Toss It Tuesday | Lipstick

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

With some figures claiming women can ingest up to 3kgs / 6lbs of lipstick in our lifetime, and something we apply almost every day, it's something I recommend switching out fairly quickly. Most of you are probably aware that many lipsticks can contain lead or other heavy metals (which many brands are now using as a marketing tool), but do you know what else you'll commonly find in lipstick? From the $5 tube to a hefty $80 Tom Ford Lip Colour, the majority of lipsticks contain a combination of if not all, the below ingredients of concern - 
- Microcrystalline Wax

This is another petroleum by-product, with organ system toxicity concerns. The other health concern with all petroleum by-products is contamination with toxic, carcinogenic or harmful substances. I always avoid anything that is a by-product of petroleum. 

- Polyethylene, Polyurethane, Polyethylene terephthalate

These are plastics, also used to create Micro-Beads (plastic exfoliating beads that are incredibly harmful to the eco-system), PET bottles and other common plastic products. Health concerns include may contain potentially toxic manufacturing contaminants such as Ethylene Oxide (known human carcinogen) and 1,4 Dioxane (shown to contaminate up to 46% of cosmetics, strong evidence as a human carcinogen, organ toxicity, - See more here). Also irritants and allergens.

- Propylene Glycol (PEGs)

This is a synthetic petro-chemical mix. It is also made from the same chemical that is used to create anti-freeze, hydraulic fluids, placticizers and solvents. PEG facilitates penetration of formulation deeper into the skin, thereby allowing increasing amounts of other chemicals and toxins to reach the bloodstream. PEG's also have the same contamination concerns as above (Ethylene Oxide and 1,4 Dioxane)

- FD&C dyes

Dyes and colourants. Many FD&C (food, drug & cosmetics) and D&C (drug & cosmetics) or synthetic dyes are believed to be carcinogens.

- Parfum/Fragrance

Irritant, allergen, hormone disruption. Can be a synthetic chemical cocktail of up to 3000 ingredients. I always avoid this unless denoted as a natural source, or get in touch with the brand.

- Parabens

Prefixed with Ethyl, Methyl, Butyl, Propyl, Benzyl these are the most widely used group of cosmetic preservatives. Mimic estrogen in the body and are endocrine (hormone) disruptors. Methylparabens have been found in breast tumours in some studies.

Lipstick is probably the product I love most, so I understand how tricky it can be finding your perfect shade, and then having to switch to a completely new brand and formula. Fear not - you can still have amazing colour, 100% naturally and without the health concerns!

Karen Murrell Lipstick
Australia (use code libertygreen/ USA

Rich, creamy, moisturising. I have a feeling I'm going to be saying that a lot in this post. 
But, really, it is. Also, HIGHLY PIGMENTED. Karen Murrell's lipsticks are divine (read review), and contain only natural, non-toxic ingredients. Did I mention the packaging is 100% biodegradable? Oh yeah, you can bury the tube once the bullet is finished, and it will begin to biodegrade after 100 days in the ground. How cool is that?!

ILIA Beauty Lipstick
USA (ships worldwide)

I may or may not have mentioned ILIA Beauty's lipsticks just a few times on the blog before. Up to 75% of the ingredients of these lipsticks are Certified Organic, many contain a 100% natural dye (double check on their website). They are creamy, rich and keep my lips hydrated. The colour also doesn't feather, bleed or settle into fine lines and gives beautiful pigment. The shades I wear most are 100% naturally dyed (hellooo In My Room - that shade is PERFECTION), but I do have a couple of bright, bold colours, that I wear on occasion and contain some synthetic pigment. Unfortunately, you'll never get a true, bright red without synthetic colour, so keep that in mind. I'm comfortable with wearing it sometimes, but for my everyday shades, I prefer 100% natural pigment, of which I have a few more below!

Kjaer Weis Lipstick
Australia / USA (both ship worldwide)

If you're looking for luxury, look no further than Kjaer Weis. Three of the five launch shades are Certified Organic, the other two bright, bolder shades contain less than 1% synthetic pigment. The formula is highly pigmented, creamy and long-lasting - everything you could possibly want in a lipstick. The tube is also refillable as with all Kjaer Weis products, minimising waste. Talk about eco-luxe.

Lily Lolo Lipstick

These are another ultra-rich, creamy and moisturising lipstick (read review). The ingredients are 100% natural and non-toxic, and the colour is long wearing. They also have a gorgeous range of pink. berry and red shades. 

Nudus Australia Lipstick
Australia (ships worldwide) / USA

With 100% natural ingredients and Australian Certified Organic, the Nudus lipsticks are a green beauty favourite! The formula is long-wearing, pigmented, creamy and hydrating. Free from parabens, petro-chemicals, lanolin, hydrogenated oils, fd&c and lake dyes, nano-particles, and GMO.
They also have two beautiful red shades, Revenge is bolder, whilst Dirty Diana is more of a Bordeaux red - and 100% naturally pigmented! 

Axiology Lipstick
Australia (use code libertygreen) / USA

With utterly beautiful packaging, and a fun, modern range of shades, Axiology Lipsticks are not only 100% natural and non-toxic, contain Certified Organic ingredients and mineral pigments, they are also vegan. The colour is again long-wearing and highly pigmented, and creamy and hydrating due to the organic oils. 

Vapour Siren Lipstick

Vapour Lipsticks are fast becoming another personal favourite. From the chic, sleek packaging, to the beautiful, flattering colour range and creamy, long-wearing and moisturising formulas, there is nothing to fault. The ingredients are 100% Natural, 70% Certified Organic and pigmented with minerals. What's not to LOVE?

Kelsey xx
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Why You Don't Need to Spend a Fortune to Have Great Skin, 100% Naturally

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Up until a year or so ago, I used to think that unless blessed with great genetics, you must have to spend a small fortune to have great skin, 100% naturally (without turning to prescription medication to band-aid the issue!). Thankfully I have never suffered from terrible acne or breakouts, but until recently, my skin looked pretty dull most of the time, a bit congested, and I had frequent blemishes. 

I have a good diet, drink plenty of water, exercise, never sleep without removing my make-up, my hormones aren't the issue...I do everything you're "supposed" to do for clear skin. Yet, my skin still wasn't stellar. It wasn't a big deal, however because I view issues holistically (that is, not just viewing poor skin as an isolated issue) it bothered me. 

Now, nobody has "perfect" skin. Perfect is an unattainable illusion, one that can only exist inside your mind, and not exactly something worth (or a good idea to) obsessing over. Aside from cleansing, exfoliating and moisturising with nothing more than pure rosehip oil, I didn't have much of a skincare routine for many years. With everything I was doing to nourish my body (and therefore my skin) internally cleared of any guilt, I started to look into developing a more in-depth skincare routine. Everybody's skin is different, so it took an awful lot of trial and error (and a few happy coincidences) to find products that worked for my skin. Some people do better with the bare minimum, others need several steps and products. It is all about finding your own unique rhythm. 

I'd tried several different cleansers, a few different oils, without much difference. I began to look at higher-end (luxury) brands, and from all the rave reviews, I was beginning to believe that spending $200 on a cleanser or face cream was the only way to have good skin. Which brings me to my next point. 

A $200 cleanser or face cream, while lovely, and luxurious, isn't necessary. They often don't contain anything more miraculous than a $40 cleanser, because miracles in a jar are only marketing. Of course luxury brands or products often contain a myriad of more exotic ingredients, and yes it doesn't mean they aren't effective. And it doesn't mean that if you have the budget for it, that you shouldn't go ahead and spend whatever you like on your skincare. 

I will repeat again, a $200 cleanser isn't the only way to achieve good skin.

And this brings me to my next point. 

Skincare that contains high-quality, high grade, raw, unrefined oils, plant extracts, essences and absolutes often do come with a higher price tag, because that is simply what real ingredients cost. Cheap products (whether it be skincare, make-up, clothing or food) only exist, because the majority of it isn't real. A $5 mascara is mostly plastic and petroleum by-products, and cheap synthetic copies of natural ingredients. And that goes for natural products, too. Certified Organic ensures safety, not quality, which I talked about recently here and linked to an article Ava of Earthwise Beauty wrote on the topic. If you've ever found yourself reacting to or with skin issues after using a natural product, I strongly recommend you read both of the above.

There are a great number of ethical brands, with integrity, committed to creating only the highest quality, and effective skincare and beauty products. However, with the social shift and consumer push for natural, organic products, the market has become flooded with poorly formulated products, and new brands taking the less costly shortcuts in order to turn a profit. I'll also point out that price does not always equal quality, either. 

So, where does that leave us, and what does all this mean? 

I always seem to be saying this, but if you truly want to know what you are purchasing, do your research. I will always support brands that are transparent, ethical and honest about their products, practises and formulations. Creators like Ava of Earthwise Beauty and Rose-Marie Swift of RMS Beauty, who are committed to not only creating products that are truly effective and feed the skin, but also in educating the public. 

Always double-check what you are purchasing not only meets your standards for certification, but has been well-formulated. And if you don't know, ask! Ethical brands will always be willing to educate their customers and will welcome questions. 

And now to my final point - there are incredibly effective products out there, that aren't in the luxury price bracket. 

As I mentioned above, everyone's skin is different, so what works for me, won't necessarily work for the next person, but I want to share some brands and products that I've discovered. These are what has transformed my skin, and it is now clear 90% of the time, radiant, smooth and soft.  

There are of course so many other products that I love (and use), but I've tried to keep this short, and in order of what I have found to make the most difference. The bare minimum for me is products 1-3.

Number one for me is a draw, so I've nicknamed them my Skin Power Couple :p I hate to run out of either of these, and I saw a huuuuge difference in my skin almost overnight. 

  1. Blissoma Fresh Mild Rice Cleanser (review) and the Earthwise Beauty Green Leaves & Co Facial Oil (review) Code LIBERTYGREEN saves 15% off Earthwise Beauty. Free Shipping Friday is coming later this week for Eve Organics! Together these keep my skin so clear, and breakout-free.
  2. I think a weekly mask is just as essential as daily cleansing, as it really draws out impurities, and deeply cleanses the skin, giving it that glow. My current favourite is the Little Alchemist Cacao & Banana Glow Face Mask (review). I also really love the Romeo & Madden Detox Mask, which is also budget friendly!
  3. This one has the highest price tag out of everything, but one bottle has lasted me 5mths, and I'm still going. So, it works out pretty nicely! It's the Kypris Moonlight Catalyst Serum (review). I was looking at getting the Clearing Serum later down the track when I purchased this, but I no longer require it. The Moonlight Catalyst has made my skin SO smooth, and has contributed to keeping my skin clear, decongested and blemish-free. This serum is also a herbal alternative to retinol treatments. Code LIBERTYGREEN save 10% off your 1st order at Beautiful Because.
  4. For exfoliants, I love the Edible Beauty & Desert Lime Flawless Micro Exfoliant, it leaves my skin unbelievably smooth with just the tiniest amount. This is also rich enough to remove all traces of make-up without the need for another cleanse. With daily use, this one jar lasted me around 4 months.
  5. Moisturisers - I have never found a cream SO lovely as the Edible Beauty & Coco Bliss Intensive Repair Creme. It is incredibly light on the skin, so silky and deeply hydrates and plumps the skin. It is heaven. I really ought to put this with number 4, as it's a bit of a draw here too. 

Well, I hope this is helpful and you've gained a little more information about the differences that quality can make, but also know you don't need to spend $$$ to take care of your skin. If you haven't, I strongly recommend reading that article I linked to above.

I realise most of these products are priced around the $50 mark, which is still pricey for some, so if you'd like me to do a budget-friendly round-up of my fave natural skincare and recommendations, let me know down below or on instagram.

Kelsey xx
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The Beauty Chef Probiotic Skin Refiner & Beauty Fix Balm | Review

Friday, September 09, 2016

The Beauty Chef is one of those wonderfully unique brands; there is nothing else quite like it on the market - natural or otherwise. They have a focus on beauty from the inside out, which really is the only place to start. If you aren't healthy on the inside, it is going to show on the outside. Along with their range of (delicious!) Inner Beauty Powders, The Beauty Chef also have a range of skincare. 

Everything in the line is 100% non-toxic, natural and Certified Organic (where available). The Beauty Chef also uses a natural fermentation process with a lot of their ingredients, enhancing the beneficial properties of the ingredients, to their most effective. 

The first step to healthy, radiant skin is balancing digestive health. Good skincare follows. My organic skincare range blends selected food ingredients with a natural fermentation process to bring out the very best in all of our ingredients and keep the skin’s ecosystem strong and healthy. I have embraced the time-honoured art of fermentation for the clever way that it naturally bio-activates nutrients in ingredients to make them more available for the body and skin to use. By increasing the biological value of already nutrient rich organic ingredients, we offer you supernatural skincare to help keep your skin healthy, radiant and resilient inside and out. We employ a unique and natural fermentation process, backed by twenty years of research to make powerful and active extracts for our bioactive skincare that is truly good for you. - Carla Oates

The Beauty Chef Probiotic Skin Refiner

The Probiotic Skin Refiner is a chemical exfoliant (vs manual), which breaks down dead skin cells, improves cellular turnover, and refines the skin and improves texture. It also boosts collagen production and hydrates the skin, increasing natural moisturising abilities in the skin, strengthens the skins barrier and improves signs of ageing, fine lines and dark spots. 

The Beauty Chef Probiotic Skin Refiner is rich in lactic acid and probiotics. Latic Acid is " efficacious Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA), this self-preserving refiner breaks down dead skin cells, helping to improve cellular turnover as it refines the skin and reveals an improved texture. The lactic acid also helps improve the natural moisturising factors within the skin, while helping to stimulate collagen production and promote a more hydrated, moisturised and plump complexion..."

Application & Consistency

This is similar in some ways to the Kypris Moonlight Catalyst, but there are several differences. The Probiotic Skin Refiner has a water-like consistency vs a gel/serum, and is applied with a cotton pad. Due to the fermented ingredients, this also has a slight vinegar smell on application, but it dissipates very quickly and does not linger. You also aren't required to cleanse the applied areas in the morning, so I love that!

I really love the look of the packaging (and the fact it's glass), but I would actually prefer if this were in a spray or glass dropper, mostly because I hate the waste of using a cotton pad every evening (not ease of use reasons). I've actually taken to sprinkling a few drops into the palm of my hand, and applying over the top of an oil all over my skin, and this seems to work just as well. 

A little also goes a long way. I've been using it consistently for a few months, and I'm not even half way through the (100ml) bottle. The other thing I will note is that if I over-do it, and have any minor scratches (or broken skin of any kind), this can sting - but only very little (and I'm hyper-sensitive to pain, haha!) and it stops pretty quickly. 


I've been using this for several months, and unlike the Kypris MC, I didn't notice results immediately. I found it took a good 4-6 weeks for me to really notice any changes in my skin (which is standard for most skincare), but this will vary from person to person.  

Since incorporating this into my skincare, my skin is now visibly brighter, clearer and more luminous. It also feels much firmer, and feels so smooth. In comparison to the Kypris MC, I don't find pigmentation or marks from blemishes fade as quickly with the Probiotic Skin Refiner, but my skin is more luminous and firmer. In regards to blemishes, I have found both equally as effective at keeping my skin clear and congestion-free. I've also noticed that my skin feels so soft to the touch when I'm using this!

I'm actually loving how my skin is looking with the Probiotic Skin Refiner in my routine. 

The Beauty Chef Beauty Fix Balm
Australia / USA

The Beauty Fix Balm is a wonderful little multi-tasker, created for dry, dehydrated skin and fine lines. I've been using it as a lip balm, on dry patches, nails and cuticles and even as an eye balm. 

If I have any little dry spots, a little dab of this clears it up right away (perfect for under make-up!), and it is also soothing on any inflamed areas. The Beauty Fix Balm is also wonderful under eyes, which always seems to feel so dry on the skin around them when I'm tired! A little of the balm dotted under them helps re-hydrate my skin, and firm any fine lines. I'm really loving this balm - I don't have anything else like it, and it really is a Beauty Fix

Key Ingredients: Organic amino acid peptides, vitamins and minerals in this fermented coconut extract rejuvenates and smooths the skin. Transretionic acid and vitamin C from rosehip oil helps repair the skin and reduces the effects of sun damage. Anti-oxidants, vitamin E and squalene found in Camellia Seed oil helps nourish and protect the skin and smooth out lines and wrinkles. Coconut oil helps rebalance the skin and has anti-bacterial and protective properties.


Both of these products are incredible, so effective and my skin looks and feels amazing! They are so concentrated, a little goes a long way so it will be several months more before I'm looking to replace them.

I also think the Probiotic Skin Refiner is a great alternative to the Kypris Moonlight Catalyst, but I honestly can't choose between them. Perhaps a comparison post in a few months time? Let me know if that's something you'd like to see, either below or on Instagram xx

Kelsey xx
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Osea White Algae Mask | Review

Monday, September 05, 2016

Up until a few years ago, many of the incredible organic and natural brands that on the market were only available in the USA. Today, I'm so excited by the amount of amazing brands available here in Australia, the choice has tripled, and more are becoming available each month. One of the most recent new brand launches is OSEA, which is now available exclusively in Australia from one of my favourite boutiques, I Am Natural Store. 

OSEA stands for Ocean, Sun, Earth, and Atmosphere. Each product contains only the purest, most effective natural and non-toxic ingredients. The ingredients are Certified Organic where possible, and the entire range is free from synthetic fragrances, genetically modified ingredients, petrochemicals, parabens, or sulfates. They are also Gluten Free, Vegan and Bio-Degradable. 

OSEA Skincare also heavily features seaweed as a star ingredient, sourced exclusively from the purest, most pristine waters in the world in Patagonia. All OSEA seaweed is certified organic and kosher.

The sea is full of vitamins and minerals that seaweed is able to absorb therefore seaweed is far richer in trace minerals than land plants. Seaweed is one of the richest sources of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, trace elements, calcium, magnesium, iron, manganese and zinc. Seaweed is also rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids and unsaturated fatty acids; such as linoleic acids and Vitamin K, which are the basis of lipoproteins that strengthen and maintain the quality of a healthy cell membrane. Seaweed helps slow the aging process and protects skin from harsh environmental factors. As an iodine source, seaweed also provides natural slimming and toning properties - OSEA

Consistency & Application

The OSEA White Algae Mask is designed to brighten the skin, even the skin tone and soothe redness whilst visibly firming and lifting. It's a wonderful multi-tasker packed with powerful anti-ageing and reparative benefits. The mask itself is a thick, silky cream in consistency, and a gorgeous pale mint green shade. 

I usually use a mask brush to apply my masks, but as this is a cream-style mask, I just use my fingertips to spread an even layer over clean skin. The mask can be left on for 10min - 30min, or even overnight, and I've used it both ways. I have been using this weekly (in between clay/detox masks) or whenever my skin needs an added boost.


The White Algae Mask is packaged in a sealed pump dispenser, and the base rises with each pump, ensuring no product wastage or exposure to air. It is super easy to apply the right amount to the skin, and is mess-free!


This mask tingles slightly after initial application, in a kind of cooling way, but as it begins to set/dry this subsides. It is actually very gentle on the skin, being a cream, and is incredibly refreshing to use. The mask gradually absorbs the longer it is on the skin, and what is left sets/dries pretty quickly. This mask isn't at all messy, so it's actually very easy to use overnight. It can feel very lightly tacky on the skin once it sets, but I can apply this 10-15min before bed, and it will have set enough that I can go to sleep without worrying about it getting in my hair or all over the sheets!
After removing with warm water, my skin feels so plump, refreshed and soothed. If I have any redness or blemishes, these are diminished and calmed, and my skin has an overall glow. Used overnight, and the benefits are multiplied, and my skin can look so amazing I spend all day thinking I've put on foundation whenever I catch a glimpse of my face in a mirror!
The White Algae Mask is also SO gentle I can put it under the eye area, and it will be visibly brightened after I remove it in the morning. This really does give my skin a boost and glow!
Ingredients & Certifications

OSEA say - Calcium-rich White Algae increases cell renewal and supports the skin's lipid barrier function. Copper, manganese and zinc peptides combat signs of ageing. Antioxidant-loaded White Wine Extract and White Tea help maintain collagen and elastin fibres and protect skin from oxidative stress and cell damage. Macrocystis (Giant Kelp) helps heal sun-damaged skin, sebaceous cysts, improves texture of skin and prevents wrinkles by exfoliating dead skin cells. Pear and Raspberry enzymes help to stimulate cell turnover. Licorice Root extract stimulates circulation and helps even out skin tone.

The OSEA White Algae Mask is Certified Vegan, Cruelty Free and contains Certified Organic ingredients, 100% Naturally Derived. You can find the full ingredients list here.

Would I purchase this again? Umm..hell yes! It makes my skin feel and look ah-mazing, and although pricey, a little goes a long way. 
You can find OSEA here (ships worldwide)
Kelsey xx
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*pr sample

Can We Talk About What Cruelty Free Really Means?

Friday, September 02, 2016

Truly Cruelty Free is a term I've been seeing everywhere (it seems) recently. 

Cruelty Free is a term that is generally associated with cosmetics and skincare, and refers to no animal testing having been undertaken in the manufacture of that product (either in the final product, or it's ingredients). Usually a product is certified with an official certifying organisation, such as PETA, Leaping Bunny or Choose Cruelty Free (similar to organic certification), in order back-up this claim. 

Truly Cruelty Free on the other hand, is a term (generally) used by vegans, referring to the fact that they believe no product is actually cruelty free unless it is vegan (contains no animal products whatsoever). And that has me thinking. Veganism has become a popular lifestyle choice in recent years (but the beginnings of it date back as far as the mid 1940's), with a lot of brands and companies catering to the niche across a wide variety of products - from cosmetics and skincare, to fashion and food. Veganism is the practise of excluding all animal products from ones' life (not limited to diet - includes products such as leather and beeswax), and the exploitation of animals in any form. 

This world is made up of diverse people, lifestyles and beliefs. It is what makes it such a fascinating place, and it would be pretty damn beige without it. There is so much diversity, that you are never going to agree with everyone, and that's ok. One of my most favourite quotes, of whom I don't know the author is  - 

You can be the ripest, sweetest, juiciest peach in the world, there is always still going to be someone who doesn't like peaches.

However, I don't think it's ok to attack other people based on your personal beliefs and lifestyle choices. 

I saw a well-known green beauty brand share a casual photo on Instagram of a BBQ over the July 4th weekend, wishing everyone a happy, safe weekend. I was actually quite surprised by the number of comments attacking the brand over this photo, all along the lines of - I thought you were a cruelty free brand, How can you promote the consumption of meat UNFOLLOW,  How is this cruelty free?! etc

The post was very quickly taken down. 

This is not the first (or last) incident I've seen involving the cruelty free/not cruelty free discussion - and it's getting a bit ridiculous. 

When did a brand or company choosing not to test on animals translate to "...oh, and we don't eat meat, either...."? 

I could have understood the outrage were this a vegan brand, or a brand that prominently promoted veganism. But it's not. Many of their products contain beeswax, and some contain Carmine (a colourant derived from beetles). 

To some the consumption of meat is  considered cruel. To others, it is not so.
I won't argue against the fact that most farming practises are cruel - factory farming is nothing less than cruel and disgusting. But that isn't your only option. I'm lucky enough to live in an area where organic, pasture-raised and fed pork, and pasture-raised (truly) free-range eggs are available, and there are many, many other places where free-range or pasture-raised meat of any variety is available. And as far as eco-friendly arguments go - leather, in my opinion, is a more sustainable option that the PVC-based faux leather, but both still require toxic chemicals to produce, and create a vast amount of toxic waste. Leather produced traditionally doesn't involve nor cause toxic waste, but faux-leathers release toxic chemicals - phthalates, BPA and dioxanes into the environment as they break down, making their way into every part of the food chain. 

So, let's get this straight - 

Choosing not to test on animals does not by default mean a brand is vegan/free from animal products. 

There is absolutely no need for cosmetics to be tested on animals. Where animal testing does occur, it is done in the name of "safety". Aside from the absolute cruelty of that process, why in the world are companies using ingredients that have to be tested on non-human subjects for safety anyway? I mean, seriously?

And apart from all that, there are studies proving how useless animal testing actually is  (for cosmetics or drugs) in relation to how they perform/react on human subjects. Have a read of this article if you want more on that subject.

Everything I use, talk about and promote is Cruelty Free
It is not however, vegan (although I do mention if the product/brand is vegan or certified vegan) - because I'm not vegan, and I never will be. I respect that some people have chosen a certain lifestyle (removing all animal products), just as I have chosen a particular lifestyle (avoiding toxic synthetic chemicals). 

Veganism often talks about respect for the planet, animals, themselves. Please remember to respect everyone else, and their personal choices in the process, and do a quick check of your facts before attacking someone over their lunch choices.

Kelsey xx
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Rose for Cleo Nourish & Nurture Face Cream | Review

Sometimes, all I want is a simple, lightweight moisturiser. The Nourish & Nurture Roses For Cleo Face Cream is a lovely, soft and hydrating cream that leaves my skin feeling soft and supple.

Nourish & Nurture is a 100% natural Australian skincare brand, handcrafted in small batches in Orange, NSW. The brand was born out of Tabitha's (founder) desire to remove toxic synthetic chemicals from her life, and the lives of others. Every product is 100% natural and also vegan.

Roses for Cleo is a soothing, light and soft face cream - although I have been using it on any dry spots, too! With Aloe Vera to soothe inflammation, Coconut, Vitamin E and Almond Oil to hydrate, and Rosewater to tone and soothe, as well as deliver anti-ageing antioxidants to the skin. I've been using this on my neck and decolletage, hands, dry elbows - anywhere that needs moisturising. The Roses for Cleo Face Cream absorbs quickly, is silky on the skin and non-greasy. It leaves my skin feeling soft, supple and hydrated, evens hours later or the next morning.

I have also found it helps soothe any inflammation or redness, and my skin feels so beautiful and soft.

A portion of each sale is donated to SEND HOPE, NOT FLOWERS, which helps save the lives of women in childbirth in developing countries. You can read more about it here.

The Nourish & Nurture Roses For Cleo Face Cream is packaged in a glass jar, with screw top lid. I always prefer glass over plastic, as they are safer (plastic can leach chemicals into the product stored in it), and can be recycled, minimising waste. Each cream also comes with an adorable tag and DIY recipe suggestion for re-using the jar, or you can also check out the Nourish & Nurture E-book which includes over 45 recipes for natural skincare products. 

I also absolutely love the label. It has such a vintage vibe and feels like something you'd find in a vintage apothecary. The outer packaging is also too gorgeous for words - I mean?! I had to photograph it before I opened it. Wrapped in brown paper, tied with string, and underneath that, the jar was also packaged in a reusable cloth drawstring bag. 


I've been really enjoying this cream for just keeping my skin hydrated, soft and balanced. If you like to keep your skincare simple, or just want a beautiful, lightweight moisturiser that is multi-purpose and 100% natural, Nourish & Nurture has got you covered! 

Kelsey xx
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Toss It Tuesday | BB Cream + Tinted Moisturiser

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Toss It Tuesday this week is BB Creams and Tinted Moisturisers. They are a handy little product to have in your make-up bag, easy to apply, and usually contain an SPF. If you're short on time or in a pinch, or just want something light to wear whilst running errands, it's usually what you reach for.

While most brands focus on the anti-ageing, or handful of botanical ingredients in their product, in truth, many of these products contain harmful and toxic ingredients. Here's a quick look at what you'll find in almost every single (mainstream) BB Cream or Tinted Moisturiser. 

- Octinoxate

Octinoxate, also called Octyl methoxycinnamate or (OMC), is a UV filter. You will find this in most products with any SPF rating. Octinoxate has been detected in human urine, blood and breast milk, which indicates that humans are systemically exposed to this compound. Octinoxate is an endocrine disruptor that mimics estrogen and can disrupt thyroid function.

Also known as - o methoxycinnamate (OMC), parsol, parsol MCX, parsol MOX, escalol, 2-ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate

- Mineral Oil

Sounds pretty natural, right? Mineral Oil is petroleum by-product, a yucky ingredient that clogs pores, suffocates skin (a bit like putting cling wrap over the skin - this also prevents your skin from functioning as it should and being able to breathe, and process impurities) and has contamination concerns with carcinogenic chemicals. Also known as paraffin or paraffin oil.

- Polysorbates

Petroleum by-product. Contamination concerns with Ethylene Oxide (known human carcinogen) and 1,4 Dioxane (shown to contaminate up to 46% of cosmetics, strong evidence as a human carcinogen)

- Propylene Glycol (PEGs)

This is a synthetic petro-chemical mix. It is also made from the same chemical that is used to create anti-freeze, hydraulic fluids, placticizers and solvents. PEG facilitates penetration of formulation deeper into the skin, thereby allowing increasing amounts of other chemicals and toxins to reach the bloodstream. Being a petroleum by-product, PEG's also have the same contamination concerns as above (Ethylene Oxide and 1,4 Dioxane)

- Phenoxyenthanol

A common cosmetic preservative. Endocrine (hormone) disruptor. Linked to skin irritation, contact dermatitis, also linked to adverse brain and nervous system affects in animal studies.

- Parfum/Fragrance

Irritant, allergen, hormone disruption. Can be a synthetic chemical cocktail of up to 3000 ingredients.

- Parabens

Prefixed with Ethyl, Methyl, Butyl, Propyl, Benzyl these are the most widely used group of cosmetic preservatives. Mimic estrogen in the body and are endocrine (hormone) disruptors. Methylparabens have been found in breast tumours in some studies.

As always, my favourite natural and organic BB Cream and Tinted Moisturiser recommendations are below!

Lily Lolo BB Cream
Australia / Australia (Ships worldwide)

Available in 3 shades.

This is my favourite natural BB Cream, as it is so lightweight on the skin, effortless, and leaves the skin with a radiant, dewy finish. The Lily Lolo BB Cream minimises the appearance of pores, evens the skin tone whilst providing light coverage. Most days this, plus a little concealer is all I need for a perfected base that lasts all day. This also doubles as a primer and provides additional coverage underneath a cream or powder foundation.

La Mav Organic BB Creme
Australia (ships worldwide)

Available in one shade.

This is another favourite of mine, only coming second to the Lily Lolo for me personally due to my preference for a dewy finish. The self-adjusting shade is perfect for light - medium, medium to tan skin tones, provides a medium coverage and satin finish. Again this is amazing to use underneath a powder foundation. Packed with anti-ageing ingredients, this also contains a natural sunscreen. The La Mav BB Creme evens the skin tone, and you can get away without a concealer. 

Madara Tinting Fluid
Australia / Australia (ships worldwide)

Available in two shades.

This is a lightweight, tinted moisturiser, that hydrates whilst providing light coverage and a radiant finish. The Madara Tinting Fluid evens the skin tone, blurring imperfections and fine lines, and it perfect for those days when you just want some light coverage and a healthy glow!

Josh Rosebrook Tinted Nutrient Day Cream (SPF 30)
Australia (ships worldwide) / USA

If you prefer SPF with your tinted moisturiser, the Josh Rosebrook Tinted Nutrient Day Cream is a rich daily moisturiser, with natural sunblock and light coverage to even the skin tone. This also doubles as a primer, and with a range of highly potent botanicals, helps treat blemishes, redness, balances oil production, soothes, strengthens and repairs the skin. 

100% Pure BB Cream with SPF
Australia (FREE shipping worldwide)

Available in 3 shades

With an SPF rating of 25, the 100% Pure BB Cream provides medium to full coverage, with light reflective pigments to blur imperfections and leave you with a glowing, radiant complexion. The formula is non-comedogenic, 100% non-toxic as always and is a mineral sunscreen (vs a chemical sunscreen), and is rich in antioxidants and anti-ageing properties.

ILIA Radiant Beauty Balm SPF20
USA (FREE shipping worldwide)

Available in one shade.

With an SPF20, the ILIA BB Cream evens the skin tone, provides light coverage and doubles as a primer! Light reflective pigments blur imperfections, whilst botanicals hydrate, calm and soothe the skin, combats free radicals and gives you lasting mineral sun protection. ILIA also have a Tinted Moisturiser SPF20 that I love, which is available in a range of shades and provides a beautiful light coverage and lasting hydration for a glowing, luminous complexion.

Kelsey xx
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Today Is Ours Supers Greens Face Mask & Vanilla Almond Latte Body Scrub | Review + Giveaway

Sunday, August 28, 2016

If I seem to have been talking about masks a lot lately, it's because...well, I have. They are often considered something 'extra' in your skincare ritual, an indulgence, un-essential. I'm here to tell you that no, actually, I consider them very much essential, and they certainly shouldn't be an extra indulgence. I consider a weekly to twice-weekly mask another part of my cleansing ritual. They are incredibly effective at decongesting the skin, withdrawing all dirt and impurities, minimising breakouts or redness and giving you a clear, glowing complexion overall. 

When Siana from Today Is Ours first approached me, I must admit to never having heard of the brand, but I was intrigued by her products, and brand ethics. Today Is Ours is a small-batch, 100% natural Australian skincare line, with a focus on not only taking care of you, but the planet, too. The ingredients are Certified Organic and Certified Fair Trade where possible and Cruelty Free. 

I've been using the Super Greens Face Mask and Vanilla Almond Latte Body Scrub for several weeks now, and my review of both is below. 

Vanilla Almond Latte Body Scrub / Review

We often forget about the rest of the body when it comes to exfoliation, and simply focus on the face. Using a body scrub is much like exfoliating the face - it buffs away dead skin, clears pores and prevents bacteria build-up, leaving your skin soft, smooth and clear. A body scrub can be used 2-4 times a week, and will help combat dry skin, and allow for the deeper penetration of your moisturiser.

I love both coffee and sugar scrubs, but for a really good scrub, Coffee Scrubs are my preference. The Today Is Ours Vanilla Almond Latte Body Scrub is as heavenly as it sounds, with Certified Fair Trade & Certified Organic Coffee, Certified Organic Sweet Almond Oil, Vanilla Essential Oil and Cinnamon, plus Himilayan Salt and Vitamin E.

Many conventional scrubs (for the body or the face) contain micro-beads as the exfoliant. Not only are they cheap, but they are also made of plastic, and millions of these tiny pieces of plastic are washed down our drains and into the ocean EACH YEAR, harming marine life and the Eco-system.

This scrub is divine to use, with an aroma that smells like you've been brewing coffee in the bathroom. A few teaspoons is all I need for my entire body - legs, arms, feet, shoulders - wherever you like. You can even use it on your chest, neck and face (but be gentle). Coffee is anti-inflammatory, anti-ageing and tones and firms the skin. They are amazing to use post-wax or shave to not only smooth the skin and buff away at any particularly dry areas, but also to help calm any inflammation or irritation. I find using a coffee scrub 3-4 times a week can really help with razor burn, too, and keep those legs smooth and soft!

Super Greens Face Mask / Review

For one that is always such a stickler for reading instructions, I still don't know why I decided to completely ignore the "...apply for 10mins maximum.." part on the label. Maybe it was the (self-proclaimed) experienced masker in me? More on that in a moment.

This mask is pretty much what it sounds like - a super green smoothie for your face. It contains a blend of clays, alongside Matcha Green Tea, Maca, Powdered Rose Petals, Powdered Ginger, Powdered Oats, Spirulina, Chlorella, Wheat and Barley Grass (all certified organic).

This is a dry mask, which is activated with the liquid of your choice (I just use rainwater). The jar is packed, and I also find this goes quite a long way - so don't use a heaped/full teaspoon first up, unless you plan on doing your entire body. You can always add more powder if needed!

Now, about that 10 minute treatment time.

The first time I used this, we were having a bit of a girls night, so I tried it out on my sister, too. I scoffed at the 10min max time (hah!) and said something along the lines of "...let's just leave it until it dries...".

It turns out the (full) drying time with this mask is around 40-50 minutes. So, with our masks on, we left them alone until the thing was completely dry - not a single wet spot left. When fully dry, this mask tightens unbelievably - which isn't all that uncomfortable, I just wouldn't advise stretching the skin that much. It was the removal that was a bit of a...process. Most clay masks melt away fairly easily with a warm, damp cloth, lightly exfoliating the skin in the process. The Today Is Ours Super Greens Face Mask on the other hand, wasn't really budging. I'm sure it took another 15 minutes to get it all off, no exasperation.

Once we had removed the mask, the usual circulation/warmth flooded back into the skin. I seriously underestimated the power of this mask, and whilst my skin was considerably more flushed than usual post-mask, I was in hysterics as my poor sister was turning into a shade of  Pantone Cooked Lobster(I know, I'm evil). 

Don't worry, the redness did subside....after a good hour or so.

So, what about the results? (post lobster)

Needless to say I heeded the instructions more carefully the next time I applied this mask, and even set a timer for the 10 minutes. It removes much more easily at this time, and although it has begun to dry, isn't fully set.

After experimenting with different treatment times, I find this mask most effective when I let it sit for around 20-30 minutes. It is still fairly easy to remove at this stage, not too dry (although not wholly wet), and whilst it does still make my skin much warmer than other masks (I'm thinking that's the ginger), I don't turn a shade of Lobster, (neither does my sister) and the flush fades after about 30mins.

At the 20-30 minute treatment time, this mask is incredibly effective at clearing any congestion, speeding up the healing of any blemishes, reducing the visibility of pores, leaves my skin ultra smooth and with a glow that lasts into the next day.

Overall + Giveaway

Note to self - Read the instructions, and actually follow them. 
Aside from the first-use hiccup, (which left my skin amazing, anyway), this mask is incredible. So much more powerful than other masks I've previously used, and I'd like to alternate between this and another mask I use. If my skin is feeling or looking blah, I reach for this. The jar is also filled to the brim, and there is enough product for about 12-15 masks. 
The body scrub is also heavenly. It leaves my skin ultra smooth and is so useful post-wax or shave to help calm any irritation or inflammation!
You can WIN both the Today Is Ours Supers Greens Face Mask & Vanilla Almond Latte Body Scrub - entry details are over on instagram!

Kelsey xx
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