Friday, 29 November 2013

EYE’LL MAKE AN EXCEPTION: VOYA BRIGHT EYES




I have to admit that I often don’t see the point in eye creams… Some even seem to exacerbate the situations they claim to solve. I’ve found Voya Bright Eyes however to actually do what it says on the tin. I no longer wake up with puffy eyes, which was my main bugbear.... Maybe their not 'bright' but they're certainly brighter. It feels incredibly gentle, being the first eye cream that I’ve used that doesn’t slightly sting (even if it gets in my eyes). I also love that it’s a family run company. But I think exclusive to Selfridges which is a bit of a pain purchase wise and is also very expensive at £50. Despite this I’ve been very impressed with the product.

Ingredients: Aqua, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Polyglyceryl-3 Methyglucose, Distearate, Diglycerin, Isononyl Isononanoate, C12-16 Alcohols, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Oenothera Biennis Oil, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Persea Gratissima Oil Unsaponifiables, Tocopherol, Panthenol, Fucus Serratus Extract, Plantago Lanceolata Leaf Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Zingiber Officinale Extract, Camelia Sinensis Extract, Hibiscus Sabdariffa Extract, Chamomilla Recutita Extract, Calendula Officinalis Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder, Xanthan Gum, Benzyl Alcohol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Oryzanol, Lecithin, Palmitic Acid, Dehydroacetic Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Cananga Odorata Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia Oil, Coriandrum Sativum Seed Oil, Cymbopogon Martini Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Oil, Pogostemon Cablin Oil, Vanilla Planifolia Extract, Vetiveria Zizanoides Oil, Eugenia Caryophyllus Oil

Thursday, 28 November 2013

LIQUID FOUNDATION: YSL VS. VAPOUR





Touch éclat: I love this foundation but I think it can irritate my skin a little as I generally notice a little redness when I take it off (I have very sensitive skin). It smells lovely (not necessarily a good thing chemical wise), blends well and has a very light texture. It is very buildable and has the ability to go from a light coverage to medium fairly seamlessly which I love. However, I’d say it definitely needs to be set with powder as I find it’s durability is great when set but otherwise fairly poor. Apparently it’s also free from parabens, sulfates, petrochemicals, phthalates, GMOs and triclosan, which is amazing!
Colour: BD50
Price: £28
Ingredients: Octinoxate 7%,

Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Dimethicone, PEG-10, Dimethicone, Sorbitol, Bis-PEG/PPG-14/14 Dimethicone, Dimethicone/Polglycerin-3 Crosspolymer, Sodium Chloride,, Phenoxyethanol, Caprytyl Glycol, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Discdium Stearoyl Glutamate, Ethylhexylgycerin, Fragrance, Aluminum Hydroxide, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Dipropylene Glycol, Isotridecyl Isononanoate. May contain: Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Bismuth Oxychloride.

Vapour: A very high performance natural liquid foundation. Dewier than the Touch éclat which surprised me though not as easy to blend (it does feel a little like moving a paste around your face). I can’t decide if I like the smell (it smells beautifully natural yet powdery) but I was surprisingly impressed by the finish and staying power. In comparison to the natural mineral foundations I’ve tried, this product is heavier and I can feel that I’m wearing makeup which I don’t with the powders. But it’s two thumbs up for the Vapour illuminate liquid foundation.
Colour: S120
Price: £41
Ingredients: Organic/Bio Camellia Oleifera (Camellia) Seed Oil, Organic/Bio Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Oil, Organic/Bio Lecithin, Organic/Bio Cera Alba (Beeswax), Silica, Essential Oils and Natural Fruit Essences, Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin E), Boswellia Serrata (Frankincense)*, Organic/Bio Ocimum Sanctum (Tulsi/Holy Basil), Organic/Bio Nelumbo Nucifera (Lotus Flowers) [+/—: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, 77492, 77499), Mica (CI 77019)]
*Wildcrafted




I only tried a tester of the Vapour foundation (purchased from www.naturisimo.com) but because of it’s amazing natural ingredients which don’t irritate my skin and its natural dewy finish I’m keen to purchase this in place of my Touche éclat foundation once it’s finished (although I’ll find it hard to part with). I would advise trying a tester first though, as it’s an expensive product and would be good to make sure it’s suitable for your skin. I can imagine it would be a little hit and miss with the colours. 

(Both photos were taken in natural light, with no primer, concealer or any other product)

xxx

GET READY FOR THE MISTLETOE… THE BEST BALMS FOR YOUR BOUCHE



In winter, I often find my lips become uncomfortably chapped… This year however has been a different story thanks to the following products. The majority of the products mentioned below are petroleum free because I often find with petroleum based products that although they may be soothing while they’re on, once absorbed my lips are almost more chapped than before… Not ideal...




Calendula weather Protection Cream: may be part of the Weleda Baby range, but it’s proved to be a hero lip product for me this winter. Although rather menacingly, it very faintly smells of herby cardboard, its scent (thankfully) does not translate to taste. This cream is actually more of a balm and is a great all rounder that can be applied to any part of the body in need of some TLC. Because of calendula’s renowned healing properties, it soothes, protects and hydrates even the most sensitive skins. About £5 (this product has also won loads of awards).
      Ingredients: Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Lanolin, Beeswax (Cera Alba), Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Fragrance (Parfum)*, Limonene*, Linalool*, Geraniol*, Citral*.

Dr Bronner’s Magic “All-One” Organic Baby Balm: Yes it’s another baby balm but is also provides great nourishment and protection for your lips. Comes in a very handy container and can be used anywhere and everywhere. About £4.
        Ingredients: Jojoba Oil (organic), Beeswax (Apis Mellifera) (organic), Avocado (Persea Gratissima) Oil (organic), Hemp Oil (organic), Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin E) (organic)

Nuxe Reve de Miel: This one is a much thicker consistency than the others, but I love this as it gives your lips a unique matte look. It also smells like a citrusy honey… Yum! Around £10.
       Ingredients: Honey, Shea Butter, Rosa Mosqueta, Calendula, Almond, Vitamin E, Beeswax, Soy, Lecithin, Allantoin, Grapefruit, Sunscreen (No mineral oil)

Egyptian Magic: Has some fairly cheesy stuff written on the tub which looks a bit budget, but its simple ingredients are great. The propolis extract reduces inflammation, fights infection and treats minor burns (as well as apparently improving cold sores). Another great all rounder however the large container makes it quite irrational to cart around… More of a home based healer than the others. Around £22 for a huge tub
     Ingredients: Olive Oil, Beeswax, Honey, Bee Pollen, Royal Jelly, Propolis Extract.

  Mini Moa Green Balm: New to my repertoire this one has more of a medicinal smell because of its tea tree content. This guy can do virtually anything from sorting chapped lips to soothing a sore throat when gargled with honey and hot water. About £4
      Ingredients: English Yarrow, Tea Tree Oil. Coconut Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Soybean Oil, Beeswax, Yarrow, Water, Tea Tree Leaf Oil.


  Kiehl’s Lip Balm Mango: This is a far less natural option and I’d say my least favorite of the bunch. It smells of delicious mango which is a pro and con for me (as the great smell is probably a synthetic fragrance). It’s also petroleum based which means that it’s nourishing effects are not as enduring as the organic ones mentioned. I would say its more protective than nourishing. Around £9.
       Ingredients: Petrolatum, Squalane, Lanolin, Triticum Vulgare Germ Oil/Wheat Germ Oil, Pentylene Glycol, Tocopherol, Caprylyl Glycol, Pentaerythrityl Tetraditbutyl Hydroxyhydro-cinnamate, Allantoin, Benzyl Benzoate, Limonene, Benzyl Alcohol, Anise Alcohol, Linalool, Aloe Barbadensis Extract/Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Amyl Cinnamal, Parfum/Fragrance.

(A lot of these also double up as a great cuticle cream as well)

xxx


Monday, 25 November 2013

EVE LOM VS. COCONUT OIL





I love a bargain but I do seem to have this strange mentality that the more expensive a product is the more magical it’s going to be. I’m fast learning that this is not necessarily the case.

I had read so much about the Eve Lom cleanser and so was really excited to try it. According to the Space NK website, Vogue considers it to be “probably the best cleanser in the world”. In my opinion this is a little excessive… Although it’s a good product and I love the packaging, I don’t think it lives up to the hype. I was also a bit cross to see numerous parabens in the ingredients and that mineral oil is the primary ingredient…. Not what I wanted from my £55 splurge! (£55 for 100ml)


Eve Lom ingredients:  PARAFFINUM LIQUIDUM (MINERAL OIL), PEG-30 LANOLIN, CETEARYL ALCOHOL, BIS-DIGLYCERYL POLYACYLADIPATE-2, ALUMINUM STEARATE, THEOBROMA CACAO (COCOA) SEED BUTTER, PEG-75 LANOLIN, CHAMOMILLA RECUTITA (MATRICARIA) FLOWER OIL, EUGENIA CARYOPHYLLUS (CLOVE) LEAF OIL, EUCALYPTUS GLOBULUS LEAF OIL, HUMULUS LUPULUS (HOPS) CONE OIL, PHENOXYETHANOL, METHYLPARABEN, BHT, BUTYLPARABEN, ETHYLPARABEN, PROPYLPARABEN, ISOBUTYLPARABEN.

The smell isn’t what I would describe as delicious but is intriguingly comforting and I find myself looking forward to using the product in part because of the smell. It claims to exfoliate, brighten and tone and lives up to such claims to an extent however it does sting my eyes a little (which the coconut oil doesn’t at all!). The Eve Lom cleanser requires you to remove the product with a muslin cloth (the exfoliation part) and I’ve found that if I remove coconut oil in the same way it has a fairly similar effect.

Primarily because of the high price and paraben content, I can’t see myself repurchasing.

Coconut oil on the other hand has it all. Natural, multi-tasking and effective it’s a recent discovery that I can’t believe I haven’t stumbled across before. With its anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties, coconut oil is packed with the natural goodies you’d want from a cleanser.For £7.99 for 400g online at the ethical superstore, it’s also a bargain.

I wear some fairly stubborn mascaras (I like their durability) and coconut oil has honestly been the only product I’ve found that removes basically anything with ease whilst being seriously hydrating for the delicate eye area (I used to use Bi-Facil eye makeup remover by Lancome).

I usually follow the use of coconut oil with the Dr Alkaitis Organic purifying cleanser, so perhaps it would be more apt to describe the coconut oil as a makeup remover. However this is just my preference and it’s also possible to use the coconut oil alone as a cleanser as the makeup artist Rose-Marie Swift of RMS Beauty suggests. Either way I’m hooked, and in order to make my new addiction more portable (rather than carrying around the huge vat/jar it comes in) I spoon a small amount into the container of a finished product (I personally use a L’occitaine one that I got free with a magazine).

I like this short article that features coconut oil as the godsend it is…





All in all, whilst the Eve Lom cleanser is good, it’s not as great as the natural, cheaper option I’ve found in coconut oil!

xxx

Saturday, 23 November 2013

BEAUTY INGREDIENTS TO AVOID...





Synthetic chemicals can be found in the majority of beauty products, from lipstick to shampoo. Alarmingly, a correlation has been observed between the use of such chemicals and the rise in breast cancer, hormone disruption and other health issues. On a more superficial note, I’ve certainly found that my skin reacts to a lot of synthetic cosmetic products (redness, breakouts etc.) where as more natural products seem to be a lot kinder to my skin.

Rather than attempting to memorize the extensive list of ingredients to avoid, I generally go by the rule that if you can’t pronounce the ingredients, it’s probably not great for you. Here are the top 10 most wanted on my Beauty Blacklist…


Parabens (Methyl, Propyl, Butyl) - Linked to breast cancer, elevated stress hormones and DNA mutilation. May also cause skin irritation and allergies. Environmental contaminant. 


Diethanolamine (DEA) Triethanolamine (TEA) - Known carcinogens and irritable to skin. Linked to brain abnormalities and tumors in animals.

Urea (Diazolidinly, Imidazolidinyl) - Release potentially toxic formaldehyde, carcinogenic, skin irritant.

Sulfates (Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate – SLS) - Foaming agents that cause skin and eye irritation, water contamination and potentially carcinogenic

Petrolatum - Clogs pores and may cause what it claims to prevent i.e. dryness, sensitivity, chapping etc.


Propylene/Polyethene Glycol - Linked to liver, kidneys and brain interference.

PVP/VA Copolymer - Can be toxic if inhaled.


Stearalkonium Chloride - Causes irritation and may be toxic to organs.

Synthetic colors - May look attractive but can be carcinogenic.

Synthetic Fragrances - May cause headaches, dizziness, skin irritation, respiratory problems and hyper-pigmentation


A more extensive list of ingredients to avoid can be seen here:

xxxx

Friday, 22 November 2013

MY INTRO TO NATURAL BEAUTY


is for...



What surprised me in my initiation to natural beauty was the quality of natural makeup. I had expected to sacrifice effective makeup in the hunt for a healthier option. In reality however, I’ve found that the majority of natural beauty products have just as good a finish and staying power as the mainstream chemical oriented brands (if not better!!). For me, whilst the larger cosmetic companies may have bigger marketing budgets, the quality that many of the natural cosmetic companies strive for is paramount.

Having said this, my makeup bag still features a number of mainstream cosmetic brands. I’m currently attempting to cleanse my beauty regime of chemicals, but I think to avoid chemical makeup completely would be tricky. So I hope to reduce the number of chemical oriented makeup brands I use as opposed to removing them from my regime altogether, incorporating natural makeup into on trend beauty.

Hopefully this blog will be a way of tracking my hunt for some great natural beauty products as well as providing some healthy & happy lifestyle tips along the way.

xxxx