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

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

The only reason for being a bee that I know of is to make honey…. And the only reason for making honey, is so as I can eat it. – Winnie the Pooh

Winnie might believe that honey is just for eating (I am sure many of you would agree) but the wonders of honey don’t stop there – honey is one of the best natural skincare products available.

People who have known me for years would never put the words ‘Mollie’ ‘love’ and ‘honey’ in the same sentence. When I was a little girl I hated the smell and taste of honey. I never thought it would be something that I would come to adore. I still hate the taste and the smell can be a little much sometimes but as a skincare product I love love love it.

You can use honey in skincare, haircare, for first aid, burns, blemishes – the list goes on and on.

If you have read any of my other posts you will know that I use it every night to wash my and my 5 year old daughter’s faces.

I wanted to let you know of another way to treat your skin using this lovely product – as a face mask. This will smooth your skin and treat any blemishes that are threatening to invade your prefect complexion:

Wash you face with Oliva. Use the bicarbonate of soda face scrub if you want to. Then dry off your face. Plaster on your chosen honey and lie back for at least 10 minutes, more if you can be bothered. I like to do this in the bath. If your skin isn’t dry when you apply the honey it will slide off your face. Wash off and reveal smoother, happy skin.

I have been experimenting with a new honey I picked up from Waitrose – Littleover Apiary wildflower honey with royal jelly. This lovely organic, wildflower honey has royal jelly added. I found this information about royal jelly on the dr organic website:

“The unique combination of nutrients, amino acids and plant hormones makes Organic Royal Jelly a superb ingredient to help maintain a youthful appearance. Throughout history this wonderful ingredient has been heralded as natures fountain of youth. It is ideal for rejuvenating and nourishing the skin, while its anti-aging properties help maintain the skins elasticity, texture and tone.”

Who knows if it is really adding anything special, but my skin is feeling extra smooth at the moment so this could be down to this royal additive. It is only £4.75 so I am happy to use it!

Littleover Apiary wildflower honey with royal jelly

A great tip if you feel a spot (zit) nudging away at your skin trying to get noticed, dab a bit of honey on it and leave it over night, the next day it should be gone or at least smaller. You can use manuka honey for this as it is super strong and has a higher concentration of anti-bacterial qualities to zap that spot. Don’t use manuka as a wash or face mask though, unless you have super strong skin, it can be too harsh and might reduce your skin to tears and tantrums.

On a side note, away from the golden elixir, this year I am trying lots of new things and will be working hard so my posts might be more infrequent – just a couple maybe even only one a month. I’ll still be here, trying new things and letting you know about them, just not as often as I have been. So don’t worry if you don’t hear from me for a while I promise I am still around.

These are the bees knees!

On my quest for lipsticks I happened upon these lovely lip shimmers from Burt’s Bees in a local grocery store in Maine. I bought one in Rhubarb believing it would be a lip tint – how wrong I was. These sticks of delight are very highly pigmented and could be sold as lipsticks. I was so impressed with the colour and opacity that I went out and bought 4 more – I wasn’t disappointed.

burt's bees lip shimmer

The colours from left to right are: Radiance, Guava, Peony, Caramel and Rhubarb.

These shimmers are simply wonderful. They have a tingly taste and smell of peppermint – which leaves your lips feeling fresh and clean. As well as being highly pigmented they also dose your lips with a whoping hit of moisture which is great in my book. If I had to criticize them (which I am loath to do) I would like the richer colour to come in a bullet form to make application easier.

My favourite colour is Peony as it is such a natural gorgeous pink – but I love them all.

Below, photographed in natural daylight, is each one on my lips so you can see what lovely colours they are:

radiance burts bees lip shimmer        Radiance

guava burts bees lip shimmer       Guava

peony burts bees lip shimmer      Peony

caramel burts bees lip shimmer      Caramel

rhubarb burts bees lip shimmer      Rhubarb

You can buy these lip shimmers at many supermarkets and pharmacies in America. I bought mine in Hannaford in Maine. They will be nestled somewhere on the natural and organic aisle. Many online shops sell them too. They are cheaper in the US (lucky you) at only $5.99 but they are still pretty cheap here in the UK at £5.99. I am sure you could find them cheaper too.

Bellapierre, will you be mine – well for now anyway?

Whilst I sit here looking after my poor sick daughter (you can never escape the winter bug it seems!). I am pondering on what makeup I use that gives the illusion of actually having had a full night’s sleep. One wonderful makeup product springs to mind.

I am sure most of you have heard about mineral powder foundation. A proper pure brand of mineral makeup is actually a treatment for your skin as well as a foundation. If it is pure (there are many which are as pure as the driven snow unfortunately) then you can sleep in this foundation and it will not clog your pores or cause blemishes. This apparently was the only makeup plastic surgeons would recommend to their patients, after surgery on their face, as it proved to help the healing process and was so pure.

I have had a love affair with mineral powder foundation for over 14 years. I adore the natural no makeup look you can achieve when using this. My first foray into this product came many moons ago when I was watching an infomercial on some brand of mineral foundation. I was mesmerised with the before and after shots of the women on screen and being “Mollie tried and tested” at the time I had to see if it was real. I ordered a sample and tried it on. Off I popped to meet a good friend and the first thing she said was how fabulous my skin looked. Well that was it – the love set in and stayed.

Over the years I have tried a number of mineral powder foundations. For years I stuck with Bare Minerals as that was the main mineral powder on the market and really the only one you could buy in stores.

bare minerals foundaiton

I was pleased with this brand, but did on occasion feel it left my skin a little bit dry and sometimes slightly itchy. Later I found that this was because of the ingredient – Bismuth Oxychloride. After research I found out that this is not a very nice ingredient to have in your foundation. Here is an extract from green health research:

Bismuth oxychloride is notorious for causing allergic reactions when applied to the skin. These reactions include itching, redness, slight swelling of the skin, and hives. Bismuth oxychloride can also clog pores and trigger acne, leading to mild to severe breakouts.

I have also read, in a recent article on natural health, that Bismuth Oxychloride is closely related to Arsenic – who would want to put that on their face or even near it.

So after reading about this I trawled the web for another, purer brand. I came up with Elemental Beauty which I loved. Their nude shade was perfect for my skin and the coverage was excellent.

elemental beauty foundation

I am but a fickle child though and kept up my quest – I wanted more! Then I found Bellapierre. This loose powder foundation is simply the Rolls Royce of mineral makeup. It has a beautiful shimmer but very subtle. I have read complaints about there not being enough colours to choose from – but the Ultra is perfect for my very pale yellow based skin tone.

bella pierre loose powder foundation

It stays on most of the day and really gives my skin a wonderful glow which looks pretty flawless. A lot of this is down to application too which I will cover in another post. The packaging is far superior than other powders. There is a clever turning bit inside which keeps your powder safe when you are traveling. Unfortunately this does come at a price ­– around £35, $65 for the Americans – wow I hear you say. If you are savvy you can find it much cheaper. I bought mine from Amazon for £18. No matter how much I love this foundation I would drop it like a hot coal if I had to pay £35 ($65). l hope by that time I won’t have broken Elemental Beauty’s heart too much and they will take me back at a very affordable £10.99.

My only gripe about Bellapierre would be that is does not cover blemishes as well as Elemental Beauty but the gorgeous finish is worth the sacrifice.

I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Elemental Beauty – but for the moment I am thinking of proposing to Bellapierre Ultra foundation – I just need to find the right ring!

There are many many mineral foundations out there. Most of these are wolves in sheep’s clothing. As I have said before ‘check the label’. A mineral foundation that has more than 4 or 5 ingredients is not pure – it is a naughty little devil on your shoulder trying to pull the wool over your eyes. Big brands such as Maybelline, Revlon, Estee Lauder and even supposedly ‘more natural’ brands like Laura Mercier (Bismuth Oxychloride anyone?) plus many others jumped onto the mineral powder foundation bandwagon a while ago but these are the wolves so do not be fooled – look at the labels!

Just for fun and to prove my point – lets compare a big brand powder’s ingredient list with Bellapierra (hopefully this will convince you naysayers out there):

Estee Lauder Nutrititous Vita-Mineral Loose Foundation:

Active Ingredient: Titanium Dioxide 2.1%. Other Ingredients: Talc, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Boron Nitride Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate, Methicone, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Magnesium Myristate,  Punica Granatum, Sterols, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate,  Zeolite, Retinyl Palmitate, Caprylyl Glycol, Calcium Silicate, Hydrogenated Styrene/Isoprene Copolymer, Sodium Chloride (salt), Tocopheryl Acetate, Lauryl Methacrylate/Glycol Dimethacrylate Crosspolymer, Hexylene , Zinc Stearate, Phenoxyethanol. May Contain: Bismuth Oxychloride, Titanium Dioxide Iron Oxides, Mica, Yellow 5 Lake, Chromium Oxide Greens, Ferric Ferrocyanide, Blue 1 Lake, Chromium Hydroxide Greens, Carmine.

Bellapierre Loose Powder Foundation:

Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, Iron Oxides. May contain: ultramarine.

Mmmmm – now I wonder which one is more natural and better for you?

Olive oil on my skin – am I mad?

I am going to talk about olive oil soap in this post -­ not plain olive oil (but I have to say that that is an amazing product to use too. ­ I will post about it later on). From your local Holland and Barrett store you can buy Oliva soap for just over £1. I cannot find it on any websites in the US, but I know you can find something very similar as I did when I was on vacation there in the summer. I must stress that if you find another brand be very careful and look at the ingredients first. Many olive oil soaps are in fact a dash of olive oil mixed with SLS, parabens and other synthetic substances. Always try and buy any natural products with as little ingredients as possible. Oliva soap has only 2 ingredients: Saponified Olive Oil and Mineral Salts. Here is the description from the Holland and Barrett website – “Made from pure unrefined olive oil, Oliva is kind and gentle to the skin. Oliva is not tested on animals, contains no artificial colours or perfumes, is completely vegetarian. 100% biodegradable.”

oliva soap

I absolutely love this soap. It never dries your skin and has no nasty synthetic fragrances or chemicals. I use this to wash my face every day. I don’t splash out on expensive cleansers as this cheap, lovely soap does the trick and will not strip my skin of its natural oils or mess with its pH levels. I also use this as an all over body soap. I even use this to wash the delicate skin of my 5 year old daughter. I have in the past used this to wash my daughter’s hair as well when I didn’t have anything else to hand. It worked really well ­- left her hair soft and shiny.

The packaging is simple but elegant -­ I believe most of us would be happy to have this on display nestled on our sink.

Go on, ditch the expensive soap, body washes and cleansers and be kind to your skin with this lovely moisturizing very natural soap.

A quick side note for you all ­- I wouldn’t recommend chomping down on this soap or using it to cook with. A friend who took my advice and uses this soap on her family told me her husband had a quick bite and confirmed it wasn’t very tasty! It is a soap after all no matter how natural.

Pretty glossy eyelashes – but I think I see a spider over there – ekk!

I want to start of by saying, ‘Happy Birthday’ to me – la la la. Phew – now that is out of the way let me tell you about Organic Glam natural mascara. I was given this by my very generous sister-in-law and brother for my birthday – thank you!

organic glam mascara 1

Lets start with the good points. The packaging was beautiful. It has a wonderful brush that really gets in there and coats all the lashes. I thought the colour (black) was gorgeous – incredibly rich and glossy. It definitely created some length and a bit of fullness but not masses unfortunately. What I really liked about it was that it looked as if you had applied eyeliner close to the lashes – this intensified the colour and created a flick like effect. I think this was helped by the brush as you could get very close to the roots of the lashes.

organic glam mascara wand

Now the bad. It was really clumpy, which gave me spider lashes. First I didn’t wipe off the mascara on a tissue as I wanted to see what would happen – it was so messy! I tried it again and wiped off the mascara – this made a little difference but it was still very clumpy. It didn’t lengthen or thicken a great deal and only lifted the lashes a wee bit. Also it is pretty expensive at £20.95, a whopping $35 for those of you in the States.

I have had it on now for 4 hours and it has stayed very well – no smudging or flaking – so that is a bonus. The tiny lift that it gave in the beginning is still there too. It was a hard to take off – took a few goes (I should probably mention that I don’t ever use makeup remover, so if you do that might help)

Would I recommend this? No I don’t think I would. I liked the eyeliner effect and the glossy colour but the curl was disappointing – mostly the clumping and over all messiness of the mascara was just too much to handle, especially at that price.

I have taken a photo to show you how it looks on.

Organic glam mascara

Jane Iredale mascara all on its lonesome.

As promised I tried the Jane Iredale Purelash Lengthening Mascara on its own. It still adds length, curl and volume to the lashes, but I did find that it didn’t last as long as when I used the conditioner. After about 5 hours it started to flake and leave a tiny bit of mascara on the bottom of my eyes. I still think it’s pretty awesome, but I would definitely recommend using the conditioner first for super long all day hold.

Here is a photo just after I applied it in the morning:

Jane Iredale Purelash Lengthening Mascara

You lucky Americans you.

I wanted to add a quick post especially for my American readers. I am finding that a lot of the products I am reviewing are born and raised in America. However as I am living in England I have only been giving English websites and costs in pounds. I will try super hard from now on to post websites where you can get your pretty paws on them in the US and what they cost over there. It will unfortunately leave my English compatriots seething as they are so much cheaper for you in the States. Let me start as I mean to go on and give you the prices of the lippies I have reviewed and my beloved lash conditioner and mascara.

I found a great website based in the US where you can chat live to lovely beauty consultants online. They don’t know everything but are super keen to help and to wish you a nice day! Spirit beauty lounge sells Ilia lipstick at a jealousy inducing $24. I have used this company to send stuff to my parents who live in Maine – they were pretty speedy to deliver the order and it was very straight forward. You can’t get Elemental Beauty in the US yet but they do ship from the UK to most international locations. Jane Iredale is another brand that first cracked out of its egg in the US. You can buy this from lots of websites online, just type into google and away you go. I found a website called Skin Store that is based in America where they were selling the conditioner for $16 and the mascara for $18. I haven’t tried the website but it might be worth looking at.

Hope this helps and ‘Have a nice day!’

Who needs false eyelashes when you have a friend called Jane.

I know I said I was going to do only the mascara today, but when I woke up it felt like a curly, strong lash day – maybe because it was so cold, maybe because I was feeling Christmassy, who knows.

First I used an eyelash curler followed by the Jane Iredale PureLash Conditioner. This time I put on a few coats. This works so well as the extra coats add extra length. I waited a few minutes for it to dry then added the Jane Iredale Purelash Lengthening Mascara. Afterwards I curled them again using a heated eyelash curler. This produces the most amazing effect and boy does it last. I am writing this 5 hours later and they are just as curly as they were when I started. I must say I really do love this combination. It totally delivers where others fail miserably. I would say this is better than nearly all the non natural mascaras I have tried. Enough gushing, see for yourself in the photo, of my lashes all beautifully curled:

curled lashes Jane Iredale