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?

14 September 2015

Feeling fresh with Marmozel deodorant but...

I love travelling and exploring new territories, so discovering a green beauty brand from overseas is always very excting for me.
Marmozel is one of these pretty artisanal green beauty companies hidden all the way in Lithuania, that creates a range of very unique products. They are all handmade in small and fresh batches and only use natural ingredients. Sounds really nice to me!
I had the opportunity to choose the product I wanted to try so I went for the deodorant. Read below what I think of it!

Name: Natural deodorant
For: Any skin types
Texture: liquid
Certified: no
Price:€ 10.00 for 50 ml

My opinion

I only tried a few natural deodorants and most of them were stick or butter (see review here and here). The one from Marmozel combines a very simple formula with a great performance ... at an affordable price. It comes as a spray and that is perfect for me - I find it hygienic, quick and convenient.

Formula-wise, the Natural deodorant almost looks like a toner but it is not. The base is a mixture of water and Rose Geranium water which makes it extremely refreshing, light and balancing.
The main ingredient used to neutralise odors is the potassium Alum powder. Alum can have a natural or a synthetic origin and is made from potassium & aluminium sulfate.
However, this component has been under the spotlight since it was revealed that there is a possible solubilisation of aluminium hydroxyde (formed at the sweat pH), and absorption of the aluminium salt by the body. I always take "claims" with  extreme caution - I need to look at the original studies to make my own final opinion. The risks of ingesting aluminium is probably higher when eating food than applying deodorants. I have heard of milk of Magnesia as a good aluminium-free odor control ingredient...perhaps one worth to look at.

On a more positive note, the scent is one of the most subtle and pleasant I have come across. If sweet and sugary-like aromas are not your cup of tea, then, this nicely balanced fragrance using Lemongrass essential oil will really please your underarms and cover nicely any unpleasant odors. I love the fact that it is really light, that the texture is water-based and that it doesn't leave any stains on clothes. Finally, it can even be used by your other half too as the aroma is quite neutral!
Bottom line: really nice, but be aware of the presence of Alum powder.

....Simple, affordable and really great performing deodorant but...!

My overall grade: 6/10

Composition: water, Pelargonium graveolens (Rose geranium) water, potassium alum powder, Cymbopogon citratus (Lemongrass) essential oil, Anthemis nobilis (roman Chamomille) essential oils.

What do you think? have you tried this brand?

07 September 2015

Beauty shopping in Provence: my organic flower waters

In August, I was on summer holiday in Provence (read here and here) and I went on a pleasant day trip in Sault. Reknown for its Lavender fields, Sault is one of the regions that would blow your eyes away. Located at the foot of the amazing Mount Ventoux, the setting is really stunning! (If you are really keen to see the Lavender flowers at their full blossom, make sure you arrive in June before the harvest time).

I was particularly interested in stopping at the Distillerie Arom'Plantes close by the village. The Arom'Plantes family farm grows Lavender, Lavendin and also an amazing collection of aromatic plants such as Thyme, summer Savory, Chamomille, Cornflower...etc.
In other words, Arom'Plantes is able to produce a nice collection of essential oils and pure flower waters and all are granted by Nature and Progres certification.

It is possible to get a litttle guided tour on the site that explains the day to day routine and the different steps of the distillation.The farm also has a little aromatic cafe corner where you can sip a few organic plant beverages and teas. And of course, the must-go area is their little shop which offers all what a green beauty lover like me adores: balms, flower mists, organic teas and many more goodies!

Hesitating big time between all the exciting products on their shelfs, I ended up walking away with a few of them:

the Organic Fine Lavande flower water- calming and healing.
the Organic Wild Carotte water- regenerative and soothing.
the Organic Peppermint water- purifying and refreshing.
the Organic Cypress water- balancing and toning.

If you want to look at Arom'Plantes website, here is the link. I love to buy directly from small exploitations. Note that the retail price (around 5 euros for 250 ml) is incredibly good and I'm already seeing myself ordering more in the future!

What do you think? do you use flower waters in your beauty routine?

27 August 2015

My latest haircare routine with Natura Siberica

Beautiful hair is something we love to least I do! I do not use many haircare products apart from cleansing products and an regular hair treat (review to come soon!). So the haircare products aka- "the"shampoo and "the" conditionner need to be really good!
I am brunette with mid lenght hair that can be slightly wavy depending on the weather mood. I am pretty happy with my hair in general as they are easy to manage and naturally supple. I like to let them loose but also fancy the chic of a 'chignon' style-hairdo. Roots tend to be more oily than the rest. One thing that I always want to add is more moisture - at least to the length. Voila.
I recently discovered the russian green brand Natura Siberica and their Energizing facial mask (see review here) and my next mission was to test the duo "Voluminizing and Nourishing Shampoo + Conditioner " which are designed for all types of hair.
So, how good is this duo?

Voluminizing and Nourishing shampoo (€11.95 for 400ml)
 The shampoo is great at cleansing efficiently without being too harsh, drying or too hydrating. It includes a couple of gentle detergents (lauryl glucoside) with some derivated from siberian pine oil (pineamidopropyl betaine) and mixed with wild harvested Siberian plants extracts (Siberian fir, Siberian dwarf pine). I was intrigued to see CI75810 in the formula: this component is in fact associated as a natural green colorant derived from Chlorophylle so nothing really to worry about. The scent is very pleasant, kind of herbal and resfreshing. Another important feature for me (I know!) is that the shampoo lathers very well.
And the results are great: I love the way my hair feels cleansed and nurtured but importantly, my hair is not being weighted down. They are left full of life, easy to comb and nicely scented. Retailing at a decent price for a green shampoo (the contenance in ml is generous), I will repurchase it very soon.

Composition: aqua, lauryl glucoisde, sodium cocoyl isethionate, cocamidopropyl betaine, pineamidopropyl betaine, Hippophae rhamnoides amidopropyl betaine, guar, hydroxypropyl trimonium chloride, Pinus pumilia needle extract, Pulmonaria officinalis extract, Hesperis sibirica extract, Cortusa sibirica extract, Bidens tripartita flower/leaf/stem extract, Saponaria officinalis root extract, glycerin, Anthemis nobilis flower extract, Hippophae rhamnoides fruit oil, Silybum marianum extract, citric acid, sodium chloride, benzyl alcohol, dehydroacetic acid, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, CI 75810, limonene, linalool.

Voluminizing and Nourishing conditioner (€11.95.00 for 400ml)
 This creamy hair lotion works very well at improving the moisture and manageability of my hair. But I think the best feature lies in its ability to boost the volume without my hair becoming heavy or just over-nourished. It gives a nice bounce to my hair and lenght which tend to be drier in summer because of the sun/wind combo. This performs really well and I have to admit that this is one of the best I have ever tried. Having said that, here comes the tricky part. It is one of the first time that I use a product whitout checking the formulation before. Oops. And yes, I felt quite baffled when I looked closely at the formula. I loved the presence of all the nice and soothing nice siberian extracts, some repairing proteins. But I was just very surprised to find bis-cetearyl amodimethicone, a hair-conditioning water insoluble silicone (often used in classical haircare) and the anti-static agent polyquaternium-37. Certains types of silicones tend to accumulate on the hair hence my choice to avoid them. I did not expect a green brand such as Natura siberica to include silicones in their products. So what's next? Although I still think it performs well, I would probably not repurchase this conditioner, unless the formulation is revisited.

Composition: aqua, cetearyl alcohol, quaternium-91, cetrimonium methosulfate, bis-cetearyl amodimethicone, Avena sativa (oat) kernel extract, Melissa officinalis flower/leaf/stem extract, Chamomilla recutita (Matricaria) flower water, Amaranthus caudatus seed extract, Pinus Pumila needle extract, Nepeta sibirica extract, Sorbus sibirica extract, Pulmonaria officinalis extract, Trifolium pratense flower extractm Melilotus officinalis water, hydrolyzed wheat protein, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, Thymus vulgaris oil, Abies sibirica oil, Pinus sibirica seed oil polyglyceryl-6 esters , tocopherol, guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride, polyquaternium-37, cetrimomium bromide, benzyl alcohol, benzoic acid, sorbic acid, parfum, citric acid, geraniol, hexyl cinnamal, limonene, linalool, butylphenyl methylpropional.

Have you tried Natura Siberia before? which shampoos/conditionners are you in love?

24 August 2015

Food + holiday + thoughts

Holidays are a perfect time for me to reflect on things - things like beauty (of course!), food, work, lifestyle, family. On those days I am more relaxed and have more time to think about my habits...

So take the example of food. I tend to eat healthy, but often end up eating the same things, things that I like however. But being in another (sunny) environment, discovering new food (delicious food) is fantastic. This year I went to the Provence in France and was also visiting some beautiful villages ardechois - with some great places to eat. Note that I don't follow any type of regime or so but I am always aiming at gaining a more balanced diet but without having too compromise too much on the treats I like (especially desserts :-)... ). Because life is also about pleasure, isn't ? 
Below are my top 5 thoughts/reflections about food during my holidays.

  • Being on holiday was a great excuse to make my diet even greener. Local watermelons, tomatoes, peppers and courgettes were on my menu almost daily and, waoh, I loved it! I even ate an amazing Tomato sorbet.
  • I am a big fan of the Mediterranean cuisine, which I find very tasty. I tried plenty of super nice fishes, black olives, tapenades and the list goes on and on. Hello Omega 3/6 and fatty acids! 
  • The organic Lavander and nougat ice-cream I ate in Grignan (Ardeche) was fabulous. Worth a try if you stop in the aera.  
  • For the past few weeks I have been snacking a fabulous organic superfruit mixture, which includes Goji, Mulberries, Inca berries and Cranberries. Packed with anti-oxidants, I am impressed by the taste and my energy levels seem to have increased.
  • A little shopping tip here: In addition to specialised shops, the organic food in France can be found in every supermarket with a special area really dedicated to the green and "bio", I find that quite handy.

What do you think? Have you been changing anything in your diet while on holiday?

18 August 2015

Beauty: highlights from my holiday

My holidays are over ... and although I am missing the wonderful time I had in the South of France, I am very happy to be back and ... blogging!

To summarize a bit, my little french escapade this summer was divided into 2 parts: starting as usual with some quality times with my family and then off to some sightseeing in the Luberon/Ardeche/Drome provencale (I highly recommend to visit these beautiful areas if you don't know them).

...And today, I would love to share with you some of the various B E A U T Y highlights/findings/thoughts I had while relaxing in these beautiful surroundings. Here there are.

  • Thermal water was definitely my best friend those past few weeks. With a heatwave picking up at 40C some days, my Evian/Jonzac/Roche-Posay mists did not let me down (more details here).
  • I protected my skin every single day with the Mychelle Dermaceuticals SPF28 (full review here), another great product that I will probably repurchase.
  • I kept a very simple beauty routine. Cleanser (review soon), sunscreen, facial mask (review soon) and my amazing serum (review here) were my 4 travelling beauty companions.
  • My beauty routine was more an "art de vivre" rather than a serie of skincare steps. I took my time, slowed down my rythm, and kept everything very minimal.
  • My "relaxed" skincare approach worked very well. No over-consumption. Just the basics. At the end, I was on holiday!
  • I went to visit a plant distillery in the area of Sault (Luberon). It was amazing. And I bought some of their local certified organic floral waters. Can't wait to tell you more about it very soon.
  • Organic beauty at an affordable price is very developped in France and easy to access. If you are still doubting, drop me a email and I will direct you to some good brands.
  • (Non organic) micellar waters remain very popular in France. I am planning to try some green ones from Melvita and Jonzac just to get an idea. Will keep you posted.

What are your holiday beauty highlights? any thoughts?

24 July 2015

Holiday holiday

Hello everyone, I am taking (enjoying) a little holiday break in France at the moment... until mid August. Just to let you know that I am still going to post on this blog, but perhaps a little bit less than usual. It is (so) nice to be able to relax and just do (almost) nothing!

You can still follow me/chat/ask me questions daily on Twitter (@MlleNature).
You can also check my Instagram (Mademoiselle_Nature) for some sneak beauty/foodie/lifestyle pictures of my summer time!

Have a beautyful holiday everyone. x