Fickle woman.

A while back I told you all that I was a ‘fickle woman’ when it came to handing out my love to makeup and skincare brands. Well I am here to prove that point today. I know I wanted to elope with my Belle Pierre foundation last year – I had visions of white, sandy beaches, strolling hand in hand along the shore, whispering sweet nothings in its ear. Well already I have given it the cold shoulder, pushed it to the kerb, shacked up with another brand.

Lily lolo

My new love is the British brand ‘Lily Lolo’. I had flirted with this makeup many moons ago, but was never really reeled in. Now I am not sure why we didn’t hit it off the first time, but let’s say wedding bells and sandy beaches beckon.

lily lolo foundation

Do not get me wrong – I still loved the dewy, expensive look of the Belle Pierre foundation, but for some unknown reason my pale, translucent skin is not as pale as it always was. Their colour Ultra is now too white and the next one up too orange. Also I just could not justify the high price tag. My eyes started to wander, my fingers tapped away on Google and up came Lily Lolo again. I thought I would give them a another whirl.

Firstly I loved that the foundations came in a huge variety of colours and I do mean huge – a wopping 18 different shades. Secondly the customer service is outstanding. I chatted to a lovely lady on the phone who helped me choose my products and colours. Most bizarrely the palest 2 colours were too pale for me – whoa – is my advancing age changing my skin colour – how depressing – anyway Blondie was the shade for me. Also the concealers are super pale – the one that should go with Blondie was too white instead I went for Barely Beige and I am thinking about going up a notch to Nude.

One of the very best things about this company is that you can buy little sample pots of colour so you can get an exact skin match.

Lily Lolo does not produce the second skin flawlessness of the Belle Pierre in one go but I find the colour match to be second to none. To get the flawlessness you desire just brush on one of their finishing powders , then the stardust shimmer and spritz of rose water and away you go.

The price is amazing only £13.49 for a 10g pot. I did go a little crazy buying up most of the online store all of which I will list below.  I can say truthfully that I loved everything I bought. Sorry Belle Pierre you can take a hike, while I make room in my life for my new favourite mineral makeup brand Lily Lolo.

lily lolo kiss

Mineral foundation in Blondie

Mineral Concealer in Barely Beige

Finishing powder in Translucent silk and Flawless silk – I use the first one before my foundation the other one after.

Corrector in Blush Away

Eyelid primer (makes an amazing under the eye concealer too)

Molten Bronze eye shadow quad

Mineral Blush in Candy Qirl

Mineral Shimmer in Star Dust

Rose Glow shimmer stripes

Natural Lip gloss in Clear and English Roase

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Out damn spot!

“New year – New me”, that is my mantra most years. Normally this lasts for a few weeks then real life gets in the way. Well this year I decided instead of saying I am going to change something massive for the whole year I would start with one month – see how it goes – no hard feelings if it doesn’t go further – jubilation if it does. This year (sorry this January) I am jumping on the ‘quit sugar’ bandwagon.

quit sugar

I am a complete and utter sugar addict – so I knew this would be hard – but hopefully good for me. I read David Gillepsie’s book ‘The sweet poison quit plan’ and I haven’t looked back – yes it is only two weeks in – but I am impressed and gobsmacked by what he says about sugar.

david gillespie sweet poison quit plan

It has been difficult, but I think in the long run it could be fabulous. “Why are you telling us this”, I hear you cry. Well it seems the downside of ridding your body of this poisonous substance is it can give you a spot or two – only one so far for me – but still one too many.

I have talked in great detail about the fabulous spot killing properties of apple cider vinegar and manuka honey – but these do not always work as fast as I want them to – yes I am vain (aren’t we all just a little bit) – I want it to go ASAP. When I am stressed or unhappy my skin decides to make matters worse by breaking out. A few years back I was extremely stressed and unhappy and I was blessed with spot after painful spot. I researched and researched and found that red and blue light therapy can work wonders. I bought a Lumie Clear machine and hey presto (well not as fast as that but pretty speedily) my skin cleared up.

lumie clear light therapy

This machine was pretty expensive around £130 though worth its weight in gold as far as I was concerned. But when it had done its job and I was back to having clear skin I sold it on ebay and got most of my money back. A few years later I wished I hadn’t been so rash selling it. I found that no matter how careful you are with your skin the spots can still surface. I was not prepared to shell out this kind of money again, so back to Google I went. This time round I found a fabulous little gadget called the Rio skin clear – I found it on Amazon for around £25 and thought I would give it a go.

rio light skin clear therapy

I am really impressed with this little machine. It definitely quickens up the healing process of painful spots and helps them reduce in size pretty fast. If I left the spots to their own devices they would happily hangout and party on my skin for a few weeks, getting bigger and more confident as the days went on. But using this little device twice a day for 8 minutes I found that they only lasted a few days and never get big or too painful. Unfortunately nothing natural I have ever used will zap them into oblivion on the first go – but this teamed with my apple cider vinegar spray and manuka honey is pretty fast – as close to using a magic wand as I can find.

Below is some science stuff from rio explaining the light therapy if you are interested:

‘The blue light in the Skin Clear Light directly kills the bacteria involved in acne, while the red light helps reduce inflammation and stimulate the healing process. The result is clearer and smoother skin. Research has shown that combined blue and red light treatment is significantly more effective than using benzoyl peroxide which is a common treatment for mild to moderate acne.’

Good luck with your new years choices. I hope you find the magic you are looking for.

magic

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

Last night I was lying in bed listening out for my daughter – the lurgy hangs over us once again. I stared into the semi darkness as the pale moonlight was seeping through the blinds. A question popped into my head “When the sun goes to bed and the moon lights up the night sky do the colours actually disappear and fade to shades of black and white?” What has this to do with ‘natural beauty’ – absolutely nothing. I just wanted to put that question out there.

Okay, here is the beauty stuff. A while back a friend asked me if I could help her with her ‘acne rosacea’ which for years had been making her very unhappy. This affects your face and makes your skin very red and bumpy and pretty miserable.

acne rosacea natural cure

I promised I would try my hardest to help. At the time I had had an allergic reaction to something that had touched my skin and I had an uncomfortable rash on my face. So I trawled the web and came across ideas that developed into this great face mask. I tried it on myself first and hey presto my skin breathed a sigh of relief and went back to being smooth and happy. I passed on the mask to my friend – she said for the first time in years her rosacea went away and you now can see her beautiful, youthful skin shining through. I can’t promise you that this will work for all of you – but if your skin is misbehaving, unhappy or even a few spots are appearing give it a go and see if you have the same exciting results as we had.

After much research I found that the best ingredient you can use for this is turmeric – the yellow stuff you use for cooking curries etc.

Turmeric-Root-and-Powder-1024x666

Below is the recipe:

1 tablespoon raw organic honey (I use manuka honey, anything over 16+ but it is expensive)
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vitamin e oil (If you don’t have any vitamin e oil start off using organic olive oil.)

Mix all this together in a glass bowel.

When using this for the first time try a small area of your face which is effected, a very small area about 1cm squared. Leave it on for an hour but take it off straight away if there is any stinging or pain. You can cover the rest of the mask with cling film and leave it in a dish until later. If you get on fine with the patch test then carry on as below.

Tie your hair back and do not wear anything white or anything you mind staining as turmeric stains terribly and will not come out.

Use old foundation or any soft makeup brush to smooth it onto your face as again this will stain your hands.

acne rosasea face mask

I recommend only doing this at night because it is likely that you will have a hint of yellow on your face but it will fade by the morning. Also you mustn’t get the mask on your eyebrows or your hair.

Leave it on for half an hour up to one hour if you can. Then wash off with water. I would use paper towels to pat your face dry or a dark towel, as again it will stain them. Spray your face with a small bit of your vinegar spray then slather on your rosehip oil and go to sleep on an old pillowcase.

Do this every evening if you can for a week or until it starts to help.

Lastly don’t mix this with chemical products found in your local drugstore as they will counteract the mask and stop it working.

I can’t promise miracles and this might not work for all of you, but it did for my friend and certainly made my rash disappear after a few goes. Hopefully it will make your skin smile again.

happy face

A soupçon of advice on oils.

Firstly let me begin by saying I am sorry that I have been absent for so long. I have been very busy concentrating on one of my other passions – printing my own fabric.

swallows

Back to beauty business for a moment as I feel I have been neglecting my readers. I wanted to do a short post to show you I am still here and thinking of you all.

Today, I was talking to  a friend at the school gates and she asked me a question about coconut oil. She wanted to know why, when she is using the oil on her body everyday, that her skin seemed to be getting drier.

dry skin from coconut oil

I remember having the same problem when I used olive oil on my face as a cleanser. The reason behind this weird phenomenon, apparently, is – drum roll please – your skin believes the oil that you are slathering on your skin is being produced by your body. In response it slows your body’s production of its own natural oil and therefore dries out the skin. Make sense? Okay, please promise not to ask why this does not happen when you use my beloved rosehip oil – honest answer? – I have no idea. Might be because it has something to do with the consistency of the oil or the molecule size – your guess is a good as mine.

In conclusion to this tale of oils – use the rosehip oil as often as you like. For me that is every night and loads of it. But when it comes to the heavier, thicker oils like coconut and olive oil be sparing – treat your body maybe once a week and no more.

Hope that helps my sweet peas. I promise to write a longer post soon – but my printing beckons and I love it so.

paintbrushes

There is a limit on what I will pay for pretty things!

A quick money saving idea in the heat…… I don’t know about you but I get a sweaty face in this weather – actually that sounds very unladylike – let’s say my face glows more than usual – much better.

facial blotting paper

Um, what could I use – ahh, blotting paper!  Oh, excuse me, how expensive did you say it is? Now there must be a way to blot your face without feeling as though you are blotting it with a wad of money – okay, not using actual money but it WOULD feel as though you are throwing notes of cash in the bin every time you bring the glow down to a respectable level. Most of these papers are made out of rice paper, but sourcing pure rice paper is difficult. My head suddenly felt hot and a light shone out to the ceiling – the light bulb had come on. What about cigarette papers? Rizla make their papers out of 100% rice paper (most of them anyway). You can buy king size ones that are lovely and thin and come in a pretty silver pack and they only cost me 83p – way to go for helping save a few pennies – actually pounds as packs of facial blotting papers will set you back a few pence shy of £10.

Rizla Silver King Size

Facial blotting papers (or my Rizla) will not ruin or take off your makeup.

I will admit that a packet of Rizla might not be as stylish as a lovely packet of Japanese blotting papers, but these pretty little things are $12 for 30 whereas you can buy a packet of cigarette papers for $1.38 for 32. There is a limit on what I will pay for pretty things!

facial blotting papers

Enjoy the sunshine and spend the extra money on an ice cream or something equally yummy.

facial blotting paper

“Summer’s lease hath all too short a date.” ― William Shakespeare

When I started writing this post in early June, the days were heavy with the heat of longed for summer. I felt a strong desire to tell you readers about a wonderful brand of sun lotion – so I began to write. But in a whisper the weather turned. Days were no longer heavy with the burnished rays of sun instead they were heavy with rain. How could I write about sun lotion when summer had been pushed aside by late wet spring days? But today I can feel the touch of heat on my white skin, see the insects buzzing about on the kaleidoscope of coloured flowers, smell the warmth permeating everything it touches. Yes, today I can write about sun lotion and readers I will.

natural sun lotion

I have made my way through many natural suntan lotions with not a great deal of success – most will not sink into your skin but instead leave unattractive white streaks on your body. Also pity those of you that get some of these lotions in your eyes – how your eyes will scream and cry and tell you what a fool you are. I felt disheartened at the natural beauty world. Why couldn’t they help me protect my skin against the sun? Suddenly a little green man tapped me on the shoulder and told me not to worry for he had the solution and he wouldn’t let me down. He handed me a bottle of Green People’s Children’s sun lotion and I knew he had not been telling me lies.

Green People Children Sun Lotion No Scent SPF25

Green People Children Sun Lotion No Scent SPF25 – Naturisimo £13.95

This scent free lotion sinks in beautifully, does not sting your eyes, has high UVA as well as UVB protection and generally ticks all the boxes. You can use this on your face and your body as it won’t clog your pores or cover you in nasty chemicals. They also make this in a lavender concoction and an adult version. But to me simpler and cheaper is best. The adult version is more expensive which baffles me as it takes longer to sink in and has no real added benefits in its ingredient list.

Thank you little green man, please thank your Green People and tell them they are welcome to my summer party anytime.

natural suntan lotion

A quick word in your ear please.

No reviews today, just some follow up comments on previous posts.

Firstly after four months of owning my silk bedlinen I am disappointed with the wear of the duvet cover in particular. It looks at least 2 years old and has bad pilling on the surface. This has happened to the sheet too but only very slightly. I spoke to Jasmine Silk and they were not very helpful. I wanted to say that maybe this was not the best quality bedlinen after all. I would suggest looking somewhere else if you wish to – maybe a large well known store such as John Lewis as they would have better customer service. I have not checked if they sell silk bedlinen, but I know they have great customer care.

I am still very much in favour of silk and will continue to use my lovely bedlinen, but in the future I will look else where when I need to replace them.

Secondly I thought it was important to mention that I always use my apple cider vinegar spray on towel dried hair, no matter what shampoo or “no poo” product I use. If I had to say hand on heart what was the most successful method of washing my hair it would be my “no poo” method using bicarbonate of soda and the apple cider vinegar spray – this makes my hair look and feel the best over any bought product.

Until next time.

marilyn monroe

Is your moisturizer aging your skin?

I have reblogged this from the great site “super inspire“. I found it fascinating I hope you all do too:

rm_ele_GUZEL3ELE07

Most people have learned by now that excessive exposure to direct sunlight, especially without adequate spf protection, is a major cause of skin aging. But do you know what is the second biggest skin aging contributor? It’s not nicotine or alcohol.

It’s mineral oil or parrafinum liquidum as it is usually classified in the list of ingredients. This petroleum derivative, and also an environmental toxin, can be found in most of the traditional over-the-counter skin moisturizers and make-up.

John Hopkins University named mineral oil in cosmetics as the number two cause of premature skin aging. This ingredient is a result of the distillation of gasoline from crude oil and it is present in approximately 98% of cosmetic/personal care products on the US market today. When applied on the skin, mineral oil forms a barrier between skin and beneficial ingredients from the product. It also blocks the pores and prevents the skin from absorbing moisture in a natural way. Without a proper hydration, the cell renewal rate slows down, resulting in faster skin aging.

So if you haven’t already ditched the classic Nivea cream and similar paraffinum based cosmetic products, now is the right time to do it. Instead, choose a natural & organic moisturizer that will keep your skin healthy and young.

Let me introduce you to my sibling, ‘the creature from the black lagoon’.

My face, the window to my soul (or is that the eyes, I forget) has been misbehaving. I tried sending it to the naughty step – gave it a stern talking to – but all to no avail. My last step was the doctor’s surgery.  The doctor told me that my skin was still a grade A student, but instead a sebaceous gland had become infected and turned into an incredibly painful and ugly cyst. All the lovely natural goodness I was feeding my skin was going to make no difference in this case. Firstly antibiotics then a visit to a plastic surgeon to have it removed. Fabulous. I can’t wait to have someone cut into my face and to have a scar left on my skin. Oh well at least it was nothing I had done wrong. The point to my story is that even after due care and attention things beyond our control happen to the most diligent of us.

As a special treat for my poor skin I though I would step outside my comfort zone and treat my face to a shop bought face mask. Off I trotted to Holland and Barrett. After lots of mooching around I happened upon an interesting looking package that promised to:

. . . dramatically improve skin texture, leaving it soft, refreshed and youthful

Dead Sea Spa Magik Algimud active seaweed mask

The Dead Sea Spa Magik – agimud active seaweed mask also featured a smiley face symbol (who knows what that means) and a little box saying no parabens. After a sneaky peak at the ingredients and deciding they looked okay I parted with my money and took the rather smart looking package home with me.

Just before retiring for the night I decided to give it a whirl.

Dead Sea Spa Magik – Algimud active seaweed mask

I tore open the packet and dumped its contents into a bowl. Measuring the require cold water I stirred it together using the spatula supplied. My first thought was that this was a lot of product for one face but it does say to cover your face in a thick layer.

Algimud active seaweed mask

My spatula to the ready I started applying the mask. I won’t lie to you it was pretty gross. It smelled strongly of seaweed (not unsurprising I suppose as it is made from seaweed) or of a pond on a hot day, but not too off putting. I also felt it sliding down my face in globs as I had it on so thickly. Determined not to give up though I carried on covering all my face and some of my neck – being careful not to get it round my delicate eye area or mouth. Even after all that there was still quite a bit left which went in the bin. I now resembled the creature for the black lagoon’s slightly more attractive sister, but apart from the slight pond whiff it did feel deliciously cooling on my face.

Dead Sea Spa Magik Algimud active seaweed mask

I settled down on my bed with my book and read for 15 minutes. After this I went back to the bathroom and looked in the mirror. The gloppy mask had morphed into what can only be described as a rubbery substance. I moved my face and I could feel it peeling off my skin. This was the fun part – it just peels straight off your face.

Dead Sea Spa Magik Algimud active seaweed mask

Luckily it does not pull your skin or take your eyebrows with it, but it just gently peels away. Underneath my skin felt beautifully soft and I might even use the words: “. . . refreshed and youthful “.  Small bits couldn’t be peeled off but I just wiped them off with a bit of witch hazel on a cotton pad.

I have to say I was really impressed with this mask. The upset my cyst had done to my skin (a few bumps and dry patches) seemed to be magically erased. I had soft, glowing skin and it was quite a fun and relaxing experience. I will definitely be venturing into the dead sea again though maybe nose plugs might be a good accessory next time.

Can part of my fairy-tale come true?

When I was a little girl I wanted to be a princess – live in a castle, sleep in the clouds in a bed made of silk  (no peas under the mattress though) and marry a handsome prince and live happily ever after.

the ordinary princess

(The fabulous illustration above and the one at the very bottom of this post are from the beautiful children’s book ‘The Ordinary Princess’ written by my grandmother MM Kaye)

Unfortunately I did not marry the handsome prince but the evil villain and certainly did not live happily ever after – my story is the cautionary tale we tell our children not the fairy-tale. I do though sleep in silk – maybe not in the clouds or a castle but in a beautiful house in the countryside so close enough for me.

If you only want to change one thing to help your skin fight against ageing, silk should be that one thing. Way before I jumped on the natural beauty bandwagon I had read about how sleeping on a silk pillowcase can protect your skin against wrinkles.

“It’s long been a secret of the beauty industry that silk pillowcases can make an amazing difference to the appearance of your skin. Wrinkles appear smoother and there are no creases or marks from the pillowcase.

Silk does not absorb face creams like cotton can. Instead it allows your night cream to work while you are asleep for maximum benefit and a more radiant, deeply moisturised complexion.(quote taken from Jasmine Silk website)

I didn’t really believe it but I wanted my princess moment so I went out and bought a silk pillowcase. I have been sleeping on silk now for over 10 years and I would never change.

83517-2952x2268

This year I decided to be extravagant. If I couldn’t have the fairy-tale prince I really could have the fairy-tale bed. I changed all my bed linen to the softest most beautiful silk. My pillow and duvet are also silk filled – maybe I am finally living in the clouds. It certainly feels like it when I close my eyes at night.

fluffy clouds

Not only is silk extremely good for your skin – you will no longer wake up with lines on your face or body where your bed linen has left its mark behind. It also helps reduce allergies. Bed bugs and nasties do not live in silk like they do in feathers and manmade hollow fibres.

“Silk is repellent to dust mites and moths so it’s perfect for anyone who suffers from asthma or allergies. It also resists mildew and mould. Silk is naturally hypoallergenic so it can also be highly beneficial for those suffering from eczema or sensitive skin conditions.” (quote taken from Jasmine Silk website)

It is not only fabulous for your skin but your hair benefits as well:

“Wake up in the morning with hair that’s smooth as silk. The natural proteins present in silk together with its amazing smoothness mean that your hair doesn’t get matted or dried out when your head rests on silk overnight. That’s why top models always insist on silk pillowcases.” (quote taken from Jasmine Silk website)

silky hair

Silk filled duvets or pillows regulate your body temperature.  They are cool in the heat of the summer and warm in the cold of the winter.

“ Breathable and comfortable, the natural properties of silk wick away moisture from the body to keep you cool and comfortable all night long. This makes it an excellent choice for anyone who suffers from night sweats or hot flushes. 

Silk is great in the winter too, especially if you want to feel supremely warm without being weighed down by heavy blankets. Silk duvets feel so light that it is almost impossible to believe they can effectively keep out the cold.

Sleeping under a silk-filled duvet is like sleeping under a light fluffy cloud. Even in the depths of winter it keeps you warm and snuggly. That’s partly because of the natural drape of silk that some people call the “hugging effect.” which also helps to keep in body heat when it is cold.“ (quote taken from Jasmine Silk website)

mulberry_silk

You never need to clean a silk duvet – every summer just air it in the sun for a day.

In fact I would say the only downside to this is that I feel uncomfortable sleeping on anything else. Cotton or manmade fibre sheets scratch and irritate my skin and I find it hard to get comfortable and a good nights sleep. I long for the feel of silk on my skin as I know how fabulous it feels and how good it is for me.

Maybe I should mention one other thing. I do find I can’t have a silk duvet cover and fitted sheet on at the same time  – the duvet slips off at night. Instead I alternate between a silk fitted sheet and a cotton duvet cover or a silk duvet cover and a cotton fitted sheet. This might not bother you but I found I spent most of the night pulling the duvet back over me otherwise.

It is expensive as it must be 100% pure silk – but once you have invested and you wash the bedlinen with care, it is the best investment you will make and you will never look back.

I have looked for the best quality and the best price on the Internet in the UK (sorry those of you in the US you will have to look for one over there) Jasmine Silk comes out on top at the moment. Quality is important; you must have silk that has a heavy momme weight. Mulberry silk for silk filled items and Charmeuse silk for bed linen are the best type to go for. Cheap lightweight silk will not last and will not work in the same way. Jasmine silk may seem more expensive than places like eBay but you are guaranteed quality and that is what you should be buying. Below is another rather long extract from their website but it explains the differences in silk quality clearly (no I do not work or know these people but I have done my research and I wanted to pass this on to my readers):

Mulberry Silk

Mulberry silk is the highest quality silk available. . . Jasmine Silk duvets, pillows and toppers are made by 100% grade A long-strand mulberry silk. Because of the rising price of mulberry silk, there are many suppliers selling cheaper silk duvets which are filled with a mix of polyester and silk, or chopped strand silk which is essentially off cuts of silk that can’t be used for anything else. . .

Momme weights

Mommes (mm) are units of weight traditionally used to measure the density of silk. It is similar to the use of thread count for cotton fabric. The usual range of momme weight for different weaves of silk are:

  • Gauze – 3 to 5 momme weight
  • Chiffon – 6 to 8 momme weight
  • Habutai – 5 to 16 momme weight
  • Charmeuse – 16 to 19 momme weight

Charmeuse Silk

Charmeuse is a luxury fabric made from silk with a satin finish. It has a floating appearance which drapes very well, especially for formal wear and luxury bed linen. We use the heaviest weight (19 momme) Charmeuse silk for all our silk bed linen.

For silk sheets a momme weight of 12-19 is considered good quality with silk sheets in the range of 16-19 being very high quality. Cheap silk sheets almost always have a low momme weight, because physically less silk has been used to make them. Anything lower than 12 momme feels lightweight and flimsy, and not particularly smooth or luxurious. It tears easily, is difficult to wash and doesn’t last long.

A-Grade Long-strand silk

Not only is our silk heavy in weight, but we also insist on using only long-strand silk. Although not often discussed outside the textile industry, the length of the strands makes a big difference to the feel of the silk and its strength and durability. Longer fibres produce smoother yarns. Shorter fibres have tiny surface ends which result in a fuzzier yarn that doesn’t feel as smooth.

Go on! Let the princess in you come out and play!

the ordinary princess