26 January 2015

A really nice beauty brand : The Victorian garden organic skincare company

I love discovering new organic beauty brands and when the Victoria Garden organic skincare company from South Africa proposed me to sample some of their products, I could not refuse. I was lucky enough to be able to choose which products I wanted to test. Apart from following Cassidy from the The Glam green girl,  I do not know much about South African beauty market.
Inspired from the british old century and all the beautiful scents, the Victorian garden organic skincare company features an amazing choice of skincare, bodycare and haircare products all free from silicons, talc, SLS, parabens.
I choose to receive the clay cleanser, a facial polish and an eye cream. And this is what I think...

The 7 herb purifying clay cleanser ($10.00 for 100ml)
This delicious green kaolin-based cleanser combines 7 anti-inflammatory plants extracts (Melissa, Plantain, Spearmint, Eldeweiss, Yarrow to name a few) with some Shea butter, botanical oils such as Marula and a plethora of skin-healing botanicals extracts. A couple of additional ingredients caught my attention. The first one is Mafura seed butter, a rich butter mainly found is Southern Africa and widely used for its revitalizing and healing properties. I was also intrigued by the Coltsfoot extract, apparently known to be antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory.
The texture of this cleanser is sort of foamy, really light yet creamy. The kaolin is ideal for purifying the skin and drawing out any imprurities and make-up. Because of its quite complete and effective composition, I use this cleanser in the evening twice a week. I use it as a deep-cleanse treatment rather than a basic cleanser. Not only the skin is left really clean and purified, but I also have the impression that it helps very much to unify and improve skin glow.
The only drawback for me is the rather small contenance…I just wish the tube was bigger! This cleanser is definitely a very great choice for those suffering from breakouts. If you also look for a sort a mini-facial treatment at home, this one also ticks all the boxes.

The Queen Catherine's Pomegranate and Lemon exfoliating facial polish ($12.00 for 50ml)
 This thick and rich skin polisher bursts with some nice bioactive ingredients that give you a smooth and clear skin. To list a few, you can find soothing Almond, Olive and jojoba oils alongside with some extra-thin Bamboo powder that helps to smooth off dead cells and daily grime. The nice concentration of plants and fruit extracts (blueberry, watermelon, aloe vera) helps to improve radiance and skin emerges really fresh. The fresh feeling is also due to the presence of Lemon essential oil which gives a slight zingy twist to the scrub. The really rich texture makes the facial polish perfectly suitable for any type of skins. It comforts the skin and helps to soothe and nurture. I am a big fan of face exfoliants and this one is defintely one that I have been enjoying. As an overall, this is a very well-balanced product and again, a rather good surprise!

The Queen Catherine's Elderflower and eyebright eye cream and lip cream ($9.00 for 20ml)
This rich and onctuous cream associates the perfect texture to soothe tired eyes with wonderful calming bioactives. The perfect blend comprises some great moisturising ingredients such as Shea butter and glycerin. Enriched in Vitamin E and A, this cream helps to smooth away fine lines. I find it very nourishing yet light enough to be used for the eye area even in the morning before applying make-up. I have been using this cream for a good 3 months now and I have been really impressed by it. I like the practically of the packaging as well: you only get the amount you want. Ideal to use for travelling or to keep in your handbag for a last minute soothing retouch. The smell is super delicate and soft, very floral. Well, another really pleasant surprise for this brand that doesn't spark so much by its elegant design but definitely by its great savoir-faire.

If you want to have more info, have a look at their website.
(The Victorian organic skincare company does not retail in Europe or USA yet but I hope it will soon!)

... a superb natural and really affordable natural beauty brand than need to be discovered!
Have you heard of this brand? what do you think?

22 January 2015

Face toners: why, how and which!

It is not only the quality and effectiveness of a beauty product that counts. Following a good skincare routine is at least equally important to get the best out of your favorite beauty products and to maximise your chance of having a glowing and flawless complexion! And today I will focus on one of my favorite step in my skincare routine: toning.

Why to use a toner?
Here are some key benefits of a high quality toner:
  • It completes the cleansing.
  • It refreshes, calms, and softens the skin.
  • It helps to rebalance the skin's pH.
  • It boosts the radiance of the skin.
  • It prepares the skin and maximises the results of the following treatments (oil, serum or moisturiser).
How to use it?
My routine is to cleanse my face first using a very gentle cleanser (love this one and this one). Then I delicately spray the toner onto the the face and neck (you can also use a damp (organic) cotton ball with the toner and smooth over the face in circular motion). I then gently pat dry my face with a clean fine towel. My skin feels revived and unified.
I prefer to apply the toner in the morning and before going to bed, but once a day could be sufficient as well, depending on your skin needs and preferences.

Which to use?
First rule: choose your toner accordingly to your skin type or what you want to offer to your skin.
Second rule: choose a toner that does not contain a high proportion of alcohol (which can be quite drying and irritant).

Here are some toner suggestions, depending on your personal objectives:

MoisturisingThermal waters (Evian, Jonzac), Caudalie grapefruit water, Juice beauty hydrating mistbodhi&birch rosa rosa hydrating toner, R.L. linden & Co thousand petals beautifying mist.

Purifying- Odylique Balancing citrus super tonic, Therapi Honey skincare lemon Myrtle anti-bacterial toner, NYR purifying palmarosa toner.

Balancing- The little Alchemist Wild apple and Mint antioxidant balancing mistYours Truly Organics balancing toner, NYR Witch hazel water.

Rejuvenating- Chidoriya moon herbal water, Fig+Yarrow complextion water, Yuli skincare metamorphic elixir.

Calming- Thermal water (Avene, La Roche-Posay), Pai Lotus and Orange blosssom bioaffinity tonic, Caru lavender+chamomille organic facial toner.

If you notice that your skin is not at its best or perhaps more reactive, I would try to keep your beauty routine as simple as possible and use thermal water instead of a traditional toner. Also I believe it is best to avoid an "overuse" of any beauty product. "Too much " does not necessarly mean "better". It is important to learn to listen to your skin!

Do you include any toner in your routine? Which toner do you like the most?

19 January 2015

Deodorant review: the Schmidt's deodorant Lavander+Sage

Today, I am excited to talk to you about the Schmidt's deodorant. You know it? I had the chance to try it when I won a Petit Vour box some time ago. This little icon is already quite popular in the US but is surely arriving in Europe! Based in Oregon, the Natural Schmidt's deodorant company claims that their little baby will "change the way I think about deodorants". Well, let's see.

Product name: Schmidt's deodorant lavender+sage
Certified: no
For: any skin types
Texture: paste
Price: $9.00 for the full size (60 grs)

My opinion

I am a massive fan of the Skin Likes deodorant, a fresh and lovely scented water-based deodorant, so I was a bit on the fence when I started to use the Schmidt's deodorant.Why? because the Schmidt's deodorant is nothing like any deodorants I have used before.
 It is actually a big solid white paste made of Shea butter, Cocoa butter and baking soda. You have to scratch the paste and apply a small amount under the armpits. Since the paste is quite solid, you need to warm it up a bit before and gently massage it. I was offered the travel size sample which is good enough to last a rough 3 months. The only thing is that it does not come with any tool or scoop. I have to use instead a clean kitchen spoon or my fingers to get a bit of the product out. Not really hygienic and handy.

Although it is a bit of a struggle to apply, the deodorant itself has a lovely texture. It can scramble but it really melts easily and is absolutely not greasy (I was so afraid that it leaves any residues/stains on my clothes). But the thing that wows me the most is the scent. It is lovely! Ok, lavender aroma has always been a big favourites of mine (I grew up in France where our garden was packed with lavender buds - hence the love). To combat body odor, the antiseptic lavander essential oil is  combined with anti-bacterial clary sage oil. and effective absorbant Bicabornate soda.
The deodorant works really effectively and protects well all day long. No irritations at all and my sticky-free armpits are quite happy!

As an overall, I love the results of the Schmidt's deodorant Lavender+Sage but I did not enjoy so much the application so I am not yet convinced to purchase the full size.

... excellent for those who has time in the morning!

Get it here.

++ perfomance and smell
-- messy method of application

My overal rating: 6.5/10

Composition: Butyrospermum partkii (shea butter), Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), Maranta arundinacea (arrow root), Theobroma cacao (cocoa) seed butter, Salvia sclarea (clary sage) essential oil, Lavandula (lavender) essential oil, tocopherol (vit E), Humulus lupulus (hop) extract.

What do you think? Have you tried it?

12 January 2015

My top 5 beauty resolutions for 2015

The beginning of a new year is always a a great moment for resolutions and... hopefully to keep it up all year along. So today is a great day to share my top 5 beauty things that I intend to do a bit more in 2015. Yes, I sometimes (or... often) lack time so I will use this post as a reminder for myself too!

1- Taking more care of my hair. While I love to experiment with good shampoos and hair products, I have to confess that I often run out of time when it comes to hair masks, haircuts...etc. My hair is quite easy to manage and luckily they seem to be in a good shape. Having said that, I'm sure they will be happy to benefit from some more special pampering every now and then.

2- Applying a good moisturising organic face mask. I rarely run out of any type of products/samples but the one that seems lacking quite frequently is a great and effective moisture boost when my skin is really dehydrated and just need to have plenty of replenishement. I do some DIY beauty recipes instead but I would rather have a quicker way to deal and treat my skin. Hence a good moisturising organic face mask is top on my list to buy. I may do a review if I found one!

3- Doing more face massage. Having a great collection of beauty products helps to get a better skin, but I do believe that it also comes down to respecting a good beauty ritual. I have been a bit lazy when it comes to face massage, although I really want to tackle it at least twice a week (let's keep it realistic). Skin massage helps to boost blood circulation and is awesome at improving product penetration and giving this nice red tint on the cheeks!

4- Going at least once to a spa/sauna. If none of you have experienced the Dutch sauna, then I really dare you to try it when you next visit the Netherlands. It is absolutely worth it!!! It is really part of the culture here. The saunas/pool are amazingly well done, huge, clean, luxurious for just 30€ a day (contact me if you need an address). Voila. That is the reason why I need to go more!

5- Exploring green and exotic dishes. Beauty comes from within and trying to get the most of the veggie/fruity world, I am really keen to diversy my menu by adding a touch of spices and exostism as often as I can. I am on the hunt for amazing and tasty recipes from all over the world. So if you have any favorites, please share your secret recipes with me!

Have you got some beauty resolutions? which ones?

06 January 2015

Morning cleanser: Sanoflore cleansing water foam

If you have been following my blog, you may have noticed that I love reviewing face cleansers. Cleansing is an essential step in my skincare routine and I like to have a cleanser easy to reach especially in the morning when I lack of time.
While travelling to France in Autumn, I stopped to one of my favorite "pharmacies" and bought the Sanoflore cleansing water foam. Foaming cleansers and micellar waters are hugely popular in France, whether they are natural or not natural to be honest. I am not so much fan of micellar water which are meant to not be rinsed (... although you can find some great natural ones). On the other hand, foaming cleanser is more appealing to me. So what do I think of the one from Sanoflore?

Product name: Cleansing water foam
Certified: Ecocert
For: all skin types
Texture: foam
Price: €12.00 for 120 ml

My opinion

The airless pump is the first feature that really attracts me. Very hygienic and handy during travelling, I just like how easy it is to carry around this cleanser. You may think the container is not too big, but let me tell you that this bottle will last you a good 3 months.

One pump is enough to create a lovely white mousse that reminds me a bit of a velvety cloud. The foam is light and scented with a very discrete sweet floral aroma. So far so good!

Ideal to use under the shower, the cleansing water foam is really effective and not that drying at all thanks to Melisse flower water it contains. The softening properties of the formula are also due to Lemon verbena flower water which aims to bring smoothness and tonicity to the skin. The formula features very gentle detergents (coco-glucoside and disodium cocoyl glutamate) selected for their cleansing yet not overdrying effects. Make-up and grime are removed very easily and my skin is left nicely soft. I then finish my cleansing routine by gently damping my face with my lovely moisturising toner (to be reviewed soon).

Foam may have a bad reputation but I do think the natural beauty industry recently came up with some pretty good detergents that will make all the SLS haters and foam lovers (including me!) happy. I also just love the fresh feeling that I get when I splash my face to rinse-off cleanser…this is a sensation I don't always get when I use balm/cream cleansers. 

Overall, I am very happy with this cleanser. It works really well without being overpriced.
... Ideal to include in your daily routine in simplicity!
Get it here.

++ fresh and clean sensation
 - none

My overal rating: 8.5/10

Composition: water, sucrose*, glycerin, Lippia citriodora (lemon verbena) leaf water*, coco-glucoside, Melissa officinalis water*, propanediol, disodium cocoyl glutamate, polyglyceryl-4 caprate, citric acid sodium cocoyl glutamate, parfum, sucrose laurate, sodium benzoate, salicylic acid, linalool, sodium phytatem benzyl alcohol, arginine, alcohol.

Have you tried Sanoflore? do you like foaming cleansers?

05 January 2015

The Vegan Cuts Beauty box

Unlike many other beauty bloggers, I have not yet subscribed to any natural Beauty boxes existing on the market. There are a few available, and well, choosing the right one at the right price does not sound too easy.
I came across Vegan Cuts, a US company that appears like a big marketplace for all the vegan lovers: clothing, beauty, accessories, food…you can search and find quite a lot! They offer monthly Beauty boxes and healthy Snack boxes...all Vegan too, and needless to say, I saw some pretty amazing deals too!

The beauty box curator Danielle kindly sent me the October beauty box to test (oops, I received it much later due to postal error) and here is what's inside:

Lotus Wei Quiet mind serum
Perfect timing for this serum which aims at relaxing body and mind thanks to a subtle blend of safflower oil with hand-collected flowers essences, harmonising essential oils and gem essence of kyanite. This is my favorite product of the box! Looking foward to trying it!

I got a few skincare samples of this brand. I am still not sure whether this brand is 100% natural, so will have to look it up before I can say more.

Floss Gloss Pro nail lacquer
I got the Picnic colour which is a sort of dark plum/burgundy colour. Perfect for fall/winter. Have yet to try it.

Lovinah coffee bean-illa energizing body scrub
This hand-crafted body scrub contains a pretty awesome blend that is aiming at giving you a brand new and smooth skin. It includes some nice exotic ingredients such as Ethiopian coffee, Malawi raw cane sugar mixed with a touch of Madagascar vanilla beans. I am pretty eager to try it, and although I am not a coffee drinker, I really love the smell of a good coffee aroma!

Overall, I love the idea of receiving a curated natural beauty box at home. Vegan Cuts beauty boxes are a fanstastic way to explore the green beauty world: you test before purchasing full size, you don't overspend and no commitment at all. Retailing at less than 20 dollars/month and free shipping for all US residents (and for an additional 15$, shipping internationally).

What do you think? Do you receive any beauty boxes?

29 December 2014

Heaven on earth: Rosemary Chi Himalayan salt scrub bodhi&birch

The New Year is fast approaching and you may feel a little bit tired and stressed: getting ready for the 31st, work to finish, planning kids activities or exams to prepare and/or recovering from Christmas festivities- yes, December is a very intense month! Therefore, I decided to reach out to the Rosemary Chi Himalayan salt scrub (a cult on its own already) in order to soothe the effects of this hectic period. Adored by many of you, it was time for me to test this natural beauty legend thanks to the amazing kindness of Elijah, the founder of bodhi & birch.

Product name: Rosemary Chi Himalayan Salt scrub
For: any skin type
Certified: no
Texture: grainy and onctuous
Price: £35.00 for 250g

My opinion

The sleek black glass pot is undeniably the most beautiful item that I have in my bathroom. I love the clean-cut look and it definitely surpasses my standard of luxe and glamour. I believe Elijah brought his creative talent of ex-designer into this pot design!

I am in love with the packaging…but let me tell you, what's inside is equally exciting, at least. The gorgeous pink scrub which is packed with nourishing shea butter and soothing botanical oils (apricot, grapeseed, almond) also features the incredibly pure and mineral-rich Himalayan pink salt crystal. This unrefined star ingredient is well-reknown for its amazing richness in trace elements such as zinc, manganese, potassium. The aesthetic pink colour is due the iron oxide present in the salt.

If you are looking for a relaxing, detoxifying and magical experience, then this scrub is for you (and definitely for me!). I apply it on damp skin and thoroughly massage my legs, arms, feet and all areas that need a good polish. The size of the grains is small which enables the scrub to be effective without over-exfoliating or irritate the skin. While you experience the divine effect on the skin, the scent that emerges from the massage takes you to another level: aromatic, unwinding, destressing. A pure bliss!
My skin is left absolutely silky smooth, enveloped with a delicate moisturing and nourishing light film. You do not even need to apply a body oil or lotion. The Rosemary Chi Himalayan salt scrub is a true wonder. Thanks Elijah for having created such an amazing product!

If you are interested, you can get it here.

Worth your skin and worth the money without any single hesitation!
++ everything
 - nothing

My overall rating: 9.5/10

Conposition: sodium chloride (Himalayan salt crystals), Butyrospermum parkii (organic Shea butter), Vitis vinifera (Grape) seed oil, Prunus armeniaca (Apricot) kernel oil, Prunus dulcis (Sweet almond) oil, Squalane/Olea europaea (olive) fruit oil, Rosmarinus officnalis (Rosemary) oil, Pelargonium graveolens (Geranuim) flower oil, tocopherol (Vitamin E), Juniperus virginiana (Virginia Cedarwood) oil, Citrus Nobilis (Red Mandarin) peel oil, Citrus aurantium var. Amara (Petitgrain) leaf oil, Salvia sclarea (Clary sage) oil, Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea tree) leaf oil, Alpina offcinalis (Galangal) root oil, Vetiver zizanoides (Vetyver) root oil, citralm citronella, geraniol, limonene, linalool *natural component of essential oils.

Anyone tried it? What is your favorite body polish?

23 December 2014

Happy festive season 2014!

To all my wonderful readers, wishing you a Merry Christmas 2014 and a Happy New Year 2015!

Writing a blog about natural beauty is a precious thing to do. It has been three years now and it is so wonderful to see how it has grown and how I have come in contact with so many lovely and passionate people. I enjoy your positive feedback, trust and support and it is without doubt that without the involvement of my readers, this blog would never have been such a pleasure to do. It makes me feel really privileged to share my passion all over the world with Mademoiselle Nature. 
Stay tuned everyone, because, thanks to all of you, more is to come in the next year…! 

Smile, Be happy and Positive, Enjoy Life. Joyeux Noel! 

20 December 2014

Luxurious purifying beauty products: what I would like to try.

I have rarely written about beauty products on this blog before trying them! But here is my natural beauty wishlist of products that sounds super appealing to me. And with Christmas approaching this could be the time to try...or perhaps Dear Santa is also reading this post and willing to bring me some of the items mentionned below!

My current top 5 of products I am eager to test are the ones below.

     1. The Clean Dirt by May Lindstrom. This versatile organic cleanser powder from the very raved luxe beauty brand sounds so performant. It is really pricey, but I guess I am willing to compromise on other products to get this one. $60.00 for 200 ml.

     2. The Botanic earth mud Mask by Live Native. I spotted this mud mask while ago. Made with extra-absorbing rhassoul combined with anti-oxidant acai/cacaco powders, this ultra-fine blend is designed to gently purify and detox the skin. Sounds really nice and ideal to use as an ultimate "treat my skin" time at home! £60.00 for 100ml.

     3. Tabula Rasa Pads from Arcona. This californian organic beauty brand features some fabulous products but the one that stands out for me are these cleansing pads aiming at immediately clear the skin thanks to Lactic Acid and Black Tea extract. Interesting isn't? $28.00 for 45 pads.

     4. Baume de la Terre from Alors ca pousse. This new french green beauty brand has everything that is appealing: handcrafted, organic and using lovely 100% pure botanical oils! I am so intrigued by the Baume de la Terre (or Earth Balm in english) which sounds like a marvellous potion featuring some powerful plant oils (such as Hemp oil), flower extracts and clay to name a few. €52.00 for 30ml.

    5. Lapis facial Oil from Herbivore Botanicals. Look at this incredibly good looking beauty flacon containing, by the sound of it, a super exquisite and magical light blue facial oil. It has been especially formulated to treat redness and help to reduce skin inflammation thanks to German Blue Chamomille, blue Yarrow and Blue Tansy essential oils. $90.00 for 50ml.

Have you tried any of these? Which beauty goodies are you dying to try next year?

15 December 2014

Another Konjac sponge to the test: the Morihata Binchotan facial puff

You all know that Konjac sponge is my best cleansing friend (I have been really enthusiastic in the past with this one). I was on the hunt for a sponge that I could use a couple of times a week and that would give this extra-purifying bit my skin needs once in a while. I love discovering new brands and I was super excited about trying the Morihata Binchotan facial puff. It is japanese and that is one of the reasons why I have picked it (I love all the japanese heritage/culture). Here are my thoughts.

My opinion

To help detox and purify the skin, this rectangular facial puff  has been infused with some microfine activated charcoal powder, which has amazing skin benefits! Naturally antibacterial, it is designed to soak up all impurities and grime. "Made in the Kishu region of Japan, Binchotan charcoal is activated by burning oak branches at extremely high temperatures for several days". Its deep-cleansing actions and its ability to retain dirt are due to the extraordinary sponge surface of the activated charcoal. It aims at improving the skin general balance and texture without being overally exfoliating.

I use this sponge 2 to 3 times per week to complete my evening skincare routine. After face cleansing, I massage the face with the wet sponge insisting on the slightly more oily zones such as forehead and chin. While I am very impressed by the cleansing properties, I am not entirely convinced by the end results: my skin feels less smooth and soft than when I used the Pink clay sponge from the Konjac Company. Ok, those 2 sponges aim at different skin types but still...I guess I was expecting a little more from the black facial puff. In addition to that, after a very short time of use, the sponge started to break apart in different areas. Nothing dramatic that led me to stop using it…but it was a bit inconvenient. I do not want to sound too negative, but again, this was a bit disappointing.

Pricing at around $16.00, the Morihata Binchotan facial puff  is one of the most expensive Konjac sponges on the market. I don't think the results completely justify the price, and at the moment, I am reluctant to repurchase it. Having said that, I am still very much intrigued by the Morihata company which aims to bring the best out of Japanese luxuries. I have browsed the nicely designed website and I have now my eyes on the Binchotan charcoal facial soap. Morihata did not convince me with their sponge, but I will still give them another chance with their soap!
Explore the all Morihata world here.

My overal rating: 6/10
What do you think? Have you tried it?