Saturday, 28 December 2013

Indie Lee calendula eye balm review

My obsession with balms is spreading to all aspects of my skincare, I already have have balms for my body, balms for my face and lot's of healing and multi-purpose balms so I am very excited today to be bringing you a balm for your eyes, yes that's right an eye cream in form of a balm, I was so excited when I saw this product as part of the Indie Lee collection that I couldn't wait to try it out.

Friday, 27 December 2013

RMS Beauty lip2cheek and lip shine review

RMS LIP2CHEEK in Smile swatched lightly

    I knew the minute I popped my RMS cherry with the much loved "UN" COVER-UP (see my review here) that I would be adding more RMS to my make up collection and after having these products for a few months I knew I should finally be sharing them with you. First off I have to say that I love Rosa-Marie Swifts philosophy, she has created her make up to be full of nutritious ingredients and it centres around the star ingredient in the line coconut oil. Rosa Marie Swift herself is a make up artist which I am convinced is a mayor part of the success of the line, due to the fact that the brand has a gorgeous mixture of classic and on trend colours that cater for everyone no matter what their skin tone. On to the products: 

    RMS LIP2CHEEK in smile (£28 for 4.25 grams) is such a unique colour it is described as "Sheer modern coral with a fifties feel" on the RMS site and I would definitely agree with that, this does look slightly more pink on my cheeks due to my natural high colouring but it does keep some of the pretty coral twist. Due to the coconut oil in the formulation these become quite hard in the winter and require a bit of warming up with the fingers, of course if you are a warm climate (lucky you!) then this may not be an issue. I use this over liquid and powder foundations and it applies beautifully and lasts a really long time on the cheeks considering it is a cream product, yes it is pricey but I honestly feel that this is such a good investment especially if you pick a classic colour which you love. Now smile is definitely a beautiful colour for the spring summer but I have been wearing it a lot, at least a few times a week and it always gives such a pretty flush that I use it all year round. The only other thing to say is that smile is the only colour in the range that has any synthetic pigments due to the fact that this colour couldn't be made completely naturally. I personally do not mind at all, let's face it if a make up loving green gal can't have RMS then what can she have, it's a trade off I am more than happy to make for such a pretty colour. 

    RMS lip shine in bloom (£17 for 5.67 grams) Is a much glossier formulation compared to the LIP2CHEEK as you would expect for a product that has been formulated purely for the lips. The colour bloom gives a very light pink flush and is what I would describe a "your lips but better" shade. I get a lot of use out of this as an everyday colour, especially when I am going for a no-make up, make up look. I am a little on the fence with this one however, not because I don't like the formula but because I wish I had picked a bolder colour with more pay off, bloom is pretty but in my opinion not pigmented enough to justify the price tag. However I know that I will be adding more colours to my collection so it hasn't put me off buying more and as I have already said I love the brands philosophies and ingredients. The formula is very nourishing and needs to be applied every couple of hours to keep the colour and shine. 

    The brand is available in the UK from Naturisimo, Being content and Love Lula. I would love to hear any recommendations you have for me, what colours do you love from the brand? 

Ana x 


Monday, 23 December 2013

Skin prep: Weleda Iris moisture mask

    I generally think a good routine is all you need for good skin, however there are some products I look too as specific problem solvers and to prepare for a special occasion. Recently with all the extra stress the month of December brings I have been reaching often for the Weleda Iris Hydrating mask  (£13.50 for 30 mls) to balance, hydrate and moisturise the skin. 

    This is in fact my second tube of this mask, I have been using it for about six months but this month it has been a firm favourite so it seemed like the perfect time to review it. Weleda uses a lead plant for each of it's ranges and the Iris range is dedicated to combination skin. Iris is not an ingredient that I have seen in any other ranges making this product from Weleda quite unique, Iris root extract is used alongside cucumber to moisturise and cool the skin. Also included in the ingredients is sweet almond oil and jojoba which are nourishing and help to replenish the skins barrier. 

    I love Weleda as a brand but I do want address the only negative that I have about their products fairly early on in this review and that is the high alcohol content. Weleda use food grade alcohol as a preservative, and this product in particular has quite a strong scent of alcohol. I do find the alcohol content varies between their ranges and I like the rose and almond range because they suit my skin type well and seem to have less of it. With that out of the way I have not found the alcohol to have a bad effects on my skin or affect the way the product works but I would prefer it if Weleda used less of it. 

    This is a hydrating mask, it has a creamy consistency and I love to pop this on in the bath. My skin drinks this mask up whenever I use it, there is never much left on the skin to wipe away, I like that it doesn't set hard and any residue is easy to remove. When I use this my skin is just that little bit more plump and balanced, it looks that bit brighter and softer, I love the instant results you get from a mask and for that reason this one will be staying in my routine. In terms of green credentials it really doesn't get any better than Weleda, in fact they have recently won a sustainability award for their continued contribution to sustainability leadership, Weleda have been using bio-dynamic and organic ingredients since 1921 when the brand was founded and they are certified natural and organic by Natrue. 

    I have so many Weleda products on automatic repurchase and I have to say I have added this one to that list. What face masks are you loving right now? 

Ana x 

Monday, 16 December 2013

Introduction to Apivita

    Greek brand Apivita was created by Nikos and Niki Koutsianas when they met in a Greek Pharmacy in 1972, the couple were both pharmacists and they went on in 1979 to create Apivita using bee products and Greek herbs. The name Apivita means the life of the bee and the brand uses beeswax, honey and propolis throughout it's ranges, sourcing them from their own beehives as well growing a lot of their other ingredients on their organic herb farms.

    Given the history of the brand and the commitment they have to using medicinal herbs in the range I was very excited to get the chance to sample some of the products. I was sent a beautifully packaged parcel, I always love it when a brand takes care to make the experience of using their products extra special and I think that is certainly the case with Apivita. Here are the products I have been sampling:

    Apivita eco-bio baby and kids caring oil with Lavender and Calendula* (£16.00 for 150 mls) Whilst this product is marketed for babies and children I love lavender and chamomile so I really wanted to try it and I am so pleased I did because it is simply a gorgeous oil. This is a 100 % natural oil with organic ingredients certfied by ICEA, the ingredients as you would expect for a children's product are gentle and nourishing including sweet almond, jojoba and calendula. The scent of this is so fragrant and yet so delicate at the same time, the spray dispenser is brilliant and I love using this before bed for a relaxing treat.

    Apivita Wine Elixir Face oil* (£39.50 for 30 mls) I love a good oil, actually I adore a good facial oil, and consider them to be the best and most effective part of my routine. The gorgeous serum uses grape oil and lupine to reduce wrinkles and firm the skin, I haven't got any visible lines yet but I love this oils wonderful moisturising properties and I use anti-ageing oils as a preventative measure, after all it's easier to prevent than it is to treat. Olive oil, sunflower oil and almond oil provide the skin with moisture and fight free radicals and it is wonderfully scented with Neroli, Patchouli, Clary sage and geranium and is a truly beautiful product. 

    Apivita organic lip care with honey* (£6 for 4.4 grams) Is one of the most gorgeous lip balms I own, it has a lovely thick consistency and smells of sweet honey. This has been in my handbag since I received it and it has been my lip balm of choice during this cold dreary weather. It leaves the lips feeling so soft and supple thanks to the olive fruit oil, avocado oil sunflower oil and of course the precious honey. 

    Express gold Anti-fatigue moisturising eye patches* These aren't listed on the Marks and Spencer's website so I have linked the international site instead. I was intrigued by the concept of these patches and I loved how they nourished and brightened the eye area with precious rose and the lesser used prickly pear which moisturisers and soothes. I loved these and thought they were perfect for preparing for a special occasion. 

    I like the fact that Apivita are transparent and passionate about their ingredients, you can find full lists on the International site, overall the range is one that has some great products and I think it is one that will appeal to beauty lovers as well as those who love a natural brand with history, they are constantly striving to improve what they do and that really appeals to me. You can find the brand in Marks and Spencer's in store and on-line. I think we will be hearing a lot more from Apivita in the UK. 

Ana x 
*PR sample

Monday, 9 December 2013

Ilia lip conditioners review: Arabian nights and Bang Bang

    If you are still looking for the perfect Autumn winter colours for your lips, then look no further than Ilia tinted lip conditioners. Ilia is a brand that has such a lot of love in the green beauty community and rightly so, they make sophisticated on trend lip colours with gorgeous skin loving ingredients, what's not to love! 

    Ilia is the brain child of Canadian born Sasha Plavsic and is a brand that is a rarity in the green beauty world, one that combines style with organic and sustainable ingredients. The gorgeous packaging is recycled aluminium, and is just stunning. 

    The first Ilia product to enter my life was Arabian nights, described as beautiful berry stain these lip conditioners look very bold in the tube but they transfer just the right amount of colour to the lips to make them very wearable even for a bit of a colour novice like me. I love this shade, it makes me feel confident when I wear it, it lasts a good amount of time for a moisturising finish and it fades nicely without bleeding or clinging to any dry patches. Next came bang bang, first of all I love the names and second this is a great wearable red for the holiday season, I only have two colours in my collection so far but it won't stay that way for long! 

    The ingredients in these lip conditioners are just the thing to moisturise the lips, most conventional lipsticks even high end are just a petroleum base which is a very cheap ingredient, these contain a lovely mix of jojoba oil, cocoa seed butter, Vitamin E and they are delicately scented with jasmine and vanilla, making them make up with skincare benefits in my book. 

    Both Arabian nights and Bang Bang are quite similar, in fact I am not sure I needed both but I know they will both get a lot of use anyway. Bang Bang is definitely more red and slightly more pigmented than Arabian Nights with Arabian nights having much more of a pink undertone and being slightly sheerer, but it can be built up if you want to. 

 Bang Bang on the Lips 
Arabian Nights on the Lips 
    The tinted lip conditioners cost £20 so they are definitely a luxury product but I love them and use them a lot which for me absolutely justifies the price tag. You can find the full Ilia range in the UK at Being Content. 

Ana x 


Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Pai skincare packaging has had a make over!

    I have been a fan of the British brand Pai for some time now, in fact the Chamomile and Rosehip moisturiser* and the Camellia and Rose cleanser were two products I reviewed a long time ago. I buy the Camellia and Rose cleanser on a regular basis and it is perfect if you are looking for a cream cleanser that is suitable for sensitive skin or if you want just one cleanser that can do the job of make up remover and cleansing whilst leaving the skin soft and clean. Pai formulates all of it's products for even the most sensitive and allergy prone skin, founder Sarah Brown is passionate about this due to the fact that she suffered from a very severe skin allergy herself for many years. The moisturisers are all soothing and nourishing with a gorgeous blend of plant oils and with four to choose from you are sure to find one that is perfect for your skin. 

    Today though I wanted to talk about Pai's new packaging for their moisturisers which is simply brilliant. The moisturisers now come in a larger 50 ml size making them ml for ml even better value than they were before. The white frosted glass and airless pump bottle will keep the ingredients fresher for longer and will ensure that you can get every last drop of product out. The bottle looks absolutely beautiful and the heavy glass makes it feel very expensive even though they are brilliantly priced considering the quality of ingredients used. 

    The moisturiser itself includes C02 extracted German chamomile which has high levels of Matricine and Chamazulene which help to calm the skin and plenty of Omega oils including 3, 6, 7 and 9 this cream really does work well for reactive skin and reduces redness and inflammation. 

    If you have been wanting to try Pai's moisturisers now is the perfect time, in fact pop one on your Christmas list or simply treat yourself. You can find the full moisturiser range here

Ana x 
*PR sample

Monday, 2 December 2013

Gift ideas with Bloom remedies

    Cornish Organic brand Bloom remedies has become a firm favourite of mine, with it's wonderful formulations all handmade in small batches with impeccable ingredients lists and scents that are divine all with an incredibly reasonable price point the brand is a great one to try if you are looking for organic beauty gifts that won't cost the earth. Today I wanted to share with you this sweet little lip balm duo which would make an ideal stocking filler or small gift. 

    The organic lip balm gift sets* (£8 for two lip balms) comes in a gorgeous cardboard sleeve, it has lovely handmade feel to it whilst the ribbon and and the label are pretty enough to really make this an ideal gift. These would be great for Mums, Aunties, sisters, cousins or beauty lovers as well as making lovely gifts for teachers if you have school aged children. The balms themselves come in metal tins and they smell absolutely divine, I have the Strawberry and the Caramel versions but you can choose which combination you would like, with the other scents being citrus, mango and lime, cardamom and peppermint. 

    With Shea butter, beeswax, cocoa butter and coconut oil these are moisturising treat for the lips perfect for anyone like me who has to have a lip balm in every part of the house. Any natural beauty lover will love Blooms ethics and ingredients but these will go down well with everyone, whether they use natural beauty or not. 

    Bloom also has a great selection of other skincare and body care gifts including gorgeous facial oils which are packaged beautifully and are an absolute steal at just £15. You can find the full range of gifts that Bloom has to offer here

Ana x 

*PR sample


Sunday, 1 December 2013

New release: Nourish Kale enzymatic exfoliating cleanser

    The Nourish Kale enzymatic exfoliating cleanser* (£16.50 for 50 mls) has a bit of a tongue twister of a name but just like all the other Nourish products I have tried it's a product with fantastic ingredients and a hard working formula. Nourish is a regular on this blog and a brand that I go back to again and again, this is the latest addition to the range and they are continuing with the Kale theme as seen in the eye cream and hand cream releases. 

    This is said to be a multi-tasking product, cleanser, mask and facial all in one. The product has a very unique texture, whilst it isn't gritty at all and the product is soft I didn't find the texture leant itself to being used as a cleanser in my opinion. How I did love to use it was by apply a layer to clean skin and leaving for 5-10 minutes for a fast acting mask and treatment that leaves the skin looking brighter and fresher thanks to the pomegranate enzymes that gently exfoliate and the star ingredient Kale that makes the skin supple. Nourish give you three ways to use this and I use the revitalising facial method, as the mask starts to dry I spritz with a toner and massage until I decide it is time to remove with a warm flannel. 

    Being the rebel that I am I also leave it on a couple of minutes longer than directed by Nourish, I find this gives the best results but always make sure you patch test and take all the relevant precautions, I won't be held responsible for blotchy faces as you know your skin best. As far as exfoliating treatments go I found this to be perfect for my sensitive skin, gentle but visibly brightens when used like a treatment, I have seen other reviews that also rate this a cleanser but personally I found leaving it on for five minutes a much better way to use and given the price point and size I like to get my moneys worth from it. With 81% organic ingredients, certified by the Soil Association this is a clever little mask I would undoubtedly buy again as it is especially useful for a mid-week pick me up when you don't have time for lengthy pampering. 

Ana x 

*Sample generously provided as always all thoughts, opinions and beauty musings are my own and I am regular Nourish customer too.

Seascape Island Apothecary body butter

    With winter in full swing and Christmas nearly upon us it seems like the perfect time to share this beautiful body butter from Seascape with you, this gorgeous pot is packed full of thick luxurious body butter brimming with skin loving ingredients and feels so luxe to use it would make a perfect present, in fact I would love to find this under my tree this year. 

    Seascape Island apothecary are a brand that have been on my radar for a while, the brand is based on the beautiful Island of Jersey and they source all of their ingredients ethically and from local producers where possible, they include lot's of wonderful natural ingredients in the range such as lavender, rosemary and beeswax. The brand has been awarded the blue butterfly symbol of positive luxury, which is awarded to companies that are passionate about minimising their environmental impact. 

    The Soothe Body butter* (£22 for 200 mls) feels utterly decadent with the fabulous mix of Lavender, cocoa butter, beeswax, rosehip oil, sweet almond oil, grapeseed oil and Shea butter. The smell is perhaps my favourite thing about this, it is the most delicate and beautiful lavender scent I have ever smelt, it almost has a creamy quality to it which is difficult to describe. When applied to the skin this is beautifully thick and moisturising but it dries to a completely matte finish on the skin, so there is no waiting to get dressed making it perfect for using in the mornings as well as evenings. 

    If you want something more nourishing than a body lotion but don't like your products to leave a residue on the skin then this is for you. The fragrance alone is heavenly and very relaxing, I like the brands ethics and commitment to sustainability. In terms of ingredients I chose the body butter to review because it is the purest product that they make and it has lot's of fabulous ingredients, it was also short listed for a free from skincare award this year. All of the products have the individual ingredients listed so check the website for individual product details, the whole range is free from SLS, Silicones, parabens and mineral oil as well as artificial colour and fragrance. 

     This would make a lovely gift for a loved one or you could treat yourself to some pampering. Have you tried any Seascape products? 

Ana x
*PR Sample
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