Tuesday 10 March 2015

Gorgeous for Good | Day #2

You guys probably already know that I am collaborating with Sophie Uliano to go through her Gorgeous for Good thirty day program (prior to the books release in April). I am so lucky to have the lovely Liz as my gorgeous buddy, and I will be doing weekly posts about our progress. I will be giving a full review of the book and the program at the end of the process, but for now I want to simply set the scene.

The Gorgeous for Good is an introduction to setting good habits for life, that will help you feel energetic and confident as you age. It looks at four overlapping areas: skincare/beauty rituals, food, exercise routines and mindfulness. The idea is that you try new ways of doing things, and eventually at the end of the 30 days, find your own approach, that you will be sticking to for good. Since you will feel so fab that you would never want to give it up! It rolls out slowly, the first immediate change is food (unless you already eat that way), it eases you in into everything else.


 The diet is predominantly plant based, with only a few recipes including eggs and feta cheese (but also giving vegan alternatives for these ingredients). The meals are all planned out, but how closely you follow is up to you as long as you stick to the principles. I like to experiment in the kitchen, and since I try to eat as seasonal as possible, some recipes will be getting minor adjustments. I have decided to make at least one meal exactly as in the daily plan, but let my imagination fly with the rest (obviously sticking to vegan choices as much as possible and keeping an eye on the protein, healthy fats etc). So yesterday was officially completely vegan for me, and Mr RF by proxy (we normally take turns to cook, but since I will be cooking every day for this program, he is all of a sudden extremely happy to go predominantly vegan). Today is the day when I get my Riverford organic box delivery, so it was time to make good use of what was in the fridge. I made my version of "everything salad" for lunch, which did include some left over organic cheese. I never use milk, but I really enjoy an occasional cheese board. It is more of a rare treat though, so 28 more days without it is not going to be hard. I love love coconut milk, so I was completely shocked when I did not enjoy coconut yogurt. I did not make one myself (there is a recipe, but I'm just a bit funny about fermenting my own food), so maybe I need to try some other brands? If you guys have any suggestions I would very much appreciate them!


Now Liz has a skincare routine that is very similar to what is in the Gorgeous for Good book, mine on the other hand is very far in terms of the amount of steps taken, not how 'green' the products are. It is a good thing for once that my beauty and sample stash is huge, so I have assembled a routine that seems about right. The beauty routine will be kicking in tomorrow.

For the morning I chose Suki foaming cleanser or valia face wash, akamuti orange blossom water, samples of vit C serum (I don't actually like the ingredients in this so wouldn't get a full size even if it is fab), La Bella figura barbary fig seed oil samples, gaia creams veggie cocktail, devita spf30.

For the evening I chose Kris D'amour cleansing balm or Ren cream cleanser (both are almost finished so I want to use them up, and in the view of recent developments I will no long be purchasing ren), akamuti orange blossom, pai rosehip oil.

For my body I chose gaia creams veggie cocktail and Lyonsleaf body butter. I will stick to my soaps and the same hair care as I use now.


So far has been very manageable, we shall see how I handle it since you are supposed to be doing it 6 days a week. The idea is that you incorporate cardio, flexibility and strength training in your weekly work out plan. I have an underlying health condition that I don't really advertise, but I feel that it is relevant to mention here. The exercise that I do has to be somewhat adapted, for example I wouldn't be able to do all types of cardio (but walking and dancing is fine), and I can't do all the yoga poses (I see a yoga teacher every fortnight so I do have an adapted routine). I will also have to be very mindful with weights, but I am very excited to explore all the possibilities.


Will be incorporated in the next few days, so far I had to choose a space where I could be by myself and undisturbed for 15 minutes. In a flat of two whole rooms it is a rather easy choice.

The biggest challenge so far for both Liz and I has been the food preparation. To be making three different dishes every day (granted breakfast one doesn't take that long), while working morning to evening is very time consuming. My decision has been to make enough for dinner so that there are left overs for lunch, and then I just make my breakfast and juice in the morning (leaving the juicer cleanup for the evening).

The lovely Ru (short small sweet) is also taking part, so I will be having a peek at how she is doing.

Wednesday 4 March 2015

Gorgeous for Good

 update: Liz is gorgeous buddy!

I am oh so very excited! You are probably familiar with Sophie Uliano and her books, they were one of the first few that I purchased when starting my green journey. Well now there will be a whole new one called "Gorgeous for Good". As if that in itself was not exciting enough, I will be taking part in the 30 day program ahead of the book's release in April (in collaboration with Sophie Uliano). What's even more wonderful is that I get to pick one reader to do it with me! 

So here are the dits:
The program focuses on skin, nutrition, fitness and soul. At the end of it you will hopefully feel Gorgeous and stay that way for Good (too much play on words?).  The idea is that we will be doing it together, I will be your personal support group. In addition you will get to join Sophie herself via Google hangouts throughout the duration of the program. Of course you are getting access to the e-version of the book as well via Netgalley widget. We will need to stay in touch during the 30 days so I know how you are doing and include that in my posts, via email, Twitter, Instagram (what ever floats your boat really). The whole thing starts on 9th of March and finishes on 8th of April. If you would like to be my Gorgeous buddy please leave a comment, or email me tamara(at)rainbowfeet(dot)co(dot)uk if you prefer! I will be choosing someone randomly on 6th of March. 

Here is a link for more info on Gorgeous for Good. http://sophieuliano.com/hit-ground-running/

Mindful Beauty Project | Toners

The thing that can be tricky to remember when you are a beauty blogger (even if you are a green one), is that it is quality over quantity. Every time a favourite brand brings out a new product, or I read a review about some new exciting line that I have never heard of before, the little want monster wakes up from his slumber and won't leave me alone. I have been slowly watching every available surface in my bedroom and bathroom disappear under the onslaught of beauty goodies. Some of my sample boxes and jars had to migrate to the living room shelves, and I even managed to put a couple of things on Mr RF's night stand (he was surprisingly accommodating).

You are probably familiar with the power of "Yes", I have come to a conclusion that it is time to embrace the power of "No". Most natural/organic brands tend to have a shorter lifespan even if left unopened, the most you can expect is 12m after opening (but you are likely to find 6m and even 3m). Having loads of products and normal to oily skin means that without close supervision, a good percentage of those products is waisted. I can easily skip moisturising my body half of the time, and use only a few drops of face oil, so even a tiny 5ml sample bottle can last me a month. I really don't like waist, not only is it very much against my eco mindset, it is also akin to pouring your money down the toilet. It could be spent on a day out, instead it is getting dusty on my shelf and then what? Migrates to the bin because it has expired? That is not an outcome that I want to see. If I was like other ladies that seem to use up 10-15 product every month, it would not be so much of an issue. I tend to use up about 2-3 products if I'm lucky, there have been months when nothing was used up, and then replacing those few with 5 new ones, yet hoping to get my stash under control. Well that is the definition of madness! So the new mantra is "use more, buy when needed". To help me with this project I am devising a system of how many items in each category I want to get down to, and having a detailed expiration dates files for each product so nothing gets left behind.

I decided to start with toners. My thinking was that it is my most favourite item of skincare, I tend to use them more consistently and I thought I did not have that many. An easy first step right? Then I went through my boxes and shelves, just to discover how mistaken I was!

The current situation.

I counted, and I have 10 bottles of toners and floral waters all together. Well I can mix all the flower waters and pretend that it is one toner, but that wouldn't be very honest, since I tend to use them as a stand alone product. I do find it comforting however that 3 out of 10 are only travel sizes, 4 are unopened and 3 more are on the brink of emptiness.

One Love Organics vitamin D mist. My current love, and almost empty. I don't want to say too much as I am writing a full review of it, but the only thing I don't like about it is how quickly it is running out.

Pure and Light Organic essential floral toner*. I really like this combination of flower waters, and the fine mist that the bottle provides. I only stopped using it before it finished to test some other toners, and yes you guessed it, it was left behind some taller bottles on the shelf, was convinced that I finished it! You can check out my previous review here.

R.L. Linden thousand petal mist. Completely unopened, travel sized bottle from the petit vour ltd edition winter collection. I did have a little tester of this toner, but it was not quiet enough for me to make up my mind.

Akamuti floral waters (or hydrosols would be more accurate). I have orange blossom and chamomile. Chamomile in the old packaging is almost gone, and while it has been wonderful for my skin, the scent is a bit too strong for my liking. Mr RF refers to it as my stinky stuff, so not likely to be a repurchase. Orange blossom I really like, I keep using it here and there in the mornings. Really lovely and works well with all the oils that I layered it with so far.

Pukka rose water. Unopened for the time being, it is my most favourite rose water ever! I am sure I mention it a lot on instagram and twitter, and every chance I get really. It has been repurchased so many times, a true staple for me.

George's Aloe spray mister. Very nice and refreshing, it is a great budget buy. Simple, works well with my skin and comes in a huge bottle of 236ml. It lasts forever, I am almost at the end of it, but it was purchased last spring and I have been using it as a body mist from time to time too.

Pacific mist. Only used a few times so far, it seems pleasant but I keep being distracted by other toners. It is a travel size from the NMDL box.

Mel Millis Neroli toner. This was part of a souk souk box, yet to open it. Again this is travel size. I love that their boxes have seeds in the cardboard, seems like a lovely brand, will be trying it shortly.

May Lindstrom Jasmine Gardens. Brand new and unopened. I know that I like it as I had a 30ml bottle of it already (or was it 15ml?). I am crazy about Jasmine, was sort of saving it for a rainy day, but it is a silly thing to do as it does not last forever.

The plan.

I though about it for some time, and came to the conclusion that I can realistically cut it down to 4 toners. One simple toner in a form of single hydrosol (akamuti, pukka, or George's), one wipe of toner (S.W. basics), two complex spray toners (yuli and OLO are my current choices for these positions). That way I can have some choice as I like to have options, and my skin is not the same every day, sometimes it needs something more gentle and other times a bit more active. But then I sort of know myself, my love for discovering new skincare is just too strong, so I need a wild card, a place for something that might take my fancy in the spur of the moment. At the moment I am aiming to cut it down to 4 toners, once I am there, I will replace the ones that finish for the toners that will be a permanent part of the routine. Keeping the 5th space open for new discoveries. That way I will have my faves with me at all times, still experience new toners, but have a manageable amount of products.

The filing system.

I decided to use notes on my Ipad instead of normal paper, this way I can easily correct the dates once the product is opened and also delete anything I no longer have. Every time I get a new toner I can easily add it to the list and it is much quicker having a look at the notes, rather than going through all my boxes each time I run out of something!

*PR sample

Monday 2 March 2015

Month in review...

February has always been a bit of a tough month for me. After the initial excitement of reaching a new year, the cold short days get to me, my mojo is severely lacking and it is hard to feel inspired. Luckily I got a chance to go to two wonderful events that kicked me out of my grumpy troll mood.

Meeting Rose-Marie Swift at Being content was a highlight of the month, she is a force of nature and a breath of fresh air. Natural and Organic expo at London Excel was a little smaller than I anticipated but it was still an interesting experience. I finally met the founder of Bloom Remedies, even if it was a short conversation between the seminars that she was attending. I also guest posted on Naturally Paula, check it out if you missed it!

Most loved beauty product of February has to be De Mamiel rosey lip balm. I just couldn't get enough of the scent, it has been used on cuticles, as eyebrow tamer, and in its intended capacity, on the lips. I find this balm absorbs really well, there is no sticky residue and my lips seem to stay much more hydrated. I don't need to constantly reapply, there were days when I was quiet happy to go without any lip balm.

Wellness product of the month is Lotus Wei holiday cactus. I have mentioned this flower elixir a few times, Katie Hess is better than any magician in my eyes. This 30ml bottle of nectar helps keep your mind on the things that are most important. I often find myself counting days till spring, and effectively wasting time during February. With the help of this remedy I have been able to take some important steps towards necessary changes now, and not when the weather is more pleasing.

Favourite new acquisition is the Bulles et Molecules chocolate and roses cupcake soap. I absolutely love their soaps, but this cupcake is just taking things to another level. Admittedly I have not used it yet, as I have been to busy admiring this soap. I just find it so inspiring how creative artisan soap makers are, and have to keep reminding myself not to eat it.

Bottom of the jar. I have managed to finish a few products this month, and even though three out of five are travel sizes, I still feel very smug. Rahua shampoo is a personal favourite, and will be repurchased as soon as I finish all the others (mainly travel sizes that I managed to collect), because if I have this in the house nothing else will get used (you can find my previous review here). Marble and Milkweed rose and cardamon bath salts, previously reviewed here, have been something of a staple, and more than likely will be repurchased once again. The travel size of Body deli melon face wash lasted me good 4 months of once daily use, I will be reviewing it shortly, and I am planning on getting a full size. Weleda citrus deodorant, is good to have handy in my locker just in case I need to freshen up midday at work. It is alcohol based, so probably not the best choice for everyone, but it works well for me as a top up to my usual cream deo. However I do prefer the rose scented version to the citrus one. Evolvh moisturising shampoo, it was nice enough. A good one to use after an oil treatment, but a bit too drying on my hair. It did smell a bit synthetic to me, even though it states that it is all natural, not a repurchase.

I have been guilty of collecting beauty products more than actually using them in this past month, and I have come to this shocking realisation, drum roll please, that organic beauty doesn't actually do anything for your skin if you sit and stare at it, you actually need to use those beauty product before they expire. So in the light of this life changing epiphany, I have decided to do a Mindful Beauty project. I will attempt to reduce the size of my stash, and keep it that way, setting a maximum number of bottles/jars depending on category. I will be starting with toners in the next few days. Oh and one more thing, the blog now has disqus! Fingers crossed all the previous comments will be uploaded soon, and not just lost somewhere on the wild wild web.