23 November 2015

Organic beauty and budget

I wanted to write this little post a while ago, but I thought November would be a better time. Why? Because Christmas is coming so we may all be tempted to buy and splurge more than usual.
But let's face it: although we want to enjoy the great benefits of green beauty, we often encounter the challenge that it comes at a premium price. We all want to feel beautiful and healthy, but budgets do not always allow to step into decadent and sometimes overpriced eco-luxury.

So here are some tips if you do not want to compromise on your beauty and health principles, but at the same time don't want to splash too much:

  • Check your beauty cabinet before "buying" and really assess what you need, not what you want.
  • Target established affordable green brands such as Weleda, Benecos, Lavera, So' Bio Etic, Avril beaute, Andalou Naturals, Organic Surge, Dr Bronner's.
  • Take advantage of online sales/offers (occuring generally after any other special occasions).
  • Buy raw ingredients online at a very good price (Aromazone, Aromantic, Mountain Rose Herbs).
  • Establish a regular spending ban throughout the year if you see your spend too much on unecessary products.
  • Adopt a minimalistic approach- your skin will even thank you more.
  • Serum and anti-wrinkle creams are the top 2 products you really have to spend on.
  • Do some DIY recipes (such as yogurt+honey weekly mask) can be very rewarding result-wise.
  • Remember, a glowing skin comes first by eating a healthy diet.

What do you think? do you have any other tips to add?

09 November 2015

A really great hydrating cream: the Supermood moisturiser

Last year, I came across a very nice Finnish brand called Supermoods. I had never heard of this brand so I decided to get in touch with the founder, Anne Kukkohovi and asked a bit more about it. I was also curious to know if this green beauty brand was already available in the Netherlands - the sad answer was no.
Anne sent me a beautiful package with a few items to test and today I will review the Egoboost moisturiser which is ambitiously called The perfect Day cream*

Product name: The perfect Day cream
For: all skin types
Certified: no
Texture: light cream
Price: €31.45 for 30ml

My opinion

I love green beauty, but there is one thing that I am always keeping in mind - perfect and miraculous products do not exist. So will "the Perfect Day cream" from Supermood put my principles out of the window and be the perfect cream? Well, they get close...!

I have actually started using this cream in the summer. It is a light almost fluid cream which is really easy to massage into the skin and sinks almost immediately. The scent is really delicate and will please all sensitive noses. And although days are colder now and I would usually opt for richer creams, I am still using it - every morning!
My skin is combination type and I would say that it is "perfectly" designed for it - it moisturises the driest parts of my face and balances out the rest. However, if you have a really dry skin, then I would say that this cream is too much on the light side to be able to play the cocooning cream.

The formula features Birch sap, a northern birch juice which seems to gain quite some popularity these days as a skincare ingredient, but also sounds to be an interesting replacement for natural Coconut water. The moisturiser also contains de top 3 best plant oils to soothe and calm skin: Olive, Sweet Almond and Jojoba.
The star ingredient of the cream is Chaga extract. For those who do not know, Chaga is considered as the superstars of the medicinal mushrooms and has amazing properties: healing, calming, regenerating, nourishing due the presence of exceptionnal polysaccharides and betulinic acid. Also enriched with Liftonin-xpress, which contains a lyopholysate made from a MicroAlgae, the Perfect Day cream helps to tighten and lift the face. Although I have not seen amazing results in terms of lifting, I do see that my skin feels a little firmer. You may notice the presence of safe synthetic components (C14-22 alcohols and C12-20 Alkyl glucoside) which serve to stabilize the emulsion.

The bottle is almost empty, and as far as I am concerned, I would be really pleased to purchase it again!

... a super nice finnish beauty discovery!

Get it here.

My overal rating: 8.5/10

Composition: Aqua (water), Betula Pendula (Birch) sap, Olea europea (Olive) fruit oil, Prunus amygdalus dulcis (Sweet Almond) oil, C14-22 alcohols, C12-20 Alkyl glucoside, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, pullulan, Porphyridium cruentum extract, glycerin, Simmonsdsia chinensis (Jojoba) seed oil, Butyrospermum parkii (Shea) butter, Inonotus oblique extract, maltodextrin, tocopherol, perfume, citronellol, limonene, linolool, xanthin gum, lactic acid, menthol, sodium benzoate, sodium dehydroacetate.

Do you know this brand? any thoughts?

28 October 2015

Glowing touch: the Madara Moonflower Rose Beige tinting fluid

I have not reviewed much green make-up so far (but check this post if you want to discover a lovely green make-up brand) but I am really planning to change that and today. I would like to talk about the Madara Moonflower Rose Beige*. This natural certified tinting cream is aimed to correct all our little skin worries. It is meant to unify, moistury and illuminate the skin. Well. Too good to be true? Let's see.

Product name: Moonflower Rose Beige tinting fluid
For: all skin types
Certified: yes (Ecocert)
Texture: light cream
Price: €10.00 for 15ml

My opinion

Madara is a Latvian green beauty brand that I have had my eyes on for many years. Their skincare/bodycare line appears just very "fresh" and enriched with wild herb extracts that you can find nowhere else than in the Baltic countries. I love the nature of Nordic countries: the setting and environnement is a heaven to grow and nurture organic plants!

Perhaps later than anybody, but I was really surprised to discover that Madara had a few green make-up products. The Moonflower Rose Beige is really what I would call a great make-up product to start with if you are new to Organic beauty and make-up.
Why is that? The texture is superb, one of the best textures I have ever encountered for a face make-up product: it is light but covers very well and it gives a lovely and hypernatural glow. And, in addition to this, another important feature (at least to me!): it does not need much time to work in into the skin. Some people love blending brushes or sponges, but as a mum of two, let me tell you that there is no way I can spend 15 min blending and contouring my face every morning. I am so happy this product is enough on its own to give me that glowing complexion with a minimum of effort.

Let's now take a closer look at the simple yet formula. Featuring some skin humectant glycerin and some fabulous skin soothing plant oils (Sunflower and Jojoba), the Moonflower tinting fluid provides moisture and softness to the skin. It also contains a collection of calming extracts such as Calendula and Chamomille. I am super pleased to see Plantain Leaf extract, a considered "sacred plant" with real skin healing properties. I feared that my skin would feel dry because it features some alcohol, but luckily, no skin drama occured so I would definitely recommend the Moonflower Rose Beige tinting fluid for all skin types. And finally, I would not forget to add that I love the fact that you can choose between the 2 formats (15ml or 60ml)- makes it really convenient if you want to test the product before purchasing the full size!
Madara, you have really pleasantly suprised me on this one! Cannot wait to try more products now!

... a fantastic way to give your face a super natural glow!

My overal rating: 9/10

Get it here.

Composition: Aqua, alcohol, glycerin***, Rosa damascena (Rose) flower water, Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba) seed oil*, Helianthus annuus (Sunflower) seed oil, cetearyl alcohol, cetearyl glucoside, Rosa canina (Rosehip) extract, Calendula officials (Calendula) flower extract, Chamomilla recutita (Chamomille), Plantago major (Plantain) leaf extract, algae extract, stearic acid, palmitic acid, tocopherol, ascorbyl palmitate, xanthan gum, sodium phytate, aroma** (+/-(may contain), CI 77019 (mica), CI 77891 (titanium dioxide), CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499 (iron oxides))****
**may contain essential oils
***made using organic ingredients
****pure mineral pigments

Have you tried it? do you use any light foundation?

19 October 2015

Not exactly what I thought: Acure Hair mask moisturising root repair

At the begining of the year 2015, I have written up my various beauty resolutions (see here) and one of them was to really find a good hair conditioning mask. We are now in October and I am happy to report back about the Acure mask moisturising root repair Argan stem cell + Mint Deep conditioning. I have bought this little gem in the US but if you are based in the Europe, Acure Organics is now available in Whole Food Market.

Product name: Acure hair mask moisturising repair
Certified: no
Texture: light cream
For: all types of hair

My opinion

This is the third haircare product from Acure that I have tried this year after these ones. The mask moisturising root repair is designed to regenerate and moisture very dry, colored and limp hair which needs more than a regular conditionner application.

First let me tell you what my expectations of an hair mask are: it needs to have a rich consistency that melts in when applying. It needs to envelop the hair length with its nourishing ingredients leaving the hair really nourished and softened. Acure mask comes close to that, but not entirely. It is perhaps lighter that I imagined or wanted and although very moisturising, I am missing the very cocooning feeling I have experienced with their triple moisture repairing conditionner for example.

In line with the traditionnal and bright packaging of the whole line, the mask is housed in a plastic tube - handy to carry out if you go travelling. The contenance is rather on the small side: I have mid-length hair and I do need to use quite a bit of product to cover it all.

Apart from these couple of points, I don't see why I should be unhappy with it: hair gets really pampered and nicely scented with a hint of fresh Mint which I really love. The Rosemary essential oil brings antispectic and refreshing properties to the shampoo. The presence of L-Arginine is supposed to boost hair growth whereas Argan oil helps to protect hair. I also like the fact that Acure uses a juice based blend that includes organic Acai, organic Blackberry, organic Roshehip, organic Pomegranate, organic Rooibos; as the base for the mask.

As an overall, although the improvements are not spectaculair, my hair does feel healthier and smoother after each mask. However, I will be frank and say that performance-wise I prefer the conditionner.

....a tad disappointed on that one!

Overal rating: 6.5/10

Composition: Euterpe oloeracea (Acai) berry, organic Rubus frutocosus (Blackberry), organic Rosa canina (Rosehips), fairtrade certifiedTM organic Rooibos, cetearyl alcohol, stearylkonium chloride, vegetable glycerin, isoamyl laurate, glyceryl stearate (vegetable derived), gluconodeltalactone (fermented sugar), Rosemarinus officinalis (Rosemary) oil, Mentha peperita (Peppermint) oil, organic Argan spinosa (Argan) oil, L-Argnine (aminoacid), fairtrade certified TM organic Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) butter, methylcellulose (plant derived), ubiquinone (CoQ10), Argania spinosa (Argan) stem cell culture, d-alpha tocopheryl acetate (natural Vitamin E).

You can purchase it here.

Have you tried it? What do you think?

12 October 2015

5 beauty things I love to do in Autumn

I just cannot believe Autumn has arrived. Loving the yet early but beautiful leave colors and definitely enjoying the last warm days of indian summer here in Amsterdam.
So today, I got very inspired by this beautiful season and thought it was a good excuse for a little post.

If I had to list my top 5 Autumn beauty rituals I love doing, I would say:

1. Enjoying a yummy and vitamins-packed Pumpkin DIY mask on a Sunday evening: yogurt mixed with honey and mashed pumpkin. Top for the skin!

2. Extensively searching for what will become my beauty must-haves when skin is in trouble during the upcoming cold weather.

3. Adapting my beauty routine according to my skin needs: e.g. starting to reincorporate more botanical plant oils or conforting day/night creams.

4. Reaching for more spiced-scented body products: cinnamon, ginger, and orange are just perfect in giving that warmth and sweet aroma I am looking for.

5. Shopping in some various boutiques in Amsterdam rather than buying online. It is the time of the year where I really value and appreciate shopping in a nice environment.

What do you think? what are the beauty things you love doing in October/November?

05 October 2015

My latest skincare routine

Today, I though it would be interesting to share the beauty products I am currently using. I will not go into details as this only a sneak peek, but that would still give you a pretty good idea.

I like simple beauty routine- at least, that what works for my skin.


Cleanser - bodhi&birch Rosa Rosa Clarifying cleanser* (everything you want to know about this cleanser is here).
Toner - Fine Lavander flower water (read here why I am a big fan of this one).
Moisturiser -  Supermood Perfect Day cream* (review to come very soon).
SPF cream - Mychelle Dermaceuticals (for more details about this cream, click here).


Cleansers - 1rst cleanse with Akane Purifying Organic make-up removal oil
                                        or Rosa Rosa Clarifying cleanser.
                    2nd cleanse with Rosa Rosa Clarifying cleanser.
Toner - Fine Lavander flower water.
Facial oil - Marie Veronique oil de jour* (Yes, I used it in the evening. Review soon).

Once or twice a week

Masks- Kahina anti-oxidant mask* (check here why you will love this mask too).
             or DIY mask (greek style yoghurt + organic orange flower honey).

I am not :
- using any beauty tools at the moment but I am planning to re-purchase very soon the Konjac sponge (read here why I love it).
- using many products at the same time. I like to keep my beauty routine easy and simple. No need to overdo, overspend and overwaste.
- planning to switch my moisturiser for the moment since temperatures are still quite mild and the SuperMood Perfect day cream has been a true performer (moisturising enough but still very light).

However, I will be :
- starting next week a NEW water-based serum (stay tuned, may post a sneak peek on my Instagram).
- testing a couple of other face masks (since besides serums, masks are the beauty products I love to have). Voila. Thoughts?

22 September 2015

Rose touch: the bodhi&birch Rosa Rosa clarifying cleanser

The english eco-luxe beauty brand bodhi&birch has been a favorite of mine for a little while. Their products all seem to feature a nice texture, a distinctive fragrance, a clean design and lastly a bit of je ne sais quoi. I cannot recommend enough their Rosemary Chi Himalayan salt body scrub (see review here) - the most lovely body exfoliant I have ever tried - and their amazing and so aromatic Rosemary Chi luxurious bodywash (see review here).
I recently had the chance to be sent the Rosa Rosa clarifying cleanser. So, what do I think of it?

Product name: Rosa Rosa clarifying cleanser
Certified: no
For: normal to dry skins
Texture: creamy
Price: £32.00 for 150ml

My opinion

Bodi&birch has always shown a nice taste when it comes to packaging. And, one more time, I am not disappointed by the stylish and sleak look of the Rosa Rosa cleanser. Housed in a thick bottle glass, the cleanser is dispensed thanks to a pump which delivers a creamy and onctuous white cream. The cleanser's texture feels very nurturing ...yet, if you add a bit of water, it will transforms in a very gentle foam. As I have already mentionned earlier, I love foaming face cleansers, so I am more than happy to get a nice splash with this one. In the evening, I find that double cleansing is necessary if I want to remove all the make-up and daily grime. However, one pump is more than enough in the morning.

Ingredient wise, the formula displays a serie of SLS free-detergents that create a luxurious and soft feeling on the skin. Along with the surfactants, you also find some nourishing plant butters/oil (RosehipSheaCocoa and Meadowfoam) along with an expert blend of essential oils (GeraniumRoseYlang-YlangPetitgrain). For those who do not know, Meadowfoam seed oil does a great skin conditioning job and is often used as an alternative to Jojoba oil.

Talking about scent now! Rose lovers, this cleanser is definitely for you! It acts like a delicate floral breeze envelopping your skin. Although I usually prefer more neutral cleansers, where the scent is less dominant, I do like this one! I am really glad to experience (one more time) this beautiful aromatic trip with bodhi&birch.

And lastly, a couple of points I would like to share. I am not so sure if this cleanser is as clarifying as stated on the bottle, but I would definitely think it is perfectly suitable for sensitive/normal/ dry/dehydrated skins.
As I said above, I love the chic outlook of the glass bottle, however it can be a little heavy when if you travel. Also, I have been trying to get the last bits out of the glass bottle but that is not that easy.

...a very gentle cleansing emulsion that smells really nice!

Get it here.

My overal rating: 7.5/10

Composition: purified water, sodium lauroyl methylisethionate (from Coconut oil), glycerin, glyceryl stearate, disodium cocamphodiacetate (from Coconut oil), sodium methyl cocoyl taurate (from Coconut oil), laurel betaine, ethylhexyglycerin, glyceryl caprylate, Rosa Canina (Rosehip) fruit oil, Chondrus crispus (carrageenan), Butyrospermum park (Shea nut) butter, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) seed butter, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) seed oil, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter orange) flower oil, Pelargonium graveolens (Geranium) flower oil, Cymbopogon martini (Palmarosa) oil, Anthemis nobilis (Camomille) flower oil, Boswellia carterii (Frankincense) oil,  Cananga odorata (Ylang-Ylang) flower oil, Citrus aurantium amara (Petitgrain) leaf oil, Rosa Damascene (Rose) flower oil, citric acid, geraniol*, linalool, citronellol*, limonene*
*natural component of essential oils.

Have you tried the Rosa Rosa cleanser? do you prefer creamy or more oily cleansers?

17 September 2015

Wonderful treat for my skin: the Kahina antioxidant mask

One beauty line that I have always been super eager to try is Kahina (Giving Beauty). Inspired by the traditionnel beauty recipes from Morocco with a luxurious green feel twist, the american-based beauty holistic brand Kahina offers a superb range to all of you who aspire to have a clean beauty product formula with the wonderful feeling of being pampered.
The superb online green boutique CorpoNatura offered me the chance to test the Kahina antioxidant mask. And well, I have lots ot say!

Product name: Kahina antioxidant mask
For: any skin types
Certified: yes (Ecocert)
Texture: creamy
Price:€62.00 for 50ml

  My opinion

  While my moisturising masks (see review here) are a must when my skin feels tired and dehydrated, I like to reach for a more purifying/nurturing treat aka " a home deep-cleansing/softening session" - at least once a week. And the Kahina antioxidant mask seems pretty good at it. Let's explore why.

It features all the great ingredients your skin will dream of: a combination of absorbing white clay (Rhassoul or also named hectorite), revitalising organic plant oils (Argan, Sunflower, Acai) and skin smoother Lactic acid. In addition to this, you can find a couple of interesting plant extracts, such as the anti-oxidant Pomegranate extract and the anstiseptic Aspen Bark extract. The delicate scent is due to the adequate mixture of my favorite essential oils (Mint and Geranium). What a bliss! 

But what I am very fond of is the nice and creamy texture that melts when I delicately apply it onto cleansed face. The formula is great because you get all the benefits of the white clay mineral without actually having the tight feeling that clay sometimes gives when it starts drying on the skin. 

   Despite the contenance looking quite small, I am surprised that the mask lasts for some time, which is pretty good news since it retails for more €60. The other good news is that I am really happy about the way it transforms my skin. Yes, I am talking perfomance here. Super smooth and plumped, moisturised and more, great isn't? It is also a great beauty multitasker since the antioxidant mask can also be used as a face exfoliator by gently massaging in circular movement (there are some tiny tiny grains in the product). And sensitive/dry skins, there is no need to step back, because this mask is super gentle. absolutely wonderful home skin treat!

My overall rating: 9/10

Get it here.

Composition: aqua, hectorite, Argania spinosa (Argan) kernel oil*, Helianthus annuus (Sunflower) seed oil*, glycerin, cetearyl alcohol, cetearyl olivate, lactic acid, Populous tremuloides (Aspen) bark extract, sorbitan olivate, hydrolysed linseed extract, mannan, xanthan gum, Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) leaf extract*, cetearyl glucoside, dehydroacetic acid, benzyl alcohol, totarol*, Euterpe oleacea (acai) fruit oil, arginine, Punica granatum (Pomegranate) seed extract*, Eucalyptus radiata (Eucalyptus) leaf/stem oil*, Mentha piperita (Peppermint) oil*, Pelargonium graveolens (geranium) oil.

Have you tried Kahina? what is your favorite product?