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

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

If life gives you melons then you’re probably dyslexic!

Firstly, (did I start my last blog post like this? – yes I think I did – oh well) before I get to the interesting stuff I wanted to say that I am no longer having my posts proofread for the many grammar and spelling mistakes that are sure to be obvious to the masses but often bypass my dyslexic self. I want to thank the lovely person who has been reading through my posts for me before I go live so I don’t embarrasses myself needlessly – but the big 40 is looming, it is about time I take the leap on my own.

summer sun

I love writing my blog. I love telling you all how wonderful it can be to use natural products and I hope that this will be enough to help you see through the mistakes. I hope I don’t lose any of you. Now onto the beauty part.

natural beauty

My last post was inspired by my friend’s question about why her skin was so dry. Leading on from that post she asked me to suggest body moisturizers.

I will confess that I am not a great one for slathering on body lotion everyday – life seems too short to me to bother. I also find now I use olive oil soap I rarely need added moisture. But for the days when my skin is looking a little flaky or feeling a little tight – especially when I have shaved my legs – I do reach for something to help. There are two products I would recommend.

Acure Organics, Advanced Triple Moisture System Body Lotion, Mandarin Orange

The first is a wonderful body moisturizer I picked up from this great shop in Brunswick, Maine, Morning Glory Natural Food’s. I was reeled into trying the tester by the gorgeous packaging and equally gorgeous smell: Acure Organics, Advanced Triple Moisture System Body Lotion, Mandarin Orange (phew, that’s a mouthful). I would classify this as a body moisturizer over a lotion as it is quite thick, but it absorbs immediately and makes you smell amazing. My legs are instantly smooth and flake free. I wish I had bought loads as even though you can buy it in the UK it is much more expensive over here. I bought mine for $9.99 in Maine, but on Amazon.co.uk it goes for around £13. This brand does make other body moisturizers but I can’t comment on those as I have only tried this one – mainly because of the heavenly orange smell.

Weleda_Baby_CalendulaLotion

The second body lotion – and I would definitely call this a lotion as it is much thinner – is Weleda Baby Calendula Body Lotion. Weleda products are a firm favourite of mine. They are extremely easy to find online and Waitrose stocks the Calendula baby range in its – yes you guessed it – baby isle. I have been using this for about 3 years. It is very reasonably priced around £8 and is wonderful. Calendula has the added benefit of being a calming ingredient something always welcome in my book having extremely sensitive skin. Babies you had better watch out us mothers are going to steal your products for ourselves.

weleda calenula baby lotion

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

‘Rapunzel, Rapunzel let down your … totally natural, soft, shiny, beautiful … hair’

beautiful-hair-style161

A few months back I promised that I would write a post about my favourite natural shampoos – so here they are in no particular order of preference.

Lets start with a well-known organic brand – Neal’s Yard. There are two shampoos with their fellow conditioners that I really like. On a quick side note – I do not need to condition every time I wash my hair since going “no poo”, but I do when I have time as a special treat to myself. Firstly Neal’s Yard’s ‘Nurturing Rose’ twins.

neals yard nurturing rose shampoo and conditioner

This shampoo and conditioner was my first foray into this brand. I wanted something that would nourish my platinum dyed blonde hair. The rose smell is divine and it left my hair soft and shiny. The description on the bottle is as follows:

“Gentle cleanser combined with vitamin-rich rosehip, sea buckthorn and passion flower oils to nurture dry, damaged or coloured hair.”

After I made the decision to go back to being au natural with my hair colour – with  maybe a slight cheat of soft colour every now and then, but don’t tell anyone – I found that I didn’t need something so rich. I did find that after a few days my roots would become a little greasy with the rose so I tried another handsome one of theirs – Rejuvenating Geranium. Here is the bottle description:

“A cleansing infusion of apple vinegar, witch hazel and nettle to restore vitality and shine with geranium to balance hair and scalp.”

Neals Yard Remedies Rejuvenating Geranium shampoo and Conditioner.jpg

As you all know I am a huge fan of apple cider vinegar and witch hazel and I was not disappointed. This was perfect for days when I didn’t need something so nourishing and yet it still left my hair lovely and soft and well looked after with no greasy roots. The only downside to this – and this is just personal preference – I am not wild about the geranium smell. Neal’s Yard is a little pricey with all of these costing £11.50 each but I do think they are worth the money and they look so pretty on the shelf in their lovely blue bottles.

Now onto a totally unknown brand – well it was for me anyway. Essential Care Gentle Herb Shampoo.

essential care gentle herb shampoo

I buy this online at naturisimo for £10.50. Now this does not come with a partner but it does its job so well you don’t need to use any conditioner. I love that it has hardly any ingredients and really works. I also use this to wash my young daughter’s hair as it is so natural and makes her very long hair beautifully soft and tangle free.

Lastly, when my hair needs a proper cleanse – when it feels sad and overloaded – I find myself reaching for this wonderful cleansing shampoo and conditioner – the Avalon Organics Lemon Clarifying duo.

avalon organics clarifying lemon shampoo and conditioner

My hair looks fabulous and fresh after one wash. I can’t use this more than once a week though as it is a tiny bit stronger than the others and my scalp goes into a strop. This is at the lower end of the price scale at only £5.99. Here is the description on the bottle:

“Gentle plant-derived cleansers enriched with Vitamin E, Wheat Protein, Aloe, Chamomile and Lemon wash away dulling residue and impurities without stripping for instantly renewed colour and shine.”

You may now be asking yourself why I have all these things in my shower – or you may not – but lets pretend you are. Well as you might have guessed I love trying new things and Neal’s Yard and Avalon can be picked up in my local Waitrose whereas Essential Care needs to be ordered – which can be a pain.

Now which one am I going to try tonight? Decisions, decisions!

. . . and don’t it make my blue eyes green.

The eyes are sensitive souls which need to be treated with care. I have never been a great believer in loading them up with rich creams or oils. My motto is, when it comes to skincare, less is definitely more.

eye

During my research into skincare I have come across many articles which believe that rich creams or oils are not only unproductive for the eye area, but they can also cause puffiness and milia.

The definition of ‘milia’ from the free online dictionary by Merriam Webster is – “small, hard, pale keratinous nodule formed on the skin, typically by a blocked sebaceous gland.” Below you can see a photograph I found of a pretty bad case of this.

milia

The theory is that the molecules in rich creams and oils are too big to penetrate the skin deep enough and instead soak into the top layer and build up to cause these problems. Whether this is scientifically correct I have no idea – but I do find rich creams and oils disagree with me and that milia tend to appear when I use the wrong cream.

With this knowledge, off I went in search of something I could use to give my eye area a little treat – to give it strength to push away those pesky wrinkles that are knocking on my door. This is what I found – a lovely light gel.

green people firming eye gel

Green People’s Firming Eye Gel.

This wonderful gel is extremely light and cooling. It goes on smoothly and sinks in like a dream. It works well under makeup or on its own.

I buy this online from naturisimo for £8.50 – but you can buy it in lots of natural shops online or on the highstreet. An added bonus for you fellow Britains is that it is made in the UK – and I am all about supporting my own country.

I want to believe that eye creams or gels really work but I am in two minds to whether anything can stop time. I do, though, think they can soothe the eye area and gently moisturise which in the end should help keep your wrinkles at bay for a while. I couldn’t tell you if this has worked as an anti aging product,  but it feels lovely and there has not been a milia or a puffy eye in sight.

green eye

“. . . and don’t it make my blue eyes green.”

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.

Send your nails a valentine’s card to show you love them.

The other day, while chatting with a good friend, we got onto the topic of why her nails are so brittle at this time of year. I can promise you that the cold and icy breath of winter will not be serenading your nails this Valentine’s day.

Broken-Heart

But before you coat your nails in some foul smelling toxic vanish give them the kind words and loving caresses they actually deserve.

Do not be duped by products that promise to strengthen and help your nails grow. They might give the appearance of stronger nails but to what damaging effect. I won’t go into the poisonous ingredients that are in these varnishes – how they are derived from formaldehyde (yes I do mean the liquid that is used to embalm bodies) – how the toxic ingredients can leach through your nails into your body ­– how they are suffocated instead of being able to breath in the fresh crisp air of a winter’s day.

There is a simple solution to this problem. Firstly keep your nails short in the winter –below the top of your fingernail is best. Secondly pop a rich moisturizing oil such as my favourite coconut oil in a little container and carry it around with you. Massage into the nail whenever you remember, your hands too which also will suffer in the cold. This should help them stay strong and happy during the Winter months.

I am not saying stay away from pretty colours over the winter – I love wearing a darker shade on my nails at this time of year.

black-nails

This isn’t me in the photo above – just a fabulous image I found to show you how great dark polish is on short nails.

But go for kind varnishes instead of nasty toxic ones. Many natural brands do lovely colours: Butter (I love that name), Beauty without Cruelty and the fabulous Zoya which has a rainbow of every colour and sparkle you could ever wish for. I promise to cover these brands in more detail in a later post. So love your nails as you do your hair and skin. They are part of you and deserve as much attention as everything else.

red-heart