Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Pit-Stop: Schmidt's Natural Deodorant in Bergamot & Lime

My evolution into more organic method of living:

 healthy -healthier - ehm...pitstop 

-> ironically it stops at the pits:
my little lime had forgotten his sunscreen, which explains the tan on his back
There is such a thing that is called orthorexia which is taking the healthy into excess: thank [..fill in your deity...] I have never took it so far as I would pass gladly on anything that flushes me from a side-that-doesn't-like-to-be-flushed. But I've been a lot healthier and gotten into the buzz of adding new superfood powders to my smoothie every time.

Something as bland but necessary as deodorant has been claimed to be one of the key 'poisoners' (take 'poison' lightly) of human bodies due to aluminium & other ingredients (here, here & one here). And to every study there are the ones that prove that the opposite...etc etc. They are still being sold, so I guess it's not a thing like transfat (yet??).

To be sure, I wanted to "go clean" and go for a natural deodorant. Schmidt's had gotten some raves online: it is also available in Holland so I could pick it up.

such free-dom, this deodorant

Free of this, Free of that: I took another step into organic-dom!

But the difficulties start with application.

So there's actually a spatula for scooping out the deodorant...

Which brings me to the texture = rockhard!

It rubs in as a sorta coconut oil: it melts after a bit of fingerrubbing and pit-pressing.

I can overlook a bit of extra work but as performance: not too impressed.

I'm not that stinky when I wear no deodorant if I have normal activities (or, I think I'm not). So I'd compare the no-deo first: I loved how it smelled on 1st application, a zesty citrusblend. After 5 hours I put my nose under my arms and "what the fruga-organic-Gwynneth-Uncoupling-esque?": a slight sweaty scent.

Ohoh, it seems like it actually activated my pits after a while. Some light chemical deodorants can do that too: blocking or masking for a while and after some time: sniff-pongy!

I brought it to a high-impact workout (standing at the other side of the room, just in case) and I had normal stinky level like at times I would forgot to deo or anti-transpirant at all.

Such a shame, look at some of the beautiful ingredients:
Ingredients (Bergamot + Lime): Butyrospermum parkii (shea butter), Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), Maranta arundinacea (arrowroot) powder, Theobroma cacao (cocoa) seed butter, Citrus bergamia (bergamot) essential oil, Citrus aurantifolia (lime) essential oil, Tocopherol (vitamin E), Humulus lupulus (hop) extract
 
I can conclude that it doesn't really work for me. There are some reviews out there that love it (here, here & here). I personally won't go to all lenghts for being healthy so I'll keep the pits slightly chemical until I find my organic match.

So how far would you go for being healthy?

Sunday, 20 April 2014

The Cheapskate Way to Expensive Makeup

Happy Easter!  
I have been into makeup for a couple of years and have both access to cheaper and some more expensive brands. I love to compare both, see if the niche is aaaalways better (or not), and want to share some tips of how to do The Cheapskate Way to Expensive Makeup

1. Fast Technology and family 
 Huh? 
Fast technology, think how brilliant Armani Fusion Makeup foundation has been since 2012 and how L'oreal made a clone-tastic variety in 2013 by Nude Magique Eau de Teint (review here , here & here). Another one, how revolutionary was Kerastase Elixir Ultime and how fast it has been replicated by the zillions of other hairoils?
Family, brands like L'oreal often have a zillion subbrands that sell someting similar under a diffferent name & cheaper pricecard.  For example the beautiful Kerastase - I think that the L'oreal Professionel line can be just as good or even more expertised. They often have the same technologies and laboratories as Kerastase but are in slightly less polished bottles. They are often used abundantly by hairdressers and they know their stuff.

 2. Sample, Sampling Samplinged!
Buy your things at places that are often generous, bug ask the Sales Assistent what would suit your skin most: and add "your skin is sensitive so if she would have a sample to try out"...etc etc. Find online places that sell samples instead of full-sized. How often do you really empty a full eyeshadow palette or a perfume? Not that much, right? Samping gives a good way of experimenting.

The Perfumed Court - niche perfume Samples
The Body Needs - Mac pigment samples (I'm so passed MAC but I used to love them when my something in thirtysomething wasn't that much yet)
Various mineral Makeup shops have dupes of the popular stuff, and often they are less chemical/friendlier for skin: eg Alima , Silknaturals, MeowCosmetics, lucyminerals, or find even more at Phyrra's blog.
For organics head over to naturisimo.com as you can take 5 samples per order, or the sample service of beingcontent.com.

3. Pretty face & a pretty wallet = good enough


 You don't always have buy the pretty box! Various brands sell refills that you can easily use without ever have bought the original packaging.

4. You can't always get what you want, but know what you need!
Enabling of bloggers often might make you think you reaaaallly gonna need the $100 eyeshadow brush they recommend, and about a 100 more of the same line/expensive range! But  you might not even be into an intricate eye with 8 different eyeshadows. So a couple of brushes is enough. Or perhaps you enjoy your Dolce & Gabanna perfume just as much or even more than the $200 Byredo/Killian/Ineke varieties out there. There's a reason the drugstore perfumes are more popular so don't feel enabled into going niche because Ms. X does. 

Ps: I do love the eyeshadow brush posts from bloggers like sweetmakeuptemptations. It's like beautyblogger's porn: something you would never do yourself but still looks so lovely if you would have so many brushes with all the skills and perhaps the right canvas (face) as well.

5. Read, Read, Read, & take the best
You already stumbled upon my blog so I guess you read beautyblogs.  Take the best of a brand! Most brands have something they really excel in. Some have a kick-ass eyeliner or the most amazing lipstick. Just take the cream of the Crop.

6. Go Global
Beautystandards are (still) different from place to place, and so does each countries' expertise on the 'beauty-goal'. Japan is being innovative in brightening skincare. On the other side of the spectrum, the UK loves their bronzed godesses so you'll find a high expertise and selection of selftanners. "French women don't get Fat"? Thanks to their zillions of anti-cellulite creams. And for makeup the US is absolutely present. So more choice, more competition, more expertise & lower prices by each country on their 'beauty-goal'.

I think there are a lot of other ways to look good for not that much cash, so I might do a follow up on this one. Please comment if you have some fab advices on going cheaper with the same 'expensive face'-look.

Ps: have an amazing day and please enjoy your naughty food too: I adore chocolate and it's actually a superfood (without the sugar, but hey, can't have it all...)

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

T is for Toner: Natural Being Manuka Toning Gel

I have a confession: I like toners, but I can ignore them easily as well: sometimes I believe my basic cleansing is enough. But unlike some opinions, I think they really can do something for the skin, or even your mood.

Gel-toners are fairly new to me. I think they are a bit like the Japanese Emulsion steps: not a real water but thin enough to pass as an in between real cleansing and serum/daycream. So when I saw a natural variety with Manuka in it: I got it!
So I've been going more natural/organic lately for specific reasons. I love the planet and think even one person can make a change, but foremost it has been vanity and sensitivity. But let's check out the sustainability of the product first: 


I went in easy #hashtag mode to sum up the benefits: #truebeautyfromwithin but #greatskincarehelps. Also #respect4Nature & #Nicetobunniesetc.

The #antimicrobial function is also perfect for acne-prone skin. Manuka is an absolute powerhouse on this function and the native Australians even put it on their wounds. I've once layered it over Pixel-lasered skin (gone quite wrong) and it really calmed & healed.
Review:
  • the gel-form feels soothing on the skin
  • adding the manuka adds to calming down
  • the gel-texture helps in removing everything the previous cleanser did not remove
  • without stripping skin from natural/protecting oils
  • the rest of the gel will dry: aka similar as most Japanese Emulsion steps.
  • Mid-range price
  • smells light like a hint of honey and a tad of something zesty (probably the geranium)
  • Good ingredient-list:
    Conclusion:
    I used it when my skin had been really sensitive and it really made a difference in toning it down. And after it has done that, I kinda forgot about it (like I said in the beginning about toners). Which in a way means that it does work, because I will not need it as often. However, I think I should be more consistent about using this as it will only strengthen my skin in the long run and will help into getting less sensitive too.

    Availability:
    You can get it straight from their website and read more about their philosophies too.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Korean Soap *star* Allure

I jumped on the Korean Soap-wagon and gotten myself the Innisfree no 6 Maple Burgundy lippy.

Actually, it's the lip Laquer instead of the lipstick but let me explain further: Korean Soap? For washing?

Nope, Koreans have been quite the comedians for a couple of years. I really adored My Sassy Girl and Miss Korea is the most anti-botox in facial expressions:

And the way the main character,  Oh Ji-yeong, slightly dominates her male opposers by her gestures, demeanor, etc:

All underlined by her fierce lipstick(s). Which proves, you can be as chaotic/human/imperfect as Oh Ji-yeong, as long as the lipstick looks fierce. 

BTW, DrivellerKate has a a fab image of her not being so immaculately lipsticked so head over to hers for the real goop on the show.

Oh, a review on the Innisfree Glossy LipLaquer: I actually think it is quite watery. It doesn't stay on as long as my last generations of liplaquer-ish products (see here [Gosh] & these [YSL]). But the colour is cute in an Autumn kind of way so it's a nice addition. 

I did love the webshop I bought it from: Jolse.com. They've given me 3 freebies when I only got the lipgloss. I used to be such a fan of Korean webstore Gmarket but ordering from them could be such a hassle for one or two things. This webshop is less complicated.

I'll leave you with a fragment of the older My Sassy Girl to show you the bizarre/funny type of humour:


And have a fantastic sunday!

Friday, 11 April 2014

Review: Kahina Brightening Serum

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about the 'black bottle trend' in organic skincare. I haven't been idle on using Kahina's [Giving Beauty] Brightening serum, and I happily will review this one.

One of the signs of ageing is not so far the start of wrinkles or perhaps a bit of vertical challenge (read: sagging) of your skin: often it's also uneven pigmentation. Popular Western skincare brands have overlooked this for some time but are starting to address this issue as well. Sidenote, the Asian beautymarket has been on the forefront of lightening/brightening and I've happily used those type of skincare in my early thirties to give me luminiscent and less pigmented skin.

So the organics, or the naturals? I believe nature should not be overlooked as one of the most potent 'mixer' of skincare potions. Often when older communities are found (with plenty of centenarians= 100 year olds), there has been some secret like eating plenty organic olive oil, or some fermented rice wine. Don't quote me on this but it's often not high-stressed lifestyle, L'Oreal and neither McDonalds food (it might be in a 100 years but that has to be proven yet) .

My personal 1st semi-organic lightener has been Jurlique Purely Bright Nightcream. Amazing long term effect! It basically wiped out caused by a sunny holiday & the notorious pigmentation due to Diana 35 anticonception pill. It has been infused with Liqorice and since then I believe in the *power of liquorice* for brightening skin.

Kahina Brightening Serum is infused with liquorice, and you can even smell a hint of it during application:
That brings me to the benefits:
  • brightening? Yes
I didn't have major issues with pigmentation as I had in 2012, but a bit of evening/brightening does help into looking younger. It has a slight effect but still visible IMO
  • Calming? That too
Kahina Brightening Serum does not market itself as being a calming serum but liquorice is known as being anti-inflamatory (read here & here). There's just a tiny hint of scent, from liquorice, and I actually find that more calming on my sensitive skin than the so-called bland neutral.
  • Easy Absorption
30 seconds and you can either layer on another serum (anti-ageing/anti-acne/ect) or go for your daycream. It's actually moisturizing enough to use as a thin moisturizer if your skin is normal to combination.
  • Ethically and sustainably sourced
     Ethically Amazing/Sustainably perfect
Just a tad of exaggeration but Kahina doesn't only replant an Argan tree by every sold bottle, but they're "giving back" to the Berber women in Morocco by providing them a positive working atmosphere etc etc (read their story here).

Ethically and sustainably sourced

Ethically and sustainably sourced
The negatives might be that it is quite expensive for £65.00: I got a bottle of their  full-sized Argan oil as a freebie on naturisimo so that got me into buying it in the first place (still works when you add KAHINA as the code). Also, it is just a brightener and a calming serum: some people like their serums to be total powerhouses and do everything-and-their-laundry.... I kinda believe in multitasking, but I like some focus as well: so I love a specific serum for one or two targets alone.

CONCLUSION
Kahina Brighening Serum shows that liquorice is not just candy but can give you a *sweet* brighter & more even complexion.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Leave Me In! Fast Conditioning with Aveda, Wunderbar, Unite & Less is More

Yesterday I watched an old episode of Sex and the City. The theme was about getting into the most desired restaurant, so the 'let me in' kinda got mixed up with the 'leave-[me]-in' conditioners: 

I'm not gonna talk about the hippy-hair-gone-normal-long story about mine, but maintainance has been easier: I'm often permitted to go 'fast-n-go' with a good leave in conditioner. I'm still about quality, and my stylist, recommendations of other bloggers, own curiosity has led me to these.
  1. Wunderbar Moisture Leave in Treatment: This brand is quite new. It smells chemically fresh but has a refreshing low amount of ingredients including poweroil Argan Oil:
     Aqua, Phenyl Trimethicone, Polyquaternium-37, Quaternium-87, Cetearyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Quaternium-80, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil,hydrolised Adansonia Digitata Extract, Propylene Glycol, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Polysorbate 20, Disodium Edta, Dmdm Hydatoin, Carbomer, Fragance, Limonene, Lanalool, Geranol.
     Most of all, it's actually good and it doesn't irritate my scalp nor the skin of my face. Affordable! This travel sample is €1 for a reasonable 50 ml.
  2. Unite 7 Seconds is a typical blogger's recommendation (various here): I've noticed a lot of [bleached] blondes use it as their hair needs volume & oh-so-much care as well. The spray-formula is light and easy. It conditions well but it's not my favourite: this for being too chemical as my skin doesn't like it when it gets into contact with my hair.
  3. Less is More Lavendel Smooth Balm is not a listed Leave-in Conditioner but more of a pre-blowdry moisturizer. Meh, different-label-same-construction to me.
    Balmy, my hair absorbs it better than this flower
    It's lovingly balmy and shockful of good ingredients (more here). It smells like authentic lavendel: not everybody would be into this scent but I think it's soothing and reminds me of the South of France, nice.
  4. Aveda Damage Leave in Treatment is infused with Quinoa: really! I think it's the strongest and most conditioning one of the pack.
    It really functions as a deep-conditioning mask only in the leave-in form. I love it's Aveda-ish scent. On some days it can be too moisturizing so I actually use it like I would use a wash-out mask; every now and then for that extra boost.
Comparing ingredients:
 It is surprising how the naturals can have either a long list (Aveda) as a shorter list (Less is More). Aveda is actually not as natural as it claims to be (eg here & here) but they have been around for a longer time bringing quite good quality in a more natural way, so I give them credit for that. And how to resist power-superfood Quinoa in haircare?
I was already surprised Wunderbar has a short ingredients list and other chemical partner Unite has a longer one.

I really like all of them for specific reasons. Unite is the fastest on the go, but I still believe in combing through the liquid. The rest are to be rubbed in and are wonderful in protecting it from blowdry & other styling tools.

You absolutely do not need as many as I have but I've been sampling them by chance, curiosity and for different kind of needs. I'm glad to see the leave-ins gotten more sophisticated and effective throughout the years. They used to be a gooey 'residence-left-over' potion that couldn't really compare with the rinse-out's, but now they equal the effect you might need for your hair.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Cell-ing Out! How did my Vichy Cellu Destox Expert preform?

Another one from my Resolutions '14 list has been rolling around, or cell-ing out the fat-cells of my legs and other feminine curves. (see here)


 I'm sporadically on anti-cellulite potions: not because they work the wonders they claim to do, but just to get it a bit tighter and to speed up your post-workout circulation and it's detoxing flow.

Well, I just finished it after 3 months so I haven't been too consistent in using it. 

For honest reasons:
  1. no boycrush: call me a hypocrite but somehow the prospect of getting toned for someone else is a bit more motivating than for yer-own-mirror-reflexion. And other girls? Ack, we all know we have lumps-n-bumps so that's about it.
  2. No bikini-opportunity: Ok, that's the time I DO work out for other women as well, because there's always that bit of competition on the beach and I do not want to be the flabbiest one around in my teeny. As for men, they are often happy to see woman under a certain age in a bikini: so for the random guy being the voyeur, neither the effort worthy ;)
  3. For the blog/research: oh heck, you guys prefer to read about more exiting eyeshadows than yer-old-boring-cellulite-lotion, right?
Then again, I've been using it consistently for 2 weeks and I did have some results into getting bits a bit more toned.

Reasons:
1. the Roller-ball thingy
Yes, you can have your vigorous roller-action when you cannot be bothered working your hands around too much. Ehm, that sounds somewhat like another device too?
 
2. Effective Caffeine 5%
Perhaps not as potent as my previous 10% Llerac (here), but strong enough to get those fat-cells celling out a bit easier...aka detox a bit faster.

3. Extraterrestal Blobs:
Read the full story why...[ok, just kidding]

Conclusion:
 
I really liked this anti-cellulite lotion: The rollerball effect helps to get a more effective massage that aids the formula, and feels kinda nice after you've been working out. I'm gonna repurchase if I'm not too curious for other anti-cellulite creams.