Thursday, 26 December 2013

QUICK AND EASY NATURAL MAKEUP


I’m someone who usually likes to take time getting ready, but today after all the festivities I wanted to be a little more relaxed… This makeup honestly only takes about five minutes and looks really natural. It won’t leave you feeling polished but a little less facially naked and ready for the day.






















Inika Mineral foundation in Nurture 04 provided my base as I buffed it all over my face with a kabuki brush.

I went under my eyes, around my nose and any other areas in need of concealing with RMS Beauty’s ‘Un’ Cover-up in shade 22 (applied with my finger).

I dotted Neal’s Yard Black Eye Liner between my upper lashes just to define my upper lashline a little and then applied Kjaer Weis Black Mascara to my upper and lower lashes.

I used Rms Living Luminizer to highlight my cheeks, brow bone and cupids bow. I also dabbed a little on my lids and in the inner corners of my eyes.

I applied Vapour’s Multi Use Blush in spark 202 onto the apples of my cheeks and lips with my finger.

I also rimmed Rimmel’s Scandaleyes waterproof Kohl Kajal in nude 005 along my lower waterline which I think is great way to de-fatigue eyes (this product isn’t natural.. I was just in need of a little extra help).


I hope everyone’s had an amazing Christmas!!




xxx

Thursday, 19 December 2013

DR ALKAITIS REVIEWED




Having purchased the travel set as a little introduction to the line, I got along so well with the Dr Alkaitis products that they now provide the foundation to my skincare regime… They’re so good!

The products have won a ton of awards and are 100% natural, aiming to bring skin “to optimum health” whilst prohibiting damage, preventing and treating ageing. I have to say, having been using the cleanser, soothing gel and night cream for a couple of months, my skin has never looked better.

I also love that there is one line to suit all skin types. Although I’d classify my skin as sensitive, it’s always doing something different (whether it be as a result of the season, what I’ve eaten, or time of the month) and I feel the Dr Alkaitis line has the flexibility to cater for these changes. 

I loved many of the products in this line, but not all of them and so I’ve brutally put them in order of preference…

THE ONES I LOVED...

Organic Purifying Cleanser: Has become a staple in my skin care regime. It really cleans without feeling harsh and I've grown to love the smell.

Price: £43.50
Ingredients: Into Dr. Alkaitis Organic Castile Cleansing Base (compounded from virgin, cold pressed organic Olive*, organic Coconut*, organic Shea*, organic Jojoba*, organic Sesame*, organic Castor* and organic Borage* oils) the following ingredients are added: Aloe Vera Gel*, Vegetable Glycerin, Organic Herbal Skin Repair Complex (made up of Chamomile*, Black Elder*, Greater Nettle*, Myrrh°, Bitter Orange*, Rosemary*, Marsh Mallow*, Benzoin°, Marigold*, True Lavender*, Sea Wrack°, Icelandic Seaweed* and Plantain*). Citrus seed extract, natural Vitamin A complex (from Carrot* and Aztec Marigold*), natural Vitamin C complex (from Camu Camu° and Acerola Cherry*), natural Vitamin E complex (D-alpha, beta, gamma, delta tocopherols and tocotrienols from Sunflower and Palm oils) and Aroma (a blend of 100% pure Essential Oils).

Organic Soothing Gel: Another product from the line that I can see myself repurchasing again and again. I use this as a toner and it actually feels like its doing something (which I don’t always find with toners). Vitamins, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral… this stuff is the dream.

Price: £43.50

Ingredients: Into Dr Alkaitis' base of Organic Aloe Vera gel* and Witch Hazel° the following organic and wild-crafted herbals are blended: organic grape alcohol* (from the fermentation of organically grown grape). Greater Nettle*, Wild Chamomile°, Myrrh°, European Orange*, Benzoin°, Rosemary*, Olibanum°, Wild Fennel°, Balm Mint*, Sea Oak°, Pacific Kelp°, Red Seaweed° and Purple Dulse°. Also added are natural vitamin B complex (from Yerba Maté* and Chlorella*, and D-Pantothenate), natural vitamin C complex (from Camu Camu°, Acerola Cherry*) and Aroma (a blend of 100% pure Essential Oils).

Dr Alkaitis Organic Night Cream: I ummed and aahed about getting this night cream because it’s so expensive but it was absolutely worth it. Apparently skin is at its most regenerative when we sleep and because of this I’m willing to spend a little more on my nighttime skincare products. I want something that will aid the natural regenerative process but not smother my skin… This does just that. It doesn’t feel like any of my previous night creams because it absorbs into my skin almost instantly and doesn’t leave a greasy residue.
Price: £69.50
Ingredients: Organic Aloe Vera Gel*, virgin cold pressed organic Shea butter*, Organic Herbal Skin Repair Complex (composed of the organic herbs Jojoba*, Olive*, Hundred-leaved Rose blossoms°, Wild Carrot°, Echinacea root*, Coltsfoot*, Horsetail*, Water Navelwort*, Marigold blossoms*, and Roman Chamomile flowers*). Vegetable Lecithin, Citrus seed extract. Natural complexes of: vitamin E (D-alpha, beta, gamma, delta tocopherols and tocotrienols from Sunflower and Palm oils), vitamin A (from Carrot*, Aztec Marigold*), vitamin B (from Yerba Maté*, Chlorella*) and vitamin C (from Camu Camu°, Acerola Cherry*). Aroma 
THE ONES I LIKED...

Organic Nourishing Treatment Oil: I actually love this product but it’s another very expensive one so I haven’t purchased the full size (and I want to wait till I’ve finished my Neal’s Yard Rose Facial Oil). I wasn’t overly impressed with this until I tried massaging it into my skin for five minutes (the leaflet it comes with suggests a 15 minute facial but my hands gave up). It smells amazing and seemed to plump and moisturize leaving my skin with a bit of a glow… I’ll definitely be purchasing this when I get the chance!

Price: 69.50

Ingredients: Into a base of virgin cold-pressed organic oils (organic Jojoba*, St. John’s Wort*, and Andean Mountain Rose Hip Seed* oils), the following organic and wild-crafted herbals are blended: Indian Madder°, Country Sarsaparilla° and Liquorice*. China Root°, Turmeric*, Indian Ginger, Costus° and White Sandalwood°. Cuscus Grass°, Olive*, Eagle Wood°, Nut Grass°, Bermuda Grass° and Ashwagandha*. Sacred Lotus, Dog Rose*, White Egyptian Lotus and Sea buckthorn. Also added are natural vitamin E complex (D–alpha, beta, gamma, delta tocopherols and tocotrienols from Sunflower and Palm oils ) and Aroma (a blend of 100% pure Essential Oils).

Organic Day cream: This is a very good day cream but I have not purchased the full size because it is so expensive. Because I usually use day cream as a base for my makeup I’ve opted for the cheaper Weleda Wild Rose Day Cream (which is also great and about a seventh of the price).

Price: £69.50

Ingredients: Organic Aloe Vera gel*, virgin cold pressed Organic Shea butter*, Organic Herbal Skin Support Complex (compounded from the organic herbs St. John’s Wort flowers*, Water Navelwort*, Horsetail*, Coltsfoot*, Marigold Blossoms* and Echinacea root*). Jojoba Oil*, Vegetable Lecithin, natural vitamin E complex (D-alpha, beta, gamma, delta tocopherols and tocotrienols from Sunflower and Palm oils) and Natural vitamin C complex (from Camu Camu° and Acerola Cherry*), Citrus seed extracts, Aroma (a blend of 100% pure Essential Oils).

Masks: The Dr Alkaitis Masks give great results, doing exactly what they say they will but they’re such a faff to prepare and wear and the whole process feels like you should be in the kitchen as opposed to the bathroom. Each powder needs to be mixed with water, honey or goats yoghurt and once applied must be kept moist… Although the results are good, it’s not the most relaxing experience (which is part of what I want from a facial mask) and so I can’t imagine I’ll ever purchase the full size.
Price: 47.75 each
NOT SO IMPRESSED...
Organic Replenishing Serum: I am still yet to be impressed by a serum… I can’t really understand their purpose and this is no exception. There was nothing unpleasant about the product, I just can’t see any particular results.
Price: £43.50
Ingredients: Into a base of organic Aloe Vera Gel*, Witch Hazel° and organic grape alcohol* (from the fermentation of organically grown grapes), the following organic and wild-crafted herbs are blended: Greater Nettle*, Wild Chamomile Flowers°, Myrrh°, European Elder blossoms*, Marsh Mallow*, French Lavender flowers*, Curacao Orange*, Benzoin°, Rosemary*, Wild Fennel° and Balm Mint*. Grapefruit Seed and Lemon* extracts. Sea Palm°, Sea Oak°, Atlantic Kelp° and Pearl Moss°. Also added are natural vitamin B complex (from Yerba Maté* and Chlorella*, and D-Pantothenate), natural Vitamin C complex (from Camu Camu°, Acerola Cherry*) and Aroma (a blend of 100% pure Essential Oils).
Organic Eye Cream: I’ve only ever found one eye cream I’ve been impressed by (Voya Bright Eyes). The texture is thick and heavy and for me this did nothing apart from make my eyes slightly puffy… Not ideal.
Price: £43.50
Ingredients: Into an Organic Aloe Vera gel* base, the following herbals are blended: Herbal Eye Renewal Complex (consisting of Wild Rose buds*, Linden blossoms°, Roman Chamomile flowers*, Quince°, St. John’s Wort blossoms*, Green Tea*, Cornflowers* and Mate*). Eye Rejuvenation and Support Complex (virgin cold pressed organic Jojoba*, Andean Mountain Rose Hip seed* and Borage* oils, and virgin cold pressed organic Shea butter*). Vegetable Lecithin. Natural complexes of: vitamin A (from Carrot* and Aztec Marigold*), vitamin C (from Camu Camu° and Acerola Cherry*) and vitamin E (D-alpha, beta, gamma, delta tocopherols and tocotrienols from Sunflower and Palm oils). Citrus seed extracts

I hope you’ve found this helpful… I’d definitely suggest getting the travel set first as I think it’s good value and what I’ve loved or disliked may prove to have different results for different skin types. Travel sets are a great way to find out what works for you. On the whole I love the line and the brands ethos (I just wish it was a little less expensive!).

xxx

Friday, 13 December 2013

AN EASY WAY TO RELEASE SHOULDER AND NECK TENSION



The Christmas period can be stressful so I thought it might be helpful to suggest a quick exercise to release neck and shoulder tension that accumulates as a result of stress…

  1. Sit in any comfortable position with your back straight.
  2. Keep your shoulders still and as you inhale, tilt your head left, bringing your left ear towards your shoulder.
  3. Exhale and pull your chin towards your chest.
  4. Inhale and tilt your head right, bringing your right ear towards your right shoulder.


I tend to do about five cycles but repeat as many times as necessary and as often as you need.

I love to massage Neal’s Yard Warming salve into affected areas before I start as I find it helps soothe muscular tension and has a really comforting ginger scent (which also feels quite festive). The scent and sensation reminds me of a more luxurious, less intense tiger balm.
Price: £10
Ingredients: Olive oil*, sunflower oil*, St John's wort extract*, comfrey extract*, beeswax*, water, alcohol denat*, capsicum extract*, lavender oil*, juniper oil*, ginger oil*, rosemary oil*, sage oil*, tocopherol.

xxx

Thursday, 12 December 2013

KIEHL’S MIDNIGHT RECOVERY CONCENTRATE



Kiehl’s have got the packaging for this product spot on, it looks good and the dispenser is practical. I enjoy using it before bedtime because the gentle lavender scent gets me in the mindset for sleep. Although it’s fairly expensive I imagine it will last a long time because you only need 2-3 drops, and once it’s warmed between your palms it spreads quite easily.

I was excited to try this product because it has had such positive feedback online. For me however, it hasn’t lived up to the hype… It’s far from offensive and is enjoyable to use (primarily because of the scent) but it doesn’t seem to do much for my skin at all (apart from averagely moisturize and for this there are far better and cheaper products on the market). Perhaps I have not found it as beneficial because it claims to leave “younger-looking skin” which is not a primary skin concern for me yet, but considering it’s price and effectiveness (or lack of) I can’t see myself repurchasing.

Price: £36

Ingredients: Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Squalane, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, Jojoba Seed Oil, Coriander Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Lavender Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Linalool, Rosemary Leaf Oil, Citronellol, Geraniol, Lavandula Hybrida Oil, Cucumber Fruit Extract, Turmeric Root Extract, Limonene, Citral, Sclareolide, 

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

DON’T SWEAT IT… NATURAL DEODORANTS



I’ve got into the habit of using natural deodorant after discovering the number of parabens, petrochemicals, aluminum, and other hormone disruptive ingredients found in synthetic deodorants. Although there is no conclusive evidence, antiperspirant deodorants have been linked to breast cancer and considering the frequency of application and proximity to the lymph nodes, I’d rather not take the risk… Here are some safer options…



Weleda Wild Rose Deodorant: Rose has natural antibacterial properties ideal for combatting any odour associated with perspiration. It smells great and I love how portable the 30 ml size is… This has become a staple in my washbag.
Price: about £7 (30ml)
Ingredients: Alcohol, Water (Aqua), Fragrance (Parfum:)*, Limonene*, Linalool*, Citronellol*, Benzyl Alcohol*, Benzyl Benzoate*, Benzyl Salicylat*, Geranoil*, Citral*, Eugenol*, Farnesol*, Rose Moschata Leaf Extract, Rose Damascena Extract, Glycerin, Ammonium Glycyrrhizate. * from natural essential oils.

Neal’s Yard Lemon and Coriander Deodorant: Not as portable but has a very refreshing scent in the morning. Again, it won’t stop you from sweating but provides a hygienic alternative to synthetic deodorants.
Price: £8 (100ml)
Ingredients: Alcohol denat., Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Citrus limonum (Lemon) peel oil expressed*, Citrus aurantifolia (Lime) peel oil distilled*, Citrus paradisi m. (Grapefruit) peel oil expressed*, Coriandrum sativum (Coriander) fruit oil*, Eugenia caryophyllata (Clove) bud oil*, Cymbopogon martinii (Palmarosa) herb oil*, Lavandula angustifolia (Lavender) oil*, Sodium usnate extract, Citral, Coumarin, Eugenol, Farnesol, Geraniol, Isoeugenol, Limonene, Linalool.

Coconut Oil: It's incredibly moisturising and the antibacterial properties of the lauric acid in coconut oil combats any bacteria associated with odour. I’m personally less keen on this option because I don’t love the vibe of rubbing oil onto your underarms but it does work!

******************

Pitrok Crystal: New to my repertoire, this is a good'n. If you're not quite ready to take the full on natural deodorant plunge than this is probably the way to go. As a roll on, it looks, feels and smells like a normal deodorant and yet it has a more favourable ingredient content. To quote the website "The PitROk crystal is a natural bacteriostatic agent - so it stops the bacteria that cause underarm odour from growing". Wonderful.
Price: £5 (50ml)
Ingredients:Aqua, Ammonium Alum, Aloe Barbadensis, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit Seed Extract), 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1, 3-diol, Phenoxyethanol, Polysorbate 20, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Parfum, Linonene, Linalool, Citronellol, Hydroxymethylpentylcyclohexene carboxaldehyde

xxx

Friday, 6 December 2013

BODY BEAUTY FAVOURITES



I’ve tried a number of body moisturizers, both natural and otherwise and prefer those with fewer chemicals because of the quantity that’s absorbed in one go. Generally speaking I prefer oils because my dry, sensitive skin loves that extra moisture and nourishment. I also find oils easier to massage into my skin, and seeing as self-massage has the potential to improve circulation, immune system, detoxification and muscle tone, I’m keen to incorporate it into my body care. I far from moisturize every day but when I do I like to use products I love that feel pampering. Here are three of my favourites….


Weleda Rose Body Oil: This genuinely feels like a hug in a bottle, both the texture and scent are so comforting. Weleda says “the floral scent harmonizes the body and spirit” which I’d agree with. As for the “preservation of skin’s supple elasticity” I’m not sure how you’d tell, but it moisturizes incredibly well and my skin feels smooth and nourished. This may be more of an evening product, as it does feel quite oily. It suggests using it while skin is still damp, but I use it on dry skin as well which also works (you just need a little more product).
Price: around £20
Ingredients: Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Rosa Moschata Seed Oil, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil, Fragrance (Parfum)*, Limonene*, Linalool*, Citronellol*, Benzyl Alcohol*, Benzyl Benzoate*, Geraniol*, Citral*, Eugenol*, Farnesol*. * from natural essential oils.

Thisworks Skin Deep Dry Leg Oil: Despite the name I use this all over my body. It smells seriously good and absorbs easily with a great finish. It’s really easy to apply (which is not always true of body oil) so it’s simple but effective. I love the packaging and it’s a great product but it is very expensive and there are plenty of natural oils on the market that I think would do a similar job…
Price: around £40
Ingredients: Simmondsia chinensis(Jojoba) oil, Cocos nucifera (Coconut) oil, Macadamia ternifolia (Macadamia) oil, Oenothera biennis (Evening Primrose) oil, Rosa rubiginosa (Rosehip) seed oil, Prunus persica (Peach Kernel) oil, Tocopherols (Vitamin E), Citrus bergamia (Bergamot) oil, Anthemis nobilis (Roman Chamomile) oil, Juniperus virginiana (Cedarwood) oil, Boswellia carterii (Frankincense) oil, Pelargonium graveolens (Geranium) oil, Citrus aurantium dulcis (Sweet Orange) organic oil Pogostemon cablin (Patchouli) oil, Rosa centifolia (Rose) absolute, Santalum album (Sandalwood) oil, Polianthes tuberose (Tuberose) absolute), Cananga odorata (Ylang Ylang) oil, Aniba rosaeodora (Rosewood) oil, Cinnamomum camphora (Ho Wood) oil, Limonene*, Linalool*, Citronellol*, Geraniol*, Eugenol*. *Natural essential oil contents

Sunday Riley Disrobe: This one’s not entirely natural and there are a couple of ingredients I’m not keen on but there aren’t any artificial fragrances or petrochemicals and the results are so good! It claims to firm, detoxify, exfoliate and hydrate without leaving the skin greasy and I really think it does all of the above. My skin is left without residue but a lasting softness and a smell like sweet shea butter you wouldn’t mind eating. It tingles very slightly after application but in a way I enjoy this as it makes me think it’s working (and it’s so slight you may not even notice). It’s really expensive but I think it’s worth the price.
Price: £55
Ingredients: Aloe Leaf Extract, Urea, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetearyl Alcohol, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Ceteth-20 Phosphate, Shea Butter, Triethanolamine, Xanthan Gum, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Hydroxide, Tetra Sodium EDTA, Benxylkonium Chloride


xxx

Thursday, 5 December 2013

NATURAL HANGOVER HEROES



As someone who’s suffered from some fairly biblical hangovers in the past, I thought I’d share some natural suggestions to curb the inevitable festive hangovers this season. Although it may be tempting, reaching for a black coffee and some greasy food is not necessarily the best fix…

Milk thistle: This little gem helps detoxify the liver. It won’t necessarily eradicate your hangover completely, but it’s the closest thing I’ve found to a hangover healer. Take one before and after your night out.

Banana: As an essential mineral and electrolyte, regaining potassium levels lost from alcohol consumption is important and can be solved by having a banana. Alcohol can also act as a depressant and the high serotonin levels in bananas may just boost your mood.

Honey: Apparently the fructose in honey helps your body metabolize alcohol…  Get some carbs involved by spreading some honey on toast to absorb any excess alcohol and help tackle that hangover.

Ginger: Is a traditional cure for nausea. Put a chunk in some hot water to help solve any sickness.

Water: Seems obvious but rehydration is key. Taking it a step further, coconut water is packed with antioxidants and electrolytes to rehydrate, flush toxins out of the body and avoid a headache.

Berocca: Take one that evening as a prevention tactic or it can serve as a refreshing boost in the morning. It helps restore vitamin levels as well as supporting your immune system (which may take a bit of a battering from the booze).

Tiger Balm: Try putting this on your temples and forehead for a more refreshing, natural way to cure your headache.

Cucumber: Eat a couple of slices when you’re back from your night out to get involved in some vitamins and electrolytes. Otherwise place some cold cucumber slices over your eyes in the morning to help reduce puffiness and to regain moisture in the eye area. It also feels dreamy.

Rms Beauty Living Luminizer: Get a little glow back into the face by adding this to cheek bones and anywhere else in need of a little perk (this will do nothing to fix your hangover but may help to disguise it!)



xxx