Thursday 15 August 2013

Man stuff

There are some guys who are super interested in skincare, and have shelves filled with products. Yet there are others (like my husband) who are just not bothered, they have a few basic products and they are pretty content with those.

Now my other half has been super supportive with my journey into all things natural and organic. He does the recycling, doesn't grumble over Ecover washing powder and the organic veggie boxes. Yet when I suggested that his few staple bathroom products had to be changed, his face looked stricken. "Why?" followed by a lengthy explanation from me, followed by a sigh from him, followed by "fine, whatever". Hey I take my victories whenever I can.

Every time a product wouldn't quiet work it would be followed by a question: "why can't I use such and such product again?" And the process would be repeated.

When it comes to SPFand shower gel, he is more then happy to use whatever ones I have (well not the rose scented ones). But the rest of the products are all his own, never tested by me.

A'kin Mandarin Shampoo. This turned out to be one of the easiest things to switch out. His conventional shampoo would cause sensitivities from time to time, so not much persuasion was needed.

 A'kin shampoo comes in a concentrated formula so even though the bottle seems small, you need less product. It smells lovely, just like mandarins, but it doesn't linger on the hair ( yes I did the sniffing myself). My man is very happy with this shampoo and hasn't had any sensitivities to it so far. I buy it in my local health food store, but it is available on amazon (other scents are available on love lula).

Weleda Shaving cream. Shaving cream was one of the harder things to replace, because he really liked the one he has been using forever. And the first natural one that he tried, has caused his face to burn (needless to say it took some serious persuasion for him to give natural shaving products another shot).

Weleda version works in the usual way of lather up and apply, so he doesn't have to adjust his ways (not that he would be willing). Also I have noticed that his skin doesn't become at all irritated after shaving any more (and it used to with the conventional product).

Burt's bees aftershave. This is the only moisturising product that he has (and his skin looks perfect, I am not jealous, repeat I am not jealous). So this is what he uses after shaving, to keep his cheeks and chin from getting dry and irritated.

From what I can see, it does what it's supposed to, the smell is not offensive in any way (it has that scent that I associate with male products, without actually smelling of anything in particular). And the main point he is using it without any complaints!

There is one more product that he has been using and really likes. It is the Trilogy two in one, face wash and scrub. He actually asks for me to repurchase it! Unfortunately I just found out that it has been discontinued, so I will have to look for a replacement.

Next on the swapping out agenda: a clean deodorant. But I fear this might be a "mission impossible".

Tuesday 13 August 2013

Rms 'un' powder review

My skin tends towards oily, especially during summer. What I used to do, was take a little bit of Johnson and Johnson baby powder, rub it between my palms and then press it on my skin.
When I switched to more natural products, I tried some organic baby powders, but they didn't work for me. So I started to use blotting papers instead, and forgot all about using powder to prevent a case of a disco face.

When I saw that RMS released the 'un' powder, I was mildly curious, and rave comments from a few people sealed the deal.

This is primarily a setting powder, to help your make-up stay in place. So it has no colour corrective properties. It has only one ingredient: silica, which makes it very unlikely for you to have a reaction.

The powder itself is very very fine, and as you only need a little to keep you from being shiny, the little pot should last a good deal of time.

I have to admit that I struggled with this product a little in the beginning until I had some tips from the wonderful Louise Dartford. The sifter jar has only four openings (because the powder is so fine) so to get the product out without spills, after you opened it, place the jar upside down on top of the lid (like in the picture below) and give it a few twists, the amount of product in the lid should be enough for one application (you can always do this again if you think you need more once applied).

Using this powder with a brush didn't quiet work for me, and if you are using it to set make-up the powder puff provided will become dirty fairly quickly (plus you would need to keep it clean regularly), so I just take a cotton disk/pad and use it in press and roll motion, just like a powder puff.

I am really impressed with this product, I did a little comparison when we had the hit wave, one day I didn't use anything but my usual skincare, and the next day I used the powder. The difference was huge, on the first day you could probably see your reflection in my forehead, and on the second day I could pass for a person with normal skin. The finish is very seamless and you can't tell that you have any powder on.

As a setting powder I have used it in combination with RMS eye shadows, and it works really well, they still creased a little after about 7 hours, but not like they normally would (keep in mind that some of the vibrancy was lost though). I also have used it to set some of the shinier looking cream blushes (or when I used lipstick as a cream blush), and it took all the unwanted (by me) glossiness away.

This powder is now a staple in my make-up bag.

Saturday 10 August 2013

Quick summery make-up looks

When it comes to summer make-up I don't want to spend a lot of time on it, frankly I would rather be outside making the most of good weather (or exploring my surroundings if I am on holiday). When I am travelling, I tend to pack just a small amount of make-up, preferably multi-use products. I tend to mainly wear lippy on its own, but I want to have options  just in case.

The following two looks take about 5-10 minutes, and are very easy.

Day time (or understated evening) look.

Products used:

1. W3ll people Universalist no.6 (blood orange) I used this on the eye lids and on the cheeks for a pop of colour.

2. Ilia beauty sway bronzer. Used on the eye lids ( from the midway point to the outer corner) and a little on the inner corners of the eyes. Also a little on the cheekbones, for a hint of shimmery bronze effect.

3. Ilia beauty mascara in macao. To finish off the eye look and add a little sparkle to the lashes.

4. Ilia beauty lipstick in Voila + lip gloss in White rabbit. Bright lip with a little shimmer to bring the look together.

I really like how the oranges and the browns work together, you could also add a little brown eyeliner if you want more definition for the evening.

Evening look.

Products used:

1. RMS eyeshadow in solar. All over the lid and on the inner corners of the eyes.

2. Himalaya herbals black kohl. Any soft black pencil will work just as well, eye like these kohls because you don't nee to sharpen them, great option for makeup on the go. Draw a line like you would normally on the upper eyelid (I normally do from midway to the outer corner) then carefully smudge it into the shadow with your finger for a soft smoky look. Then line under the lower lash line (from outer corner to the middle), if the line is a little to thick, remove some colour with a cotton bud.

3. Une all in one mascara. To finish the eye look.

4. Ilia crayon in Karma chameleon. Use this on lips and cheeks. For the application on the cheeks, I draw a little circle on the back of my hand, lift of a little colour with my finger and then blend like any other cream blush. It stays on all day and has a matt appearance on the cheeks.

 Probably one of my favourite evening looks, black and gold really complement each other and coral lipstick is still my number one choice for summer months.

Tuesday 6 August 2013

Ilia beauty white rabbit lipgloss review

Lip glosses are the latest addition to the Ilia make-up line. I was rather intrigued, and even though lip glosses aren't always my favourite things, they seemed like a great summery product, well and I liked the name "white rabbit" (very Alice in wonderland).

This gloss was not quiet what I expected (I do have somewhat wild imagination), nonetheless, it is beyond any doubt lovely.

It looks mostly clear with very fine shimmer. On the lips it feels like you were a bit overgenerous with a lip balm application. Not sticky at all. Overall effect on the lips is that wet look, that editors of Vogue used to favour in their summer beauty features ( I haven't read it for a few years, they might not anymore).

While it is nice on its own, this shade really comes to shine when layered over another lipstick (red looks especially good). If you decide to layer, I suggest using another brush to get the gloss out (or being very, very careful), otherwise the lipstick will colour your lip gloss wand.

The gloss comes off when eating or drinking, but the shimmer stays behind until you use a make-up remover.

Packaging is pretty and functional (just what I have come to expect from Ilia). I am very curious about the other colours, I will probably get a few in the future, depending on how pigmented they are.

Sunday 4 August 2013

Bottom of the jar

A post about the products that I have finished or the products that are nearly used up...
Oh yeah it is that time again, when I feel like all the money that I spent on my beauty products was not wasted, as I actually finished them!

Ctonics shampoo. This is it, no more Ctonics! I have run out of my favourite shampoo/treatment. Every time my hair stopped being manageable (even though my routine was exactly the same), I would turn to this shampoo and like magic, it would make my hair soft and shiny. A small part of me is looking forward to trying to find an alternative, but mainly I am just sad that this product is no longer available. The replacement that I have in mind is morocco method (ingredients seem similar, and so is the method of washing your hair).

Oskia renaissance mask. I have done a review of this product before. There is nothing I don't like about it. Smells great, has a lovely gel/balm texture, and really delivers soft and glowy skin. I have been using it sparingly once every few weeks for about half a year and then summer came, and I started using it about twice a week. It is something I will repurchase once I clear up a few more masks away from my shelves.

English Rose Floral water. I have a brand of rose water that I use pretty much exclusively, but I also like to support small start ups, so I got a couple of floral waters from the Little skincare shop. I think I chose rose water out of habit, as it is one of the floral waters I use most. It is a little more fragrant than the water I normally use. You have to be careful with floral waters, even though a lot of them are very good for sensitive skin, the method of extraction (as a lot of them are a byproduct of essential oils production) could use chemicals that your skin will react to (that is why I normally prefer organic waters). I have not had any reaction to this water, the effects were the same as from any good quality rose water. Even though I normally prefer a spray bottle, I found that the standard bottle made it easier to use with clay masks. Organic waters and spray bottles is something that the Little skincare shop will be introducing in the future, so watch this space!

W3ll people Narcissist. This is the old formula and old packaging. Still my favourite stick foundation/concealer. Works well with my skin, doesn't disappear mid day and lets my skin shine through, so I don't look like I am caked in make-up. I have tried the new formula and like it even more. I will be purchasing it as soon as I finish up some of the other concealers (which I haven't been using because this one is so much better).

Yarok feed your volume shampoo sample. Now I don't normally include samples in my "bottom of the jar" posts, but I really liked this shampoo, and I purchased a full sized bottle before my sample ran out. It smells sort of mildly sweet and herbal, really delivers with the volume that it promises, and it makes my head feel really clean (which not many natural shampoos do in my experience). I do find that you need to follow it with a good conditioner, in order for your hair not to cross over to the puffy side of voluminous. Oh and there is a discount code for 10% off "summer10" on the "a beautiful world website" where I purchased Yarok shampoo.

Have you tried any of these products? What did you think?

Friday 2 August 2013

Interview with Jennifer Young part 2

When it comes to beauty products, cancer patients have to be more savvy than a person who is just trying to avoid green washed products. Even some natural ingredients need to be avoided. In the first part of the interview with Jennifer Young we talked about skincare. Here we discuss make-up. Defiant Beauty make-up line (by Jennifer Young) will be launched in September.


Q: Make-up can be pretty irritating at times, with skin being more sensitive during chemo, would you say it is best to avoid make-up altogether?

A: No, make-up should not be avoided. This is the time that most are self-conscious about their looks and want very much to maintain their appearance. Treatment, and it’s associated stresses, can often mean that women are pale and drawn, so they turn to make-up to help them to face the world.
There are make-up techniques that can help mitigate the changes brought about by chemo, for example, lost eyebrows and eyelashes so, rather than give it up, embrace it.

Q: If your eyelashes or eyebrows fall out, how soon will they grow back? What can you do, if you want to disguise it?

A: The time taken to grow back is different for all, just as the effects of chemo are different for all. Some women find that their eyelashes have never been so long as during treatment.
If eyebrows and eyelashes are lost we suggest using brush a brow to replace them (our kit will come with stencils). Choose a natural brand with staying power. There really is some very nasty stuff in most make-up brands. I had no idea as I don’t wear make-up – when I started researching for our products, I was horrified to read about standard make-up ingredients. I changed all of my daughter’s make-up, much to her delight.

Eyelashes will benefit from a natural growth formula being applied, but it is VITAL that this is not a hormonal growth formula. Women with cancer have enough hormonal issues without make-up adding to it.
If eyelashes do disappear, then use a liquid eye liner on the edges of the lids to give an impression of eyelashes (apply liquid eyeliner just as normally in a straight line, on the eyelid to give a hint of darkness)

Q: For eyebrows you suggest a brush a brow which is a powder, are eyebrow pencils not as good?

A: I am told not, we are expecting a lot of a pencil and we really need staying power. Some natural pencils would be fine in ingredients terms ( I haven't looked at too many), but longevity is the key factor for many.

Q: Are there any make-up brands (or specific products) that are more suitable during treatment?

A: This is a very difficult question to answer as make-up is so variable and, as you know, can be toxin filled. So many women told us of their desire for effective natural make-up that we have developed our own brand. I had been recommending well established natural brands, but the women needing them were unimpressed with the difference in the products and their staying power, remember, not only are we dealing with a very sensitive skinned group of people, they are using make-up to replace eyebrows or give am impression of the eye lashes that they have lost to chemo. It is not good to leave the house with eyebrows (brush a brow) and for them to gradually disappear throughout the day. Our Defiant Beauty range is natural and, where appropriate, organic and it has staying power.
We launch the products (a full make-up range and some other wonderful natural additions) in early September. We will have very limited stock at first so it might be wise to reserve some prior to launch. As far as I know we are the only make-up range created for cancer patients in the world.

Q: Would you say that mineral powders are better rather than liquid/cream formulas (as they could contain oils that are not suitable for cancer patients)?

A: Minerals are suitable if they are just powder, but application and staying power is more of a problem.
The main issue with make-up is the zillion of different ingredients (you know from the last post about the list of banned ingredients). I have a MUA on the team, she works with patients three days a week. I have taken her advice about the product type and used my knowledge to work on the formulation of our range.

To find out more about the Defiant Beauty Cosmetics Range follow the link.