SLIDER

6 Products I'm Using (and loving) Now

Thursday, May 18, 2017



There's a number of new or newish (to me) products that I've really been enjoying lately, that I wanted to share with you all. I spend so much time researching ingredients, brands, replying to emails, editing photos - the list goes on - that sometimes it's nice just to say: I love these products. 

They are all as glamorous & clean as you could possibly want, and I've been using them all regularly of late!



Kjaer Weis Cream Blush in Embrace
SHOP / use code ILOVEMUM and save 20% off (or code libertygreen any time to save 10% off)

The prettiest, pastel baby pink. I have several blush shades as I only tend to wear colour on my lips & cheeks, so it's fun to switch it up. I've also been feeling like something lighter recently. This isn't so light it looks chalky or really pastel on the skin, and I've seen photographs of deeper, olive skin tones wearing it beautifully. It always looks fresh and youthful.


Vapour Beauty Illusionist Concealer
SHOP / use code ILOVEMUM and save 20% off (or code libertygreen any time to save 10% off)

I've been keeping this in my bag to touch up on the go. In the slim, stick design, it's super quick to apply (either direct to the skin or using fingers or a brush to apply). I use it anywhere and everywhere - under the eyes to brighten and balance dark circles, on redness or blemishes. It's creamy but not too creamy and doesn't crease when set with powder. LOVE IT.


La Belle Lune Organic Skin

Leaves my skin silky soft, smells like heaven and calms and evens the complexion to leave it radiant. 
I've been using this after my toner and it always makes my skin feel so nourished and soothed. 


Axiology Lipstick in Elusive
SHOP / Use code LIBERTYGREEN to save on your 1st order

I have a couple of shades and will be doing a full review, swatch + share soon, but Elusive has been on my lips on repeat lately. Warm and earthy, but bright enough to look fresh, this is a super pretty, flattering and effortless red. The formula is also LIKE BUTTER and is very moisturising and just glides onto the lips. No feathering, bleeding or slipping around. 


Edible Beauty No.4 Vanilla Silk Hydrating Lotion
SHOP / Use code LIBERTYGREEN20 to save 20% off your 1st order

Light, and silky. You know a cream or lotion must be good for ME to like it. I usually detest the creatures. This lotion is so calming and soothing, absorbs quickly into the skin and leaves it feeling hydrated and calm. Brilliant for this dry winter weather paired with an oil or balm and perfect on it's own in hot, sticky summer heat. It's also heaven under makeup. 


La Mav Bio Active Organic Primer
SHOP / use code LIBERTYGREEN to save 10% off your 1st order

I've been using this primer for a few months now. 
Infused with Vitamin C and Hyaluronic Acid, it's skincare-meets-makeup all in one. Hydrating and skin-perfecting, it gives my skin enough moisture that makeup glides on smoothly, but doesn't leave a greasy or oily residue behind. It contains anti-ageing ingredients and always preps my skin to perfection for makeup!


What have you been crushing on / reaching for lately? I'd love to know, leave your thoughts in the comments below! 


Kelsey xx
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*this post contains affiliate links

6 Anti-Ageing Lip Balms to Keep Your Pout Plump

Thursday, May 11, 2017





I had someone recently request recommendations for anti-ageing lip balms and products, so I thought I'd put my top picks into a blog post for you all! I've included some plain and tinted lip balms, as well as one of my personal favourite products to reduce lines and plump the lips - and it's actually an eye serum!

The Beauty Chef Fit it Balm / SHOP use code LIBERTYGREEN to save 

More than just a lip balm, the Beauty Chef Fix it Balm has been formulated with Fermented Young Coconut to help heal dry, damaged skin on hands and body. It combats fine lines and wrinkles, keeps my lips hydrated, smooth and plump. I also use this under my eyes in drier weather, nails and cuticles, or any dry, red, inflamed or irritated areas.

Because it's in a glass jar (and quite generously sized, at that), not a tube, this balm is best kept for evening and morning use, or with you at your desk etc, rather than on-the-go application. 


Lük Beautifood Lip Nourish - Pink Juniper


LUK Beautifood Lip Nourish / SHOP

A cross between a lipstick and a lip balm, LUK Lip Nourish are rich in antioxidants and omega 3+6 essential fatty acids it helps fight the signs of ageing, fine lines and wrinkles, hydrate lips and keep them smooth and plump!

Vitamins A, C and E and naturally occurring antioxidants sesamin and sesamolin act as a powerful antioxidants to fight free radicals and help maintain collagen and elastin fibres that give skin its smooth, firm and line-free appearance.

Madara Lip Conditioning Balm Hemp / SHOP use code LIBERTYGREEN to save

Formulated with richly nourishing olive oil, shea butter, and conditioning hemp oil that energises skin's protective barrier, the MADARA Hemp Lip Balm will keep lips smooth and hydrated. Rich in essential fatty acids omega 3 and 6, the hemp oil also provides a significant supply of antioxidants that provide strong anti-ageing effects. 


Grease Skin Lip Boost / SHOP use code LIBERTYGREEN to save


Gressa Skin Lip Boost is an all-natural lip cream made from the highest quality organic ingredients to glam your pout. Light, non-sticky and moisturising, it feels like a balm yet looks like a gloss. Antioxidant rich ingredients have anti-ageing skin care benefits, and will keep your lips smooth and plump, whilst adding a pretty wash of colour (available in several shades including a nude).


Tata Harper Lip Treatments / SHOP


Lightly tinted to give your lips a hint of colour, the Tata Harper plumping lip treatment is the perfect alternative to lipstick and helps minimise the look of wrinkles and vertical lip lines, while providing essential daily hydration. Date Palm Extract boosts collagen to decrease visual effects of ageing, whilst Spanish Lavender helps inhibit muscle contractions to decrease look of expression lines and Apricot, Acai and Green Tea oils infuse the lips with rich antioxidants for environmental protection and deep hydration. Available in two shades as well as a plain Peppermint flavour.

I also love her Volumising Lip & Cheek Tints for a plump, hydrated pout!




Earthwise Beauty Passion Eye Serum / SHOP

Whilst not actually an anti-ageing lip product, I always apply a drop of this to my lips every morning and evening after applying it to my eyes. It is very hydrating, and I have noticed a visible improvement in fine lines around both my eyes and on my lips with regular use - one of my favourite products and biggest anti-ageing tips for the lips!!

Earthwise Beauty's Passion Eye Serum is a beautiful blend of nutrient-rich, whole-fruit oils and butters to nurture the delicate skin around the eyes. Green coffee & andiroba oils combat puffiness and build collagen, while seabuckthorn and rosehip firm & brighten skin and Amazonian fruit butters deliver rich hydration.




Kelsey xx
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May Lindstrom The Clean Dirt Review

Wednesday, May 03, 2017



I feel like I've been meaning to get this post up for months, when in reality it's only been a few weeks. I always insist on trialling skincare for at least 4-6wks - a full skin renewal cycle - because this not only gives me a better idea on results and how the product performs on my skin throughout the month and over a longer term, but is also better for the skin itself. Your skin doesn't need to have a tonne of new products assailing it every week - even if they are all-natural and well crafted. Even the most placid of skin will probably start to complain or freak-out if switching from one product to the next every fortnight is a regular occurrence. 

It's been a few months of consistent use of May Lindstrom's The Clean Dirt now. I've been using since December; it was a Christmas gift. 
If you aren't familiar with the line, let me fill you in. 

May Lindstrom is one of those brands that exudes a beauty, luxury and there is something innately mysterious and alluring about it. From the brand messaging (May herself is always on Instagram answering questions and talking about her products) to the beautiful products themselves - the entire line feels not only luxurious but so filled with love and care. 

The indulgent collection is handcrafted using only the finest exotic and nutrient-rich ingredients that are sourced and harvested in a mindful and sustainable manner. Everything is 100% natural, and many of the ingredients are Certified Organic, wild harvested or Certified Fair Trade.

All of the products are also extremely generously sized.

Most of the products are at least twice, if not three times the size of other comparable products. 
May Lindstrom's The Clean Dirt is 200ml, whereas another powder-to-mousse exfoliant I'm also using is 100ml and about three quarters of the price (which actually makes it more expensive).




The Clean Dirt is a warm, spicy powder-to-mousse exfoliant.
It is a gentle exfoliant that efficiently removes dirt, build up and dead skin cells, enhances circulation and clears congestion.

Housed in beautiful Violet Miron Glass, embossed with gold lettering, the packaging of all May Lindstrom's products is exquisite. I love using it just because of the bottle!

Using The Clean Dirt

I use this 2-3 times per week.

It is recommended to pour the required amount of The Clean Dirt into the palm of your hand then mix with water, but I prefer to use a bowl. I am seriously not coordinated enough (and my hands aren't big enough!) to manage that feat without either spilling half the bottle, or mixed up mousse, or my worst nightmare - dropping the bottle and shattering it on the tiles. Congratulations to anyone who manages it - I'm just going to stay over here with my bowl.

I activate the Clean Dirt with water - adding a few drops at a time.
The correct consistency is a frothing, foaming mousse.
Whilst I do have a favourite ready-from-the-jar exfoliant, there is something about the ritual of mixing and applying a powdered exfoliant that I find slightly addicting. It is a part of my cleansing routine I thoroughly look forward to.

Notes on sensitivity

When I first discovered May Lindstrom, I was a little concerned that my skin wouldn't be able to tolerate The Clean Dirt because of the warming spices. I can't tolerate any heat in my food, so I did wonder if this would translate to the skin - especially because I can at times be sensitive to some products.

While it does have a warming sensation, I don't find it at all uncomfortable or irritating.
After massaging in, I leave it on my skin for 2-3mins before rinsing off to let all of those ingredients do their work.

If your skin is super sensitive, you may prefer a more gentle exfoliant or chemical exfoliant that doesn't require that scrubbing action. Whilst I did mention using it 2-3 times per week, I do also use it based on what my skin feels like for the week. Sometimes I might skip it altogether because it just doesn't feel like it needs it. Listen to your skin.

Results

My skin is always immediately silky soft and smooth after use.
Consistent use of The Clean Dirt has really helped clear some stubborn congestion, post-blemish pigmentation and really gets the circulation going - putting that healthy radiance back into my skin!

I've also been mixing a small amount of this with my weekly mask. It doesn't give any of the warming sensation when mixed with a mask (probably because of the small amount) but I find it's a great way to give my skin and circulation an extra boost.


Overall

Would I buy it again? Yes, yes yes.
Because of the massive size, it will last MONTHS (I've got at least half a bottle left) and the results are so worth it.

I'm in love with this product and can't wait to try more from the May Lindstrom range.
You can purchase May Lindstrom in Australia here and get free shipping over $50.

Beautiful Because also have a brilliant gift with purchase this week:




Kelsey xx
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*this product was a Christmas gift - lucky me!

3 Easy ways to incorporate Ayurveda into your life

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Ayurveda is a word I've seen mentioned a LOT recently, especially in relation to natural skincare and makeup. But what is it, and what does it mean? Eve from Eve Organics is here to share her knowledge, and give you three easy ways to incorporate Ayurveda into your life!


If you'd like to see more from Eve and other guest authors, you can find those posts here.

x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x 


‘Ayurveda’ literally means ‘science of life’, and it’s been the guiding philosophy on health & wellness in India for thousands of years. Ayurveda posits that there are three ‘doshas’ – vata, pitta and kapha, and we are all a unique combination of all three (usually with one predominant). Our unique combination of the three doshas is our mental & emotional blueprint, called our ‘prakriti’, which literally translates to ‘essential nature’.

The basic principle of Ayurveda is that the body and mind are intricately connected in ways that directly affect our health, and the balance of our doshas. This is, of course, not a novel idea – we now know thanks to science that our emotional states can influence our physical state, and vice versa – one of the major examples of which is meditation. But meditation is just one of many ways that Ayurveda can help you to restore mental and physical equilibrium. Here are a few easy ways to incorporate ayurvedic principles into everyday life:


Eat more colourfully

Ayurveda is essentially about balance. Ayurvedic practitioners divide food into 6 ‘tastes’ – sweet, salty, sour, bitter, pungent and astringent; and the aim is to include all 6 tastes at each meal. An easy way to do this is to introduce more variety into your meals – cook with more anti-inflammatory spices (think cumin, turmeric, ginger), try new herbs, and aim to make your meal ingredients colourful. Colour is literally an indicator of the nutrients and antioxidants our food contains – so ensuring that you eat the colours of the rainbow is a sure-fire way to make sure you’re getting not just a variety of tastes and flavours, but all the vitamins and minerals you need for good health. (Note that we’re talking about real colour here – like red tomatoes, green peppers and yellow squash – not artificial colours!).


Incorporate touch into your self-care routine
It really is incredible what skin-to-skin contact can do for our health – and it doesn’t have to involve another person! The simple act of massaging a body oil into your legs, or applying a nourishing treatment to the roots of your hair can lower stress hormones, slow breathing and re-connect you with your body in a powerful way. Massage is an essential part of Ayurveda, and it’s extremely good for us – it increases the circulatory and lymphatic systems, helps the body to detoxify, and soothes the senses. If you don’t know where to start, just do something small – like massaging some lotion into your hands or feet before bed. Try Mokosh’s Sesame & Frankincense Body Oil, or Captain Blankenship’s Peppermint & Avocado Foot Balm.


Take a walk

I guarantee that if you take a walk (with the dog, with a friend, or by yourself on your lunch-break) every day for a week or two, you literally won’t be able to stop. Walking is so good for you for so many reasons – it’s such an underrated form of exercise. According to ayurvedic practitioners, walking is a ‘tridoshic’ activity – that is, it balances out the three doshas and clears the mind, without putting excessive strain on the body.


Do you have any Ayurvedic principles you follow in your daily routine? Comment below – I’d love to hear them! And if you're interested in reading more about ayurveda and how to determine your own prakriti, check out Deepak Chopra's work.




Kelsey xx
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La Belle Lune Organic Skin Review

Sunday, April 30, 2017



I've had this review banked for a while, waiting for the La Belle Lune Organic Skin to be back in stock after it sold out worldwide, after it received a glowing review from a notable blogger & skincare expert. 

La Belle Lune is a British skincare brand, small-batch made and 100% natural, Certified Organic where available, 100% Cruelty Free and Vegan. The Organic Skin is the brand's first product in the line. The Beauty Edit is the exclusive Australian stockist of La Belle Lune.

The Organic Skin is packaged in Miron Violet Glass, which blocks all visible light. Not only does the glass protect the contents stored within, Miron Violet Glass maintains and even enhances the high energy of the bottle or jar’s contents for a long period of time. The ancient Egyptians used violet glass for it's special protective properties. 



La Belle Lune Organic Skin Review

Available exclusively in Australia here.

Aside from being beautiful, the packaging is also practical and probably one of my most preferred delivery methods for a face oil - and that is a pump. It dispenses the correct amount without exposing the rest of the contents to air and I also don't have to worry about recapping a bottle or jar.

The La Belle Lune Organic Skin is a very rich face oil, but very light and fast absorbing. 
People often assume 'rich' means heavy or oily, but I've rarely found this to be the case with facial oils. It has a deep golden to amber hue, and smells heavenly.

The Organic Skin is definitely not oily or greasy. It is light enough to layer underneath a few other products - including another oil I use for spot-treatment - but moisturising enough to use alone with a cream or moisturiser. I use just 2-3 pumps for my entire face and neck

It leaves my skin feeling soft and supple. I also noticed a difference in my skin within only a few days of use. My complexion is more radiant, very evenly toned and just looks healthy! I had some redness on my chin and on my nose that I hadn't actually realised I had until I began using this oil and it's vanished.


Ingredients

With a blend of beautifully fragrant and cold-pressed oils, the Organic Skin protects skin from pollutants and free radicals, stimulates cell regeneration, tightens, tones and reduces the appearance of fine lines whilst moisturising and protecting at a cellular level. 

The carrot seed oil will also help with pigmentation, age spots and reduce signs of ageing. 

It also contains Organic Sea Buckthorn Oil. Sea buckthorn berries provide up to 15 times more vitamin C than oranges, so the oil is packed full of fantastic nutrients for the skin like fat soluble vitamins A and E and Phytosterols (which have anti-inflammatory properties and can help regulate skin cell turnover) as well as helping repair damaged cells. Amazingly it also has Omega 7 (Palmitoleic Acid) one of the rarest forms of Essential Fatty Acids in the plant world and is essential for healthy skin. All together it is one of the best oils for nourishing, healing, restoring and revitalising cells and has been used to promote the healing of heat burns, radiation burns, sunburns, poorly healing wounds, skin ulcers, eczema, psoriasis and acne scarring.

If you'd like the full ingredient list, you can find it here.

Overall
I always love it when I can see a visible difference with products - and very quickly. I've been using it for about 6wks at this point and the results haven't waned. I'm a big fan of oils, and think everyone could benefit from having one in their skincare routine (yes, even oily skin types). I think this is a brilliant all-rounder, great for both younger and more mature skin as it is anti-ageing, anti-inflammatory, helps deal with pigmentation and scarring (either from age spots, blemishes or acne), and promotes a radiant, clear complexion overall. 
If you've got any questions, just ask in the comments below, via email or on Instagram. 
Shop La Belle Lune Organic Skin

And for everything else (excludes La Belle Lune), you can shop 20% off. 
Just in time for Mother's Day Gifting or have you had your eye on something you've wanted to try?
Now's the perfect time with 20% off Storewide use code TBEVIP20 at the checkout.

Be quick finishes Sunday 7th May,

*Excludes La Belle Lune, The Beauty Edit Gift Vouchers & Discovery Kit.
Kelsey xx
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Hannahpad Organic Cotton Pads Review

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Small

Have you ever stopped to consider what your pads and tampons are made from? 
I recently wrote a blog post on the topic which you can read here. It's pretty scary. From pesticides and bleach to synthetic fragrances, it's a toxic chemical cocktail. And we're coming into contact with these products every single month.

I shared a number of not only eco-friendly options in that post (did you know that the average woman will use up to 16,000 tampons in her lifetime (or equivalent of pads), more if she goes through hormone-replacement therapy - none of which are biodegradable? That's a huge amount contributed to landfill!) but also you-friendly options. One of the brands I mentioned was Hannahpad.

Hannahpad Australia creates Certified Organic Cotton Clothpads. And something I thought I would never say about pads - they make pretty pads. Just check out the cute floral prints!

Medium & Small


Available in a range of sizes, including Liner, Small (liner-size but with more absorbency), Medium (average pad), Large, Overnight and Super Ultra Overnight (maternity) and fun prints, there is an option for every woman and girl.

The lining and absorbent inner are 100% Certified Organic Cotton, and they feature a printed waterproof backing. The Organic Cotton not only ensures that no harsh or synthetic chemicals are coming into contact with the skin, but is also super soft to the touch. 

The Hannahpad folds up into a very small size, (see a video how-to here), which is perfect for popping into your handbag, taking up less space in the drawer or popping into the Hannahpad Zip Pouch (see below), which features a wipe-clean lining and pretty print exterior. 

The pouch easily holds 5-8 pads of varying sizes - which is brilliant for travel, keeping them tidy in your drawer, in a gym bag or wherever!

Use / Sizes

The Medium Hannahpad has an absorbency of 55ml - 80ml (which is quite a lot) and is the size of an average pad. The snap closures are keep the pad in place without being bulky or scratchy, and the pads themselves (even the Super Overnight) are all very slim. I found the Medium size enough for me without having any issues with leaking etc, but this will of course depend on your period. 

The Small Hannahpad is the same size as the Liner, but with higher absorbency. 
There is also the Large, Overnight & Super Ultra Overnight options available - so all of your bases are covered!

Medium (folded and unfolded)
Overnight, Medium & Small

Cleaning & Care

When I first saw the Hannahpad I must admit to being dubious about the white lining.
It's all good and well to have white on disposable products, but on something you're going to have to wash and reuse? I was pleasantly surprised to see everything as crisp, clean and white coming out of the wash as it was new!

I've been using cloth pads in place of disposable products since my early teens, so I just treated these as I do any other for washing - left in a bucket of cold water with some laundry detergent/soap to soak overnight before throwing in the washing machine (rinse quickly, before washing on a cold cycle). You can find the Hannahpad Care Instructions here. I never even use any stain remover. It's super easy - instead of throwing in the rubbish, I just throw it in a bucket of water.




 Overall

Hannahpad are a brilliant option for healthier you, and a healthier planet. Reusable menstrual products not only significantly reduce waste, but significantly reduce your synthetic chemical exposure and are healthier for your body.

With the pretty, fun prints and chic eco-friendly packaging, Hannahpad makes switching to an eco-friendly option all the easier!

You can shop Hannahpad Australia & Internationally here.

Kelsey xx
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Vital Proteins Collagen Beauty Greens Review

Sunday, April 23, 2017

I'm a huge believer in that beauty starts from within. What we consume directly affects our health, and how our skin looks on the outside. I adore make-up and skincare, but I also make sure to take care of my health, and my skin, from the inside. Skincare is about so much more than topical application of a fancy cream or luxurious mask (although I may have a slight mask addiction..sshh!!)

Within weeks of consuming something I don't usually eat - white sugar, for example - I can see the affects in my skin. Breakouts. They're inescapable, and inevitable. If I eat more than about a teaspoon (about what I might put in a cup of tea or two if I'm out) in a period of a few months, I will see the results in about 4-6 weeks. 
The same happens with good-for-your-body food and supplements. Whatever we consume makes a difference to our skin and it's appearance.
The Vital Proteins Collagen Beauty Greens:

...promote a beautiful natural glow that begins from within. This nourishing elixir is a combination of marine collagen peptides, raw organic greens, hyaluronic acid and probiotics to help prevent the signs of ageing, improve skin moisture, smoothness and tone.

With an antioxidant rich blend of super greens including Organic Wheat Grass, Organic Spinach, Organic Alfalfa Leaf, Organic Kale & Organic Barley Grass, marine-based collagen and hyaluronic acid, the Vital Proteins Collagen Beauty Greens promote natural collagen formation, strengthens hair and nails, improves skins overall appearance and helps prevent the signs of ageing.



You can blend the Beauty Greens into your regular morning smoothie (fruit, yogurt or greens based), or just drink mixed with water. I take mine just mixed with water. I'm usually pretty terrible with any kind of supplement that has to be taken mixed in water because of the flavour, but I don't find this too bad. It has a coconut flavour, so it tastes kind of like coconut water to me, which is a bit weird when it looks like a green smoothie.

Jarring sight-to-taste difference aside, the Beauty Greens aren't at all unpleasant (at least, to me), but I also wouldn't drink it for fun. Mixed into a smoothie or glass of juice and you don't even notice it. So if you're weird about flavours, you'll be fine with it blended with anything else.

I take it in the morning after breakfast, and I also have found they keep me feeling fuller for longer.

As for the results, I've seen a big difference in my nails already - I've always had trouble with the strength of my nails (which aren't terribly brittle or weak but they do tend to break quite easily sometimes). They are feeling much stronger already.

In regards to my skin, I do think with a supplement like this there are obviously going to be some long-term benefits if taken over several months or years, which I can't attest to at this point.

For what I've seen already - the main difference I've noticed is I'm looking less tired, and dark circles are less apparent. We could all do with some of that, couldn't we?
I also think my skin is feeling firmer and more supple.


The Vital Proteins Collagen Beauty are also excellent for gut health, with probiotics to help promote a glowing complexion. They are also Gluten Free, Whole30 Approved, Non GMO and Kosher.



I've also found the Vital Proteins Collagen Beauty Greens to help me feel brighter when I was a bit under the weather a few weeks ago. I dosed up on the Beauty Greens and also the Vital Proteins Beef Gelatin in a herbal tea which was very soothing and helped speed up recovery!

Maybe this should be filed under TMI, but it's something we all deal with, so I've included it anyway.
Something else I also noticed a difference with was PMS symptoms. I haven't changed anything else and my symptoms this month were vastly reduced - the pain was much less acute and I didn't find I needed to rely on pain killers so much. Because I've only been taking it for around 4-5wks I can't be certain that this was because of the Collagen Beauty Greens, but I'll be interested to see how it goes long term!


Overall

The Vital Proteins Beauty Greens are a brilliant way to get an extra dose of greens - and all of the accompanying vitamins, minerals and antioxidants - and collagen into your diet. All of these are essential for good gut health, good skin and overall good health.

They are available in both the 294g size (pictured) and 586g size.

You can also shop at with 20% off all Vital Proteins until the end of April with code EOVITAL
There is also 20% off site wide* with code EOEASTER until April 30th: Shop Now

*some exclusions apply. Includes ALL BEAUTY though!






Kelsey xx
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Spelt Chocolate Fudge Brownies Recipe

Thursday, April 13, 2017


Just in time for Easter, this recipe is rich, chocolatey heaven. Each little brownie is a delicious burst of nutty, fudgy, chocolate biscuit-brownie hybrid. As with most of the recipes I share on my blog, it is SO easy to make, and they take just 10-12mins to bake!

This is a chocolate-heavy recipe - requiring 290g - so choosing a good quality chocolate that you enjoy is paramount. I have used Pana Chocolate in this recipe. Pana Chocolate is raw, organic, dairy free, gluten free, vegan, refined sugar free and handmade. 

And despite the whack of chocolate in this recipe, it is still a healthier treat (I say healthier because really, we don't need treats every day or week!) - with 100% wholegrain spelt flour and raw honey to sweeten. 

Wholegrain flours (purely the grains stone-ground and unprocessed beyond that) leave all of the 27 vitamins and minerals intact in the flour - processed white, unbleached or wholemeal (note the difference between wholemeal and wholegrain) flours have all been highly processed - with the majority of the vitamins and minerals destroyed or removed, the gluten removed then artificially replaced later on. They are a nutritionally devoid product, vs wholegrain flours which are still a natural product with some nutritional value!

The same goes for refined sugars - if you'd like a post on the differences between refined sugars and unrefined (and what's what) let me know in the comments below and I'll put one together for you along with some really great books!



I used half Pana Chocolate in the Eighty Bar and half of the Raw Cacao bars. The Raw Cacao is still a dark chocolate, (in my opinion) with a minimum 60% cacao content. If you want a very dark, slightly bitter chocolate, then I recommend going with the Eighty. Otherwise, if you prefer a slightly sweeter flavour, opt for the Raw Cacao bars or one of the many flavours. I would leave out the Eighty next time around, because when I've made this recipe before, I prefer the sweeter finish (but it's still very rich and dark chocolatey)


Spelt Chocolate Fudge Brownies Recipe (refined sugar free)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cup of organic 100% spelt wholegrain flour
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/4 tsp of bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 cup of walnuts, chopped
  • 290g of Pana Chocolate Bars of your choice
  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons of raw honey
  • 2 large eggs

Method:

Chop two of the chocolate bars (or 90g of chocolate) into small chunks / chips. 

Place the flour, cream of tartar, bicarb soda, chopped walnuts and chopped chocolate into a large mixing bowl. Stir until well combined, and make a well in the centre.

Combine the butter and remaining 200g of chocolate in a small saucepan. 
Set over a low heat and stir until melted and smooth. 
Remove from the heat, and add the honey. 

Beats the eggs well with a fork, then add to the chocolate mixture.
Pour the chocolate mixture into the flour, and stir until just combined. 

Cover and refrigerate for 1hr.

Preheat the oven to 180℃. Line two baking trays with grease-proof paper.

Use a tablespoon of mixture, rolling each into balls and placing on the prepared tray. 
You can space them about 5cm apart - they only spread very slightly.

Bake for 10-12mins - they will still be soft when you remove them from the over but will harden as they cool. 

Enjoy them warm or cool - I love them with tea!



Kelsey xx
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Vital Proteins Beef Gelatin Review & Marshmallow Passionfruit Slice Recipe (refined sugar free)

Tuesday, April 04, 2017



It's been years since I've eaten marshmallow - possibly almost a decade. I've been intending to look up a recipe for homemade marshmallow that doesn't require white sugar for a few recipes, so when Kitsa from Emporio Organico recently shared her refined-sugar free marshmallow recipe on Instagram, I was very excited to test it out!

I've made it into a Marshmallow & Passionfruit Slice, using Kitsa's Marshmallow recipe, my own base and the optional addition of the passion fruit. I had no idea how much FUN it would be to make my own marshmallow, and want to make another batch just for the sake of it. The perfect treat for Easter, you can also skip the base and make just the marshmallow on it's own. I had some left over so set it in a glass container - and it's delicious (without the passion fruit) on top of hot cacao or coffee!


Made with Vital Proteins grass-fed beef gelatin, this recipe is also good for your gut health! 

The Vital Proteins Beef Gelatin is flavourless, and can be used in cooking to thicken sauces or setting jellies or slices as per the recipe below, but you can also take it daily, mixed with water, as a healthy probiotic, gut-healing tonic. I find it very soothing and calming as a drink, even though there is very little flavour.


The Vital Proteins Collagen Protein is a pure gelatin powder. The amino acids in this gelatin are identical to the protein found in skin, nails, hair, bones, cartilage and joints, making it an incredibly therapeutic substance to consume daily.

This versatile ingredient is perfect for thickening sauces and casseroles and adding to smoothies, soups, custards or making jellies. It can also be used to make marshmallows or as a substitute for eggs in baking. The amino acids found in gelatin calm and relax the brain and can act as a youth serum as we get older. Gelatin is also a less inflammatory source of protein supporting the thyroid and metabolism as well as helping to heal the gut lining when consumed before meals.

I've also used this to make a strawberry & berry jelly, which is a refreshing treat that also has some actual nutritional value to it, instead of a big sugar hit! I'm also planning to make a version of Lemon Meringue Pie, but with this marshmallow on top instead of the meringue (try as I might, I've never succeeded in creating a white-sugar free meringue. If you've cracked the secret, PLEASE let me know. I love and miss pavlova, haha!) and caramelising the outside with a blow torch...which if you're lucky will end up on the blog sooner rather than later.

I'm really impressed with how the gelatin performs - it is super easy to work with and I'm going to be purchasing more for any future baking!

Anyway, on to the recipe!

For this week only, use code EOVITAL at checkout & save 20% off all Vital Proteins.






The marshmallow is soft and fluffy, delightfully springy and not too sweet. 

The original recipe stated to heat it to 240 degrees, which after burning the first batch at 150 degrees celsius, I'm assuming is in farenheit. (I was also cooking on a gas stove which decided to run out half way through, so could have contributed to the issue). The second batch, only reached about 130-140 degrees celsius after 5-8mins, and made up beautifully anyway!

This base reminds me of Arnott's Scotch Finger biscuits. Mind you, it's been many years since I've had one of those, too. It is is soft and crumbling, but crisp enough to have the perfect texture. I'm already planning to make it up as biscuits, as well as a slice base. 

If you have any questions feel free to ask below! Enjoy xx

Marshmallow & Passionfruit Slice

For the base:
  • 150g butter
  • ¼ cup of organic rapadura sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups of wholegrain organic spelt flour
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1-2 tsp of milk

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
Line an 18 x 28cm slice tin with baking paper, overhanging two opposite sides.

Using electric beaters, cream the butter and sugar until light and creamy. 
Stir in the vanilla extract.

Fold in the flour, cream of tartar, bicarbonate of soda and one teaspoon of milk. Mix into a soft dough. Knead gently to bring together, adding the extra teaspoon of milk if required. 
The dough should be soft and firm - only just moist enough to bring everything together. 

Press into the lined slice tin. Lightly prick with a fork and bake for 20-25mins, until golden and come away from the edges.

Set aside to cool.


For the marshmallow topping:
  • 1 cup of water
  • 3 tablespoons of Vital Proteins grass-fed beef gelatin
  • 1 cup of raw honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp of celtic sea salt
  • 1 cup of desiccated coconut
  • (Optional) Pulp of 2-3 passion fruit

Method:

Toast the coconut in a dry pan, then set aside.

In a large mix master bowl, place 1/2 a cup of water and sprinkle the gelatin over the top. 
Stir until mixed with no lumps, then set aside.

In a small saucepan (one that pours easily) combine the honey, remaining 1/2 cup of water, vanilla and salt over a medium to high heat. Stir occasionally, and bring to a boil.

Check the temperature of the mixture with a food thermometer and remove from the heat once it reaches approx 130°C - this takes about 8 mins. Be careful not to burn the mixture. 

With the mix master set on a low speed, slowly pour the hot honey mixture into the gelatin. 
Increase speed to high and continue beating for up to 15 minutes or until the mixture becomes pale, thick and fluffy and doubled in size. 

If topping a slice:

Optional: Empty the passion fruit pulp into a bowl, and beat with a fork to separate the seeds from the flesh. Beat into the marshmallow until combined.

Spread the marshmallow over the cooled slice base, sprinkle with toasted coconut and refrigerate until set.

If serving marshmallow alone:

Line a rectangular glass storage container 24cm x 19cm with baking paper, as you would a cake tin. 
Sprinkle the base with toasted coconut.

Fill with marshmallow, then sprinkle the top with more coconut.
Cover and leave to set at room temperature, or refrigerate.

Once set, slice the marshmallow into squares, rolling the cut edges in toasted coconut, and serve.

You can also leave the coconut off and use your marshmallow on top of hot cocoa or coffee!

For this week only, use code EOVITAL at checkout & save 20% off all Vital Proteins.
Shop Beef Gelatin & more

Kelsey xx
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Fresh Strawberry & Berry Jelly Recipe (refined sugar free)

Sunday, April 02, 2017


Jelly is a childhood favourite, and this fresh fruit jelly, made from scratch, is a refreshing treat that can be enjoyed by all ages. It's super easy to make, and you can serve it as-is, or use in a slice, trifle or other desserts!

This recipe uses frozen fruit - but you could use fresh if available - and Vital Proteins Beef Gelatin available from Emporio Organico, which is 100% natural and brilliant for gut health!

For this week only, you can save 20% off all Vital Proteins with code EOVITAL.


Homemade Strawberry or Mixed Berry Jelly

You will need:

600ml jelly mould 
OR half a dozen small glasses and bowls to set

Ingredients:
  • 325ml of water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of Vital Proteins Beef Gelatin
  • 1/2 cup of organic rapadura sugar
  • 500g frozen strawberries or mixed berries
  • Juice of one lemon

Notes: 

Before beginning, set some of the fruit aside for decorating the set jellies. 
If using a jelly mould, lightly grease it with a flavourless oil. 
I set mine in a half dozen various sized glasses and bowls, in which case, you won't need to grease them - and they not only look pretty but they are ready to serve! 

You can also set the jelly in a glass storage container and scoop out with a spoon to serve.

Method: 

Place 1/2 cup of water in a bowl or jug, sprinkle with gelatin, and mix thoroughly to ensure there are no lumps. Set aside.

Pour 200ml of water into a saucepan, and add the sugar. 
Heat gently over a medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved, then add the fruit.
Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally for 5-10mins, until the fruit has completely softened. Break up any remaining pieces of fruit with the back of a spoon, and cook for a few more minutes.

Pour the fruit mixture through a sieve into a heat-proof jug.
Add the lemon juice and stir. 
Add the gelatin mixture, stirring well, then pour into the moulds.

Leave in the refrigerator to set for 2-3 hours, then top with reserved fruit & mint leaves and serve.

Enjoy! 



Kelsey xx
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Toss It Tuesday / Deodorant & Antiperspirant

Tuesday, March 28, 2017


Deodorant. It's something we apply every day without much thought to it - other than to check if it actually prevents body odour and won't stain clothes. Most deodorants and antiperspirants contain a cocktail of synthetic chemicals with serious, adverse health effects. 

There are many 100% natural options available - but even from those who are using 100% natural products everywhere else, I get the same question over and again - does natural deodorant really work? I say yes. *Cue skeptical expressions*

I'm not sure what it is that makes us think natural deodorant just isn't going to be effective at killing BO. Maybe it's the advertising, all the new technology making deodorants more "effective than ever".  WHat I do know, is, natural deodorant DOES work. But before I get into the who, what and why of my favourite natural deodorants, I'm going to tell you what's in your current deodorant and why you need to ditch toxic, conventional deo's ASAP.


What you'll find in regular deodorant

Aluminium

This is the main ingredient in any antiperspirant and many deodorants. The aluminium works by plugging the sweat glands, preventing the body from doing something entirely natural and necessary to not only cool the body, but flush out toxins from the system - sweat. 

Aluminium is a neurotoxin, and has concerns with organ system toxicity. There is evidence now showing a link between aluminium and Alzheimer's disease. 


Parfum / Fragrance

Synthetic fragrance can contain any number of around 3000 ingredients, usually about a few hundred. Manufacturers are not required to disclose the ingredients in fragrance because it is considered trade secret. Many of the components of synthetic fragrance contain formaldehyde or formaldehyde-releasing preservatives. Formaldehyde is a known human carcinogen. They also contain endocrine-disruptors and xenoestrogens (which mimic estrogen activity), and can cause headaches, nausea, skin irritation, dermatitis and trigger asthma.


BHT

Preservative. Allergen and and immuno-toxicity concerns. BHT is a toluene-based ingredient. There is strong evidence toluene is a human developmental toxin, is a suspected environmental toxin and known human respiratory toxin.


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.


Steareth-100 / AKA: Polyoxyethylene, PEG-100

There are very high contamination concerns with this ingredient. 
The two notable contaminants are Ethylene Oxide, a known human carcinogen, human respiratory toxin, and organ system toxicity. The other is 1,4 Dioxane, a highly toxic substance that is "reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen", known human respiratory toxin, concerns regarding organ system toxicity.

These two substances have also been shown to contaminate up to 40% of cosmetic and personal care products. As a by-product of processing, you won't find them listed on the ingredient label. The adverse health effects of these substances and their contamination of many ingredients has been known for decades. 


 
Still convinced conventional deo's are the best option?
Check out my 100% non-toxic and natural recommendations below!


Woohoo! Body Deodorant Paste / SHOP

This is my favourite deodorant for a number of reasons. 
For a start, the scent is very subtle and doesn't linger, so won't clash with any perfume or fragrance you've chosen to wear. Secondly, I've been using this for months and never had any issues with it staining clothing - including whites. Thirdly, (and most importantly) - it completely kills BO. I live in tropical North Queensland, and used it all through our hot and humid Summer with no issues whatsoever. 

It also comes with a small spatula to scoop out the product  - and the gigantic tub lasts months. 

Also don't fear the bi-carb soda aspect. According to Woohoo! the irritation commonly experienced from bicarbonate soda-containing deo's is all to do with incorrect pH balance. I'm not super-sensitive, but I do consider my skin sensitive- and I've never had a problem with this deo - even on freshly shaved skin.


Black Chicken Axilla Paste / SHOP

This is another highly popular option (actually, it's become a bit of a cult-favourite) - particularly for the hot Australian weather! 100% natural, this does contain bicarb soda, but is known to be suitable for sensitive skin. You won't miss your toxic roll-on one bit. I promise.



Erica Brooke Skincare Deodorant Creme / SHOP

Available in a number of different scents (including the feminine Wildflowers, Unisex, Unscented AND a double strength option!!), Erica Brooke is another popular choice. Neutralises odour, lasts all day (including through a workout), and is very moisturising and smooth on the skin!




Mukti Botanique Deodorant / SHOP

If you're after a spray-on with a more unisex or masculine scent, then the Mukti Botanique is a brilliant option. Certified Organic and 100% natural, and won't stain your clothes!


Schmidts Deodorant / SHOP 

Schmidts deo's are available in both a cream paste and stick formula (easy application!), and a number of different scents, including a fragrance free and sensitive skin bi-carb free option
There are both feminine, masculine and unisex scents available. 100% natural, effective and won't break the bank!



If you'd like further recommendations, don't hesitate to email me or leave a comment below!


Kelsey xx
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