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 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

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

A natural recipe for a bug repellent spray from la niña.

I have veered off topic again to reblog this post from the wonderful . I thought my readers would be interested to know this natural recipe as bug sprays are absorbed into your skin like any skin beauty product would.

 

Bug Bites!

Posted by

Mosquito

While tending my garden the other day, I was viciously attacked by these little monsters. Mosquitoes can be such a nuisance during the summer. They make it difficult to enjoy outdoor activities.

Commercial bug repellants use Deet as their active which will kill these pests by paralyzing their nervous system. However, did you know that these repellants can also dissolve plastic and paint? So why on earth would we spray this on our skin? Deet has been know to cause skin irritations, mood swings, and impair cognitive functions. And the smell…. ugh!

Luckily, there are some natural solutions… here is one of them. There are certain scents that bugs don’t like, but are pleasing to us – lavender, vanilla, rosemary, clove, and lemongrass are among them. Use this recipe to keep the bugs away naturally.

20 drops of essential oil (whichever scent you like best)
4 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Mix all the ingredients in a 16 oz. spray bottle. Fill the rest of the bottle with water and shake to combine. Spray freely on your arms, legs, and any other exposed skin. You can even spray this mixture on your clothing for extra protection.

Hope this helps to keep those bug bites away. Enjoy!

‘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.