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01 July 2015

Thirsty skin: my moisturising face masks

Back in December, I wrote my beauty resolutions for 2015 (see post here) and one of the things I wanted to integrate more in my beauty cabinet were moisturing masks. I felt that my skin diserved a good moisture treat at least one a week. Despite some occasional honey/ cucumber DIY facial treats , I needed to have more hydrating ready-to-use masks! And here are the ones I have picked (and received for Mother's day from my sweet children/husband).


Natura Siberica Energizing facial mask (€25.00 for 75ml)
This brand has been on my radar since a while and this mask could not come at a better time. Housed in a practical tube, the white and onctuous cream reminds me a bit of a thick moisturiser. It is designed to help restoring that glow and the hydration you lack if you are a tad tired, busy or restless. After cleansing, I leave it for a good 20 min which allows the great ingredients to get into action. Wondering which ingredients I am talking about? Well, the base of this mask is rich in classical emollients and emulsifiants (cetearyl alcohol and glyceryl stearate) so nothing realy outstanding here (but still working well!). However the rest of the formula is very attractive. There is a very interesting medley of antioxidant and anti-bacterial Wild haversted Siberian herb extracts which I have never seen before in product formulations. In adition, you can find Ginseng root extract which promotes skin healing whereas flavonoid rich Artic Asberry extract rejuvenates and brightens the skin.
I have been pretty happy with the results! After application, my skin is incredibly smooth and nurtured. I am still not so sure about the glowing factor, but moisturising and softening effects are definitely there. One thing than I am less fan of is the scent- subtle but nothing really exciting. At the end, this masks still delivers very well and is good at bringing a more smooth complexion.

Composition: aqua, capylic/capric triglyceride, glyceryl stearate, cetearyl alchohol, octyldecanol, coco-caprylate/caprate, glycerin, Helianthus annuus (Sunflower) seed oil*, Amaranthus Caudatus (Amaranth) seed oil*, Hippophae rhamnoides (Sea buckthorn) fruit oil*, Pinus sibirica Seed oil polyglyceryl-6 esters, Panax Ginseng root extract, Sorbus sibirica (Artic ashberry) extract, Hesperis sibirica extract, Anemonoides altaica extract, Calendula officinalis (Calendula) flower extract, Chamomilla recutita (Matricaria) flower water, Arctuim lappa (Burdock) root extract, Saponaria officinalis root extract, tocopherol, sodium stearoyl glutamate, xanthan gum, sodium hyaluronate, benzyl alcohol, dehydroacetic acid, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, parfum, citral, limonene, linalool.
*organic

Andalou Naturals 1000 Rosewater mask ($15.00 for 75ml)
I love roses so I can't be better served with a mask called 1000 Rosewater. It is designed for delicate and dry skins and it promises to restore skin moisture, comfort and appearance. I reach this mask approximately once a week (perhaps a bit more lately) after cleansing/exfoliation steps. I tend to leave it on the skin as long as my skins needs and it is often a good 30 minutes.
Although it has a lovely color, I am a tad disappointed by the texture: it is between a cream and a gel and it reminds me a bit of a pudding like consistency...yes.. I know! Its performance leaves me much more enthusiastic: I really like how my skin feels perfectly moisturised and plumped thanks to the Hyaluronic acid, Allantoin, Rosehip oil and some really nice plant extracts (Boswellin, Roselle). Rather than using water as a base, Andalou Naturals includes Aloe vera juice and Rose flower water, which are both really soothing for the skin. And the results are significant: skin completely healed and soothed, really soft and so comfortable. With its soft Rose flowery scent and its excellent moisture-boost formula, Andalou Naturals proves one more time that you can get excellent results without breaking the bank.
This mask is great for any skin type especially sensitive and dehydrated ones. It offers immediate relief and comfort.

Composition: Aloe barbadensis juice*, Rosa damascena (Rose) distillate*, Vaccinium macrocarpon (Cranberry) juice*, vegetable glycerin, pectin, Cyamopsis tetragonolobus (guar) gum*, Rosa canina (Rosehip) and Punica granatum (Pomegranate) oils, allantoin, Phytocelltec (Alpine Rose, Malus Domestica, Solar vitis) and Bioactive 8 Berry complex, Soothing complex ((Hyaluronic acid, Magnolia officinalis bark, Phoenix dactylifera (Date) leaf cell and Boswellia serrata (Boswellin) extracts,) panthenol (pro-vitamin B5), Camellia sinensis (White tea) and Hibiscus sabdariffa extracts*, tocopherol (vitamin E), phenethyl alcohol, ethylhexylglycerin, Citrus tangerina (Tangerine) and Pelargonium graveolens (Rose Geranium) oil*, Rosa centifolia (Rose) oil.
*organic

Have you tried those masks? What are you favorite hydrating masks?
(and don't forget to enter my GIVEAWAY here)


24 June 2015

Giveaway time!

Corpo Natura is a fantastic green online boutique retailing some fabulous beauty brands such as Suti, John Master Organics, Alima Pure, Prtty Peaushun and many more. If you haven't had a look at their website yet, please do it .. :-)!
Following my last post reviewing the beautiful Suti Organic Foot Balm (see post here), Corpo Natura and I have teamed up to offer you a top skincare product from Suti: the Facial Cleansing Balm (worth €44.00!), which is a luxurious face balm designed to gently lift away daily grime and make-up!
 I had the chance to sample it and let me tell you, my skin was left cleansed, radiant and smooth ...thanks to the beautiful blend of SheaAvocado and Cocoa butters. The balm is delicately scented with an infusion of fresh and zesty essential oils, a pure bliss! And what I also love is the tiny round grains of Shea butter that gently melt away when you massage the balm onto the face: very nice and very "Suti".
The Facial Cleansing Balm comes with a gentle organic muslin cloth, one that is perfectly suitable for sensitive skins.
A brilliant cleanser that cleanses but also nurtures the skin!

To enter this superb giveaway, you must enter the Rafflecopter box below.
- Only 2 options are mandatory and the rest will give you more entries.
- Reserved to European residents this time.
You can also follow Anouk, the founder of Corpo Natura on Instagram here, she is really friendly and professional!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Giveaway rules: European only. No purchase necessary. The prize will be sent directly by Corpo Natura. Competition runs until the 8th July 2015.
The winner will be announced on my Twitter/Facebook/Instagram and on my blog, and be also contacted by email. The winner has 48 hours to answer until another winner is choosen.



18 June 2015

Feet at its best with Suti Foot Balm + exciting news

I have introduced you a couple days ago Corpo Natura, a fantastic online boutique retailing some fabulous beauty brands such as Suti, John Master Organics, Alima Pure, Prtty Peaushun and many more (read my post here).
Anouk, the founder has generoulsy offered me to test the Fabulous Organic Foot Balm* from Suti. If you don't know Suti, then, today is a good opportunity to discover this lovely english organic brand. Soil Association certified, Suti offers an amazing range of organic skincare/bodycare products using the finest ingredients and they scent amazing! I met the two founders at the Natural and Products show in London a few years ago, and they are true beauty experts in their area.


       Summer is approaching (actually almost here!) and let's face it: feet are often the body part that is neglected. So the Suti Fabulous Organic Foot Balm* has been my little feet savior lately: a rich and onctuous balm infused with refreshing and invigorating Peppermint, antibacterial Eucalyptus and purifying Lemon essential oils. As the skin of the feet is usually dry and generally requires more moisture than any other parts of the body, the Suti balm brings all the great nutrients from nourishing Shea butter, regenerating Avocado and Olive plus the carotenoid-rich Carrot extract to regenerate and soften. The extremely repairing formula combined with a very uplifted scent makes this balm an amazing treat. What I like the most and what is very special about this product is the small and tiny beads of Shea butter that lovely melts away once you massage the balm. Really nice. Suti  Fabulous Foot balm is a great multi-tasker and I also use it on my knees and elbow which are often dryer than other areas.
      And if you don't know where to start with your feet, then you can read My little foot pampering guide here to turn them into the flip flop mode all year long!

An absolutely lovely balm! Retailing at €25.50 for 50 ml, it is not cheap but remember that each ingredient used is organic and that you only need a tiny amount to make your feet smooth as a baby's soft skin.

Get it here!

And now, it is time for the exciting news: Corpo Natura and I are collaborating to do a fantastic GIVEAWAY in a few days time! So Stay tuned!



15 June 2015

Introducing an exciting green beauty boutique: Corpo Natura

Today is a bit a special day. I am really excited to introduce a new green beauty online shop called Corpo Natura. Founded by Anouk Domingez,  it recently launched and I am even more happy because it is based in The Netherlands...and last but not least, it is beautifully done! It retails some fabulous and pretty unique beauty brands such as Suti, John Master Organics, Alima Pure, Prtty Peaushun, Kahina (...and more to come!).

Anouk has kindly agreed to answer to a few questions.

Could you tell me what inspired you to create Corpo Natura?

My interest in natural and organic cosmetics started out of a health concern. Some years ago I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease and adrenal fatigue. Prior to that, I wasn’t even aware of the importance of using natural cosmetics for our overall health. After a lot of research in the field, I jumped into a new, more vibrant and fulfilling lifestyle.

How do you stand out from other beauty retailers?

There are great retailers in the green beauty industry out there! But I prefer not to compare myself. As a small company we like to connect in a different way with people and clients, and we offer a complete personalized and flexible service putting attention to every little detail with a fresh and inviting image. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a company with that personal touch in The Netherlands.

How did/do select your beauty brands?
Most of our brands have renowned organic certification or organic ingredients. If they don’t, they must score maximum 3 on the Environmental Working Group (EWG) Skin Cosmetic Database. Therefore, they must be produced with the purest ingredients available. We also value companies which are committed to social causes or the environment in one way or another.

Last thought to share?
What we put in our skin is as important as what we eat. I am concerned about the Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals in many conventional brands, but our health worth much more than the extra euros we could spend buying organic cosmetics, and sometimes they are even cheaper than some high-end conventional brands. We really do not need a lot and every single jar can last for many months. My philosophy is buy less, choose wisely.

Thank you Anouk for taking part in my little interview. I have to say that I love your philosophy and totally agree with it!

Check out Corpo Natura luxurious online boutique here and enjoy the browsing/shopping experience....and stay tuned because there is more to come!


09 June 2015

Calming my skin with the Anti-redness duo from Marie-Veronique

Today I am very excited to write this post about Marie Veronique, a brand formerly called MV Organics. Why? Because I have been eyeing this american natural beauty brand for a long time! Founded 10 years ago by Marie Veronique Nadeau, this beautiful skincare/bodycare line offers solutions to acne-prone skins, ageing skins, sensitive skins and rosacea prone-skins through 3 different collections.
Marie Veronique offered me to send me a couple of products from the new PRO collection and I decided to go for the Mist de Jour and the Redness Relief also named the Anti-redness duo.



Mist de Jour ($20.00 for 60ml)
The delicate and very subtle scent of this mist will probably please most of us, including those who are usually very sensitive to overpowering flowery aroma or just look for something very discreet. I really like the smell, but not just that - it is the entire formula that is very interesting and pleasant. It was especially the attention to details to the formula that sparked my curiosity. Bursting with anti-oxidants thanks to Green and the White tea water, this mist is really good at calming and soothing the skin, especially in the evening after a long day. The anti-inflammatory effects are due the powerful blend of probiotics, Coconut water, and Chinese licorice extract alongside an intelligent healing blend of essential oils (Tumeric, Lavender, Helichrysum). It is perfect to use morning and evening, leaving the skin moistured and glowing. One good feature is that the spray delivers ultra-fine drops in a very uniform and subtle way. I am so enthusiastic about this mist that I just keep my bottle at bay all day long for a quick refreshing spray! A big thumb up for this wonderful toner!

Composition: Camillia sinensis (Green and White tea) water,  Cocos nuicfera (Coconut) water, Glycyrrhiza uralensis (Chinese licorice) extract, glucosamine HCL, sodium salicylate, niacamide (vitamin B3) probiotic complex, beta gluons.
Essential oils: Daucus carrot (carrot seed), Curcuma longa (Tumeric), Lavandula angustifolia (lavender), Helichrysum italicum (Helichrysum), Myrtus communis (Green myrtle).


Redness Relief ($80.00 for 30ml)
This is a water-based serum I like to reach out to in the evening to bring an instant yet prolonged calming moment to my skin. The texture is a big Oui for me: extra light, slighlty creamy, but showing an amazing absorption capacity. It is very easy to massage and does not leave any greasy film despite having a good proportion of Olive oil. The luxurious serum has been a super treat for my skin: it is packed with some of the most amazing anti-inflammatory ingredients - carefully selected to calm and shut down any unnecessary skin flushes and redness. To name a few (because the list is long!), you can find Rutin, a bioflavonoid which aims to improve blood circulation, rejuvenating Sea buckthorn oil, calming Chinese Licorice extract, and healing Niaciamide. I have been using it for a few weeks (one or 2 drops is sufficient for the entire face) and my skin is extremely settled and calmed! The scent is really discreet and pleasant.
This is one of my favorite serums so far. At $80 it is fairly expensive, but I believe it is worth it and lives up to the expectations: clean composition, excellent ingredients, wonderful texture, very nice scent, and very good performance and it lasts quite long. I have been really impressed by it and can't wait to try more of Marie Veronique line!

Composition: Camillia sinensis (Green and White Tea), Olea europaea (Olive) oil, Calendula officinalis (Calendula) hydrosol, Lavandula angustifolia (Lavender) hydrosol, Glycyrrhiza uralensis (Chinese licorice) extract, Hippophae rhamnoides (Sea bucktorn) oil, sodium salycilate, rutin, probiotic complex, glucosamine HCl, niacinamide (Vitamin B3), arabinogalactan, lycopene, non-GMO lecithin, xanthan gum.
Essential oils: Psidia altiissima (Lary), Curcuma longa (Curcumin), helichrysum italicum (Helichrysum), Lavandula angustifolia (Lavender).

As an overall, this calling duo is definitely a must-have if you suffer from occasional redness or even rosacea or if you just want to give you skin a little break. I totally recommend it! 

Get them here and enjoy!

What do you think? Have you ever tried Marie-Veronique?


05 June 2015

The beauty products that I find awesome!

Today,  I wanted to share with you the skincare and bodycare products or even beauty accessories that I am really fond of! Ready?


Konjac Sponge: a wonderful cleansing tool that combines a brillant effect on the skin and at a super price (full review here).

Aurelia Miracle cleanser: this is the most luxurious cleanser I have ever but totally worth it (full review here).

Acure Organics Argan oil: Simple and yet this is the perfect evening beauty oil for me (full review here).

Lotus Wei Quit Mind serum: totally love the discret scent and the original formulation of this serum which aims at bringing serenity and balance (no review yet).

bodhi&birch Himalayan detox salt scrub: one of the best body scrub I have ever tried if not the best. (full review here).

Cime Universal balm Himalaya 29N-81E: a fantastic and very unique beauty multitasker that can be used on the body or on the face (full review here).

Chidorya Hydrating facial soap Pure Silk & Rice Bran: the most delicate soap I have ever tried. So gentle and perfectly suitable to sensitive skin (full review here).

What do you think? What are THE products you really LOVE?


02 June 2015

Achieving of a matte skin with Cattier Purifying Gel Cream

My trip to France in summer (and winter) often involves multiple beauty visits to pharmacies or other beauty places (check my post Beauty shopping in France here) and strolling around the multiple racks of beauty products until I find what I came for.
Last time I went to France I had my eye on the Cattier Purifying Gel Cream and decided to buy it. If you don't know Cattier, well, you may be missing out! This natural french brand has gained more and more popularity over the last few years due to an affordable price point and some very interesting products (such as Clay masks). For warm/bright Spring/Summer days, I need a really light moisturiser and ideally I want one that does not just melt on the skin after a few hours of the July/August sun. So how is Cattier Purifying Gel Cream performing?


Product name: Cattier Purifying Gel Cream
Certified: yes (Ecocert)
Texture: gel
For: Troubled skins
Price: €9.00 for 50ml

My opinion

My skin tends to be a bit more oily in the Spring/Summer, so I thought the Purifying gel cream could really help. 
What can I say about it? It is a white gel that aims at targeting specific skin concerns such as sebum overproduction and/or breakouts. It is water-based so the serum is very light - almost not perceptible. It immediately absorbs and leaves a matte and refreshed skin. You could apply another face moisturiser afterwards, but I often choose to not do so as this would feel too heavy for the season (although I occasionnaly wear the MyChelle SunSchied unscented (see review here) afterwards). My skin appears to be almost tightened right away, feeling very tonic at the same time. Good results so far! Formulation-wise, I would say that it combines simplicity and efficacy. The astringent and antibacterial effects of the Mint extract is counter-balanced by the moisturising properties of the glycerin. The serum also contains one of my favorites flower water: the Orange flower water known for its amazing scent and its calming effects on the skin. The mineral silica, also present in the serum, is excellent in managing oily skin as it absorbs excessive sebum. 
As an overall, I do find this serum is working very well and does exactly what it says: purifying and even out the skin. For less than 10 euros, this is a pretty good beauty buy! It is perfectly suitable for combination skins too as you can apply the serum only on specific areas. For sensitive skins, I would recommend patch testing before use.

... my best matifying beauty friend!

My overall rating: 8/10

Composition: aqua (water), Mint (Mentha piperita) extract*, Citrus Aurantium Amara flower water*, glycerin, silica, xantham gum, Aloe Barbadensis leaf extract, sodium benzoate, benzyl alcohol, polyglyceryl-10 laurate, lactic acid, linalool.

Get it here.

Do you know Cattier? What is your staple moisturiser for a oil-free finish?


26 May 2015

Skin, enzymes, peptides: what you need to know.

Some green and (non-green) beauty companies, beauty websites, and/or magazines can use quite a bit of scientific jargon to describe/highlight the advantages of the beauty products they sell, talk about or praise.
However consumers are not always familiar with the language they use and it may sometimes even be misleading. Consumers may, for example, mistakenly think those complicated ingredients imply effectiveness or quality, while others think they are non-natural or even toxic... And, on the other side, users of this vocabulary not uncommonly demonstrate a clear lack of understanding themselves!
In today's post, I thought it would be useful to explain some of the terminologies that I encounter most often in beauty.


Skin- Made of various layers, the stratum corneum layer in the epidermis is THE outer structure of the skin and functions as a barrier against the environnement/microbes. Different cell types are interconnected with each other and glued together with the help of various lipids such as ceramides, fatty acids and cholesterol.

Cell- It is a very small unit that is able to multiply, differentiate, migrate under internal/external factors. There are a lot of different types of cells in our body. In the the skin epidermis, the most common cells are the keratinocytes which produce and release a protein called keratin responsable for the structure of the skin.

pH (known as "potential hydrogen")- The skin layer has a acidic pH which plays a great antimicrobial and protective role. It also allows all the enzymes pH-dependant to process all the different fonctions of the skin cells.

Amino acids- These 20 molecules are the building blocks of peptides and proteins. Only 10 can be produced by the body, the rest should be supplied by food.

Peptides- These molecules are structurally very similar to proteins but just smaller. You often hear about peptides in skincare cream, correct? Well, I will focus on that in another post.

Proteins- There are so many of them in our body, you wouldn't believe it! They are made and released by cells (and in a simplified way, you can also get them from the food). Some can be classified as structural other as hormonal or as enzymatic. Their structure define their biological properties.

Enzymes- These molecules are proteins that catalyse chemical reactions- essential in our body. Please bare in mind that the word chemical used here is not about something being bad or good, it is just the true way to call the type of biological processus within the living world. Enzymes play a very important role in any cell fonctions, and again, they are a lot in our body and around us (yes, in plants, animals, virus etc).

Starting from here, stay tuned for some follow-up posts where I will explain a bit more the function of (certain) peptides, enzymes or amino-acids in beauty products.