feeling quite proud of myself of squeezing into such a small bag, until I realised I spilled into my daughter's bag, she ended up carrying my second mascara (because duh, you totally need two mascaras for 10 days trip :) Not!) and Hurraw SPF15 lip balm that I ended up losing on the plane on the way back. So let's get into it, shall we?

From the top left corner: 

Hynt Beauty concealer - star product! I ended up using it every time I did my make up, and more often than not I used it as my face foundation too. To sum things up, you need this in your life! I have a separate review on this product. (Mine is the old packaging so yours will be different).
*You can read a review here.

Four little sample pots of lip and cheek stains from Maias Mineral Galaxy. I didn't touch them a single bit.

BellaPierre lip and cheek stain that I got in a set a while back, l thought it was good opportunity to start using it again, as it sits there unloved in my make up drawer. Yes, you guessed right, I didn't reach for it at all.

Pacifica roller perfume in Blood Orange - this and one more Pacifica roller perfume I own were shelved the minute I got Lucy's B roller perfumes, that's all I can say. I used only LucyB one, so next time I am taking just one perfume with me. Plus I ended up buying two new natural perfumes on my destination, so my plan to use up Pacifica perfume didn't work. Both of Pacifica perfumes will end up in my "disappointing products" post (spoiler alert) and i would advise you to sample them at first - mine were both impulse buys because I liked to top notes, e.g. the way perfume smells at first, but both of them developed into something I didn't like at all after some time. It also extremely short lasting, even though the girls at the shop told me it's a long lasting product.

Pacifica lip butter in brown colour, I used it maybe twice, so again, lesson learned is to take ONLY cosmetics that I really love to begin with! I also took loads of sample baggies of mineral eyeshaddows in hopes that I might do more colourful make up looks, what was I thinking? I find myself doing less and less eyeshaddows in my day to day life, so my holiday looks ended up no different, I only tried one of the samples, and it didn't work as I'd hoped, my hubby asked why I had bloodshot eyes! Not a compliment at all :)

Black Cherry lip balm by Crazy Rumours - again, this was taken to use it up, I got a bunch of Crazy Rumours lip balms once they came out, but none of them impressed me much, they might have cute names and a bunch of different flavours, but I found them not moisturising and not lasting at all. I have a new favourite - Hurraw balms, so move over, Crazy Rumours.

Bottom row from left to right:

Juice Beauty CC Cream with SPF30 - the high SPF factor was the sole reason I got this tiny sample from Naturisimo prior to my holidays, as i wanted to test drive it, but truth to be told I forgot all about it until the last two days, so I don't have firm opinion on it yet. It did work as a face SPF cream, that's for sure, but don't expect any coverage from it, it's very slightly tinted, and all the colour disappears once you put it on your face, so keep that in mind. And as for anti-aging claims, I can't confirm or deny it as I didn't use it enough to see any difference. But I plan to get full size of it for the next summer maybe? We will see :)

PurMinerals pink lip gloss -  again, used once or twice, as l found myself not doing any make up for most of the time. 

Two mini samples from The Organic Pharmacy - Double Rose Rejuvenating face cream and a Rose Facial Cleansing Gel - i really liked those two products and would get full sizes of them! They were very gentle and didn't irritate my skin in the slightest, and as usual with The Organic Pharmacy, great ingredients.

Highlighter by PurMinerals - while I love the idea of glowing goddess make up, I can't go all out with my dermatitis scars on my face, I mean you don't want to highlights your problem areas, right? so I used it very minimal-y, mainly in the inner corners of my eyes. I was also disappointed to see dimethicone in the ingredients list, I don't want silicones on my face, thank you very much!

Jane Iredale multiple in Clarity - I liked the idea of natural version of Nars Orgasm and this my first shot at natural multiples, but while this is beautiful colour, it does not work on my cheeks (again, damn dermatitis scars) as it highlights what I don't want people to see, and it does not last on the lips at all. I will find a ways to use it, not to worry.

100%Pure mascara - I didn't like it at all once I first got it, as the formula was too wet and it didn't do anything to my invisible lashes, but now that it dried up a bit and I can build it up quite a bit, I really like it! This is lengthening formula, and I can testify it does that beautifully :) I also appreciate pure ingredients, so it is likely to be a repurchase once I am out.  
*Update many months later - read my review here.

So that is all for now :) What do you take with you for your travels? Please share with me :)

Lots of Love,