Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Neal's Yard Remedies Palmarosa Daily Moisturizer Review

Hi Lovelies,

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

Nyr, Neal's Yard Remedies moisturizer review

Neal's Yard Remedies Purifying Palmarosa Daily Moisturizer review

So today I am coming at you with another review, and this time the spotlight is on Neal's Yard Remedies Purifying Palmarosa Daily Moisturizer. It is one of those products where I used slash tested it for six months prior to posting my review! Whoops? Well, it was tested really well, what can I say!
It came in my NYR order last August, I am technically a NYR consultant, but selling the products is not for me, so it if fair to say I am my only customer. It works for me as I get a discount, and most of the products I tried to date, I was impressed with. Seriously, their shower gels last for months, and ours is a family of 4! At first I was a bit reluctant to pay rather high price for a shower gel, well, at least in my opinion anyway; but after trying it I am willing to, they work very well and are very economical.
Anyways, let’s get back to the moisturizer, shall we?
As a NYR consultant you are supposed to do at least one annual order of 100€ value (to get points to keep your consultant status), and I figured that is not a bad deal, since you easily spend 100€ on natural products anyway, and discount never hurt anybody, right? I know I love discounts. As a stay at home mum it is in my nature to be frugal, and let’s face it, 100€ won't get you very far when it comes to buying green beauty products. Well, to be fair, NYR prices aren't like “high end” of green beauty prices, but they are not cheap either, for example this Palmarosa moisturizer costs 35€ for 100ml. I am willing to spend that much of a cash if I know the product will suit me and I will get a good use out of it (more on it later), but I haven't had much luck with NYR face products prior to trying this moisturizer. Their Frankincense face cream and Orange Blossom face oil left my face red, blotchy and painful, a sure sign of allergy to one of ingredients, no? And as we all know you can't return an open product to the brand or store, so I was stuck with rather expensive and unsuitable products. I can't remember exactly what I did with them, I think I sent the oil in a green beauty swap and I gave away the cream to my friend? It does not matter either way. Whee, I talk too much today, and steer off the topic, please forgive me my dear readers!
So needless to say I was really apprehensive when ordering this moisturizer, as someone with next-to-nothing play budget I can't afford too many mistakes, let’s put it this way. To be honest with you this facial moisturizer is aimed at oily skin people, and you might be left wondering why I chose this instead of their product for dry and sensitive skin? It is because I was able to sample it in a mini size first, and I really liked, my skin showed zero adverse reactions to it, zero redness, zero itching, zero anything, and that is very important to me, out of 10 new products I try, vast majority will leave me with red and inflamed skin! It is getting so bad that I almost don't want to test new products anymore, and that is heartbreaking as it is the exact thing that I love to do, and somewhat suicide as a blogger. I really do worry about producing content if I don't get new products, but we shall see, lets take it one day at a time, shall we?
So there were my reasons for choosing this moisturizer, it came home because my skin loved it. You see, NYR consultants are able to purchase mini sizes of selected products as an add on to their order, and that is exactly what I did. At that time I was in need of a new facial moisturizer, and as stuff from their sensitive range wasn't on offer, I chose what was, aka Palmarosa one. Thankfully it worked out perfectly, and it is safe to say I will be repurchasing it time and time again. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that it made into my 2016 Best Products! 
It was the end of the summer I got it, so I used it in its own until the seasonal change came, and it worked very well on its own. When fall and cold rolled around and my skin started freaking out because of it, I added a facial oil to it, and voila, happy skin days again! So I used it for around five and a half months day in and day out (in my morning and night skincare routine) and would happily carried on, if it didn't star smelling funny. You see, even thought the Best Before date is still good (well into 2018 in fact), but the actual Use After Opening date is six months. (All your products too have two such dates, and I suggest you pay attention, look for the “open lid” logo with a number, and depending on your product it will have two to twelve months “use by” date. It differs from product to product, but I suggest you stick to those dates, even if you are like me and it pains you to throw away half or hardly used product - using outdated skincare and make up might do more harm than good. So I suggest not building a collection that is too large, just enough you would need in your day to day life. And no back ups. It is not a war time, the products will still be there in the shops when you need them.)
Weehee, I do tend to go off the track a lot today, am I? I meant to say that I really enjoyed the product while it lasted, and I did a really good job of finishing half of it, using it twice daily. Now that it smells a bit funny, I am parting ways with it - with my very sensitive skin and post dermatitis I better part with it and not be frugal! Someone with less sensitive skin might get away with using it longer (I know people who use their NYR products waay past their date and they are fine with it) - not everyone has such sensitive skin as moi. 

This moisturizer is not thick or oily, it is very light and it sinks in really quickly leaving no residue whatsoever, which I like, and you can't feel it on the skin once it is on. It is thin yogurt consistency. It does not have any SPF which is a bit of a bummer, as I would like my SPF to come from a good moisturizer. I have to say I hate having to layer separate SPF product on, and that is probably the only con of it. Oh, no, wait, expiring halfway through the bottle is another major con! I was complaining about it on Instagram, and someone suggested splitting it with someone, and that's a great idea, I feel sort of dumbo of not thinking of that myself, but it is certainly what I will do when I will get my next bottle come summer time. Why not now you ask? Well, I am using another fabulous moisturizer at the moment, which might be more suitable for winter weather, and I can't wait to tell you all about it! I just needed to get this review out of the way first. I need to be more organized with my reviews, sometimes I use a fabulous product for months and it somehow bypasses any Instagram or blog mention! I know a few other products I failed to review last year, another NYR product in a form of White Tea Eye Gel and Lil Fox eye butter - I really enjoyed using both of them for the better half of the year, but totally forgot to mention it in any social media of mine, whoops or what? Now I am happily using Passion Eye Serum by Earthwise Beauty, and have another eye oil product by another brand waiting it's turn, but if I published the reviews of four of the products now, people would be like "what? how many under eye products can one person have?", you know what I mean?

This Purifying Palmarosa moisturizer featured heavily in my Instagram feed and in my Everyday Skincare Routine - please check it out here if you missed it.

Check out NYR at Love Lula

or my NYR page

Aqua (Water), Cetyl alcohol, Sucrose stearate, Glycerin*, Epilobium fleischeri (Alpine willowherb) extract*, Galium aparine (Cleavers) extract*, Cymbopogon martinii (Palmarosa) herb oil*, Canarium luzonicum (Elemi) gum oil, Citrus limonum (Lemon) peel oil expressed*, Citrus aurantium (Neroli) flower oil*, Boswellia carterii (Frankincense) oil, Melissa officinalis (Lemon balm) leaf oil*, Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea tree) leaf oil*, Coriandrum sativum (Coriander) fruit oil*, Cetearyl olivate, Sorbitan olivate, Potassium sorbate, Sodium hyaluronate, Xanthan gum, Levulinic acid, Citral, Citronellol, Geraniol, Farnesol, Limonene, Linalool.

*Organically produced ingredient. Natural constituent of essential oils listed. Made with 90% organic ingredients. This is a vegan product.

So that is it, another review for today, I hope you find them useful and interesting! Thanks for reading!

Lots of Love!

Related posts:

Disclaimer - I purchased the product with my own moolah, but even if it was sent to me, that would not change my opinion on the product in the slightest. I am responsible for what flies out of my mouth, and I am know to be candid but honest. End of story.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Earthwise Beauty Review

Hello Lovelies,

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

I talk about these products in my Skincare Routine post, please check it out, link below

I think the Universe wanted me to have some Earthwise Beauty! Not only the gorgeous Andie The Green Queen sent me some samples to try, but then I won the giveaway hosted by Andrea from Organic Beauty Lover where I acquired three products of full size - Nap In The Meadow, Passion Eye Serum and Marshmallow Suds cleanser. And now that I had a few months to play with the products, I am finally ready to share my thoughts about them.

Want to know more about creator Ava Zhan and her brand? Click here. And don't forget to read her blog too!

Earthwise Beauty products - Nap In The Meadow, Marshmallow Suds, Passion eye oil

Earthwise Beauty Marshmallow Suds

Marshmallow Suds

Ingredients: Herbal infusion {distilled water, Althaea officinalis (marshmallow) root*, Calendula officinalis petals*, Matricaria recutita (chamomile) buds*}, water, Cocos nucifera (coconut) oil*†, cold-press Prunus armeniaca (apricot) kernel oil*, Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) esters*, Aloe barbadensis juice*, vegetable glycerin (from non-GMO soy)*, Olea europaea (olive) oil*†, potassium hydroxide (but none remains in final product, after saponifying oils into soap and glycerin), Cannabis sativa (hemp) oil*, natural ECOCERT preservative {glycerin, Leuconostoc (radish root) ferment filtrate, Lonicera japonica flower extract, Lonicera caprifolium extract, Populus tremuloides bark extract, gluconolactone}, guar gum, glucono-lactone (from non-GMO corn), Melissa officinalis oil*, Matricaria recutita (German blue chamomile) oil*, organic Tanacetum annuum (Moroccan chamomile) oil, Anthemis nobilis (Roman chamomile) oil*, citric acid, non-GMO tocopherol (vit. E). *Certified organic. †Certified Fair Trade.

This is different from other cleaners because it comes layered, it has nourishing oils on the bottom and “marsmallow” part on top and you have to shake it really well before each use. This is the second cleanser in my life to NOT dry out my skin, as all the cleansers I have used to date have done so. (The other one is “Calendula” cleanser by NYR if you are curious) In fact, post cleanse, this leaves a moisturising layer and I can skip the moisturiser if I want to. I really enjoy it!
It came with metal cap and a separate pump, which I added immediately as we sort of expect our cleansers to come with a pump, but it didn't work for me, even after shaking and holding it upside down, I only got the oily part of the cleanser. So after trying to make it work for a couple of weeks, I took the pump out and now pour the shaked cleanser into my hand. This is not a downfall of the product at all, it is simply me nit picking, maybe other people do enjoy using a pump?
As a cleanser it is really nice and I really enjoy it. Don't want to run out!

Earthwise Beauty Passion Eye Serum

And ta-dah!

Passion Eye Serum

Ingredients: Organic cold-press unrefined amaranth (Amaranthus hypochondriacus) oil, organic cold-press unrefined green coffee (Coffea) bean oil, organic cold-press unrefined andiroba (Carapa guianensis) oil, cold-press unrefined brazil nut oil*, organic cold-press unrefined murumuru (Astrocaryum murumuru) butter, cold-press unrefined passionfruit (Passiflora edulis) oil*, organic cold-press unrefined rare whole-fruit rosehip (Rosa canina) oil, wildcrafted seabuckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) berry CO2 Total supercritical extract, cold-press unrefined tamanu (Calophyllum inophyllum) oil* (India), gem essences. *Certified organic.

The very first thing I heard about the product was the eye watering price, not going to lie! But then the positive reviews poured in, and I was interested what do you get for that price and is it really that good and lives up to the hype? And then the mind boggling news of me winning the giveaway came, and I soon found out the answer to my questions. The blend is a truly amazing blend of purest oils and butters, and I have to say it is amazing product! It comes in two sizes, 7.4ml which was what I got and then there's bigger 15ml size which is standard for eye products. They're both glass vials with a dropper, and I was advised to keep it in the fridge. I did so for a first two weeks or so, and then gave up for two reasons, firstly it semi solidified in the fridge and it was impossible to get a product out without warming it at first, and then I figured out the temperature changes twice a day might be not good, and I might be better off just leaving it at a room temperature. I also have to say I decanted the product into the more sturdy glass bottle with metal roller ball, and I really enjoy it that way. I was forever afraid of knocking over the original packing or accidentally touching the dropper  with my fingers and thus contaminating the product. Now I am really happy with it, product and packaging vise! This is the first proper eye oil I used (I used tamanu oil for my under eyes previously, another post for another time) and this topped many products I previously used! I am now using it for about three months twice daily, and I am halfway thought, so I assume it will last me about six months in total, and I have to say I will happily pay that amount of money, because you get a fabulous product. If there's one lesson my 30s taught me, it’s to invest in good skincare, and I can now say I will happily invest in a good product if I know it will be working for me. Back to the product - as it is an oil, you have to allow it a good few minutes to sink in. It works well with my powder concealer I’ve taken to using in the last couple of months, but on the days I whipped up my trusty fave Hynt Beauty concealer, I noticed mascara smudges. So if you are using creamy concealers, you might want to give this oil ample time to sink in or use it at night only if the problem persists. I can't say it have done wonders for my dark under eye circles (see them and me sans a scrap of make up on my IG post here) but my under eyes are so well nourished and the fine lines (what fine lines?!) are so much less visible! Well done Ava, what a great product!

Earthwise Beauty Nap In The Meadow

Nap In The Meadow

Ingredients:Aloe leaf juice*, elderberry fruit extract, turmeric CO2 Total supercritical extract, polysorbate 20 (naturally derived), lavender oil (* and †), yarrow oil*, Italian everlasting oil†, German blue chamomile oil*, potassium sorbate (natural preservative), organic geranium bourbon oil, geranium rose oil*, copaiba balsam resin†, galbanum oil*, xanthan gum, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), wildflower essences†.
*Certified organic. †Responsibly wildcrafted.

Well, let me just say that this was the instant fave before even trying the product on! It is because I knew this product contains blue tansy and turmeric, and both are amazing for inflammation! It is two of my favourite ingredients in skincare at the moment, and I credit those two for keeping my skin clear  post dermatitis.
So, upon getting the actual product I wasn't disappointed at all, it is a fantastic aloe based serum, and it is like a shot of amazing nutrients for your skin! I am looking forward to putting it on every single morning.I am actually very surprised that it suits me, because it is based in aloe (which tends to irritate rather than soothe my skin - see my level of sensitivity? Off the roof!) and it contains essentials oil, which I am also really sensitive to, but somehow this works for me against all odds! I don't know what magic Ava applied to it, but in this formulation everything works for me, when in some other cases the same ingredients irritate me. Very surprising, but all I need to know that it works for me! (if you are as sensitive as me don't go running to buy full size of it, please - what works for me, might not work for you. Samples are a way to go, honestly!) It sinks in very quickly, and then you can layer other products on top. It might be enough of a moisturiser in summer on its own, but as we are in a thick of a winter right now and I am on my first bottle, I can't speak of it just right now. Amazing ingredients, as you would expect from Ava’s products, and I trust her formulations to be at their natural and potent best, no need to peruse Skin Deep or anything like that!  If you are just starting with Earthwise Beauty, I recommend you start with this product as it is truly fabulous and you will be able to see results immediately. I am uber sensitive and usually I can't handle essential oils in my products, but my skin loves it. It becomes more bright, smooth and firm, and thanks goodness the redness is gone too, as long as I keep using this serum. In three months or so I used about half of 1oz or 30ml bottle, so I assume it will last me six months using it once a day. I took a break from it for a few days, and immediately saw a change in my skin for the worse, it became red and textured again, so at this moment in time I declare it one of my Holly Grail products and I never want to be without it, ever! 

So there are my two cents on Ava’s products, I really enjoy using them in my daily routine! I will definitely repurchase at least some of the products once I run out, I would love to get them all and everything else that Earthwise Beauty does, but it is not realistic for me right now, my budget is so small it is practically non existent. These products are pricy, but rightly so, because you truly get what you pay for here, the products are blends of only the best quality exquisite raw materials, and you get potent blends, not some diluted versions with 0.01% of active ingredient (conventional beauty products are notorious in this).
My European green beauty sisters, I have good news for you, Earthwise Beauty has EU stockist in eminessences.com (located in Belgium) - so we can skip high international shipping costs and custom fees all the same, isn't it great news? I am certainly happy about it and will be ordering at least one product once I run out. At the moment I think I will repurchase Nap In The Meadow first, as I have another eye oil and quite a few cleansers to test out. But on another hand, my skincare routine is working so well for me that I don't want to change a thing, so who knows?

I am not sure if anyone wants my opinion on a few sample sized products I also have, but if you do, let me know and I will add my thoughts onto this blogpost. Even though her samples are generously sized, but even so I am not sure I want to weigh in with my opinion on them, as generally I write reviews on skincare items I use for about six weeks or so. 
I would also highly advise checking out Earthwise Beauty website and blog for a vast information about the individual ingredients and why they are used in certain products, and I would suggest watching Andie's video on Earthwise Beauty products, she has a few videos, and I will link the brand overview video below - she talks so passionately about them, you can't help but want every single one of them!

*Update - as I was asked to give my thoughts on the samples I have, so there you go - I have or have had samples of Babassu oil, which I couldn't handle the smell off, and my skin wasn't happy with it either. I checked the ingredients (and the price) and I think it was the tobacco extract that my nose wasn't liking, and the price point is high too, so I decided not to invest in the full size of it - I have Mahalo's Vitality Elixir for comparison, and it works so much better for me. Next is Carrot a Day Sensitive formulation - I am sad to report this didn't suit my sensitive skin at all, it might be too much of essential oils for me to handle, but it made my skin red and blotchy, and it was very uncomfortable feeling once it was on, so I had to wash it off both times I tried to wear it and apply some balm aftewards to soothe my skin. These two samples went to someone in Germany. Next I have Blackstrap Molasses face mask, and sadly my skin was somewhat irritated by it too - I don't know how it is possible, as everyone seems to be raving about it, but I guess it is not for me? I didn't notice any amazing changes in my skin either, so I guess I am not investing in it either. That's my thoughts after trying it once, and I have some of it left for two or three more uses, so I might try it once more again as not to diss the product after trying it just once. Update a few months later - after I opened it once more about three months later, I found it moldy. I am definitely passing on. Next is Tangerine Skies Facial oil, which looks like sunshine in a bottle, and it is semi solid at a room temperature, so more like a moisturiser in my eyes? It didn't suit me either, sad to report! On top of that irritated feeling it broke me out. That is after using it once, but I will persevere once more and come back to you. Next is Fern and Moss face serum in an oil form - and this didn't give me any irritations.
So, all in all, my thoughts on the brand are, they really use amazing the best you can get raw ingredients, but it doesn't automatically mean it will be suitable for everyone, and my example clearly shows that. I didn't expect to be irritated by so many products, but I am glad these were samples and not full size products! If you are sensitive and reactive as me, samples are definitely a way to go, I would hate the thought of you getting full size products and then finding out they don't suit you... So there you go, my honest opinion as always on the table. If you have been with me for any amount of time you know you are getting nothing but honesty from me. 

It is becoming sort of tradition of mine to end the review with a wishlist, so shall we keep it up?
I want more of the same I have, plus Cistus and Moonlight Face Mist and Farizad's Veil SPF 30+ Powder. For starters :)

So that is all for today. Have you tried this brand and what are your favourite products? 

 Lots of Love,

Related posts:

Natural Beauty - Andrea from Organic Beauty Lover

Also check out Andie's Youtube video on Earthwise Beauty products, she is taking so passionately about the products, you can't help but want every single one of them!

Monday, February 20, 2017

The Best Of Skincare Tag

Hi Lovelies,

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

Earthwise Beauty, Nyr, Neal's Yard Remedies, Mahalo - my Holy Grail items of the moment

(The pic borrowed from my IG. It is my AM routine. I have my skincare listed in a separate blog post if you are interested.)

So, today is the day when I feel like giving birth to a blog post, as it doesn't happen easily and organically like other times. Maybe it is that I am back on the school run after two weeks of sickness (flu first, eye infections second, don't ask!) and feeling very disorganised, I don't know? I am not short of ideas or blogging material, so I don't know what it is - I write and delete and write and delete stuff all day, it is like I have aquarium for a head today, haha! So when I watched Jenna Catherine video on Youtube where she did a tag about the best of skincare, then the penny dropped and I shamelessly self tagged in it! Yes, that is how I roll :) I will tag a few people on Instagram, this looks like fun!

The Questions:

What's your skin type?
Dry and uber sensitive. Also prone to dermatitis and I have hyperpigmentation or should I say dermatitis scars. My under eye area is like a real estate, with permanent darkness there, that no amount of green smoothies, sleep, fresh air or sport can cure. I am a lucky gal, I know :)

How do you store your skincare products?
I try to store as little of it in the bathroom as I possibly can, and the rest of my stash is stored on a shelf where I can easily see what I have and I can make sure I am using all my products. It is categorised in frequently used products, products that I need to test and unopened products in a separate basket.

Favorite ingredient?
There's two at the moment, blue tansy and turmeric, both have done wonders for my dermatitis prone and inflamed skin!

Most indulgent product?
At the moment those would be Mahalo products. I won those in a giveaway, and I am sure I will wince when it will be the time to repurchase the products. What can I say? My play budget is so small it's practically invisible.

Best budget buy?
Hands down coconut oil! Can replace so many things at once. At this point I feel everyone knows fifty uses for coconut oil :)

Do you use any tools (Clarisonic, Foreo, etc.)?
No, never had them and no plans to buy them either. Even with their sensitive heads they are way too harsh for sensitive skin and gentle is the way to do it for me - I am all about kognac sponges and organic face cloths. I believe we are not meant to scrub away a layer of our skin even if your skin is not sensitive.

Best mask?
Any DIY mask that involves manuka honey! I am working on a blog post about it. Expensive shop bought masks are nice too, but I am all about DIY if I can help it, and manuka (or plain raw honey) is amazing for the skin!

Best multi-use?
Again, coconut oil! I will also use my make up in many ways too, blush as a lip colour, bronzer on the eyes, luminous eye shadows as a blush toppers/luminisers, etc. Have fun and play around!

If you had to stick to only one skincare brand, what would it be?
Impossible to answer! I enjoy many great products from different brands, but if pressed to choose one, I would say Mahalo (even if they don't have face cream and are pricy) - purely on the grounds that I am yet to come across another line of product where EVERY SINGLE PRODUCT suited my skin and I had zero irritations or reactions whatsoever! Maryna knows my skin.

Best spot treatment?
Tea tree oil. I have used this and only this for years and years. Recently I acquired manuka honey gel with tea tree oil, which is also nice.

Favorite step of your skincare routine?
Moisturisers and oils.

What's on your skincare wishlist? 
Ha, how much time have you got? It is two miles long! But if you really want to know, all of the Mahalo, lots of Living LibationsJosh Rosebrook - yes, really! Plus May Lindstrom Blue Cocoon and Honey Mud just to name a few. Looks like I need more faces or time, ha? Not sure which.

So, there you go, that is my post for the day, and I will tag a few people on Instagram, purely because of convenience reasons. And if I haven't tagged you, but you want to do this tag, I tag you too!

Lot's of love,

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Winter 2017 Favourites

Hi Lovelies!

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

So it is about time I shared my winter faves with you, isn't it? I don't know how about you, but I really struggle in winters, cold, freezing winds, lack of sunshine really gets me down, and things that would normaly bring me joy don't cheer me up much.. All I seem to be wanting in winter is to go to sleep and wake up three months later! Wish I could do that. Unfortunately responsibilities and hungry family won't let me :) Add sickness on a constant rotation and you got a pretty bleak picture. My kids are getting over eye infections on top of other things, and just last week we all had flu, so it is safe to say I am just muddling through at the moment, February feels like a constant stuggle. Oh Spring, where are you??
Ok, all this aside, let's see some things that I enjoyed? I enjoyed all the products in my skincare regime, you can read it here, I won't go into many detais about each product, but let’s just say I enjoy products from Mahalo tremendously! I also intend to keep my masking game strong as I can really tell a difference in my skin for a couple of days. I am really loving a couple of good masks I have going on, Mahalo, ISUN Skincare, 100%Pure Caffeine sheet masks (review here) are high on my list right now, although I own a couple more and a small Everest in samples.
One more favourite I have every day is my trusty drink That Keeps Me Well in Winters, it really makes a difference if I get a cold of feeling under weather, it sorts it out so much faster! (blog post on it here)
In a bid to curb my SAD (have it for many years, was never officially diagnosed with depression, as the only time I tried to talk with my GP about it I was laughed at and told I have too much time on my hands and I should look at the people “with real problems” so naturally, I clammed up) I am religious about taking my vitD plus Rhodiola supplement (mine is from Solgar) and I can pretty much feel like a human again. I also got Louise Hay “You Can Do This” callendar, my first.  Also I dusted down my Happiness Planner, something I got a couple of years previously and filled in like twice? Whoops! I have read a couple of good books including Louise Hay’s but sometimes you need those little positive reminders in your day to day life too, so I consider it money well spent. Do these SAD managing tools count as Winter Faves? I don't know? Well, this is real life, and hopefully you will see me as real person, rather than those cookie cutter bloggers and youtubers with perfect life and ever permanent cheery exteriors... I am real person with real problems just like you and I, and all those daily problems you are experiencing, I have too, and hopefully we can all relate to this? This post was written-and-deleted-and-rewritten quite a few times, I didn't like what I wrote as it didn't reflect me as a person, or how I feel. Yes I feel excited about new clean beauty goodies, but that is not all there's to me, and I want my blog to reflect all of me, not just one positive product review after another. Does anyone else feel this way?
Speaking of reading, I picked up reading again, even though I have less and less time to do it, I try to read even a couple of pages per day. I am nowhere near 10 books per month habit I used to going on, but little is better than nothing, isn't it? I just finished “Fast Food for your soul”, currently into Dan Brown “Inferno” and I just got a couple of good books too (see my last post, Bloggers Haul) so it looks like I will have something to do for a little while. I don't watch TV, but I just finished the last season of Vikings and currently have withdrawal symptoms, haha!
When it comes to fashion, I am really enjoying Lewis denim shirt I trifted for just one euro, pretty much my only clothes purchase this year so far! I am really itching to go shopping, I might be late to the sales, but then again, some best bargains are to be had at the very end of them, where stock is heavily discounted to be cleared. Hopefully I can go this weekend. I don't know how about you, but from time to time I take a day off from everything and from everyone (including my family) and go shopping on my own, and I really recommend that to everyone! Spending a day by yourself, browsing shop after shop and then choosing a nice little hidden cafe or little restaurant for your lunch - sounds perfect to me! (Don't get me wrong, I love shopping with friends and family too, but those are different kind of experiences, and sometimes I need that getaway kind of day just to clear the head and get out of the funk).
Instagram remains a firm favourite, I just love beeing a part of the green beauty community, all the interaction with you guys is bringing me so much joy!

So that is it, my winter favourites, hopefully you enjoyed reading about them. Sorry if this post wasn't all light white and fluffy, I hope that upcoming spring will bring more sunshine into mine and your lives!

Lots of love,

Monday, February 13, 2017

Balms, amazing balms

Hi Lovelies,

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

My collection of balms 

Let me tell you one thing, balms are the bomb, and if you haven’t experienced these little beauty miracle workers, you are seriously missing out! They should be your best friend if you are fellow dry and sensitive skin gal like moi, but all skin types can use them regardless. Skin acting up? Reach for a balm. Chapped lips? Had too much sun? Reach for a balm. Want to protect your skin against elements? Want to deeply soothe, hydrate and nourish your skin? Reach for a balm. You get the idea. I am obsessed with them since discovered them a few years ago, and it is something I always have on hand. You are guaranteed to find a jar or two at any given time in my house, and it is something I always travel with as well, because it is a multi use product, and it is just perfect too soothe and rehydrate cabin air parched skin. Heck, even when my face dermatitis was at it’s worst, Neals Yeard Remedies balm was one of the very few products my skin would tolerate, so I immediately purchased a full size of it once my sample ran out, and thanks goodness I did, it was one of the very few things that calmed the skin and reduced the insane itching. Those who have or had dermatitis or eczema, know perfectly well how uncomfortable and painful it is, and why not try all natural balm instead of those nasty steroid creams your doctor is prescribing you? Your skin will thank you.

Balms can be used on the face or just about anywhere you want to soothe, calm and deeply nourish the skin, it can be used on the lips, hands, dry elbows, or any dry patches on the skin, you can put them on the feet or all over the body if you wish. Well, that would be kind of expensive, but if that is what you want to do, go for it. It’s your call :) It can be used on the face (especially for dry skin people) and I often use one instead of the night cream, if I see that my skin needs it. The are specific balms for the face/body/lips or all over universal balms, so there’s something for everyone to choose from. You can also remove your make up with it, the same way as you would with oil cleanser, you would take a small amount of it, put it on the slightly dampened face, massage it into a skin for a few minutes and then remove it with a hot cloth. Face balms often come with organic cotton (or other fabric) cloths, so make sure to utilise those. You can use it on the chapped lips, to soothe the skin around the nose if you have a cold and constantly blow your nose, it can be used as a cuticle cream, hand cream, eye cream in a pinch, although I would advise to to use it at night, to avoid that oily feeling on your hands/skin. I also use it on the ends of the hair if I am out of the hair oil, but it is up to you if you want to do that or not. All I am saying that these wonderfully emollient skin loving beauties are a true multitaskers and can be used all over. The ingredients also range wildly, the base is often cheaper oil in a form of safflower, olive, coconut oil ( please check that it’s not mineral oil, more on it later) and then they have other active oils, botanical extracts or essential oils added. Plain balm will soothe, protect and nourish the skin (because that’s what they are made for) throughout day and night, but if you want let’s say antiinflammatory action from your balm too, then look for antiinflammatory properties containing balm. 
 This might be TMI for some of you, but I hope this will help some fellow mum with a newborn or a toddler out there, but I want to add that balm was exactly the thing that healed my daughter’s nappy rash when nothing was helping and we were in and out of the doctor’s office for two months, and all she was doing was prescribing stronger and stronger steroid creams to a few weeks old baby! I was at the end of my tether when I reached for my balm, and a miracle happened - overnight the rash was two times less red and angry and even shrank in size, and previously it was only getting bigger. It was sorted in less than a week, and I thanked God for this miracle product.
Oh, did I mention that it can be used as a mask too? Just keep it on your skin for about 30 mins and go relax in the meantime. Read a book or treat yourself to a lie in. You won't believe the change in your skin, and it will stay this way for a couple of days. You will also hardly need a foundation, as your skin will look so good without it. Speaking of foundation, one little tip, you can also mix balm with the mineral  foundation if you want to, just think of it, you will get great coverage while your face will be protected and nourished by a balm. Try it and let me know how did you like it?
Are you addicted to chapstics? Well, chapped lips aren’t cute; neither is becoming a slave to applying a product that doesn’t do it’s job. Ditch the conventional chapstics that are all petroleum based and filled with hair raising chemical, and move onto a natural lip balm made with beeswax, natural oils and maybe some essential oils for added goodness and nice smell, these natural lip balms will offer you all-natural, deeply nourishing hydration that actually heals.

Balms are made out of oils and plant butters plus beeswax (or carnauba wax for vegans) to solidify them, although I must correct myself and say they aren’t rock solid, but rather pliable and easy to use. Thicker and more emolient, “balmy” in texture. The ingredients in them vary wildly, and my advice to you would be to always flip the box or a jar and look at the ingredients, always look for the most natural ingredients you can find, you literally should understand every single ingredient in them. The reason I am saying this is because some companies cheat and use mineral oil as a base, with only a small percentage of active ingredient and still charge a hefty price for it. My hair stood up when i was about to purchase one popular balm with fermented paw paw in it, thanks goodness I checked the ingredients first! Needless to say I skipped it and decided to take my money elsewhere. Sadly a lot of “greenwashing” is happening and I always advise people to be informed consumer and always always check the ingredients list. We won’t go into the law loopholes and loose definitions of “natural” and “organic” labels, allowing chemical laden  products to be labeled as so, this is another post for another time, and in the meantime let’s get back to the balms. Where was I? Ah, the ingredients of the balms. Here’s the thing - balms are waterless, meaning they can last up to a year without the need for any preservatives (yay or what?) so you should only see some beautiful oils and waxes in the ingredient list, plus some essential oils or some “actives”, but that depends on the brand/balm. The simplest balm I have has six ingredients, and I love it! It is olive oil based with beeswax and some bee products, but as I just mentioned, this varies from brand to brand, so do your little research first to find the product perfect for you. Another balm I own is  rosehip oil based, and although it is significantly more expensive, it is also worth every penny, because a little goes a long way with balms, a 50ml jar lasts me about a year with frequent use. Prices range from 3.99 to over a hundred, so there is something for everyone for sure. Go organic if your budget lets you, but then again, do your research first, organic does not always equals big bucks, I found organic balms for as little as 6.99 for 30ml jar. I am going to purchase one of them and see how do they compare to my beloved balm I currently own.
I almost forgot to mention that you can make your own balm too, and it is pretty easy. If you can make your own pancake batter, you can make a balm too. There are tons of recipes on the internet, including my blog, and you can use as little or as much nourishing ingredients as you like, because this is your balm and you make the rules! Just remember to pour it into totally dry sterilised jar to avoid mold and bacteria growth.
Keep this post in mind for the upcoming winter, balm is exactly the thing that will protect your skin against the cold. Apply it 10-20 minutes before you leave the house and you will be good to go. I only wish my mom would knew it, because we never used any, and let me tell you, frostbite is never cute or pleasant. Then again, in summer it is good post sun, so it is a fabulous all rounder and I don't know how I lived without it!

So there you go, my two cents on balms and it's uses. Have you tried balms and what are your favourites? Please share with me, I would love to know! 

Lots of Love,

P.s. All products shown here were purchased with my own money or won in a giveaway. One is PR sample. This post was intended to go up as blog post on one US brand page, but not seeing it published there six months on, I take it back.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Natural Help for Cold Sores or Carmex Alternative (Plus One Remedy From Your Kitchen)

Hi Lovelies,

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

Perhaps I should have posted this at the start of the winter, not at the end of it, but oh well, better late than never, right? And to be truthful I never remembered about this product until the cold sore popped on my lip and I needed it myself. So I am sharing it with you too, if this post helps at least one gal (or guy) I will be a happy woman!

Ok, let's start from the beginning, shall we? If you are suffering from cold sore and you haven't found a natural alternative to Carmex, I am rushing to your rescue! The product is Lysine + Herbs balm by 100%Pure. It works exactly like Carmex, but has only natural ingredients, so we don't have to worry about putting toxins on our lips. The magical ingredient is lysine, and I will list all the ingredients below. You will get that tingling feeling just like from Carmex, but one word of warning for sensitive gals like moi, if you are super sensitive, put it on the cold sore only, not on the whole lips, or it will burn! Yep, tried and tested by unwilling human test bunny, aka me. (Everyone else should be fine). It costs around 6€ depending where you get it? See Amazon.

Organic Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil*, Organic Cera Alba (Beeswax)*, Organic Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Essential Oil,* Lysine, Melissa Officinalis (Lemon Balm) Leaf Oil, Propolis Cera (Propolis), Chaparral Oil, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Eucalyptus Globulus (Eucalyptus) Essential Oil, Melaleuca, Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Echinacea Purpurea (Echinacea) Extract, sambucus nigra (Elder Flower), Hydrastis Canadensis (Goldenseal) Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice Root) Extract * Certified Organic

And in my true frugalista style, I will share one more remedy for cold sores that will cost you nothing and you are most likely to have it in your kitchen cabinet already - it is garlic! Just peel a fresh clove and squeeze it a bit until that magical juice comes out, and apply that to your lips! Okay, that is not very social solution, and there might be no kissing that night, but it works so much better than anything shop bought, take my word for it! It will take care of your biggest cold sore in a day or two, and how many shop bought products can claim the same? I know back in the day when I used Zovirax, it took up to seven days to heal the sore, and it might as well be natural skin healing, isn't it?
So I suggest stop wasting your money on ineffective and toxic products, and get one of these remedies for yourself. Glad to help!

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So that is it for today,
Lot's of Love,

P.S. This post contains affiliate link, and you would make my day if you used it!