Wednesday, 10 February 2016

New and upcoming launches #2

There is so much going on the world of green beauty lately, so many things to discover. My head is spinning a little from all the new brands popping up. Yet it seems the already established names are not sitting on their laurels either, and some exciting releases went straight to my wish list.

RMS master mixer. It seems like everyone and their grandmother is wanting a piece of this action, yet if I'm completely honest I was a little bit dubious about the master mixer. Sure it looked pretty, but how is it any different from a bunch of highleghters I already have... And then I saw this video, not only did it make me consider changing my hair colour to blue, but it made me want the master mixer so badly, that I booked myself in for a preview of the product at Content. While this baby is already available in the U.S. it will be another week or so before UK beauties can get their hands on it. The pre-order option will be available soon on the being content website.

Gressa eye tints. I am huge fan of Gressa, and their lip boosts are pure perfection, a true epitome of no fuss glamour. I can not overestimate my excitement for these new additions to the line up. Judging by the pictures the colours have a pearlescent slightly metallic finish, and the three colours are a gorgeous plum purple, copper bronze, and pale gold. These will be available at the end of February, and hopefully not too long after they will come to Amazingy who stock the rest of the Gressa range in Europe.

Mun No.7 Ayour Body toning serum. This serum has been long in anticipation, and finally became available in U.S. a few weeks ago. Boasting a combination of olive, cucumber and barbary fig oils it promises to be a serious treat for the skin. I love Mun facial serum, it is such a great product, based on that I have pretty high hopes for this serum as well. I am keeping my eye on Reina organics to see when it becomes available in Europe.

With Valentine's fast approaching there are lots of offers and limited edition sets floating about. Itha has a particularly generous 50% off on the entire range, it is for a limited time but no exact date has been given. The lip glows are a particular favourite of mine, and they now come in handy tubes as well as pots, it is a great time to try them.

A.S apothecary has released a beautiful cleansing set which includes not only the mineral powder, their newest product, but a beautiful porcelain bowl and spoon. The set looks absolutely wonderful.

Content have put together a Love collection which includes some raw chocolate, a massage oil and a Lotus Wei infinite love anointing oil (this happens to be my absolute favourite scent).

Don't forget that my discount code for Angel eyes (reviewed here) RAINBOW25 expires on 15th of February.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Clean Beauty co Workshop

 The world of beauty products is a fascinating and intriguing place, some times it seem there is nothing that a jar of some magical cream doesn't promise to fix. Despite being drawn to new products with luxurious packaging like a moth to a flame, I must admit, I do get tired of being bombarded with miracle solutions to problems I did not realise I had. Reading label after label, trying to figure out if the products ingredients are up to my personal standards can be part of the fun, or it can be a massive headache. Not surprisingly these are the times when the idea of DIY beauty is looking very appealing.

I do go through phases: being like a mad scientist, whipping up face masks, body scrubs and hair serums, to doing no DIY at all for months on end. I am not good at making complicated stuff, so most of what I do are single use recipes with an occasional oil blend here and there. Oh, but the idea of being able to whip up something glorious, well now that is something that is always at the back of my mind.

Clean Beauty Co, represented by the dynamic duo Elsie and Dominika, are on a bit of a mission to make natural beauty accessible and DIY cool. They created a range of simple, clean products, focusing on quality ingredients, and a website full of recipes for treatments you could make with things found in your kitchen. Their enthusiasm is catchy and infectious, they make it sound like anyone can create effective products in the comfort of their own home. That was certainly the feeling that I got at their special workshop launch.

This was an event for friends, family and a handful of bloggers, in a way a trial run before the first official Workshop that will take place on 6th of February. So what is this all about? Why, beauty products of course! In the down stairs section of Maple & Fitz a table was laid out with bottles full of golden oil, empty glass jars and fragrant essential oils. We all knew we were in for a treat. I must admit my own DIY setup never looks like this. After a short presentation by the girls, explaining what we will be doing, things took a sinister turn. Let me paint you a picture: a fairly large group of women wearing hair nets, aprons and rubber gloves, gathered around in the basement of a venue that is not open to the public on Saturdays... There were a few mentions of "Breaking Bad" thrown around, but jokes aside, when making products you really want them to be safe to use so it is important to have a clean environment and sterile packaging. It was reassuring to know that Elsie and Dominika take such things seriously. 

We were divided into groups of 4 and, coincidentally, making 4 products in bigger batches before separating them into appropriate packaging. To distinguish between bottles, everyone came up with names for their products and printed out labels with an old school label maker. Let me tell you, it seemed a little dubious at first, but once you get going that label maker is seriously addictive. I am very tempted to get one.

The products that we made were: fuss free body moisturiser (which we got to customise with our choice of essential oils individually), scrub life coffee scrub, nutter hair serum and rose glow toner. Everything was surprisingly easy to make, and a lot of fun doing it in a group. Products have a decent shelf life: 3 months for the toner and 6 months for everything else. 

After the potion mixing part was done we all went up to indulge in some delicious treats from Maple & Fitz. The food was out of this world, I will be making a point of going back there. We left with our hand made products and an extra goodie bag of treats. I had such an amazing time and definitely feel inspired to experiment. When I looked through the bags I realised that ladies from Clean Beauty co included the recipe cards for the products that we made with exact measurements for a single bottle/jar so I can recreate these again and again.

The workshop tickets are £50 and it includes 3 products that you make on the day, food from Maple & Fitz, and a goodie bag. Elsie and Dominika are very knowledgeable and have lots of tips and tricks when it comes to making products. You can also purchase some of the carrier oils that you use on the day, if you want to recreate the recipes at home, or do some experimenting. It is a really fun event for anyone interested in natural beauty, it will give you a glimpse behind what processes take place to create things that you use on daily bases. Who knows, it might unleash a DIY beauty queen (or king) within.

Friday, 29 January 2016

Bean Burst

There is just something absolutely delightful about the way skin feels after a good scrub. Like a new lease of life, it makes you ready to face the challenges of the day. For a few years I used to mix up my own concoctions for my shower treatments, but there is no denying that it is extremely convenient to have a preprepared product. It seems I find myself a little obsessed with body scrubs lately, and after having salt scrubs as firm favourites for a long time I think I might be on to a new winner.

Bean Burst gift pack* contains all three varieties of their body scrubs: Mint, Orange and Grapefruit. Each pouch is 100g, exactly half of the full sized product. The base formula is the same, only the essential oils differ.

Ingridients: Coffea Robusta Seed Powder (Coffee), Sodium Chloride (Pink Himalayan Salt), Prunus Armeniaca Kernel Oil (Apricot Kernel Oil), Cocos Nucifera Oil (Coconut Oil), Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil (Jojoba Oil), Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil (Marula Oil), Citrus Aurantium Dulcis Peel Oil (Sweet Orange Essential Oil) or Mentha Piperita Oil (Peppermint Essential Oil) or Citrus Grandis Peel Oil (Grapefruit Essential Oil)

What makes these coffee scrubs different from your usual salt and sugar concoctions is of course the fact that ground coffee beans do not dissolve when mixed with water, allowing you to have a really thorough exfoliation treatment with a lot less product. I grossly overestimated how much product I needed when I first used it, 1-2 teaspoons is more than enough for the entire body. As I enjoy the aroma of coffee, these products smell heavenly to me. Out of the three scents, the grapefruit blend has become a firm favourite, it is just intoxicatingly delicious.

Despite the fact that there are carer oils present in the blends, the overall consistency is pretty loose, and is well, like ground coffee, that is maybe just a little moist to the touch. You need to use it on damp skin and rub in circular motions, concentrating on areas that need it most. It is recommended to leave it on for 5-10 minutes before rinsing it off, like a full body mask. It does get a bit messy, so you will need to give your shower a thorough rinse afterwards, but oh my days is it worth it. Not only does my skin feel seriously smooth, all my limbs seem to be filled with energy straight after. It is probably the combination of coffee and vigorous rubbing that improves circulation, but I've never ever felt so invigorated after a body treatment. I feel even more bouncy then I do after body brushing.

You can use these as a face mask, but don't scrub if you do. Even though coffee grounds swell up from water, making them a little gentler, there is just too much grit here for a facial exfoliant. Leave it on for a few minutes and just rinse clean.

The quality of the products is absolutely superb, the minor issue I have is with the packaging. On the one hand I think the paper pouches look really cool, and are actually a lovely way of storing the scrub that doesn't take up a lot of space (something that is a bit of an issue in my tiny London flat). On the other hand they can not be taken in to the shower, so I have been  scooping out a single use amount into an empty container and taking that into the shower instead. It is not a major thing for me personally, as it only takes a few seconds to do that, but it is something worth being aware of. 
There is just no arguing with the fact that Bean Burst* leaves my skin feeling really wonderful, and the rest of me full of energy. The delightful aroma of the products makes it a pleasurable experience all around.

Have you tried a coffee scrub? Let me know in the comments.

*PR sample, all opinions are honest and based on my personal experience with the product. You know the drill, I tell the truth, and nothing but the truth on these pages.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Angel Eyes

It has been an absolute eternity since I did a post on an eye product of any kind, the reason is simple, fussiness. I have tried more than a few things in the past year yet none of it measured up. Skin around the eye area is pretty thin, doesn't produce much oil in comparison to the rest of the face (although someone clearly forgot to mention this fact to my eyelids). While my primary concerns are of preventative nature, I would rather fine lines stayed away for a few more years, they are making themselves known. I have been lucky enough not to suffer with bags or under eye circles on a regular basis, still finding a decent eye treatment is a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack. A lot of formulas seem to be just too heavy and give me milia, others have an arsenal of essential oils that make the delicate area around my eyes really itchy. So far the only products that I have liked were gels, yet when I opened the bottle of Angel Eyes* the fresh waft of cucumber had me by my heartstrings, I simply had to test it.

I was introduced to Angela Langford at the Glow Getter Gathering, she approaches her skincare line a little like cooking (not surprising for someone who featured on Master Chef), and uses the best ingredients to make targeted products. Some of these ingredients sound downright delicious: kiwi and arctic blackcurrant anyone? When presented with a choice of what to try I was very tempted to say "One of each?!" yet my skincare greediness aside, I had to go with the product that called out my name.

Angel Eyes* is an eye oil presented in a convenient roller ball bottle. The very first ingredient is cucumber oil, which is where it gets the scent from. I think it smells fantastic and fresh, but it is a strong scent and it does linger a little, to my absolute delight. You apply the oil around the eye: so just under the brow but not the eyelid, following the bone around but not straight on to the under eye area. The natural movement that comes with facial expressions will carry the oil to where it is needed, you don't want to overload this delicate area.

I find that I need the lightest touch of the roller ball to dispense the correct amount of eye oil, and it gives the loveliest cooling sensation as it first goes on. I follow this up with quick tapping of the fingers right where the oil was applied (pretend you are trying to play the piano really really fast) to help it absorb and decrease puffiness. I have been using this oil for almost two months in the mornings, admittedly not very consistently for the first month but every day after that. It looks like I barely even touched the product, that is how little of it you need. I love the way my eye area is feeling and looking, skin feels a little firmer and looks sort of brighter (which I was not expecting at all). The fine lines definitely look a lot less noticeable (if Mr RF is to be believed they are gone, but he is rarely trusted in such matters).

Ingredients: cucumis sativus oil (cucumber oil), argania spinosa kernel oil* (argan oil), rosa rubginosa seed oil* (rosehip oil), carthamus tinctorius seed oil* (safflower oil, also known as thistle), tocopherol (natural vitamin e), citrus limon peel oil* (lemon essential oil), pelargonium graveolens leaf oil* (rose geranium essential oil), cymbopogon martinii oil* (palmarosa essential oil).
From essential oils: d-limonene, linalol, citronellol, geraniol, citral, farnesol.
*These ingredients are organic at source.
Contains 100% natural ingredients, 56% of which are organic at source.

Overall I have been very impressed with the quality of this eye treatment, it is so different from most things on the market and I have been more than happy with the results. I am really pleased to announce that my readers can get this baby with a 25% discount. The code you need is RAINBOW25, which is valid until 15th of February, and it it is specifically for Angel Eyes*. Angela Langford also has a very generous sample program, so will get to try other goodies with your order.

Have you tried anything from Angela Langford? Let me know in the comments.

*PR sample, all thoughts are honest and based on my personal experience with the product. Integrity is nothing to joke about, so there is no throwing fairy dust to trick people on this blog. Although if you know where I could get some of that stuff Tinkerbell uses do let me know, would love to fly,

Friday, 8 January 2016

Spotlight on Karen Murrel

I am not sure if you guys noticed yet that I like lipsticks, so to make it even more clear I wanted the first review of the year to be all about them. With so many brands on offer you would think it would be easy to find your holly grail, but when you take into account texture, colour and some thought to the ingredients in the formula you realise that the choices are a bit more limited. Yet time and time again natural lipsticks from Australia and New Zealand seem to be on top of things.

Karen Murrel lippies hail from that part of the world and are created by a cosmetic formulator with over 15 years of experience. From a purely aesthetic point of view the outer boxes are extremely attractive, with beautiful illustrations specific to each colour and are printed using soy ink (I inconveniently recycled mine to save on storage space). The lipsticks themselves are cased in a black plastic tube, which feels super light. If you are anything like me, and absolutely have to pack a range of cosmetics when you go on holidays, or just in your handbag, it soon adds up, so having lightweight packaging actually is a bonus. The tube seems to stand up well to the abuse of hanging around in my bag, after numerous outings there are no scratches and all the writing is still intact (that is very impressive). Yet all of this is no where near as outstanding as the choice of colours on offer. At present I have three, but I'm sure it won't be too long before I add a few more to my collection.

Sand storm is a nude with very slight brown peach tendency. All the colours are very pigmented and this one is no exception. Like with all fleshy nudes I prefer to have some eye makeup when using it, but it is pretty easy to wear and works well with a bronzed look.

Peony petal is a sort of apricot pink, gorgeous daytime colour. It is vibrant but not a shockingly bright shade, on my lips it looks like a soft petal pink. I do feel like I need a swipe of mascara or some eyebrow definition to make it work with my features. It works best with a fresh look though: just a touch of something, not a full face of makeup. A must colour for spring/summer this year.

Poppy passion is my favourite of the bunch, this would come as no surprise to my regular readers. It is a bright pink, matches Intensae nail varnish in Assam if you like to do that sort of thing. I absolutely love having a completely bare face and two swipes of Poppy passion on my lips, it works so beautifully.

The best thing is how well all of these work together to create slightly different and really flattering shades. If I want to take the edge of poppy passion, I use sand storm on top. To make peony petal a bit brighter a layer of poppy passion does the trick. Because they are so pigmented there is no need to use a lot of product, so my lips don't feel like I have tons of product sitting uncomfortably on top to get the desired impact. The texture is just the right kind of creamy that it glides on easily yet does not slide of or bleed. The pigments are a mixture of minerals and lakes, so you will get the effect of a stain after some of the colour comes off when you are eating or drinking with the brighter colours, the lighter colours don't seem to leave the stain behind (possibly because there are no lakes in those?). There is no carmine in these but they do have beeswax.

They do last really well through out the day, especially poppy passion (I often find that brighter colours last longer), I do only need to reapply after refreshments. The formula feels really moisturising and I don't use a lip balm under it most of the time. They all share a light cinnamon scent, every time I use this lipstick it makes me think of the Lana Del Rey Radio song.

Unfortunately I haven't been able to find a European stockist, I got my KM lipsticks from Epic Beauty bar, but you can also get them from Nuciya with reasonable shipping charges.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

NewYear, new You | Giveaway

January can be a really tough month. The holidays are over, leaving our wallets significantly lighter and if you aren't a big fan of Valentine's day or Chinese New Year it can feel like winter is outstaying its welcome. It is not surprising that many of us turn to focusing on improving ourselves and our lives with the help of resolutions, joining up for Dry January and Veganuary. The start of a brand new year also offers us a clean slate, a fresh start but to get results we really do need to do something that is different to our normal routine, yet different doesn't always mean drastic changes. It is all about finding balance and what works for you and your goals. 

To give one of my readers a helping hand I have teamed up with Terre Verdi. The giveaway bundle consists of :

1. Yoga & Sports body oil* that can be used as a regular body oil but you will definitely get the most out of it when used right before or straight after exercise.

2. 'Make your own rules diet' by Tara Styles is a book that brings together yoga, meditation and eating healthy. It is more of a lifestyle book but it really is about creating something that works for the individual rather than trying to fit yourself into someone else's box.

3.Ministry of herbs Content dream tea is a blend of herbs that help to promote a restful nights sleep, because let's face it none of us feel up to doing anything meaningful when we feel exhausted due to lack of sleep.

I hope these goodies will give someone that extra bit of inspiration to kick of 2016 with a bang. The giveaway closes on the 19th of January 8pm GMT, it is open Worldwide

*Terre Verdi kindly provided the body oil for the giveaway the other items have been picked out and payed for by me.
New Year. New You

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Christmas Wishes

The Holidays are here! Well ok one more night until Christmas eve. I love this time of year, probably the only reason I even like winter just a tiny bit. I will be following the example of the Bodhi & Birch Rosa Rosa toner and enjoying a few festive cocktails while loosing badly at board games.

I hope you all have a fabulous time, find some lovely treats under the tree, and snog your heart out under the mistletoe. The blog will be back in the New Year on the 4th of January, I will have a lovely treat for you guys so make sure to check in.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.