Natural beauty and well-being

26 May 2014

Yuli Skincare Panacea Elixir: my thoughts

Toners form a "can't-do-without" part of my skincare routine. Although I am 100% in love with rose flower water (see here why and here too), I am more than happy to give other beauty mists a go.

Yuli skincare is a US skincare company which developped highly effective in-house beauty products by combining the hightest grade and natural ingredients while leaving out alcohol, synthetic derived nutrients but also citrus/bergamot essential oils (which may lead to hypermengation under light).
Although I was eager to try all their products, I picked the Panacea Elixir, which is a lovely crafted toner, as my first :-).

Product name: Panacea Elixir
Certified: No
For: all types of skin
Texture: mist
Price: $36.00 for 100ml

My opinion

Panacea Elixir embraces a really wonderful mix of skin soothing, balancing, decongestionning natural flower waters in addition to plant extracts, fruits enzymes, hydrating aloe vera, and a trace of colloidal silver. The carefully designed elixir comes in a black stylish bottle that sprays uniformly. I love the minimalist "Chanel" look of it.
Apart from the design, I had high expectations of this toner (and actually of the brand in general). Their website is really clear, detailed, professional and clearly states the benefits of each of their selected ingredients. I also read a few good reviews about this toner.

Composition-wise, I think Yuli skincare does really well! This beauty concoction is a pure skin bliss. While witch hazel water gently purifies and tones skin, rose and helychrisum hydrosols calm and soothe the skin and take irritation and redness away. Extra-moisturing and cooling effects are added through the concumber extract. The watercress extract, also present in this blend, is known to improve complexion by reducing any puffiness. Additionnaly, colloidal silver, which is a suspension of tiny particules of silver, has anti-bacterial properties.

I really like using this Panacea Elixir in both the morning and the evening. I haven't seen any immediate spectacular results (which is too ambitious for a toner anyway), but what I really enjoy is the instant moisturising, balancing and anti-inflammatory effect it has on my skin. It calms and soothes my skin in a very pleasant way. A great start of the night and a great start of the day too...

...However, there is a big drawback: the scent. Although the product consists of pure hydrolats, the scent mix is not appealing to me. The toner doesn't contain any aromatic essential oils, so the aroma you get is strictly the one from the combination of all ingredients. This is an admirable principle, but with these ingredients it just does not work for me. I did not find it fresh or pleasant at all. It is my personal opinion, and I know that it may appeal to others, but for me it is reason enough not to advocate it too loudly. A pity for such a quality product.

... Loving the effect of Panacea elixir, but the scent does put me off!

++ excellent ingredient blend
-- the scent

My overal rating: 7/10

Composition: D-Aloe barnadenis, R. damascena (rose) hydrolat, H. italicum (helichrysum) hydrolat, L. angustifolia (lavender) hydrolat, H. virginiana (witch hazel) hydrolat, H. italicum/L.angustifolia (helichrysum/lavender) hydrolat, frequency enhanced water, vegetable glycerine, C. sativus (cucumber) extract, N. officinale (watercress) extract, biodynamic fruit enzymes, trace minerals complex, colloidal silver.

18 May 2014

Completely Nuts: a french bodycare line

Well, the title says it all..... Looking to take care of your body before spring/summer?
We all dream of a silky-soft and glowing skin, gently and safely sunkissed. The weather has been really great these past few days, so it is almost time to show off your beautiful legs and softs arms! Need a bit of help with that? I am going to introduce you to Completely Nuts, a french natural bodycare line (that may extend to skincare) that uses nourishing nut oils as their signature ingredients and contain no parabens, silicones or alcohol.

Completely Nuts is divided into 4 ranges:
- Cashew line for dry and damaged skins.
- Macadamia line for streched skin (ideal for pregnant women).
- Almond line for all sensitive skins.
- Peanut butter line for all type of skins.

Kindly asking if they have any samples to provide, Completely Nuts sent me a beautiful beauty package. I am reviewing 2 of their products today.

Macadamia anti-ageing body cream

This luxurious white gelified cream is great if you want to provide an instant soothing treat to the body. The dry areas are softened thanks to the skin-loving nutrients (Vitamin E, fatty acids omegas 9 and 3) present in the cold-pressed virgin Macadamia oil. The cream absorbs well but I do find that it is not as rich and repairing as I though it would be. There is just something lacking but not sure how to define it.
The packaging is quite funky and reminds me of a little ice-cream pot you eat while strolling on a nice Sunday afternoon. And actually, so does the smell! it is nutty and sweet... nice (however listed as "parfum").
Looking closely at the composition (which claims that 94% of its ingredients are from natural origin), I was a bit disappointed as the product contains some non-beneficial stuff such as disodium EDTA (calcium binder) or polyisobutene. Additionnaly, this cream contains some esters of natural origin such as skin emollient propylene glycol dipelargonate which acts as an emulsifiant. It creates a dry feel skin and is often used as a substitute to silicones. Caprylyl glycol is also a plant-based anti-bacterial emollient.
As an overall, this cream does her job but if you are a pure green beauty fan, then, you may want to look for alternatives. 

Composition: water, Macadamia ternifolia seed oil, cetyl alcohol, propylene glycol dipelargonate, propanediol, C10-18 triglycerides, coco caprylate/caprate, Oryza sativa (rice) bran oil, candellia/jojoba/rice bran polyglyceryl-3 esters, glyceryl stearate, potato starch, cetearyl alcohol, sodium stearoyl lactylate, hydroxyethyl acrylate/sodium acryloyldimethyl taurate copolymer, 1, 2 hexanediol, caprylyl glycol, Butyrospermum parki (shea) butter, parfum, polyisobutene, tocopherol (mixed), xanthan gum, Zizyphus jujuba seed extract, disodium EDTA, PEG-7 trimethylolpropane coconut ether, sodium hydroxide, sorbitan isostearate, phytoecodisteroids, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, tocopherol.

Cashew ultra-nourishing oil

If your skin or your hair crave for some extra-soothing care, than this oil will do wonders. Delicately scented, this wonderful blend of virgin plants oils (avocado, argan, almond, apricot) can restore suppleness to dry skin and shineness to lustre-lack hair. Cashew seed oil is really rich in regenerating Vitamin E and repairing fatty acids, so it helps to improve skin softness and texture. Plus enriched with argan and avocado oils, my skin is instantly left nourished and smooth. The beauty oil comes into an handy and nice bottle spray, which I like. Loving to indulge the body with a nice massage with this oil! It is not greasy at all, but aims to be rather "dry". To achieve this effect, Completely Nuts selected ocytedecyl myristate as their first ingredient. Octydodecyl myristate is a skin emollient and conditionning agent. Derived from a specific fatty acid (myristic acid) present in plants, octydodecyl myristate makes a beauty product feeling less greasy and give a sheer feel too.
I also like to apply this oil on my hair as a pre-shampoo regenerating treatment and it gives excellent results.
My feelings are very positive about this multitasker beauty oil and would really recommend it.

Composition: octydodecyl myristate, Anacardium occidentale (cashew) seed oil, Argania spinosa (argan) kernel oil, Persea gratissima (avocado) oil, Prunus amygdalus dulcis (sweet almond) oil, Prunus armeniaca (apricot) kernel oil, Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, parfum/fragance, tocopherol (mixed), bht.

Do you know Completely Nuts? which body creams/oils do you use?

11 May 2014

R.L. linden & co beauty set discovery

I know the Texas based R.L. Linden & Co beauty company since a little while now. I only experienced it very recently, mainly because it is not available in shops in Europe (as far as I know). I have learnt about this brand by browsing their website to check out what they offer and I also read wonderful reviews about their line. Everything sounds really appealing: the perfect product design & handcrafted wonderfully scented goodies. The "savoir-faire" and the overall were just to my taste!
A few weeks ago I had some exchanges over Twitter with the founders Robin and Lynn and they offered to send me some samples. When the postman delivered a beautiful beauty package tagged R.L. Linden & Co all the way from Denver, I was quite extactic. Yes, yes, yes!
Thank you so much Robin and Lynn for providing me the opportunities to test your lovely products. I mentionned it in our email exchange, but if I was not leaving that far, I would really come and visit you.

Your eyes only - Gentle make-up Remover
The ultra-lighlty scented organic coconut/jojoba blend is perfect for removing all traces of make-up and residues in a very gentle way. In the evening, I delicately massage face with it and make-up/impurities are sweap away ( I use the hot cloth method). A super cleansed and smooth face is garanteed! For info, I rarely use oil to dissolve eye make-up as I prefer using a product that is opthalmologically tested and not oil-based).

The Bee Charmer - Refining Cacao Honey Cleanser
The creamy honey/chocolaty cleanser is a pure treat for the skin. The scent is sweet as a chocolate cake and it feels like I massage my face with a onctuous gourmet dessert. I love it very much. I often use it as a second cleanser in the evening 3 times a week. It contains poppy seeds which exfoliates and boost skin renewal. After a torough rinse, my skin is left smooth, smooth, smooth. I also like to apply it as a face mask: white clay, raw honey, organic cacao are some of the goodies that leave skin purified and glowing.

Thousand Petal Beautifying mist - Hydrating Floral Toner
One spritz is enough to dreamly moisturizing and soothing skin. The rose scent is absolutely divine and I just can't get enought of it. This is one of the best toners I have ever used. My skin just drinks it up and asks for more and more. Calming, moisturising, bringing serenity. A beauty must-have!

Time after Time - Frankinsence Restoring Serum
This wonderful handcrafted organic face oil blend is trully marvellous for the skin. After only one use, my skin felt silky smooth, repaired and balanced. I am so in love with this ultra-healing serum! Composed of organic jojoba oil infused with a plethora of calming plants (comfrey, calendula, marshmallow) plus rosehip, tamanu, meadowfoam seed oil, this Frankincense restoring serum is designed to pleased all skin types including blemish-prone. The scent is a pure bliss: fresh, subtle, present without being too much.

La Balmba Rose- Healing Rose balm
Incredibly soft and nourishing, this organic rich-blend balm has become my perfect friend. Equally effective at nourising dry lips, rough elbows than soothing dry legs, I also occasionnaly used it as a ultra-replenishing nighttime face balm. Extremely soothing due to the presence of organic coconut oil, avocado oil, and organic jojoba infused with Alkanet root (which gives the pink color to the balm) and heavenly rose and vanilla scented.

Close to Me - Uplifting Deodorant spray
Featuring tamanu oil and organic olive leaf extract, the deodorant combines the wonderful scent of Bergamot and Rose geranium essential oils with the soothing benefits of flowers essences. Really fresh, flowery and mood-lifting, the deodorant actually promotes well-being and harmony in addition to bringing a vibrant protection throughout the day. Love the scent and struggle to find any lows.

Ironwood Signature Perfume oil No. 1
First, I do find that that natural perfume does not last as long as classical parfums. R.L. linden & co perfume oil is however really surprising and aromatic. Hand blend of healing essential oils in an organic jojoba base oil, it has a very strongly defined aroma of smoky wood with hints of vanilla and anise which brings warmth and mystery. I generally prefer more subtle and lighter frangrances, but I actually quite like it!

This travel size package retails at approximately 110 euros. Lots of money but really worth it.

What do you think? Have you tried R.L. linden & co beauty goodies?

04 May 2014

Konjac Sponge - my cleansing beauty tool

This little beauty tool has been raved by so many beauty bloggers. You haven't tried the Konjac sponge yet? Don't worry, I was amongst one of the last to try it too. Never too late.The lovely online boutique Bacio Di Fiori kindly sent me one and oh la la... for a good couple of months this little wonder sponge was waiting in my beauty cabinet and during that time little did I realise that I would be using it every single day...

What is it made of ?
Konjac sponges are made from the vegetal fibers of the Potatoe tree (also called Konnyaku). They are 100% biodegradable so really eco-friendly. The sponges are naturally rich in vitamins B and full of minerals.

Which version did I try?
The Konjac sponge I have been using is infused with gentle French pink clay (a mix of white and red clay) and is specially designed for sensitive and irritated skin. While this type of clay has excellent skin detox and purifying properties, it is not drying at all and is a great cleansing ingredient.

How much is it?
Retailing between 8 and 10 euros, this sponge lasts between 1 to 3 months. I think this is quite good value.

What to expect?
The combination of a unique sponge and the clay makes it a perfect all-in-one face cleansing tool. To be honest, I did not have very high expectations before starting using this product, but I am very enthusiastic now.

How do I use it?
It is advised to use it either with of without a cleanser. My preference is without. I really like to use it on a daily basis - morning and/or evening once make-up is removed and face cleansed. I plunge my sponge in water, leave it to absorb the water, let the sponge expand and then squeeze it to remove water excess. Once the sponge is really soft and humid, I make circular motions over the cheeks, nose, chin, forehead and (do not forget!) the neck for about 2 minutes. Then, I gently pat dry my face with a soft towel. I then hang the sponge up in order to let it dry properly for next use.

What are the results?
I have been taken by surprise by the Konjac sponge. I just L O V E it and L O V E it. I don't see myself doing without in the close future. This is really the perfect cleansing beauty... and in addition, it is really affordable. My skin has never felt so smooth and radiant after my daily 2 min massage with my Pink clay sponge. The skin feels refreshed, deep cleansed and glowing without any discomfort. Suitable for all skin types, I would highly recommend the Konjac sponge to those who aim at a glowing complexion without any abrasive/exfoliating feeling: that is it!
So, the results are just excellent and this sponge is close to perfect. The only thing is, you need to look after it properly. After use you need to hang it to dry using the attached little cord. I typically use the tap of my bathroom sink. But this commitment is the only thing really.

This is my little beauty miracle and I am definitely repurchasing the Pink clay sponge. I am also eager to try out the Bamboo Charcoal one.

++ effective yet highly gentle
 - maintenance of the sponge 

My overall rating: 9/10

Do you use a Konjac sponge in your cleansing routine? what do you think?
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