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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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La Mav Organic Purifying Toner + Sweet Orange Foaming Cleanser | Review + Discount

Wednesday, August 24, 2016


I've loved La Mav Skincare ever since first discovering the brand a few years ago. The award-winning range is Australian made & owned, Australian Certified Organic, Cruelty Free, and is free of harsh chemicals, fillers, talc, sulphates, GM ingredients, parabens, mineral oils, phthalates, artificial colours and fragrances.

I recently reviewed the La Mav Organic Vit-C Advanced Nightly Repair Nectar, La Mav Omega-3 Advanced Nightly Repair Creme which are part of the Complete Collection for Oily/Combination Skin, plus the La Mav Organic BB Cream and Anti-Ageing Mineral Foundation.

Also included in the Complete Collection is the Purifying Toner and Sweet Orange Foaming Cleanser.

Purifying Toner / Review

One product I don't think there is enough emphasis on when it comes to skincare is a toner. Toners have the reputation of being just fluff, something that smells pretty but doesn't really do anything. There are a few different kinds available, and it depends on your skin type and needs as to which you'll prefer. 

The La Mav Organic Purifying Toner has been designed to refine pores, tighten and tone, hydrate the skin and even the skin tone. Used post-cleansing, toners also help your other skincare to penetrate more deeply and effectively into the skin, as damp skin absorbs products more readily. 

I've been using this after cleansing, but also throughout the day to refresh and hydrate my (bare) skin. The Purifying Toner really is more of a toner than just a hydrating mist, so I don't use this to set/refresh make-up (I use the Rose Hydrating Mist for that). 

My skin is very balanced, so I haven't any oiliness to notice a difference in, but if my skin is having a less-than-stellar day, a light spritz of this a few times throughout the day leaves my skin feeling clean and refreshed.

The La Mav Organic Purifying Toner contains Amino Acids which conditions and optimises skin for maximum absorption of daily moisturiser, Natural Fruit Enzymes and Lemon Balm extract purifies, exfoliates, and balance skin’s pH, Aloe Vera extract and Rosa damascena instantly revitalise dull skin delivering a refreshed, hydrated, and healthy glow and Waltheria Extract delivers visible results by evening out skin tone.

I have also noticed my skin tone has been more even since I began using this.


Sweet Orange Foaming Cleanser / Review

I've previously used La Mav's Hydra-Calm Cleansing Creme in the past, and absolutely loved it. 
The Sweet Orange Foaming Cleanser is a gel-cleanser that lathers up into a light foam as you cleanse, effortlessly removing all make-up, dirt and impurities from the skin. 

As my skin is balanced/normal, I do find this cleanser is can leave my skin a little stripped feeling sometimes (it is after all designed for oily skin). My simple remedy for that - I mix one pump of the cleanser with 5-8 drops of rosehip oil! (a handy tip to remember for any cleanser you find too dry for your skin type) This still cleanses my skin beautifully, and leaves it feeling not only incredibly refreshed, but also soft and supple!

If you have oily skin, however, this would be perfectly balanced, as it never leaves my skin feeling over-the-top stripped clean. I think personally for me, my skin is better suited to the Hydra-Calm Cleansing Creme, but mixed with the rosehip oil, this cleanser still does a wonderful job of cleansing my skin and effortlessly removes makeup. 

The Sweet Orange Foaming Cleanser contains Bio-Actives of  - Bilberry extract along with Sugar Cane extract helps purify, cleanse and exfoliate the outer layer of the skin encouraging cell turnover and strengthening the surface of the skin as well as refining and unclogging pores, Papain from Papaya extract purifies skin and Witch Hazel extract has anti-inflammatory and astringent properties, Goji extract, Green Tea extract, Rosemary extract and Marshmallow extract calm and soothe the skin.

The Sweet Orange Foaming Cleanser is packaged in an enclosed pump bottle with cap, in La Mav's signature white and silver packaging. I love a pump on cleansers as it makes application/dispensing as easy and mess-free as possible.


Overall + Discount

Everything La Mav creates is simply perfection. Their products are 100% natural and non-toxic, and perform so so well. 

You can shop the entire La Mav Organic range and receive $5 off with code loveyourskin.
For international beauties, you can also purchase La Mav Organic from Nourished Life, which ships worldwide.



Kelsey xx
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Adorn Style Icons Lipstick Grace, Eyeliner & Lipstix Chubbi Pencil | Review + Get the Look

Monday, August 22, 2016


Adorn Cosmetics is an Australian make-up and skincare brand that doesn't compromise on ethics, quality or luxury. Their products are cruelty free, non-toxic, vegan and Australia made & owned. I've created a look using the Style Icons Lipstick in Grace, Chubbi Eyeliner in Onyx and Chubbi Lipstix Pencil in Dusty Pink, and I'm going to review each of these below also!

This look was a little 60's inspired, with a classic winged eye-liner and lip. 
I love adding a winged eye to a look, as it can transform it so effortlessly, and transitions seamlessly from day to night. 


Get the Look

Prep

I prepared my skin using the Vapour Beauty Stratus Soft Focus Skin Perfecter
This evens out the skin tone and provides a luminous, soft-focus glow to the skin, as well as hydrating the skin and giving it some slip for the foundation to follow. 

Brighten & Conceal

Using my ring fingers, I applied a pin-head size amount of the W3LL People Bio-Correct Multi-Action Concealer in Light underneath both eyes, patting it out gently. I used the excess on my fingertips to also brighten and prime my lids and up to my brow bone. 

Foundation

RMS Beauty Un Coverup in #11, applied in in strokes to the skin with the fingertips, then blended out to a flawless finish using the MOTD Cosmetics Beauty & The Base Brush (code mesgyjane saves 10% off). 

For areas where I need extra coverage/concealing, I use the Kjaer Weis Cream Foundation in Silken, and gently blend/pat out with the Beauty & The Base Brush.

Powder

I set my foundation and W3LL People Concealer lightly using the La Mav Anti-Ageing Mineral Foundation SPF15 in the shade Light - Medium and Ere Perez Blush & Bronzer Brush. For the smaller areas (like under the eyes), I pinch the brush in. Make sure to tap off excess powder before lightly dusting it over the face, in a press and roll motion. I find these two products paired together give an almost airbrushed finish to the skin.

Blush & Bronze / Contour

Using my fingertips, I lightly contoured my cheekbones with the Kjaer Weis Dazzling Bronzer
Starting at the hairline, I sweep the colour underneath my cheekbones towards the centre of my face, then blend lightly upwards. (If you want to see how I contour, see here - there's a graphic!)

Using the MOTD Cosmetics Blush Brush, I applied the Kjaer Weis Cream Blush in Blossoming to the apples of my cheeks, and blended out. 

Eyes

Eyebrows are the EcoBrow Defining Wax in Marilyn, applied using the EcoBrow Defining Brush.

I used the two lightest shades from the Lily Lolo Laid Bare Palette to create a nude, highlighted eye. I also placed the Lily Lolo Pressed Eye Shadow in Ivory Tower in the centre of the lid, corner of my eye and beneath my brow bone to highlight and brighten. I used the MOTD Cosmetics Miss Shady Lady and Eye Catching Crease brushes for my eyes.


Eyeliner + Mascara

I opted for the Adorn Cosmetics Chubbi Eyeliner in Onyx as I find crayons / chubby pencils are usually much creamier than regular pencils, and as I prefer to use a brush to apply my eyeliner, a creamier formula is much easier to work with. It also prevents dragging on the delicate skin of your lids.

Using the MOTD Cosmetics Eyeliner Brush, I tight-lined my upper lash line with the Adorn Cosmetics Chubbi Eyeliner in Onyx, and then created the wings.

I'm going to try to get a video demo up later this week, but here's a quick run-down -

Try to find your angle with the brush handle first - in the general direction towards the tail of the brow, but not too severe an angle (less than 45°). I use a gentle tape (either Washi or Scotch tape) to get the perfect line on both eyes. Make sure to apply/remove the tape to the back of your hand several times before positioning it around the eye. This removes most of the adhesive and ensures it won't tug on the delicate skin around your eyes.

Using the brush, draw your wings, and fill in. I then remove the tape, and slowly build up the liner from the outer tip of the wing towards the centre of my eyelid, until I've achieved the desired shape. 

Now, this sounds like it will take far more time than it actually does. I have my eyeliner routine down to about 2-3mins. A brush and creamy eyeliner really make all the difference!

Curl the lashes and finish with a coat of the Ere Perez Volumising Waterproof Mascara.
Lips

Taking the Chubbi Lipstix Pencil in Dusty Pink, I lined my lips, making sure to to accentuate the bow. The thing I love about using a liner or firmer crayon-style lipstick like this, is it allows you to properly fill in the lips and take the colour right to the edge, giving a gorgeously full pout and crisp edge. I then also filled in the rest of my lips with the Chubbi Lipstix Pencil in Dusty Pink

I then topped off with the Style Icons Lipstick in Grace (which is a perfect shade match for the chubbi pencil), for a glossy (and moisturising!) finish. 

Highlight

Using my fingertips, I applied the Kjaer Weis Radiance Highlighter to the high points of my cheekbones, bridge of nose and cupids bow.

Finishing

When doing a winged liner and full lip, you can really make it pop by making sure you have a crisp, clean line. Don't worry about getting everything perfect first up - this is where concealer comes in!

Taking the RMS Beauty Un Coverup in #11 and Kjaer Weis Foundation Brush (or other concealer brush), line around the lips, cleaning up the lines, and underneath the winged liner. 


Style Icons Lipstick in Grace / Review

With a minimum of 85% Certified Organic ingredients, the Adorn Cosmetics Style Icons Lipsticks are rich and creamy, luscious on the lips and highly pigmented.

I chose the shade Grace which is a warm, rosy pink with coral undertones. 
I usually avoid coral shades as I find them very unflattering on my, but as this only has a gentle hint of coral, I find Grace an extremely wearable, flattering shade. It is still definitely within the shades of pink, with a touch of spring!

For how creamy the lipstick is, I wasn't entirely too sure how long the colour would last, but I was quite surprised by the staying power of these. With just one coat (which I didn't even bother to blot), the colour lasted several hours through eating and drinking, and even at the end of the day the colour was still holding up fairly well. The Style Icons lipsticks are incredibly moisturising, yet the colour fades evenly, and doesn't bleed or feather. 

The sleek black packaging has a matte finish and feels beautiful to use. 

You can find the full ingredients here.


Luxe Lipstix Chubbi Pencil in Dusty Rose / Review

I love lipstick, but I think I love this chubbi pencil even more! Whilst not as creamy as the Style Icons Lispticks, the Adorn Lipstix Chubbi Pencils are still quite moisturising, and keep my lips from drying out throughout the day. 

These are a 2-in-1, lipstick meets lip liner pencil. Again highly pigmented, the Chubbi Pencils have a semi-matte finish, and incredible staying powder. These can be used to line the lips and accentuate your pout, yet are creamy enough to still wear alone. I love using this both ways, and due to the pencil style and firmer crayon, are a breeze to touch-up, even without a mirror. 

The Adorn Lipstix Chubbi Pencil in Dusty Rose is accurately named - a warm, dusty rose shade. Super flattering, and a half shade or so darker than the Grace Lipstick (and without the coral tone), it pairs beautifully with Grace as a liner. 

Again the packaging is super sleek, with a black pencil and clear cap (fits better in a compact purse than a lipstick, too), which fits nice and firmly (no need to fear it coming off). The only downside is this is not a wind-up pencil. All of the product is what you can see, so as it wears down, I'll probably use a lip brush to continue to line (for the sharper edge), or if I sharpened it, keep the lipstick shavings in a lip balm tub.


Mineral & Organic Chubbi Eye Liner in Onyx / Review

As I mentioned above, I love a creamy eyeliner, but it still has to have staying powder. The Adorn Chubbi Eyeliner is creamy enough to apply without dragging on the skin, yet doesn't smudge easily or fade throughout the day. 

This is in the same style of packaging as the Chubbi Lipstix Pencils, with a clear cap and non-wind up pencil. As the chubbi pencil is quite creamy, it is recommended to place it in the refrigerator for 15mins or so before sharpening, but as I use a brush, this isn't an issue. I actually really love that I won't have to sharpen this for use, just uncap, get my brush and apply!

The other problem I usually have with eyeliner is finding one that is truly black - highly pigmented once applied and not just a faded-looking liner. This applies beautifully rich and black as black, and it is easy to build up your liner. 


Overall

I really love all of these products - 100% Cruelty Free, free from Palm & Mineral Oil, Parabens & Petrochemicals, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Gluten free, Nano particles, fillers such as Talc, Rice Powder, Clay or Bismuth Oxychloride, synthetic fragrance and colours.
Most importantly, they perform.

The  Grace Style Icons Lipstick has become my favourite new shade and I want to try the others!

You can purchase Adorn Cosmetics from -
Adorn Cosmetics in Australia
The Organic Project in AU + USA




Kelsey xx
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Botica Bliss Bath Tea No.2 | Review & Discount

Friday, August 19, 2016


Taking a long, relaxing soak in the tub is one of the best ways to soothe tired muscles, calm your mind and just completely zone out. Adding a bath bomb, some salts or oil can add to the relaxation and soothing benefits, but as you'll probably be soaking in the tub for a good 20mins, you'll want to make sure that it's 100% natural and non-toxic.

I recently received the No.2 Tranquil Nights Bath Tea from Botica Bliss to try. This Bath Tea is an exquisite blend of calendula flowers, jasmine buds, lavender flowers, chamomile flowers and bicarbonate soda to soothe, relax and ready you for sleep.

Botica Bliss is an Australian-owned and made range of 100% natural bath teas, designed to give you back that much-needed me-time in a day. 

The Botica Bliss Bath Tea comes with everything you need - the beautiful tea, reusable cloth drawstring bag and wooden spoon for measuring. I love that this Bath Tea came packaged with a drawstring bag, as it could get messy pretty quickly with loose flowers and herbs in the bath!

After filling the bag with a few spoons of the tea, I left it to steep while I ran the water.
There is a light herbal, floral kind of scent from the tea, not at all overwhelming. This Bath Tea is incredibly soothing and relaxing, and I'm ready to drop off to sleep the instant I'm out of the tub! Calendula has powerful healing and anti-inflammatory properties, whilst the Lavender and Chamomile soothe and provide a pleasant aroma. Apart from the soothing, relaxing properties of the bath tea, I also noticed that my skin was incredibly soft after use - which I'm crediting to the bicarbonate soda, which not only detoxifies and alkalizes, but goes almost silky in water.


Overall

Don't use this unless you are headed to bed shortly afterwards, haha! It really is that relaxing. I really have been loving this tea, and look forward to using it each time, It adds a little bit of luxury and pampering!

I'm thrilled to be able to offer megsy-jane readers 15% off Botica Bliss with code MJ15.
Valid until August 31st.


Kelsey xx

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The Little Alchemist Cacao & Banana Face Glow | Review

Wednesday, August 17, 2016


Masks are an important step in your skincare, and once you've found one that suits your skin type, it can do wonders for it. I like to use a combination of masks, with different uses and results, but I believe every woman should have a good detox mask. 

I've been using The Little Alchemist Cacao & Banana Face Glow Mask weekly, for a few months, and I love the results each time. Masks work as a support to your other skincare, and offer a weekly deep-cleanse, withdrawing impurities from the skin, cleansing pores and delivering a dose of antioxidants and nutrients (depending on the kind you choose). 

The Cacao & Banana Face Glow is a dry mask, with a blend of super fruits and raw cacao that delivers powerful anti-aging nourishment & antioxidant-rich hydration to improve skin’s vitality, radiance & luminosity. The zeolites and clay deeply cleanse, exfoliate and remove toxins. 


How to Use

I use this mask weekly, and the jar holds enough for 8-10 or more masks. 
I usually just mix a tsp of this with enough rainwater to make a paste, but you can also mix your dry masks with any other liquid of your choice - your favourite facial mist, rosewater, greek yogurt, honey, coconut oil, or whatever you prefer. 

I use a flat brush to apply all my masks as they spread a much more even, thin layer, and it is waaaay less mess.

The instructions recommend a treatment time of 10mins, but I always leave this mask on for 30-40mins (or at least until dry), as it is much more effective for my skin. The mask is relatively easy to remove with just warm water and a face cloth (some masks can be notoriously difficult to remove, not this one)

Also, due to the raw Cacao, this smells like chocolate!!

Results

If it's your first time using a detox mask in a while or your skin is very congested, you may experience some redness, and even heat under the skin (not topical irritation) after you've removed the mask. Don't panic. This is simply the circulation/blood flowing into your skin as the clays draw everything up and out. 
I still get a pink flush after removing a clay mask that lasts 30mins or so, but not as red as the first few initial uses. 
Afterwards, my skin is so smooth, deeply cleansed, fresh and with regular use, my skin really is glowing for days afterwards! If you have deeply congested skin, or any blemishes, this will really help to draw out those impurities, and I find it helps heal/fade blemishes faster. I can also use this twice a week if my skin is going through a really fussy period, and have it back to it's happy self. 
The Little Alchemist Cacao & Banana Face Glow Mask contains Certified Organic ingredients (where possible), and is Australian made, 100% Natural and Non-Toxic. 
Overall

I absolutely LOVE this mask and will certainly be repurchasing once it's all used up. It may seem a little pricier than some others, but the amount you get lasts me 8-10 weeks or more so it's actually pretty decently priced, and for the results, it is certainly worth it.

I purchase this from Eve Organics in Australia, and she ships Worldwide for those wanting to get this amazing little mask in your hot little hands!
Kelsey xx
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Toss It Tuesday | Self Tanners

Tuesday, August 16, 2016


When you are going through and changing out all of your make-up, skincare and body care, it's easy to forget about certain products - one being self tanners! They are a handy option come spring when your pins are pasty-white after spending all winter covered up, but your usual self-tanner could seriously be affecting your health. 

Many contain at least three different parabens, PEG's, synthetic fragrance and more. Here's quick look at some of the harmful and/or toxic ingredients commonly found in self-tanners  -

- 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 (PEG)
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)

- 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. 

- 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.

So, what are the alternatives? I've included the top natural sunless tanners below, alongside a few bronzers/bronzing lotions. Natural sunless tanners are like nail polish - not 100% organic, or sometimes even 100% natural, but they are MUCH better, and usually the DHA (tanning agent), is naturally sourced.


EcoTan Invisible Tan

This is one of the most popular natural sunless tanners. EcoTan is Certified Organic, EcoCert and 100% natural. The EcoTan Invisible Tan is also Cruelty Free and Vegan, and they even have a Face Tan Water for your face & decollete! 

The EcoTan provides a natural-looking sunless tan, and is also available in a Winter Skin shade for the very fair, beginners, or as you guessed it - Winter skin!

*code MEGSY10 saves 10% off your 1st order


Chocolate Sun Cocoa Lite

Chocolate Sun is another wonderful brand, with 87% Certified Organic ingredients, Cruelty Free and a natural DHA, this sunless tanning lotion is available in a range of shades, suited to very fair right up to dark skin tones. The Chocolate Sun sunless tanner is also available in a spray option, for those who prefer spray tanning, over lotions.

TanOrganic Self Tanning Oil
Australia / Ships Worldwide

The world's first tanning oil, the TanOrganic Self Tanning Oil moisturises and illuminates the skin for a sun-kissed glow (without the sun-time!), and is EcoCert, and contains a naturally derived DHA.




Prtty Peaushun Skin Tight Body Lotion

The Prtty Peaushun body lotion is like airbrush for your body! It can be used over the top of a faux tan to help extend the wear, or use before a special event to help blur slight imperfections and add a gorgeous glow! Rich and moisturising, this is a great temporary alternative to a sunless tan, and contains Certified Organic ingredients and is Cruelty Free & Vegan.


100% Pure All Over Glow
Australia / Ships Worldwide

This is a liquid bronzer that you can use as you normally would for your face, or mix with your moisturiser or body lotion for an all-over glow! 100% Pure, is as always, 100% Natural, Certified Organic where possible, Cruelty Free & Vegan.  


x x x x x

If you have any questions, pop them below, or share your favourite sunless tanner with me!
Kelsey xx
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T.S Elliot

Friday, August 12, 2016

To make an end is to make a beginning.
- T.S Elliot

The Benefits of Yoga (for the skin)

Thursday, August 11, 2016



We all know that exercise is good for our health, state of mind and body, but how many of you consider your  skin? This month guest author Eve is talking yoga, and what it can do for your skin!

You can catch up on the rest of the series here.


x x x x x x 


If you know me or keep up with the Eve Organics blog, you’ll know that I love yoga. As a practice, it offers a multitude of benefits, from increased flexibility and lower blood pressure to an improvement in body image (yes!). It’s a wonderful habit to cultivate for general wellbeing, both mental and physical - but what you might not know is that yoga also offers benefits outside the body. Here are some ways in which regular yoga can improve your skin:


Circulation

Sluggish circulation is the cause of a number of skin care woes – it’s the major culprit behind puffiness, uneven skin tone and dark circles. The slow, deep breathing practiced in yoga increases the amount of oxygen in the cells, and facilitates oxygenated blood flow and lymphatic drainage. This results in an increased ‘flow’ of fluid around the body and face, and a reduction in dark circles and the water retention that causes puffiness. Hello bright eyes!


Hormonal balance

Cortisol, the body’s stress hormone, is produced by the adrenal glands. It’s normally produced in response to a stressful situation or ‘trigger’ – but too much of it can be a bad thing. Cortisol triggers inflammation, aggravates acne and encourages the break-down of collagen – i.e, it’s not good news for your skin. Regular yoga reduces the levels of cortisol in the body by helping to regulate the adrenal glands, promoting both a calmer outlook and a clearer complexion.


Detoxification

Yoga stimulates the lymphatic system, through the contraction and release of particular muscles. The lymphatic system is responsible for flushing out toxins in the body, so it’s important to keep it healthy and functioning well. Skin complaints such as acne and discolouration are usually a sign of imbalance on the inside – so stimulating the body’s natural detoxification and defence processes is a great way to heal skin from the inside-out and restore its natural ‘glow’.


So, what are you waiting for? Give your body, mind and complexion a boost and start adding yoga into your weekly routine. I promise you won’t regret it!



Kelsey xx
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La Mav Anti-Ageing Mineral Foundation SPF15 (Light - Medium) | Review + Discount

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

I'm going to be honest...I've never really liked powder foundations. I usually find them irritating, they look too powdery and can get cakey or orange-toned (if the foundation shade itself is a match, this usually occurs when the powder oxidises during wear...not a good look!) waaayyy too easily. 
However, I've always loved La Mav Skincare (catch up on my reviews), so I thought I'd give their Anti-Ageing Mineral Foundation SPF15 in the shade Light - Medium a whirl. 

Consistency, Coverage and Finish

Let's start with what La Mav say about the foundation - 

La Mav Anti-Ageing Mineral foundation is a concealer, foundation, sunscreen and powder all-in-one that provides a flawless finish, giving your skin a natural and radiant look without clogging pores or causing irritation. La Mav Anti-Ageing Minerals™ offer a chemical-free alternative to traditional foundations and are suitable for all skin type and conditions.

The Anti-Ageing Mineral Foundation also contains Vitamin C and Certified Organic Rosehip Oil, which are both anti-ageing as well as moisturising. As La Mav Organic is one of the cleanest lines available (irritation often comes from an ingredient called Bismuth Oxychloride - you won't find any of that in La Mav products!), my concerns regarding irritation or itching were pretty low.

This powder is very smooth and is quite moisturising to the touch - not at all drying or chalky. I've used this on both bare skin (always prepped with an oil), mixed with La Mav's Vit C Nightly Repair Nectar and over the La Mav BB Cream and other cream/liquid foundations.

Worn alone, the Mineral Foundation has good medium coverage, and light reflective properties that give a luminous finish to the skin. It is perfect dusted lightly over the skin for a natural look that evens the skin tone and provides medium coverage, and has a satin-matte finish. You can easily build up the layers for more full coverage, and it doesn't become cakey, heavy or powdery.

Over the BB Cream Both the BB Cream & Mineral Foundation are medium coverage - worn together, and I can easily get full coverage, with very little need (if any) for a concealer. The Mineral Foundation is so lovely and light, it works well in place of a setting powder to keep my make-up fresh and natural (and in place!) all day long. I'm looking forward to this pairing in Summer when it is quite humid and hot, and very little stays in place!
When dry, I use a flat-topped kabuki brush to apply.

Mixed with an oil (to create a custom cream or liquid foundation) A few drops of the Vit C Nightly Repair Nectar mixed with the Mineral Foundation makes for a gorgeous medium - full coverage foundation, with a dewy, luminous finish. The finish is flawless and still very natural, and I dust a little dry powder over the top to set. I use the MOTD Cosmetics brush to mix + apply as a liquid.


Keep in mind that mineral powder foundation will go up a shade or so when made into a liquid. The shade Light - Medium suits me perfectly dry, but as a liquid, will be a better match in the summer months. I could probably even get away with the shade Light, depending on how much lighter it is than Light-Medium.

A handy tip to remember if you ever purchase a powder that's a shade too light, or want to use up a shade purchased for winter even after you've developed a summer tan!

Wear, Ingredients & Certification

Worn any of the three ways above, the Anti-Ageing Mineral Foundation lasts all day long, without fading, becoming patchy or separating. I also love that this has an SPF15 rating - giving that added touch of sun protection, without relying on chemical sunscreens. 

La Mav is 100% Certified Cruelty Free, and contains Australia Certified Organic ingredients, where available (not all ingredients, such as minerals, are able to be certified). You can find a full list of ingredients here.


Overall + Discount

The La Mav Anti-Ageing Mineral Foundation SPF15 is a wonderful option for a mineral powder - and with none of the usual irritation, powdery-finish or heaviness I find with mineral powders! I love wearing this over the La Mav BB Cream, and look forward to trying it out come summer!

You can shop the entire La Mav Organic range and receive $5 off with code loveyourskin.
For international beauties, you can also purchase La Mav Organic from Nourished Life, which ships worldwide.
Kelsey xx
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