Friday, January 5, 2018

Green Beauty #Beautifulnewyear Challenge

Hi Lovelies,

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

Beautiful New Year Challenge

So I have decided to join my first green beauty challenge! It is Beautiful New Year challenge where you post different aspects/ products for every day for January, and it took just one look at it to want me join in. The challenge is run by two fabulous ladies @christinaalycebeauty and @sarahapriceca, but I first saw it on my fellow blogger friend's @naturally_keri page (congratulations on your beautiful baby boy once again!) It is right up my alley, and I suggest you check out their pages too.
My own IG page can be found here. I have to say I really struggle with taking photos with zero sunshine more often than not, so that is why I created this image you see up here, so I could hide my not-Insta-worthy photos :) Like the one with my shelfie. I will try my best, promise!

So, let's see what is the challenge? With the creator's permission, I am re-posting the challenge list here:

So let's start, shall we? As you can guess, this blog will be finished in a month's time, meaning I will come back to it daily to add my answers for the day.

1. How did I became interested in the green beauty?

It all started nine years ago, with a book "Imperfectly Natural Woman" by fabulous Janey Lee Grace (check my interview with her here) - that book really opened my eyes in many ways, as back then I was using lots of conventional products without giving a second thought what's in them and what they are really doing to you. Just like the rest of us, I assumed that the products must meet rigorous standards and are safe to use. Nothing could be further from the truth, and I was quite mad and scared at the same time, and started implementing changes immediately, switching to natural cleaning and laundry products, and using coconut oil for body moisturizer. At that time I was still using conventional make up, purely because it was not available anywhere locally to me, and the fabulous green beauty websites we have now didn't exist back then either! And I didn't have the money to replace everything in one go either. Then the book "No More Dirty Looks" came out, which gave me a push in the right direction a step further; and getting a horrible reaction to Olay Radiance day cream sealed the deal forever!

2.Your first Green Beauty purchase Or the oldest item in your stash?

I honestly don't remember, as it was so long ago, but I think it was Burt's Bees lip balm. (Burt's Bees weren't sold out and were a cruelty free company back then, mind you). Either that, or DrHauschka mascara, which was a huge disappointment, and it stopped me from getting back the the brand for a really long time, until very recently. And I was chuffed to find a jar of coconut oil in some Russian shop - nine years ago it wasn't mainstream and available everywhere you look like it is now, you really had to go out of your way to find it! Hard to believe, but it is true.

3. Shelfie! (Photo of your green beauty stash)

So I have this wooden two tiered little shelf with metal details that I absolutely adore, and that houses most of my skincare. I found it in TKMaxx (check my post on their beauty section here - one of my worst kept secrets. More than 80 photos ya all!) for a little over 20€ and I think that is one of the best bargains I've scored there, as well as one of my favourite things in the house. You can see it in my IG post here - my apologies for not-Instagram-worthy photo, I really am struggling as a blogger in winter - zero sunlight means crap photos. My make up lives in those soulless acrylic chest of drawers that we all seem to have, and I have an array of samples in some boxes next to it. I try my best to go through them, but the stash seems never ending - they must be making babies when I am not looking, I swear!

4. Top 3 favourite products

I have a separate blog post on my Top 3 Favourite Natural Products from a year or two ago, and I still stand by those - coconut oil, OreganolP73 and tea tree oil. I chose those thinking along "what if all of my products disappeared" lines, what products I would run out to buy first? And these three things came to mind first, not make up or skincare, sorry! I talk about each product in detail in my post (link here), so I won't be repeating myself all over again. 
If I were to pick my Top 3 from skincare realm, my favourites from the moment are Rare Indigo balm by Mahalo (link to review post), Hurraw Moon Balm and DrHauschka Rose Day Cream (review).
Top 3 from the make up would be Inika Long Lash mascara, Studio78 Paris Rose Sand bronzer and mineral foundation, a toss up between English Mineral Make Up and Pure Anada. I have a review on both of the foundations, hit the search button please if you are interested to read further.

All of the skincare and make up items made into my 2017 Favourites

5. A splurge that was worth the money

green life in dublin

Pass the drum 🥁 roll please - Ladies, and Gentlemen, please welcome Rare Indigo balm by Mahalo 💕
I have to say expensive products aren't my natural habitat, and as I wrote in my 25+ Products I Can Live Without post, I am making only one exception for a product over 100€, and it is this amazing balm. Very pricy for so little product, yes, but hear me out - the reason I love it so much is that it is amazing for my dermatitis prone skin - the blue tansy oil among some other gorgeous natural ingredients works like magic, and helps my skin so much! I use it as a night cream (don't forget a mist beforehand) and I continuously wake up with amazing skin. If I have a rare breakout (frustratingly it is always on my face, haven't had a body breakout in 3yrs), so I always reach for this first, over any other product. In a matter of minutes my skin is soothed and in a matter of hours, the texture is back to normal. Now that it is cold and dry, I also use in the day time too, and I remember using this in the summer too - post sun bathing and on bug bites as well. It can also be used as an under eye balm as well, and for those reasons I allow myself to close my eyes when I hand over the money for it 😄 Perfect multitasker that works for so many things for me. And the smell is instantly soothing and calming, another bonus! And did I mention this made into my Yearly Favourites for two years in the row? .
I have a Mahalo review on my blog if you wish to check it out?

6. Best bang for your buck product

For me, that has to be little old coconut oil! You can Google 100 ways to use it, but I personally love to use it as a body moisturiser, as well as in my hair masks and on the ends of my hair. Plus as a hand and cuticle 'cream' in a pinch. As a base for DIY toothpaste. To remove make up, especially eye make up. It didn't work out as a face oil for me, but oh well, it still had a myriad of ways I can use it!
Second best-bang-for-your-buck product has to be facial oils, I find 30ml can easily last me 9m to a year, and having that in mind the 30€ more or less price tag seems not so expensive after all!


7. What's on your wishlist?

green life in dublin
Green Beauty Wishlist

Umm, how much time have you got? 😄 My green beauty wishlist can be seen in the photo above, and if you are curious about the names of the exact products and my reasons for them, as well as my life style, fashion and books wishlists, you can check out this post right here - I went all out and held nothing back! After all, I figured life has a funny way of giving you exactly what you want, so why ask for little? Go big or go home!

8. Anti-haul: what products you won't be purchasing?

I generally keep mum about things that aren't for me, as I don't like to badmouth products - I feel that's not what I am here for, and bashing products is not of my intention. Although constructive criticism is a good thing, I would have to agree. Also, what didn't suit my (dry and sensitive) skin might be someone else's Holy Grail product?
So, seeing that Sarah posted about products that she won't be repurchasing, I will take a leaf out of her book, and will invite you to read three of my blog posts. (just search "Disappointing Products" or "Reviews I never Posted") Remember that 5 things I can live without tag that was floating around IG and YT? Trust me to take it to the max, I list 25 in my blog post 😄 (I wasn't the one to half ass my wishlist either, see my last post and question 7 above). Then there's my 'Disappointing Products" post on my blog, as well as "Reviews I Never Posted" where I don't hold back my thoughts - I am constantly told that my honesty sets me apart from other bloggers, and I wear it like a badge of honor, thank you guys! 💕
All posts can be found on my blog, just hit the search button.
But if I need to list some products here, here are a few of the top of my head - any coconut oil based make up (does not last on me, plus breaks me out), any face products heavy on essential oils (I am way too sensitive for them most of the time), any products heavy on clays (same), any products priced above 100 (with one exception) because quite frankly my budget does not stretch to them.
9. If you had unlimited funds, what would you buy?

Please refer to the question 7, one look at it, and you instantly know I would need unlimited funds to buy all of it! Add Beauty Heroes and Boxwalla yearly subscriptions on top of that! No, scratch that, five years! 


10. Favourite green beauty DIY

Now, I love DIYs, but only if they are super simple and require a ton of additional ingredients. I have a few posts on my blog. My favourite for the time being (and for the last year as well) is manuka honey face masks - see this post, where I list more than 12 recipes, all with simple but super effective ingredients - I worked hard on that post!
Another DIY that I love and I've been doing it for the last 8yrs or so is the DIY deodorant, it only requires three ingredients and two minutes of your time. Just think how much money I have saved by not buying shop bought deodorants!

11. Favourite skincare ingredient

I can't choose just one, sorry, but just can't! For me that would be manuka honey (duh! Masking 12+ different ways) turmeric (always and forever), calendula, blue tansy (both wonderful for inflamed skin) and shea butter (chosen because it is my skin's best friend in winter)

12. Favourite type of product

Again, I can't choose just one, or my mind would explode from trying to narrow it down to just one option 😀 I tried. Nope!
So my favourite products for the moment are balms, facial mists, rich facial moisturisers, lip balms that Would Stay On The Lips and masks.

13. A conventional product that you still need a green replacement for

Honestly, there is no such product, apart from plastic! And even that has natural and fully compostable replacements made from hemp and some root vegetable I can't remember, but these are not mainstream - I can't wait for the day they will be! In my house plastic is banned as much as humanly possible and we have a 'reduce reuse recycle' approach to pretty much everything.
I think the challenge creators had beauty things in mind, so let me tell you about the thing I replaced the last - that would be Nars Orgasm blush. It was exactly the thing I clung onto the most as I couldn't find not only exact replacement, but something even remotely close. Bear in mind I switched 8 or nine years ago, before the green beauty revolution, or even online stores came along! (and the mineral make up back then was truly 50 shades of beige). Thankfully green beauty world sort of exploded since, and I was able to find More Than Twenty clean Nars Orgasm dupes! Yes, you read that right, more than twenty - I work hard on my posts and I like it this way 😄 See the post here.
green life in dublin
Natural Nars Orgasm Dupes
14. Beauty tools you can't live without

My fingers, make up brushes and jade gua sha massage tool, although I need to get back to the latter one! That is it guys, no fancy UFO gizmos or even Clarisonic here.
 Let me know if you want a separate posts on my make up brushes or jade facial massage tool?

15. Ride or Die: a product that you can't live without

At this moment in time for me it is very moisturising cream that would quench my dry skin's thirst and a balm that's fantastic not only for everyday, but in the case I have a dermatitis flare up. Enter DrHauschka Rose Day Cream (review) and Mahalo Rare Indigo Balm (Mahalo review. Again, let me know if you want me to review Rare Indigo in a separate post).

16. Most useless type of product

Well, where do I start? Armpit primer? Yes, it is a thing, if you didn't know it - just check Meow Meow Tweet! I included it in "25+ products I can live without" post when I was tagged by beautiful @freerangediva Cheryl, and I got accused I was making things up. No, I am not, and that is why I am mentioning the brand here. In fact, I was having fun watching influencers who got it in PR round recommending them with straight faces. Umm, that's a 25$ product I will gladly skip, thanks! If you need to 'prime' your armpits, put a teeny tiny bit of coconut oil prior to your deodorant. As we all know, coconut oil has antibacterial and antifungal actions going on, perfect for 'priming' if you need it?
Next would be armpit detox kits that cost around 30$ or something crazy like it. Umm, you don't need it! It started when activated charcoal deodorants got popular, on the grounds that activated charcoal pulls toxins out of the body, and then the same company started the kits, which include "armpit masks" (again, I am rolling on the floor laughing). Again, you don't need it! Guess what, your body detoxes itself in a natural way - by sweating! I know, earth shattering info. Well, if you are just switching from regular antiperspirants and are really worried about about the pong, just use regular clay as armpit detox "mask", it costs very little, and will do the same job at pulling out the toxins. What next? Scalp scrubs come to mind too. As far as I know this type of product was started in the conventional beauty world to "help remove build up and let scalp absorb nutrients better" - I mean, really? Scrub so the scalp would absorb SLS better?? No thanks! As far as I know this didn't catch on much in the green beauty world, as I don't know many brands doing this type of product, only Natura Siberica, which I don't use. I think that is it for Really Useless Products In My Opinion. I tend to be minimal and skip any product that can be replaced with a product I already own, for example, click pens for cuticles?
Thanks but no thanks, I will use straight up oil. It is not that hard to drop one drop on the cuticles and rub it in, is it?

17. Most recent purchase

That would be two Hynt Beauty goodies, from @eminessences. Sweet Emilie wanted to send me Hynt lipstick or lipgloss of my choice (thanks 😘😘) , so I took the opportunity to buy Duet Perfecting Concealer as well. This time I got it in medium, after going back and forth a million times whether should I go for the light again, which is what I had a full size of in the past, and at times I felt it was too light. Medium seemed so much darker, hence my hesitation, but it seems to work for me just fine. Bear in mind I only used it once, and even if I will decide it is ever so slightly too dark for me now, when I am at all times winter palest (that would be all of us, except our Aussie sisters), I know I will get so much use out of it cone spring and summer (hurry up, please!). I have not one but two reviews of it, and I still regard this as the most awesome full coverage concealer, green beauty or no green beauty! Seriously, you need soooo little of it, like a pin prick amount. So have this in mind if you deem it too expensive - it is well worth the price, and you can use it as a foundation, I know I do. Having said that, I still think that Light and Medium shades need to have a love child, aka a shade in between, please take note Hynt Beauty 😘
Ps. It looks like the consistency (and the coverage) has changed since I last had it, please see the comments on this IG post if you are interested? When Hynt Beauty used to be Christopher Drummond back in 2015, I loooved soft liquid consistency with sooo much pigment, but now it is hard and waxy, with seemingly less coverage. Idk, I need to play around with my new product a bit more to make my mind up about it. The lip gloss is absolutely gorgeous, and you can see it swatched in the same IG post of mine, just swipe to the left.

18. Favourite place to shop Green Beauty

Why, that would be Love Lula, of course! that is my main one, I am a happy customer since 2014 and LLABP blogger since mid 2017. Highly recommended! Vast amount of products with impeccable customer service! They ship worldwide for orders <£15 and they sell samples! Lol, I sound like a sales person 🤣
Other places I shopped at and loved last year are @eminessences @reinaorganics @sonaturalbeauty @naturisimo @contentbeauty and @isunskincareuk - between them you can get everything your heart desires, and all natural of course!


19. Favourite beauty hack

Why, trust me to take a simple question and run with it - I made a separate post out of it, listing my favourite hacks, all 13 of them to date. In it I talk about hacking popular green beauty masks, what to use if you ran out of brow product, or a hand cream, how to DIY your own liquid eye liner and more! Link here. And I want to know your beauty hacks too, please leave them down below.

20. A product that didn't work out for you

There are quite a few of them, if interested, please see "Disappointing Products" or "Reviews I Never Posted" posts (hit the search button). In general, I don't like to bash products or brands, that is not what I am here for, plus the products that didn't work out for me, might be someone else's perfect products, you never know? I always clearly state the reasons why the product didn't work out for me, so you can make up your minds on whether you want to get it or not?

21. Every day make up look

green life in dublin
Natural products for every day make up look

It can be pretty much summed up in this picture. Maybe sans the (gorgeous) Couleur Caramel palette, as the eye shadows aren't a part of my everyday repertoire, although I love the days when I use them! For my real every day look, I only use under eye concealer, at the moment I have two, this newly gotten Hynt Beauty and Ere Perez duo in light. Due to my hereditary dark circles that no amount of sleep/ fresh air/ green smoothies /exercise can cure, I can only apply "calm surrender" method and use high coverage concealer. This and the mascara are two products I rely heavily for my every day look. My mascara of the moment is Inika Long Lash one, nd I love it. Great length, not too much volume, natural and vegan ingredients, and what I love the most is that it never smudges or flakes on me, which are big pet peeves of mine. I have a back up too. I don't apply foundation all over for every day, but if I have some redness, I am most likely to use concealer or Vapour Organic stick foundation in 123. If I feel the need to set it, I will apply Zao Silk setting powder. And oddly enough, I started to use a Studio78Paris Rose Sand bronzer for my every day look, in an attempt to warm up my all-the-time-palest complexion. Bronzer was a very rare occurrence for me up until now, and I am surprised I started using it in winter, not summer, on the regular basis, but let me just enjoy it, ok?

22. Show us your true colours, aka Mask selfie!

Why, no problems at all! How about this?

green life in dublin
DIY manuka and cacao mask
  or this?

green life in dublin
DIY manuka honey and spirulina mask
Not your cup of tea? You will love this:

green life in dublin
DIY manuka and turmeric mask
I hope you will like my true colours, for more see my DIY Manuka Honey post right here.

23. What samples are you hoarding?

Oh my gosh, where do I start? I posted this photo on my IG so I could shame myself into using them all up, but truth to be told I haven't made much progress. Feeling overwhelmed as it is, I am not good at trying samples of products I am not interested in in the first place. With my super sensitive skin there is always a big "gulp" moment, because I tend to react to pretty much anything, and I should stop putting pressure on myself to try all of them, I feel I should as a blogger, but the rational part of me thinks I should stop assaulting my skin and get rid of them all in one go. I mean I do not intend to buy a full size of it, what's the point, right?

24. A product that you used up recently

That would be Revitin, a natural probiotic toothpaste and Rahua shampoo. Review of the toothpaste is to come, review of Rahua is checked off my list :) 


25. Colour story: a photo of products that are your favourite colour

green life in dublin
Natural Nars Orgasm dupes

This question brings my mind straight to colour cosmetics, because when I think of skincare, I never think "colour", I think "ingredients" and "effectiveness". So colour means cosmetics to me, and my most happy colour(s) is all my blushes resembling Nars Orgasm. As I mentioned in some question above, I have a post listing 20+ natural and organic alternatives, so there is no excuse not to switch to the green side! That peachy-pink-with-gold-undertones colour holds a special place in my heart, and although I plan to minimise/ downsize in many areas of my life, I am happy to hoard six different, but almost identical blushes. That is what makes me happy, so don't judge! I use all of them (as that is pretty much all I wear) and if you want to know, my blush drawer is called "happy drawer". 

26. A product you have repurchased the most

Body and hand soap, shampoo and toothpaste, surely that's what people purchase the most?

27. Morning skincare routine

Sometimes I wash my face, sometimes I don't, and when I don't, I spritz my face with thermal water, apply hydrating serum like Earthwise Beauty Nap In The Meadow and apply my beloved Rose Day Cream on top. For under eyes I use Bella Aura one for the moment, the sample size seems to be never ending. In about 10 mins on goes the sunscreen (Kimberly Sayer), followed my minimal make up from question 21.

28. Evening skincare routine

That is a bit more elaborate, and let me detail it in the upcoming "Get Unready with me" post in the near future. I have it planned for quite some time now, and when it will be finished, I will make sure to link it here. It's just it is like a whole new post in itself, as like most women I tend to use more products in the pm routine, and if I started listing them all and the steps of my routine, this post would be two miles long, when it is super long as it is! Ain't nobody got time for that, right?


29. Bath vs. Shower: which do you prefer? Show us your products.

Shower for every day, bath for magnesium soak once a week.

30. A green product that performs like a conventional one you used to love.

Honestly, that is all my products, maybe with exception of shampoo, toothpaste and liquid/cream foundation. Those are toughest nuts to crack, everything else I've got covered and I do not miss any conventional product at all!

So, that is it for today's post, I hope you liked it? Please let me know your thoughts in the comments or on other social media. Have a great day guys!

Lots of Love,

green life in dublin

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