Natural beauty and well-being

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?

08 December 2014

Christmas natural beauty gifts: the list!

December is an exciting time of the year. Sparkles, glam, Christmas lights, love and peace feeling and let's not forget it, some little presents... it is nice to see everyone displaying a very enthusiastic and cheerful mood!

If you love the festive season like me but lack a bit of inspiration when it comes to Christmas shopping, don't worry! I have gathered here some pretty good ideas/ beauty gifts that you can find and purchase on the web… Enjoy!

1. Bodhi and Birch- I am a big fan of this brand and it is not surprising that I mention it here . With a chic packaging and wonderfully scented bodycare products, I bet you would make anyone (or yourself) happy with a gift set! Ranging from £15.00 to £38.00. Get it here.

2. Ren skincare- Another lovely collection made by the clean-cut beauty company.The beautiful Christmas sets feature a lovely design that contain bodycare, skincare, miniature products. If There is a bit for everyone! Price starting from £16.00 till £38.00. Buy here.

3. Pai skincare-They did it again: a lovely festive edition 2014 by the bristish beauty brand. It is also a really nice opportunity to grab some Limited editions such as the Rosehip face mask. Prices are a little steeper but bare in mind that the brand's standard of quality and performance make it worth it. Get it here.

4. One Love Organics- This beauty brand is lovely: refreshing and pure, with a certain detail to attention. I love their Christmas edition and some sets would be perfect for sisters, girlfriend or mummies. Check it out here.

5. Lyonsleaf- The upcoming natural beauty brand ( that I have recently praised their super nourishing body butter) have launched beautiful Christmas gifts which extra-nurturing balms and more. Do not miss it! Prices start from £27.49. Get it here.

6. Weleda- From stocking fillers to mini crackers to lovely bath sets, I am sure you will find your little treasure within Weleda natural world! Prices remain affordable starting from £3.50 only. Purchase here.

7. Melvita- I love the versatility and the wide range of this french beauty brand topped up by the performance of the products. If you have not seen their really festive gift sets, then have a look: a nice collection from body oils, soaps or skincare kit discovery and even a special for men. Ranging from £10.00 to £62.00. Get it here.

8. Neal'sYard Remedies-Another stunning collection from the well-known english organic brand. Incredible choice…and last but not least: products are awesome…a big favourite of mine!Very good price range starting from £13.00 till £45.00. Purchase here.

9. Jurlique- The aussie beauty brand is not entirely100% natural but, you will find a lot of wonderful goodies- an excellent option for the green near-purists. The sparkling red packaging really stands out! I have an eye on the Rose body oil Limited edition which really sounds amazing. Prices range from $13.00 onwards. Have a look here.
Happy shopping everyone!

01 December 2014

Serum addition: the S5 skincare illuminating serum

A beauty serum is one of those everyday beauty staples that are always on my bedside table. I love to use one, especially in the evening- just by itself or applied prior to a face oil or night cream. I am super keen to explore the best serums on the market, and it may come at no surprise, I had my eye on the british natural brand S5 skincare. Their range features 5 top luxury serums that address very specific skin needs by providing potent bioactives to the skin. I was sent the S5 illuminating serum targeted at pigmented skins - As I have mentionned before, my skin type is combination but I am also granted of little fainty freckles (nice!). I lived in Los Angeles for a few years, I took advantage of the californian sunshine (yes, sounds awesome!) but it has resulted in some sparse "petits" dark spots (yes, less awesome…).

Product name: S5 illuminating serum
For: pigmented skins
Certified: yes (Ecocert)
Texture: cream/gel
Price: £44 for 30ml

My opinion

While I always try to keep my beauty regime simple and easy, the serum is one of my best skin companions. The S5 illuminating serum comes housed in a very clean-cut glass bottle and this is not suprising as I have already reviewed another (wonderful!) serum from S5 skincare (see review here) with a similar sleek look.

This one really feels luxurious to use. Why? Probably because of its texture: really soft, velvety, and in a way that I have never came across before. I would not even call it a serum actually, as it looks more like a white and delicate cream/dew. This texture is achieved by using an aloe vera base enriched with glycerin which gives already very hydrating properties to the serum. Included in the serum are skin lifting ingredients such as Kombuchka proven to enhance skin glow and radiance. In addition,  a plethora of herb and floral extracts such as Cowslip, Lady's mantle, Yarrow, Mallow, Peppermint have been added and act as a powerful brigthening complex helping to reduce sun-induced hyperpigmentation. This active illuminating complex is meant to target and downregulate a specify enzyme located in the skin responsable for the production of ageing spots/excessive pigmentation.

So enough of the theory, how does the S5 illuminating serum perfom in practice? After applying it every evening into cleansed face for a good 6 weeks, I can say that the serum is perfect to even out complexion. It gives a little kick to skin regeneration processes and help to unify skin while being really moisturising at the same time.
So I like the performance but I still want to mention a couple of things I like less. Considering the volume, I do find the serum slightly on the pricey side. The tag-line" little goes a long way" could not be applied here. The brightening effect is a tad disappointing as I have not seen dramatic improvement in terms of dark spot reduction. Perhaps I need to wait a little more time. All in all, I am still enjoying this serum very much: the weaker points do not outweight its strong benefits- super gentle, non irritant at all, and really helpful on dull and lack luster skin!

++ unifying and soothing serum

Overal rating: 7.5/10

Composition: Aloe barbadensis leaf juice*, aqua (water), caprylic/capric triglyceride, glycerin, Saccharomyces/xylinum black tea ferment, isostearyl isostearate, C14-22 alcohol, hydrolyzed Roe, glyceryl stearate citrate, glyceryl stearate, C12-20 alkyl glucoside, Veronica officinalis (speadwell) leaf extract*, primula veris (cowslip) extract*, Mentha piperita (peppermint) leaf extract*, Malva sylvestris (mallow) extract*, Alchemilla vulgaris (lady's mantle) extract*, Achillea millefolium (yarrow) extract*, Sclerotium gum, Laminaria ochroleuca extract, lysolecithin, dehydroacetic acid, alcohol**, tocopherol, xanthan gum, pullulan, sodium levulinate, sodium anisate, parfum (natural, low allergen fragance), gluconolactone, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate. *ingredients from organic farming. ** made using organic ingredients.

Get it here.

What do you think? Have you tried this serum?

24 November 2014

A top favourite of mine : Cime beautifying oil and universal balm

Cime beauty: you may have never heard of this belgian brand….but let me tell you, you are truly missing something.
I have discovered this Ecocert certified mid-range natural beauty brand a while ago. I really got intrigued by the funky packaging and the brand itself. I was also so suprised to not have seen or heard of this little treasure before!
Although they have yet to get some more european retailers, the owner was absolutely super kind to send me the products of my choice: the beautifying oil called l'Huile and the Himalaya universal balm.

L'Huile by Cime (€22.90 for 100ml)
I have discovered this little beauty gem not long ago but I am already a big big fan. L'Huile is a multi-purpose dry oil packed with very nourishing and regenerative botanical oils such as Rosehip, Sesame and Apricot. It is designed to simplify bodycare routine because of its multiple functions. I love using this oil on damp skin after showering (especially at weekends when I have time to do a proper massage). The other way to use it is to apply it on hair prior to shampooing. It acts as a really nice cocooning layer for the hair and is soothing/repariring for dry ends (I have long hair, so always happy to give them a treat!). L'Huile by Cime comes in a very handy spray, and when I say handy, I really mean it. It gives the sufficient amount needed without splashing oil everywhere. If you haven't noticed its lovely sperky orange colour, then have a look again. The vibrant colour is beautiful and probably due to the Carrot extract alongside the Rosehip oil. Although the composition remains fairly simple (blend of a few carriers/expensive oils with some plant extracts),  this oil is a great performer. To give the "dry" effect to the oil, Cime has incorporated dicapryl carbonate in the formula. This naturally derived- emollient has the ability to spread easily and and give a velvety finish to the skin. This oil combines great perfomance, nice texture and pleasant scent: a real winner for me. 

 Composition: dicapryl carbonate, Sesamum indicum (Sesame) seed oil*, caprylic capric triglyceride, Prunus armeniaca (Apricot) kernel oil*, parfum, Hippophae rhamnoides (Seabucktorn) seed oil, Prinsepia utilis (Dhatelo) seed oil, Rosa rubiginosa (Rosehip) seed oil, Daucus carota (Carrot) root extract*, tocopherol, Helianthus annus (sunflower) seed oil, geraniol, linalool, citral, Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) leaf extract*, limonene.

Himalaya 29N-81E Universal balm (13.99 for 50ml)
My ideal balm is a good extra-nourishing beauty product that would heal/treat any little skin damages and problems without being over-greasy (I am quite picky on the latter as I don't like sticky and oily feeling). Is this one THE one?
Ever since my eyes got caught by the wonderful packaging of Himalaya, this balm became my go-to first aid beauty cream. The really rich and creamy white cream (rather than balm) housed in a beautiful aluminium tube, which gives a nice retro feeling to the product, is also infused with 7 specific essential oils. The 7 essential oils chosen in the formulation all share very interesting beauty properties: invigorating Peppermint, antiseptic Withergreen, tonic Lemongrass, stimulant Ginger, uplifting Palmarosa, calming Chamomille, yes the list is long….and did I forget to mention that this therapeutic balm smells really divine: fresh, herby, addictive. Chiuri butter also found in the cream is a great alternative to Shea butter and it is made from Chiuri tree, a deciduous tree native from native Nepal. Often used by local communities for its repairing and skin healing properties, Chiuri butter makes it the ideal companion to soothe demanding skins. Additionnally, the essential oil blend in the formula proves to be very effective if you suffer from a cold and want to breathe a bit more freely. You just need to apply a bit of cream on the chest and it will do wonders. And if you suffer from stiff muscles, be reassured: the universal balm does a great job at soothing muscles after activity! And its potent effect is also seen on cracked hands that become immediately relieved and healed after one application. What a multitasker!
Lovely beauty problem solver retailing at less than 15 euros..that is one not to be missed!

Composition: aqua, Sesamum indicum seed oil*, Lavandula angustifolia aqua*, cetearyl alcohol, glycerin, glyceryl stearate citrate, Prunus armeniaca kernel oil*, cera laba, Bassia butyracea seed butter, glyceryl caprylate, Zingiber officinale root oil*,  Gaultheria procumben leaf oil*, stearoyl glutamate, tocopherol, xanthan gum, Chamomilla recutita extract*, Juniperus chinensis leaf extract*, potassium sorbate, Cymbopogon martini oil*, Rhododendron anthopogon flower/leaf extract, geranil, limonene, linalool

Get it here: Bio'Ty Lab.

What are your thoughts? Fancy trying those?

17 November 2014

Top hand treatments: Herbfarmacy Working Hand cream and Cuticle oil

Herbfarmacy is a brand I have had an eye on for a very a very long time. This british skincare company has a lot that I like - created by a doctor (Dr Paul Richards), 30 years of homegrown herbs and homemade plant extracts and many years of in-house research, cruelty-free, and suitable for sensitive skins.
I was literally over the moon when Herbfarmacy asked me if I wanted to try some of their products. They kindly send me a beautiful package featuring many samples of their beauty products. Today, let's focus on hands ( By the way, have you read my top beauty post on how to get beautiful hands?). I have been using the Working Hand cream and Cuticle oil for some time now. Here are my thoughts.

Working Hand cream (£16.00 for 100g)

This delicious and rich yet non greasy cream has been a wonderful soother for my hands. Thick and reaching for me what is an ideal texture for a hand cream, this cream has been one of my favorite beauty items lately. I have a tendency to wash my hands often (perhaps too often) and this causes some dehydration and dryness. The formula is packed with skin nourishing botanical oils such as Macadamia, Apricot and Evening primrose. What I like is that it does not feel too waxy at all. With its aloe vera base, the hand cream deeply nurtures the skin and leaves the hands velvety smooth. The smell is really pleasant: a nice mix between herbs and flowers due to the elegant blend of essential oils.
I very much enjoy using this cream on a daily basis and especially when days are getting colder. It brings an immediate relief to my hands without leaving any sticky film.
If you are looking for a very effective organic hand cream, then this is one to go for!

Composition: aqua, Aloe barbadensis* (Aloe vera), Helianthus annus (Sunflower) oil*, Macadamia tetraphylla (Macadamia nut) oil*, Oenothera biennis (Evening primerose) oil*, soduim stearoul lactylate (vegetable emuslsifier), Prunus armeniaca (Apricot kernel) oil*, Stellaria media (Chickweed) extract*, glycerine*, glyceryl stearate* (vegetable emulsifier), Cera alba* (beeswax), cetyl alcohol (vegetable emulsifier), Althaea officinalis (Marshmallow) extract*, ethanol* (ethyl alcohol), phenoxyethanol, benzyl alcohol, potassium sorbate (mild preservative system), tocopherol (Vitamin E oil), lactic acid, Symphytum sp. (Comfrey) extract*, Calendula officinalis*, Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) extract*, Lavandula angustifolia (Lavender) essential oil*, Mentha piperita (Peppermint) essential oil*, Litsea cubeba (May chang) essential oil*, d-limonene, geraniol, linalool.*organic. Contains nut oils.

Nail and Cuticle oil (£18.00 for 30 ml)

On a general basis, I do not necessarly treat my nails with anything special than a tad of the current hand cream on each nail (aka the working hand cream). Having said that, I was very tempted by this special oil, specifically designed to encourage nail growth and prevent breakage. The oil blend comes in a flacon with a pipette. This is really handy since the oil is really light.You only need a drop or two to massage the entire nails. Along with soothing Jojoba, the blend contains Horsetail and Calendula extracts, which both have regenerative and healing properties. The smell of this oil is incredibly herby and really addictive. Since using this oil every evening for a good 4 weeks now, my nails are stronger and look much better and more unified.
Perfect if you want to heal nails area and simulate weak and fragile nail growth!

Composition: Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba) seed oil, Helianthus annuss hybrid oil (high-oleic Sunflower) oil, Equisetum arvensis (Horsetail) extract, Calendula officinalis (Calendula) flower extract, lavandula angustifolia (Lavender) essential oil, Backhousia citriodora leaf (Lemon Myrtle essential oil), Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) extract.

Herbfarmacy is available at Lovelula.

Have your tried these products? What is your favorite hand cream?

10 November 2014

6 beauty tips to help dehydrated skins

With the weather becoming slightly colder and windy, it is not surprising to see that the skin also starts being more reactive/irritated.

If your skin shows some signs of discomfort, if your skin feels uncomfortable, a bit tight and a bit itchy or if your skin lacks radiance and has some fine lines, then, your skin may be dehydrated.
What is important to remember is that ANY skin type (dry, normal, combination, oily) can be dehydrated. Dehydration is a skin condition that occurs when the lipidic barrier from the skin is altered and when the water content decreases. So what to do?

Here are some of the best ways to help and pamper dehydrated skin:
  1. Drink waterHydration first comes from within. 
  2. Avoid hot showers or long baths. Hot water dries out the skin.
  3. Use the beauty products with the right ingredients
    • Hyaluronic acid, urea, glycerin, shea butter are some of the best moisturisers. 
    • Privilege very soothing cleansing natural beauty products rich in organic plant oils.
    • Opt for some rich moisturising day creams that help to restore skin barrier.
    • But…. cut out beauty products with strong detergents, alcohol or other irritants (parfum).
  4. Use thermal water. Thermal water is an excellent beauty mist to combat dehydration. The best way to use is to spray on cleansed face and then gently pat dry.
  5. Night time routine is key. Apply a highly moisturising serum before any face oil/cream.
  6. Take advantage of a hydrating maskOnce or twice a week apply a generous amount of hydrating mask that immmediately quench skin's thirst. 

Which products to use? Here is my little selection:

Some firm favorite brands of mine for the thermal water are Roche-Posay, Evian, UriageJonzac.
Really good moisturising face cleansers can be found at Pai skincare, Neals Yard Remedies, Aurelia skincare and Acure Organics.
 Mychelle Dermaceuticals, 100% Pure, Juice Beauty, Ren Skincare have some excellent moisturising serums.
And finally, Dr Hauschka, Nuxe bio-beaute, Weleda, Melvita  have a good choice of soothing face masks.

If you have any other tips, let me know!

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03 November 2014

Basic routine- So' Bio Etic bodywashes and shampoos

Sometimes, organic does not necessarly mean expensive.
So' Bio Etic is a french brand I have already mentionned on this blog when I reviewed the BB cream Perfecteur de teint - a french, affordable beauty brand which really offers a huge range of beauty products including make-up, skincare and body care. My regular trips to France are often a good excuse for me to stock-up with lot of beauty goodies I do not find anywhere else. I'm also very keen to introducing you new things than the classical french pharmacy brands we see or hear often about.

Here are some of the So'Bio Etic body care and haircare products that I bought a little while ago - Their cute packaging caught my eye in the shops and I liked the ingredients and…. the price!

All the bodywahes are free from parabens and only contain gentle detergents. Although not hyper-foaming, they clean really nicely without drying the skin. They are delicately scented with essential oils and enriched with a couple of signature ingredient for each product.

The creamy bodywash Almond and Honey is one of my favourites of the bunch. The sweet and yummy macaron-like aroma is very conforting while the creamy texture does a great job in soothing skin. Nice if your skin is towards the dry side. 
The Lime and Guarana shower gel is the tonic one : fresh and zingy, it is a burst of dynamism and is ideal to use in the morning if you want to awaken the senses and gets a nice invigorating boost! I love it!
The third shower cream that I have been using is the Donkey milk creamy bodywash. Donkey milk is very nourishing and calming and is known for its therapeutic actions on skin disorders. This body wash contains also nourishing shea butter and moisturising Aloe vera, which leaves skin soothed.
Lovely trio at a great price (each shower gel costs less than 5 euros)!

Then next the shampoos. The SLS- and silicone-free shampoo range is also impressive and amongst all the varieties I bought the shampoo color care Raspberry and Pomegranate and the purifying shampoo Green clay and Lemon.
The shampoo color care Raspberry and Pomegranate smells really nice and has been designed for colour-treated hair (I don't color my hair though). It works really well at effectively cleansing and nurturing hair locks thanks to Rasberry seed oil and Shea Butter. Formulated with green tea extract, my hair looks healthy and shiny.
But if I want to have a slightly more astringent effect, I then use the purifying shampoo Green clay and Lemon which stimulates and deep cleanses scalp.
Both shampoos lather well. This combo has been a great pick to include in my basic haircare and retailing at a total value of less than 10 euros, you won't go wrong!

You can buy all the products mentioned here from Eccoverde.

Have you ever tried So' Bio Etic range? what is your favourite basic shower/hair product?

01 November 2014

Yours Truly Organics skincare: a really nice surprise

Yours Truly Organics has only been launched a few months ago in UK and I already read many great reviews about it. This organic cruelty-free and Ecocert certified face beauty range was created after the founder Kelita suffers from toubled skin for many years. She wanted to tackle the problem serioulsy and she decided to create a natural beauty solution which resulted in this 4 steps skincare routine. My skin type is combination type and I was more that happy to try this range.

Take it away cleanser (£22 for 120ml)
This quite vibrant orange gel foams easily when you add a bit of water and has been one of my favorite products from the line. Enriched in skin-loving sunflower and jojoba oils, my skin feels really cleansed and fresh after. This is really the type of cleanser I like to use in the morning (but also in the evening to remove daily impurities and make-up) because it is effective yet gentle and quick. The gel features  colorful and anti-oxidant Annatto extract and healing Sandalwood essential oil that promote radiance and glow.

Balancing toner (£19 for 100ml)
This one has been my best friend for a good 3 months now. It does an excellent job in toning and balancing the cleansed face. The combination of naturally astringent Witch hazel flower water with glycerin and Oat extract helps to reveal a clearer skin without the dryness. The serum contains Pentavitin, a unique moisturising complex that provides intense skin hydration. As an overall, I really love the performance. The only drawback of this product is that my skin sounds a little bit sticky after application. Because of this sensation, I prefer using it exclusively in my evening skincare routine.

Fix me up repairing serum (£28 for 30ml)
If you are looking for a serum that can soothe and calm irritated skin while helping the cell regeneration process, this one is the one. This light clear and yellow potent serum glides easily on the skin to smoothe away imperfections and repair the skin. The Gatuline Skin-repair Bio present in the serum is proven to restore skin and encourages cell reparation processes.
Exclusively part of my skincare evening routine too, it works really well with the other products. Again, a winner for me!

Face base face balm (£25 for 100ml)
This pot contains a marvellous cream (rather than oil-based balm as the name would suggest) that smells absolutely divine. The scent is really unique and actually very relaxing. The cream does a really great job at moisturising, thanks to the skin-loving oils and butters it contains. I noticed as well the presence of firming pea extract, soothing concumber extract and brightening Daisy flower extract. I think this base is ideal to use when the weather is not too hot, as it tends to feel a tad too heavy for me.

As an overall, Yours Truly Organics has been a really pleasant surprise. I really like the products, the concept, but I mainly adore the results!

There is one thing in my opinion that may let down the range: the plastic packaging which looks cheap, considering the price point of the line. The good news is that Kelita has announced me that she is working on a complete packaging make-over. Check out the website to discover the new prices/product design!

Have you tried Yours Truly Organics? what are your thoughts?

27 October 2014

So smooth skin: R.L. linden & co sugar scrub and Lyonsleaf body butter

I am always dreaming of a smooth skin. And sometimes, dreams come true…with a little help of course. Ok, let me detail you a bit more now two of the bodycare products I have been using lately.

If you are following me, you all know that I have quite a (big!) soft spot for the R.L. linden & Co beauty range and included in their latest lovely summer edition I received this summer was the really appealing Lemon and Petitgrain sugar scrub.

R.L. linden & Co Lemon + Petitgrain Enzyme sugar Scrub
This wonderfully vegan body scrub is (hand) made of very simple yet effective blend of sugar and soothing coconut oil. The beautiful fresh and invigorating scent is due to the presence of Lemon and Petitgrain essential oils. Subtil and floral Petitgrain is reknown for its healing and regenerative properties whereas antiseptic Lemon brings some zest and punch to formula.You just need to apply a small amount, to rub in circular motions (insist on dry areas) and rinse to get a skin amazingly silky smooth and radiant. It also contains Aloe vera gel which is an exceptionnal beauty ingredient for its   moisturising benefits. The formula is simple but works really well. Skin is velvety soft minus any oil residue.
This scrub was part of the limited edition summer box in addition with the gorgeous Whole Lotta Roses Probiotic mask (read my review here).

Price: part of the summer box.
Composition: turbinado sugar, Aloe vera gel, fractionated coconut oil, essential oils of Lemon and Petit grain.

The other brand that I have been really delighted to try is Lyonsleaf, a newly upcoming british natural skincare company. After exchanging a few emails, the owner Vicky kindly sent me a body butter to try.

Lyonsleaf Body Butter 
The generous tinted brown glass pot contains a really lovely treat for the body. Absolutely divinely nourishing, the creamy body butter helps to treat any little body skin problems you may have experienced: dryness, rough skin,  lack of elasticity. The texture is amazingly divine as a small amount of butter is enough to bring back softness and radiance. I am a massive fan of Shea butter as this wonderful healing ingredient originated from Africa is just in itself a pure beauty wonder. Hand-blended to a few repairing cold-pressed plants oil such as Avocado and sweet Almond, this body butter achieves a really high standard in regards to formula. It also features Calendula flower extract, a highly healing and anti-inflammatory component very rich in anti-oxidants. A top favorite bodycare product of mine!

Price: £12.95 for 110ml
Composition: Butyrospermum parkii (organic raw shea butter), Cocos nucifera (cold pressed organic coconut oil), Persea americana (organic cold pressed avocado oil), Prunus amygdalus dulcis (cold pressed sweet almond oil), tocopherol (natural Vitamin E), styrax benzoin (benzoin resin), Salvia sclera (clary sage essential oil), Pelargonium graveolens (geranium essential oil), Piper nigrum (blackpepper essential oil), Calendula officinalis (Calendula flower extract), citral, geraniol, benzyl benzoate, benzyl cinnamate, limonene, linolool.

...This duo has been amazing as it has giving me a ultra-soft baby skin.

My bodycare routine is really simple and the whole experience with this lovely duo is definetely worth it. A perfect excuse for some home "Me time"!

What do you think? Have your tried both brands?

20 October 2014

My asian facial toner: Chidoriya Peach Moon Water

Let me introduce you my little beauty treasure of the moment: the Chidoriya Peach Moon water.
I have discovered this herbal toner while browsing online a while ago and got really tempted! I am a very big fan of toners in general and rarely do without one. Although I have written about my love for the Rose water, I decided to expend my area of testing to the Japanese beauty world of Chidoriya.
Fall season is almost on and when I bought this toner, I had a firm intention to find one really effective  that acts a bit as a skin booster. So... is Chidoriya Peach Moon water worth the purchase?

Product name: Peach Moon Water
Certified: no
Texture: liquid
For: all skin types
Price: 31$ for 120ml

My opinion

This pure herbal toner has been part of my skincare routine lately. The  medicinal plant that is used to make this hydrosol is called Shell Ginger and has been widely used in the Japanese herbal medicine. Quite unique and exotic, this toner carries the lovely ginger aroma. Fan of ginger or not, you are more than likely to enjoy the warm yet subtle and pleasant scent!

Also named Alpinia Zerumbet, Shell Ginger is a traditional plant from Japan and reknown for its potent anti-inflammatory benefits. Sheel Ginger is said to be wonderfully healing and regenerative due to the exceptional concentration of bioactives and anti-oxidants. Alcohol-free, this rejuvenating hydrosol is preserved with grapefruit seed extract. This preservative can be controversial depending on the method of extraction. The ingredient list does not specify the compound used for the extract. So in that case, I am not really able to comment too much on it.
Talking about the packaging design, well... I  love it! The perky green bottle is really cute and brings a certain edginess and fun to my beauty cabinet. My only wish would be to have a spray dispenser rather than a standard bottle opening -this would help much better to control the debit of the toner (as lot of product gets lost and absorb in the pad).

During my cleansing routine, I apply (or try to apply) a tiny amount on an organic cotton pad and smooth over my face (in the morning or in the evening or both depending on my skin needs). It is really refreshing. The effects on my skin have been really promising so far: my face is more radiant and unified, presents less irregularities, and is just really soft. My skin is also perfectly primes for moisturiser, oil or serum treatment.

Chidoriya Peach Moon Water is a pricey toner, no doubt. However, it could become my perfect mid-season toner - it ensures a real nice skin glow and that is a key feature for me. I would probably recommend to use it more as a cure and as a really special treat rather than as a daily basic toner. I can't wait to try more of Chidoriya (yes, I have already bought another product that I will review it soon, so stay tuned).
So…is it worth the purchase? I would definitely say: Yes!

++ unique scent and great results
- pricey and no spray

My overal rating: 9/10

Product composition: Alpinia Zerumbet (Shell ginger) hydrosol, Grapefruit seed extract.

What do you think of Chidoriya toner? fancy to try it?


12 October 2014

Yes to Tomatoes Volumizing shampoo

If there is one thing that always need to look clean, shiny and healthy, then it's my hair. I have long chatain curlish hair: they are easy manageable I would say, easy to tie up in a chignon or leave it loose. I do not straighten my hair (no time and not too good for your hair either), and I like it that way…perhaps I stick to my natural look french beauty routine too!
Shampoos have a very important place in my bathroom. I have tried a lot and thought I would give my thoughts of one of them: Yes to Tomatoes Voluminizing shampoo.

Product name: Yes to Tomato Voluminizing shampoo
For: fine or long hair
Texture: light and creamy
Certified: no
Presentation: Bottle (big!)
Price: 9€ for 500ml

My opinion

This is my first tried and tested session for the Yes to brand. I actually bought it impulsively, also driven by the relative affordable price, but I was very happy to give it a go!
I'm not sure if you are like me, but one of my main shampoo expectations is to deliver clean scalp,  volume and shine to my hair. Aimed at long hair and named voluminizing shampoo, I think I could not go wrong with this one. It really defines and describes my hair type.
Looking closer at the content, the formulation is not bad at all. Enriched with some lovely hair loving fruit extracts and a blend of plant oils to nourish and soothe hair locks, the SLS-free formula of this shampoo seems quite impressive. The detergents selected are mild and gentle and are effective at cleansing away dirt and impurities.
Wondering about my experience?…Helas, the shampoo does not entirely work for me. Although it lathers really well and does a great job at cleansing, the results 2 days post-shampoo are just disappointing: my curly hair looks rather flat and also feels greasy. I have tried to use less product per usage or have tried to carefully double rinse but this did not improve the results.
Remember that shampoos are quite personal such as skincare and routine. I am not saying that this shampoo would not work on other hair type. It may, but it was definitely not my best haircare product.

….a disppointing performance!

My overal rating: 5/10

Composition: water (aqua), sodium coco-sulfate, decyl glucoside, lauryl glucosyl, dead sea water (maris aqua), glyceryl stearate SE, solanum lycopersicum (tomato) fruit extract, citrillys vulgaris (watermelon) fruit extract, chenopodium quinoa flower/leaf extract, ganoderma lucidum (mushroom) extract, prunus persicus nectarina fruit (nectarine) extract, capsicum annunm extract, aloe barbadensis leaf juice (aloe vera), olea europaea (olive) fruit oil, prunus amygdalus dulcis (sweet almond) oil, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, spirulina maxima extract, camellia sinensis leaf (green tea) extract, algae extract, ginkgo biloba extract, punica granatum extract, xanthun gum, citric acid, fragance (parfum), sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate

PS: While writing this review, I did try another shampoo from the range (I wanted to give another chance to Yes) And surprise surprise, the Nourishing shampoo Yes to Carrots has been a real winner! It gives me the healthy and voluminous locks that I have been dreaming on.

What do you think? Have you used Yes to Shampoos?

05 October 2014

R.L. linden & Co Whole Lotta Roses probiotic mask

The best beauty advice for a healthy and smooth looking skin is to do regular home face treatments: a face exfoliation follow-up with a mask - a once/week pampering session!
During the summer, I was (once again) extremely excited when R.L. linden & co sent me a beautiful package: their " Limited Edition seasonal summer box". An absolutely lovely parcel which contains many goodies, including the Whole Lotta Roses probiotic mask. I will review some of the other products in another post soon.

Product name: Whole Lotta Roses Probiotic mask
For: any skin tips
Texture: powder
Certified: no
Contenance: 30g

My opinion

The small glass pot is not even open and the wonderful and magical scent of the aromatic fresh floral blend of Rose discretly escapes the container and brings all senses into a very much welcome "relax" state. The expert ladies behind the brand, Lynn and Robin have done it again (remember my enthousiasm for the the Thousand Petals Beautifying mist): a magical scented mask!

The dark rose colour of the Whole Lotta Roses probiotic mask is stunning. This facial mask features a blend of excellent natural powders that have been recognized to soften and normalize the skin. To start, the main ingredient Pink clay helps to draw out impurities and clarify the skin (this clay type is really gentle for sensitive skins). Then you have the Yogurt powder which contains lots of proteins, but its main action is to gently exfoliate without irritating thanks to the lactic acid. Rich in vitamins and acids, the strawberry powder delicately refines the skin and leave it silky smooth. Also packed with Vitamin C- rich Rosehip and Rose powder, this mask stimulates cell renewal and really freshens-up any dull/tired looking skins. And for the final touch, a touch of honey that nurtures and moisturises the skin. What a brillant beauty concoction!

But the main question is: does the Whole Lotta Roses probiotic mask, with all its great ingedients live up to expectation and perform? And the answer is YES!
I love using it every week. My favorite way (aka the best results oberved) is when I mix 1/2 teaspoon of the probiotic mask with one teaspoon of organic Acacia honey. I apply it for 20 min (rarely more). I experience a slighty warm and tingling sensation on the skin but nothing really dramatic. Once timing is over, I then rinse away by massaging the face with lukewarm water: the tiny grains (perhaps from Rosehip) gently encourage the exfoliation process…and my skin is so smooth! I gently pat dry and quickly spray a bit of Jonzac thermal water. I have been repeating this ritual over the past couple of months and I am delighted with the results.
Although this mask was part of the limited eddition summer box, I really hope it will become a standard because it really deserves a permament place on the R.L. linden & co shelves.

++ aroma and performance
- struggling to find any really

My overal rating: 9/10

Composition: Pink clay, rose powder, strawberry powder, yogurt powder, rosehip powder, honey powder, proprietary essential oil blend including Rose centefolia, Rose geranium & Linden flower essential oils.

What do you think? Have you tried it?

28 September 2014

My little Acure Organics collection

If there is one US natural beauty brand that stands out for me, I would definitely say it is Acure Organics. I have been in love with their wonderfully soothing Argan oil  and their Cell stimulating face mask and after these excellent experiences, I thought I would get my hands on other products from the range.

Eye cream Chorella + Edleweiss stem cells
My dreams (almost) come true with this little pot of magical cream. This ultra-fast absorbing and soothing light cream brings a layer of comfort to the eye area. It repairs, it soothes, it calms and prevents any signs of premature ageing. Completely packed with ultra-repairing botanical oils, this eye cream also features some great actives known for their anti-puffiness and decongestionning properties.The little pot I bought a while ago (repackaged in a tube recently) is almost done: I have been faithful to it for at least 6 months or so. Every evening I really gently massage the eye area from the outer to the inner part in order stimulate lymphatic drainage. The scent itself is quite neutral but I do not mind.

Day cream Gotu kola stem cell + 1% Chorella growth factor
While end of summer is quickly approaching (but still lots of sunshine here in Amsterdam!), this moisturising cream is perfect if you are looking for something a little richer to use during the Fall season. The brilliant formula is spot on: plenty of gorgeous organic botanical oils, extracts and nutrients to nurture your face and it makes an ideal base before make-up.
I do not use this cream daily but only when my skin feels a bit too much dehydrated. As you may know, I am not that keen on having a "greasy" face, but I have no problems with this one. It leaves the skin perfectly smooth and matte. Thanks to healing Gotu kola stem cells and chorella extract, the cream has also great regenerative properties.

Night cream Argan stem cell + 2% Chorella growth factor
Whether or not you are a fan of night face oil or not, you may want to consider giving this little wonder a try. Packed with antioxidants (Curoxidant signature blend unique to Acure Organics) and skin repairing Argan stem cell extract, I am absolutely in love with this cream. The texture is superb and the effects are amazing. I like to apply it every time my skin feels a little stressed or is lacking the morning "glow". The next day, your skin feels ultra-soft (almost like a baby skin), repaired and very healthy.
In one word, it delivers…! Highly recommended.

Facial serum
Brand new and not tested yet! So stay tuned.

Just like before, my enthousiasm and love for Acure Organics is stronger thant ever. I am really keen to discover more and more their range!

Have you tried Acure Organics? what is your favourite product?


22 September 2014

Bodhiluxe: my feature on French beauty

Bodhiluxe is absolutely stunning online magazine featuring everything G r e e n, L u X e, sustainable, from Food to Beauty to Lifestyle to Home….Big applause to Elijah founder of Bodhiluxe and the eco-luxe english beauty brand Bodhi & Birch and Gemma from buff beauty also editor of Bodhiluxe for their amazing job.

I had the privilege to write a post "the truth behind French beauty" on Bodhiluxe. Enjoy it here.

21 September 2014

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish

As you all may know, face cleansing is one of my favorite parts in my beauty routine. It is such an important step that I am always keen to spend lots of time hunting for the "perfect face cleanser" (if one exists!). I already reviewed a few cleansers on this blog and I love this one and this one, so can Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish stands up the competition?

Product name: Cleanse & Polish Liz Earle
Certified: no
For: all skin types
Texture: white cream
Price: £14.75 for 100ml +2 muslin cloths

My opinion

The Cleanse & Polish hot cloth cleanser is one of the top beauty products from the English skincare brand elaborated by Liz Earle. It is such an icon amongst (green and classical) beauty bloggers that I could not resist to trying it!
Although it is end of summer, I really wanted to experience a creamy cleanser during hotter days and figure out whether I would still enjoy it (or not!). I have a tendency to like the "splashy and fresh feeling" of cold water rinse for face cleansing but yet, I have decided to give a try to some more nurturing cleansing methods.
  Housed in a really nice and clean-cut blue bottle, the cleanser comes as a rich waxy cream that reminds me a bit of a really thick whipped creme fraiche. One pump delivers the right amount of product needed for one cleansing application. So far, great start! The system is handy, hygienic and perfect if you have to travel, so you don't have to worry about product leaking.
   I use mainly the Cleanse & Polish in the evening, massage it all over the face, insist on the make-up area that needs more attention and then wipe it off a few times with the provided muslin square damped in hot water (aka "hot cloth cleansing"). I tend to avoid the eye area as I prefer to use a specific natural eye remover.
  The scent of this cleanser is lovely. I am a huge fan of invigorating scent and Eucalyptus aroma really seems to adequately deliver the sensation of "freshness" that I am looking for. Infused with Rosemary and Chamomille essential oils, known for their antiseptic properties and enriched in moisturising Cocoa butter, the cleanser is really gentle and does a great job. My skin is left cleansed and soft.

However, as much as I would like to like it, I don't have the "whow" factor. Not sure why. I guess my expectations were maybe too high. Or perhaps I am just missing my Konjac sponge when using the Cleanse and Polish? Or am I still secretly in love with the Aurelia Miracle cleanser? Who knows…

  Lastly, I would like to draw your attention to the composition of this product. If you look at the ingredient list, you will notice the presence of some "not so green" ingredients, such as propylene glycol (used as a plant extraction medium), phenoxyethanol (used as a preservative), and polysorbate 60 (used as an emulsifier). I do think these compounds could easily be replaced by more natural and skin beneficial alternatives. So this choice of formulation is a bit a let-down for me, especially coming from a "naturally skincare company".

++ packaging and texture
- ingredients not 100%natural

My overal rating: 6.5/10

Composition: aqua (water), caprylic/capric triglyceride, Theobroma (cacao) seed butter, cetearyl alcohol, cetyl esters, sorbitan stearate, polysorbate 60, glycerin, cera alaba (beeswax),  propylene glycol, Humulus lupulus (hops) extract, panthenol, Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) extract,  Anthemis nobilis (chamomille) extract, Eucalyptus globulus (eucalyptus) oil, limonene, citric acid, phemoxyethanol, benzoic acid, ethylhexylglycerin, dehydroacetic acid, polyaminopropyl biguanide.

Have you used the Cleanse & Polish? What do you think?

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