2 Mar 2015

Kahina Fez Hand & Body Balm (& Giveaway!)


Finally! I've been waiting for the right moment to review this dreamy little balm (and give one away!) for a few weeks now. I kept putting it off for other blog posts, but there's no better time than the start of a new month and a Monday! Hopefully this will brighten your day ;)

The Fez balm is a little multi-use wonder, perfect for pesky little dry patches, intense moisture for hands, to tame and nourish dry, flyaway hair or even as a subtle perfume.
The scent of this is unique and unlike anything at all in my beauty stash - it is spicy, warm, earthy and comforting all at once. I like applying it to my wrists before bed for the aromatherapy benefits, it relieves stress and calms nerves - perfect for a good snooze.

The balm is quite hard in the temperatures of our flat so I use a spatula to scrape a little out at a time, a little goes a long way. It melts easily at skin temperature but takes a little while to sink in which is why it now lives in my bedside table (I'm growing quite the bedside body collection). I apply it to my cuticles and wrists mainly, and sometimes other places - but I have to be feeling super generous ;) This luxe balm is a "treat-yo-self" kind of product, but one I totally will be indulging in again. Perhaps I should try the fez body serum next time??

Ingredients:
olea europaea (olive) fruit oil*, argania spinosa (argan) oil*, apis mellifera (beeswax) wax*, cocos nucifera (coconut) nut oil*, butyrospermum parkii (shea) nut butter*, mangifera indica (mango) nut butter, daucus carota (carrot) seed oil, rosa damascena (rose) flower oil*, citrus bergamia (bergamot) peel oil, cananga odorata (ylang ylang) flower oil, citrus paradisi (pink grapefruit) peel oil, pelargonium graveolens (geranium) leaf/flower oil*, backhousia citriodora (lemon myrtle) leaf oil, pogostemon cablin (patchouli) leaf oil, santalum spicatum (sandalwood) wood oil, melissa officinalis (balm) leaf extract, vetiveria zizanioides (vetiver) root oil, eugenia caryophyllus (clove) bud oil*, calendula officinalis (calendula) flower extract*, cuminum cyminum (cumin) seed oil, citrullus lanatus (watermelon) seed oil, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract*, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil* *Ingredient from Organic Farming Formula certified natural and Organic by ECOCERT Greenlife according to ECOCERT Standard

THE GIVEAWAY

- Enter in the below rafflecopter form.
- Giveaway ends at midnight on the last day of this month.
- Open internationally.
- There will be one winner of a full-size Kahina Fez Hand & Body Balm.
- I will be posting the giveaway prize myself.
- The winner will have 48 hours to respond via twitter or email before a new winner is chosen.

**BONUS ENTRY** You can re-gram my Instagram giveaway image with #fragmentedgiveaway for two extra entries - I will add these entries manually to rafflecopter once the giveaway has ended! (It's easier for you then)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Best of luck! x

28 Feb 2015

Feb Faves.


Can you believe it's the end of February already and we're entering March? What. I swear it was just the beginning of January yesterday! Time going by quicker is definitely a sign of getting older I think. This month was an improvement on last month, even if I did spend a week of it ill! Nothing majorly exciting happened, I developed an obsession with lemon water & now regular water tastes bizarre. We also decided to book ourselves a little holiday for in May which I'm very excited about! Beauty-wise I've kept a nice simple skincare routine all month but had fun playing with new body products and experimenting with makeup a little more! But for now... onto the favourites that made the cut!

Charbrew Tea - Anyone who knows me will know I'm that odd person when offered a cup of tea or coffee will politely decline and ask for water instead. I don't know guys, tea just really tastes like soil to me. Sometimes though, you just really need a warm drink without having to resort to hot chocolate. I've been looking some fruit tea for awhile now that doesn't taste like watered down pee and finally, charbrew came to my aid! I admit it was the packaging that caught my eye on the shelf, but the interesting flavours helped too. I have Pineapple & Vanilla and Chocolate Orange flavours at the mo but will be trying other flavours as I go! Strawberry & Kiwi sounds right up my street. I picked the big box up from Holland & Barrets and the lil'un from Waitrose. 

True Nature Botanicals Pacific Exfoliating Cleanser* - I've been testing this cleanser since its launch and it's taken me quite some time to figure out the best way to use it. At first I was so excited I used it morning and night for a full week, it left my skin clean, refreshed and smooth but I totally overdid it in the end & my sensitive skin became a little sore from too much exfoliation. I took a step back and gave my skin some time to calm down before re-introducing this back into my routine as a 3-4 times a week cleanse just in the evenings. The cleanser is a grey-brownish gel with the smallest amount of grit from adzuki bean powder for a very fine exfoliation. It also contains a patented mushroom extract that is more effective at exfoliating than lactic acid, it is non-irritating (you know, except when you use it 14 times in 7 days like I did) and helps to refine skin texture and increase circulation. There's also chamomile, manuka honey and aloe to soothe and leave a calm complexion. I'm so glad I gave this a second chance as my skin feels so smooth afterwards and hopefully it is helping fade my blemish marks too. 

Antonia Burrell Forest Dew Skin Conditioner* - I wrote an entire post on how much I rate this just a few days ago (see here) and nothing has changed since then. I've been using this daily to hydrate and keep at bay any dry, flaky skin plus to soothe any active blemishes I have. I feel I will have a hard time not including this in every beauty favourites for the foreseeable future!

Metta Skincare Lavender Body Butter* - Another product I raved about this week (I've been on a roll, clearly) ((see the post here)) is this body butter. Butter being the key factor here as this is a truly buttery product. It melts into an oil on the skin and nourishes deeply with shea butter, cocoa butter, grapeseed and jojoba. Plus is smells DIVINE. What more could you need? 

What have been your faves this month? Do you have any fruit tea recommendations for me, pretty please?? 

27 Feb 2015

Scar Fading Skincare


I got'a problem & they gonna solve it... (I hope)

Since November my skin has turned from okay a few spots here and there, with scars here and there to an all out implosion of hormonal acne, pitted scars, terrible texture, lumps, bumps and furious purple marks galore all over my jaw. It's a treat. Really beautiful. Not really, I often cry over it. BUT let's move on, shall we? 

While I'm busy saving my pennies for the YULI Cell Perfecto PM, I've pulled out the three treatments that I currently have in my stash that may help treat, heal and fade the marks before it's too late. Fading acne scars is a long, slow process that can take months and months, even if the products you are using are harsh and full of un-natural ingredients. Cystic acne especially leaves deep, dark marks that are more than just surface flaws and leave layers and layers of skin tarnished below the surface. I believe it's better to take the gentle healing route as to not disturb my skin's own healing process, but just help it on the way... with the odd little kick up the bum too. ;)

Odacite Pa + G Serum Concentrate - I can't believe I have had this little 5ml bottle for so long now, at least 4 months. I use it very sparingly, a single drop just a few times a week on my breakouts. Papaya oil is very high in oleic acid (which I try to avoid) so I've found this oil leaves me greasy and just doesn't sink into skin at all, it does however still improve my skin and I notice when I wake up in the mornings that scars look less inflamed and blemishes are reduced (thanks to the natural exfoliating enzymes in papaya). 

True Nature Botanicals Topical Vitamin C Treatment* -  I use one capsule every 2-3 weeks and get 2 uses out of one capsule. I like using this on nights when I really don't want the feeling of greasy oils and serums on my skin. I mix the capsule with a water based serum or even just toner and apply to skin, it tingles for a few seconds and then everything settles down as the serum sinks in. My skin is left with a matte finish for once and come morning I'm always amazed at how calm angry dark marks appear and how bright my complexion looks, if only until I wash my face ha! I read somewhere a few days ago that vitamin C actually prevents scars from being so severe or forming all together (I can't remember the exact details) so I will try and remember to keep up regular treatments of this. 

Antipodes Apostle Skin Brightening & Tone Correcting Serum* - I have only used this a handful of times so far, but it's lovely to have a light, hydrating serum to use during the day. The serum uses anti-inflammatory 'vinanza oxifend' extracted from red grapes to reduce redness and melanin production. The serum also contains kiwi fruit enzymes to gently renew skin whilst aloe vera juice and red raspberry oil hydrate and soothe. 
This is an easy step to add into my morning routine to help fade my acne scars and help me on the way back to scar-free skin. Like Tesco would say... every little helps! ;)

Because I'm not using harsh skincare I can use all 3 of these products together in my routine without any side-effects, they're all gentle and leave my skin calm, cool and collected, not peeling, dry and breaking out out even more, the wonders of natural skincare, huh! 

How do you treat scarring?

25 Feb 2015

The Hydrating Mist Showdown.

Antonia Burrell Forest Dew Skin Conditioner vs YULI Cocoon Facial Elixir

Two toners enter... only one leaves.

*drum roll* It's no secret I'm a toner floozy, I mention it every other blog post, heck, I could get that printed on a badge and wear it daily with no shame. No. Shame. Though I think people would wonder if I was really into printer toner and I'd always have to explain. It would be embarrassing, so on second thought let's not go there.
Two toners have recently come to my attention, not only for their identical cute-as-a-button 50ml glass bottles and luxe branding, but also because they both aim to soothe, heal and hydrate skin. Get ready because this is going to be the most in-depth blog post on toner, ever.

Ingredients. 

Antonia Burrell's Forest Dew Skin Conditioner*:
Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Water*, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract*, Hamamelis Virginiana Distillate* Aqua, Glycerin, Epilobium Fleischeri Extract*, Gluconolactone, Potassium Sorbate, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Sodium Benzoate, Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid.
* Organic source.

Y√úLI Skincare's Cocoon Facial Elixir:
D-Aloe Barbadensis, C. officinalis (Calendula) hydrolat*, R. officinalis (Rosemary) hydrolat*,L. angustifolia (lavender) hydrolat*, M. recutita (Chamomile) hydrolat*, B. carterii(Frankincense) hydrolat^^, frequency enhanced water, MSM, R. damascena (Rose) flower petal powder*,M. emarginata (Acerola) extract, colloidal silver
* Organic ^^ Wildcrafted


Scent.

Both products have a pleasant, inoffensive herbal smell, with Forest Dew smelling slightly more pleasant to my nose.

Texture.

Forest Dew has a thicker, more serum-like texture. It is impossible to 'mist' the product onto skin because it squirts (least favourite word ever) out of the spray into a little puddle.
Cocoon is very much like a traditional facial mist, the texture is thin - like water and easily dissipated onto skin with the spray. The spray for this bottle isn't the best, it doesn't produce a fine mist to cover the entire face and instead 3-4 pumps are needed to cover the entire face, however that's just a small packaging niggle.

Application & Feel.

Forest Dew: Spritz 1-2 pumps of the serum onto fingertips and then apply directly to skin. A slight tacky feeling is left as the product is thicker, but this quickly disappears when applying a moisturiser on top. My skin feels hydrated and soothed - I especially like using this on breakouts to calm them down and reduce the itchy sensations.
Cocoon: Mist directly onto skin and then massage in. I do not notice an immediate calming effect like I have with other products that contain calendula, but this does hydrate my skin nicely and leaves it perfectly prepped for the next stage in my skincare routine.

Price.

Forest Dew - 50ml for £25.50, 100ml for £35.50, 200ml for £55.40
Cocoon - 50ml for £23.30, 100ml for £44

Repurchase?

I would repurchase the Forest Dew as I find it is one of the most unique and instantly soothing toners that I have come across, whilst also keeping dry, flaky skin at bay in the cold weather.
I was so excited to try Cocoon but was left feeling a little disappointed as it just didn't have any lasting or immediate effects on my very irritated skin. I would definitely be interested in trying the Panacea Elixir instead which is for blemish-prone skin and of course it hasn't put me off wanting to try more from Yuli ;)

The Winner...

The winner is of course, Antonia Burrell's Forest Dew Skin Conditioner. I have found a friend for life here.


Have you tried either of these toners?

24 Feb 2015

The Body Butter That's Butterier Than Butter.


It usually takes me months and months to get a solo review up of a product, even if I really like it, simply because I change my mind and flit between products so often everything just piles up in an unorganized mess. It's this reason that I know this product must be pretty special, because it's only been in my grasp for two weeks and here it is on the blog. We're on to a winner people!

The Metta Skincare Body Butter in Lavender* is the body butter you've been dreaming of, it's actually like butter! It melts into a beautiful oil on contact with body heat and is easily massaged into skin; another bonus, it sinks in sharpish and tacky, greasy limbs aren't something to worry about here.
The lavender scent is absolutely beautiful, not too overpowering but enough to have you sniffing your arms for a few hours afterwards. It's a true lavender too, not artificial or sickly in any way and one of the reasons this is currently living on my bedside table, it's a dreamy nights sleep in a jar. If you're not a fan of lavender though (what?!) then the vanilla scent will just have to do (I kid) I imagine it smells like creme brulee, or cake, either works for my sweet tooth. I'll be trying that scent next time for sure.
I've been applying this when out of the shower, taking a few minutes to massage the oil all over for a lovely calming experience or before bed on my hands so the lavender can send me off to the land of nod.
We also need to take a quick moment to mention the packaging, with a glass jar so big it could be a weapon, or a soup bowl once you're done. 135g doesn't sound like much but this is a hefty amount of product, enough for a good few months use, if not more.

This is my first introduction to Australian brand Metta and I've fallen head over heals. The collection is small, but perfectly formed, with only 5 products in the range. Everything here has been well considered and carefully constructed to be the most effective and eco-friendly product possible, from 100% natural, ethically sourced ingredients, recyclable packaging and made in small batches by hand. It's currently exclusively available at The Detox Market in the US and will hopefully be a little easier available in the UK soon, too.

Ingredients:
Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*, Vitis Vinifera (Grapeseed) Seed Oil*, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter*, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil*, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Essential Oil* (contains linalyl acetate, linalool and limonene as naturally occurring components of lavender essential oil) * denotes certified organic ingredient