Friday, 18 July 2014

Bathing Beaity Anoint facial oil for Shy skin review

My skin tends to go through periods of sensitivity, partially due to all the changes in my beauty routine, partially to weather changes and stress levels. I am always on a look out for gentle products that I could turn to when the inevitable happens. George, the founder of Bathing Beauty, kindly swapped a few emails with me (more like an in depth consultation if I am perfectly honest), and recommended a few products from her line. At the earliest opportunity (which was at the beginning of spring if I recall correctly), I purchased Anoint Facial Oil for Shy skin.

It is recommended for normal, dry or sensitive skin. I was a little apprehensive at first because my skin is combo towards oily in the summer, but it does tend to be a little more normal over colder months, in the end I went with my gut instinct and trusted George (trusting someone else to pick my skincare, that does not happen very often).The ingredient list is very simple which is a dream come true (I do love a facial oil with a super long list of all the latest  ingredients, but my skin does need a break from time to time).

INGREDIENTS: Vitis Vinefera, Borago Officinalis (borage oil), Punica Granatum ( pomegranate oil), Citrus Reticulata (mandarin oil), Anthemis Nobilis, (chamomile oil), *limonene, *linalool, *geraniol*, * naturally occuring in essential oils

 Do not be thinking that this blend is not powerful, the few ingredients that are used are all incredible for healing and keeping your skin supple. Borage oil is absolutely fantastic for sensitive skin, and it is also a lighter oil, so it does not overwhelm my skin. You might know borage by another name - starflower. It is an edible flower that is often served in restaurants. Borage oil can be taken as a supplement (the ones suitable for internal use that is), or with salads, but you should not cook with it.

Pomegranate oil is an antioxidant power house, it is supposed to help with healing skin that has been damaged by pollutants and generally beneficial for keeping your skin nourished. Mandarin oil is one of the friendliest citrus oils for skin and has a lovely fragrance, chamomile calms and soothes the skin. The blend has a very delicate light scent of the two essential oils, but you can tell by how mild it is that the concentration of the them is just right, and won't overwhelm the skin.

I almost feel bad for keeping this blend to myself for so long, because it works so well. The instructions on the bottle tell you to apply 6-8 drops to clean face at night, that is just too much for me, I use about 3-4 drops. When it was colder I was using it 4-5 times a week, then 3 times a week, and now only about once or twice a week, because my skin is getting too oily with the hot weather. I have to say that I did notice a difference after first not in how it looked, but in how it felt. When I go through a sensitive phase my skin feels super itchy, even my hair touching my face becomes a problem. After using this blend for Shy skin at night, the next morning my skin was calm, no itching, nothing. After a few weeks I noticed a difference to my complexion, it was a bit more glowy, more happy looking.

I love facial oils, and I have tried quiet a few, this one has made it into my special cabinet, reserved for most loved products. It will be indispensable this autumn, as my skin really hates the transitional seasons (i.e. autumn and spring). It is simply a product that looks after your skin and does it well, with no side effects.

A few words about the packaging: it comes in a dark brown glass bottle with a dropper. I really like the simplicity of the label, it is straight to the point and still esthetically pleasing. Apothecary style packaging happens to be my weakness, so Bathing Beauty ticks all the boxes for me. 

You get 25 ml of oil, but so far I haven't used up even 1/5 of the bottle, and I thought I was using it pretty regularly throughout spring. Luckily you can keep it for 12 months after opening, so all is not lost.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

New launch: RMS Beauty

Ever since Net-a-Porter started to stock beauty products they started to lead the way with exclusive pre-launches. If you browse their selection you will notice a few natural brands that managed to crossover and become popular outside of green beauty community.

I have reviewed RMS products on many occasions, but this new summer (or is it autumn?) collection that will be available from August (and already available  exclusively on Net-a-porter), is more exciting than any other colours they have introduced (I apologise to my RMS stash, I do love you all).

Lip 2 Cheek curious orange.

My search for a truly orange lip colour is over. I like to use orange lipstick every summer, it is a happy colour, looks great daytime or evening, and if you are lucky to have a tan than it is a match made in heaven. However, I have not been able to find a natural lippie that would be actually orange, they always tend towards peachy/coral or red. Now there is nothing wrong with that, all of those are beautiful, yet not what I wanted.

I thought I would do a quick colour comparison with the other orange lipsticks that I have. Ilia Dizzy is a sort of melon orange, and due to its sheerer nature, on my lips it turns a bit peachy. Ilia Voila is more of a red orange and is much brighter.

Curious has similar texture to Beloved (possibly Diabolique too), which is a little different to the other Lip 2 Cheek colours in the RMS family. It's texture is a little harder, therefore you pick up a little less pigment initially if you are using your fingers to apply it. That also means you can go down the sheer effect rout without having to work for it. Just a little hint of orange brightens up your face, and doesn't require much courage. With a second or third layer (depending on how orange you want to go), you get the full force of Curious. Mind you this shade is not overpowering, it sort of works with you, it manages to be very orange, very intense, yet soft and flattering. It is some kind of orange miracle. If you were expecting a neon bright colour however, Curious is not it.

The lasting power of Curious is pretty decent. I can not go more then 2 hours without having a drink in this heat, and after drinking carefully, pretty much most of the colour stayed on. But it did not survive lunch. So taking all the eating/drinking in to account, I would say you need to reapply every 3-4 hours.

Eye polish Inspire.

 First thing I noticed a]is instead of an eyeshadow this is called an Eye polish. I immediately needed to know why. This comes in two colours, I chose the blue shade. Blue is my favourite colour, but it doesn't always work when it comes to make. As this polish is meant to be worn sheer, I was just too curious about the effect (and I figured that if I love it, I could maybe put some money aside for August for the other colour).

It sort of reminds me of blue ice, like in cartoons and illustrations. Once blended you don't really see the blue, it looks silver, but a silver with a hint of warmth to it. A lot more flattering than any white shimmer eyeshadow I have ever used. For those who like simple makeup looks this is perfect. This colour is really flattering all on its own, you don't need to define your eyes with a darker shade close to the eyelashes, as is often the case with pale shimmers.

Now I have not used any eye make for the past month due to hayfever related itchiness, but I felt I needed to for the review (oh the sacrifices that I make, who am I kidding nothing would stop from trying this out). The texture of the eye polish feels slightly firmer than of the other RMS eyeshadows I have, it is almost as if it is a little dryer. Which is weird since ingredients are exactly the same ( am I imagining things in my old age?), but this could probably explains why I have noticed significantly less creasing with Inspire (it still creases a little after 4-5 hours, but it was less noticeable, and it took more time before creasing). Another explanation for better performance could be that it is a lighter colour, so creasing is less noticeable, who knows...

 I did not prime my lids with powder, which is what I often do for the eye shadows, because I did not want to overload my eyes at the moment.

Intensity wise i find that after initial fade after blending, it stays the same intensity for about 4 hours, then the colour fades a little more, but all the sparkliness stays, so it still looks very pretty. The finish is see through metallic, almost glossy with super fine shimmer.

Do keep in mind that I have been testing it over rather hot days, when most eyeshadows under perform, even more so cream formulations.

I am very pleased with both of these, and keep changing my mind which one is a favourite. I would love to add the other two products to my collection (Lip shine in Royal and eye polish in Imagine), I love purple hues for autumn, and these look very promising.

As it is now almost a tradition I could not resist a few colour combos (you can have a look at previous colour combos here and here).

Mixing Sacred and Curious creates a very bright, punchy coral, which would look spot on in the evening.

Karma and Inspire makes a beautiful silver grey, which could make low key smokey eye and would look beautiful with red lips.

For those who are into their vegan ingredients, there is no carmine in these, but they do have Beeswax.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

The Summer Edit: lip care

In the body oils Summer edit I was talking about the importance of boosting your skin with antioxidants. One thing that is often forgotten is that lips also need protection from the sun. But I have yet to see anyone applying sunscreen to their kissers ( I am sure there is someone out there who does, we just haven't met yet).

Luckily there are products specifically designed for lips that do contain SPF.

Hurraw lip balm spf 15. My love for Hurraw knows no bounds, the range of different flavours is astounding, packaging is pleasing to the eye and they are made with raw unheated ingredients. The sun balm, however is the true rock-star of the collection.

Not only does it smell pretty darn delicious, it also protects your lips from the harmful sun rays. Despite being in my bag during some pretty hot days, this little beauty has never melted. And have I mentioned the adorable shape of the tube? For sun protection as well as oils of raspberry, pomegranate and seabuckthorn, this balm has non-nano zinc oxide at the level of 10%.

But of course, as was the case with body care, SPF is not quiet enough, an extra antioxidant boost is needed to truly take care of your lips, especially in the summer.

Yuli cellular lip conditioner. This brand keeps going from strength to strength with truly unique concoctions. This luscious lip oil is a perfect partner to an SPF lip balm (you can use it on its own, but I like it better layered).

Full of skin repairing oils like Rosehip, Seabuckthorn, Raspberry and Pomegranate, this lip oil is a serious force against sun damage. It does feel a little different when you first start using it, almost as if you are applying a lip balm that melted. It is not something that I would use under lipstick (if you do give it 10-15 min to sink in) but it works great layered with a lip balm (like Hurraw above) for extra protection from the UV rays. The lip conditioner has a faint scent that smells very clean, reminds me of grass for some reason. Now this product has a short shelf life of 5 months after opening, so if take of the lid make sure you use it all up, it is way to precious to waste.

If I am going to be spending the day outdoors I will apply Yuli lip conditioner first, than Hurraw SPF balm. Reapplying the SPF balm regularly throughout the day, and then in the evening I use Yuli again as after sun care.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

The Sunday Sample files

As I was trying to get a little more organised with my stash of samples I decided to allocate a good sized box for them. However, I ended it up filling two boxes (one slightly smaller than the other) and a small basket. The worrying thing is that I am sure I have a few more samples stashed in different draws and after bringing a few more samples from the LNLO show, my stash is out of control.

I have had a pretty steady beauty routine going for quiet some time, and my skin has been pretty happy. I am not really testing anything at the moment that would require me to keep track of what I am using, so now is the perfect time to mess things up by using lots of different products! I am kidding of course, I will still be careful, but something needs to be done about this ever growing mountain of samples.

So I have decided to pick five samples from the stash at the beginning of the week. Do my best to finish them off (some are bigger than others) by Sunday and report my results. At the end I will enter the names in a file to help me keep track of what I liked and disliked, in order not to keep testing the same products over and over again (yep it has happened before). I will be also using a traffic lights system to distinguish between things: red for a definite no, yellow for the maybes, green for future purchases.

This week's picks are:

Ren eye gel. I am always a little on the fence when it comes to Ren because of their ingredients, however my eye area is super sensitive and only very few products seem to work. Gel formula for eye care is what works best for me in general, this particular one has been surprisingly good so far.  I am not 100% sure that I will repurchase, definitely maybe.

W3ll People Universalist #3. I have epically failed to use this up. It has a little sheen to it making it illuminating, and the colour tends towards plum. When blended on my skin it looks almost like a reddish bronzer.

 It seems to be ok if I put it on with the lightest touch, but honestly not my colour. I have Universalist in #6 & #8 and love them, #3 will not be joining my collection, a resounding no.

Tata Harper resurfacing mask. I have had a few of these samples and I really like this mask, I was really close to purchasing it on the field trip tour. Someday I will, a reassuring yes. It has a gel like consistency and has a light pink colour. My skin always feels fresher and brighter after I use it.

Pure thoughts mint & avocado foot balm. I love the packaging and this balm smells just like peppermint. The consistency reminds me of a salve.

 It is an overall pleasant product and I was thinking of putting it in the maybe category. The truth is I do have a foot cream that I am obsessed with, so I doubt I will ever purchase this balm, so it has to be a hesitant no.

Kahina serum. I adore Kahina argan oil and was excited to give this a go. The smell is lightly floral and very pleasant, consistency is also light and it left my skin nicely hydrated yet not oily...for the first 3 times. After that my skin was becoming itchy as soon as I used it. Now I do try to be careful with expiry dates and so on, but I couldn't recall how long I had this sample for. So there is a small chance that I am reacting to it because it is old, regardless, for now it is a no and it has been used up on my elbows.

The tally so far:

I feel like I only just scratched the tip of the iceberg, but I suppose it is a start. Tomorrow I will be choosing five new samples, and starting this process all over again.

Hopefully by the end I will have a clearer idea of what I have tried and what is actually worth purchasing.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Field Trip Tour Group B

You might be aware of  this awesome event that took place today called the Field Trip Tour, consisting of hopping around London's natural beauty stores. It was organised by the awesome ladies from the Call it Vanity blog (you guys rock!). As the shops are small the bloggers on tour were split up into two groups, I happened to be in Group B. The other members of the group: Katie (Katie Vibes), Amber (Amber's Beauty Talk), Ana (Ana goes green), Annabel (Fragmented Splendour), Evelyn (We Were Raised by Wolves), Liz (Well Meaning Being), Sabrina (Call it Vanity).

I mean seriously, what a fantastic bunch of people, it was just wonderful to be able to talk to everybody and get recommendations whilst browsing the shelves.

The first stop for me was Wholefoods Kensington highstreet ( girls met up at the Beauty Mart, I skipped it as it would have been too long a day for me). Mr. RF dropped me off and as he went about his business, I also asked him to pick up a few food related items for me. So technically I spent my money only on one thing: Zoya nail varnish.

The colour I picked up is Cole, and it is a muted nudy peach. It is glossy but has no shimmer. It looks gorgeous even with the shoddy trial paint job.

The wholefoods damage: £11.99

Next stop: Nature & Co.

This boutique is so light and airy despite the small size. Everything is so nicely presented, it was hard to pick what to go for. I was determined to be sensible and stick to a budget. I also picked up only one thing, even though we were all given a discount, I just wanted to get the things that I really lacked. The choice of brands is spectacular, many of them hard to find.

La Sultane de Saba is not a brand that I was previously familiar with, but I really like the simplicity and the beautiful packaging of this brand. I left with a jar of their Rose scented Shea butter. I think I made everyone smell it after trying it out, that is how much I liked it.

Katie and I split a goodie bag from the store between us, as there were some products she couldn't use, and some of the products I have tried before.

I am really looking forward to popping in to this shop when I am next in the area, maybe even make use of the Spa facilities.

The Nature & Co damage: £26.55

Last stop: Being Content.

I think it is pretty clear that I am a huge fan of the store. When all of us got in together I did realise that it is smaller than I originally thought, it is amazing how many products they stock, and it looks so well organised.

I managed to snag the last Lotus Wei Quiet mind perfume (the brand is reformulating, that is why there is low stock of their products in the shop at the moment, but it will all be back), this was a real bargain as it was already discounted, plus the discount we were given on the day on top of that.

I had to stock up on Content's own tea. A hayfever one that I promised to a friend and a brand new faux Coffee (so excited about this), which should be on the website soon. I also couldn't resist a few sachets of Amazing Meal ( I really like it, but I always spend my money on beauty stuff, so never have enough for the full size of this).

The last item is W3ll People Nudist colour balm #1. It is a sheer peachy coral, it looks lovely on, my preferred product for low key days, very hydrating too.

As we were in the shop some horses randomly pulled up, I wish I could take one home.

The goodie bag contents are rather spectacular, really looking to trying it all out.

The Content damage: £55.18

This makes the Field Trip Tour damage £93.72, and what do you know, I managed to stick to my budget, I can honestly say that is a first for me.

Today was such good fun, I only wish we got to hang out with the girls from Group A a little more, we saw them at lunch but only briefly. I also got completely distracted and did not take any photos of the girls. Although Sabrina was totally on it, so not all is lost.

Now can we make The Field Trip Tour an annual thing? I already have a wish list...

Friday, 11 July 2014

May Lindstrom the honey mud review

I have been a huge May Lindstrom fan ever since she launched on Spirit Beauty lounge. The clean dirt still has a special place in my beauty cabinet three years after I got my very first bottle. Last autumn I was so excited about the two new products being added to the line that I pre-ordered them from May's website.

Only about eight months later I am finally ready to do my review of the honey mud (well at least you can't say they I don't test my products thoroughly). To be perfectly honest I was ready to do this quiet some time ago, however I did want to see how it performs in different weather and so on. Without further delay, here are my thoughts.

 After looking at the ingredients list I was a little apprehensive due to the fact that one of them was colloidal silver. I decided to shoot May an email and received a very prompt reply. You might be familiar with Argyria (a condition that causes a blue tint to the skin due to excessive consumption of silver), and the fact that it is irreversible, the reason why it happens is that our bodies can not get rid of silver, and it just accumulates. The cases that got media attention were due to internal consumption, but there are a few cases of localised argyria from silver acupuncture needles penetrating the skin. The point being we are talking prolonged use, huge quantities, and not from topical application of products. While I did suspect that my unease might be a bit of an overreaction, I still had the image of smurfette at the back of my mind, hence the e-mail to May. Obviously after talking to her I decided to go ahead and get the honey mud.

If I lived in America I would only order from May directly, her packages come so beautifully presented, and there is always a card. As usual with her products it comes in a beautiful miron glass jar (miron offers greater protection from UV light), you get 100 ml worth of product.

The honey mud smells absolutely incredible, like creme brulee, I have to remind myself that it is skincare and under no circumstances should I eat it (my wallet would not thank me). The cleanser itself is quiet dense, but the consistency is very smooth, if you use it over damp skin it just glides. You can use it both as a daily cleanser or a treatment mask.

Initially I was using it solely as a cleanser. You only need a little bit, massaged over damp skin, and then rinsed off. I don't always get on with cream cleansers, so this is a great alternative for me. It leaves skin very soft and soothed. I do feel that it is best to go over with a toner afterwords, to make sure all of the cleanser has come of, alternatively I have been using in a conjunction with the Konjac sponge, and the two work brilliantly together (no need for toner if you removing honey mud with the sponge).

As I wanted to stretch out the contents of my jar as long as possible, I only recently started using it as a mask. Now that it is no longer my daily cleanser, I feel that it is ok to apply it a bit more liberally, which is required if you want the benefit of a treatment mask. I spread it over dry skin, and after about 10 minutes wash it off in the shower. This way I find that it also gives my skin a little protection from hot water at the same time. I have to say I've been missing out, honey mud makes an exceptionally good mask. As the ingredients suggest, you get the benefits from both clay and honey, which means thorowlly clean, detoxed skin, that is also soft and hydrated.

Now, May Lindstrom makes luxury products, and I am not going to pretend that they are anything else. They are expensive, which is reflected in the top quality packaging, ingredients and presentation of the products. You get a full on sensory, aromapheraputic experience as well as skincare in her products. The honey mud in particular is something that I look forward to using (very important for me, as to this day I find it difficult to stick to a skincare routine). Personally I find that it is worth the price tag, and you can absolutely make this jar last. By my calculations if you use it every day as a cleanser it should last about 4-5 months. However if you are more careful, and alternate it with other cleansers or use it as a weekly mask it could last much longer. I have been alternating mine as a cleanser for 3-4 month, and then using it as a mask every other week for the rest of the time, and I have just under half a pot left after about 7-8 months.

To the most important question, will I be buying honey mud again? Without hesitation Yes! This is a great cleanser for my combo skin during colder weather, gentle yet very thorough. As my skin gets a bit more oily during warmer months, I do feel that it needs a different approach, and in the summer this makes a perfect mask.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

The Summer Edit: soap

When it comes to soap it is hard for me to pick favourites. There are more than a few that I adore, yet some really do stand out for summer use.

When looking for a good all rounder for travel, Kahina Argan Rosemary Lavender soap would be my top choice. This is the ultimate multi-tasker that you can literally use head to toe, as it is suitable for use on hair, face and body. One of the ingredient is dried rosemary, which as well as giving this soap a lovely fragrance, provides some very gentle exfoliation.

 I am not always the biggest fan of lavender, but in this instance it works and I just can not get enough. The only drawback is that you have to buy a box of three bars as it this soap is not sold individually, which makes it on the pricey side. I do feel that it is well worth the money, this is one of the creamiest and most addictive soaps out there.

If you find that hot weather has been making the skin on your face and body oilier, or even causing breakouts then Soapwalla glycerine Activated charcoal and Petigraine soap is the one to go for.

This humble black square is a miracle worker when it comes to detoxing your skin without drying it out. As well as relying on the purifying power of charcoal it contains tea tree for antibacterial purposes, and salt that has wonderful cleansing properties.

When you are looking to save some time in the shower a soap with added exfoliation is just the ticket. Bulles et Molleculles Spring florals soap with rosehip and cucumber powder, is what I am favouring right now.

 I noticed that it is not available at the moment (they have now added some of these to their etsy store), so an even a better option in terms of exfoliation is the Coffee and Chocolate soap (I don't have it at the moment, but I have tried it previously). Ground coffee can really help with cellulite, making this bar pretty special, plus the scent is just epic.

A perfect partner for super sensitive sun ravaged skin is Bathing beauty Legendary organic honey and oat soap. Oats and honey both are incredibly soothing, while still working on gently slowing away dead skin cells.

 This soap has a very mild, maybe faintly sweet smell, to me it smells like coming home after a long day, incredibly relaxing. This is what I reach for after a day outdoors to wash away my sunscreen and sooth my skin. When you hold this bar in your hands you can be tricked into thinking that it could melt, all this creaminess ensures that your skin will not be loosing any moisture after bathing with this beauty.

While I concede that you do not need to have all of these soaps at once, having one of them will go a long way towards happier skin during the hot and often humid summer season.