Sunday, 30 November 2014

One Month No Beauty Shopping Challenge

You are probably surprised, but I would like to do my next challenge as a no beauty shopping month. That for a beauty blogger?! Yes! 
I will only receive my Glossybox this month, but no beauty shopping for me!

Why do I want to do this? 
I saw news few days ago with Black Friday craze and I was shocked. You know each year when festive season starts we are bombarded with commercials. It is sad we all long forgotten what these celebrations are all about. I want a change! I would like to spend this month in reflection and planning my next year. I want to treasure time I have and enjoy my family, festivals and other activities we forget due to a bargain hunt.

What will I do in my beauty world?
I will be creative and will use what ever I have in my house without any beauty shopping until 1st January. I will still buy gifts for my boys.

How did I get on?!
Today is the last day of 2014, it was a good year and I am ready to start 2015 with positive feelings of good coming! I wish you all the best in a New Year!

My no beauty shopping challenge almost complete and I will tell you that I was a good girl until yesterday. I went to pick up my click&collect and on my way I bought one beauty item. I probably could wait for a day or two, but it was a brilliant offer, and I bought something I really needed. Do you wonder what is it, keep up with my blog to find out!

Overall I had a great time revising my shopping habits and I am sure I can be more satisfied with myself in 2015. It was important for me to find time to appreciate what I have and find peace of mind in the most stressful month of the year.

Will I do it again? 
Maybe, I think it is great to stop shopping to do something else and switch your mind from bargain hunt to something more rewarding like family time or favourite hobby.

Are you ready for 2015?

Friday, 28 November 2014

Empty Bottles - November 2014

Another month is about to end and I have collected some beauty empties for you to review.

1. Nivea Extra Gentle Eye Make-up Remover. One of my favourite eye make-up removers. It does the job, gentle on the skin and doesn't irritate my eyes. It has nice and light scent.

Here is the ingredient list for you to have a look:

Aqua, Poloxamer 124, PEG-8, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Glycerin, Panthenol, Isosteareth-20, Steareth-20, Dipotassium Phosphate, Potassium Phosphate, Trisodium EDTA, Polyaminopropyl Biguanide, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Benzyl Alcohol, Geraniol, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Limonene, Linalool, Cinnamyl Alcohol, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Hydroxycitronellal, Benzyl Salicylate, Parfum

I will give Nivea Extra Gentle Eye Make-up Remover 4 stars out of 5, just because I know it doesn't got greatest ingredient list and maybe there is something better out there in the world. If you know it, let me know in the comments below.

2. Superdrug Raspberry Exfoliating Mud Mask. I need to let this one go, due to I have it open for more than 12 months. I used this face mask as a scrub and a pack in one. It is clay mask with raspberry seed, has truly berry scent and a nice texture. 

Here is the ingredient list for you to have a look:

Aqua, Kaolin, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Seed, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Seed Powder, Xanthan Gum, PVP, Parfum, Phenoxyethanol, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Propylparaben, Methylparaben, 2-Bromo-2-Nitropropane-1,3-Diol, Benzyl Alcohol, CI 17200, CI 77891 

I am not sure if I want to buy it again, I would like to find something with more natural components to treat my skin. I will give Superdrug Raspberry Exfoliating Mud Mask 3 stars out of 5. Well even just because I had it for more than a year and didn't finish it, must be something wrong with it. Do you stick to the expiry dates on your beauty products? Let me know in the comments below.

3. Kleenex Shine Absorbing Sheets. Read here more about them. This little thing is my beauty discovery of the month!

4. Savon Triple-fin Savonia Paris Soap. As you probably know by now I like a good soap, this one I just wanted to try. It is a travel size soap, but it has a lovely scent so I could't resist. 

Here is the ingredient list:

Sodium Palmate, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Aqua (Water), Parfum (Fragrance), Glycerin, Sodium Chloride, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), Tetrasodium EDTA, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Stearic Acid, Polysorbate 60, Palmitic Acid, Ceteareth-33, Peg-12 Dimethicone, Paraffin, Paraffinum Liquidum, Cera Microcristallina, Benzyl Salicylate, Alpha-isomethyl Ionone, Hexyl Cinnamal, Linalool, Eugenol, Limonene, Cinnamyl Alcohol, Hydroxycitronellal, Buthylphenyl Methylpropional, Isoeugenol

This soap was gentle to the skin, what is very important for me and it lathered well. I am not over the head in love with it, so probably I won't buy it again. I will give Savon Triple-fin Savonia Paris Soap 4 stars out of 5, because even it hasn't got the greatest ingredient list, it was a good soap to try.

5. Dove Intensive Repair 60 Seconds Treatment Shot. This treatment shots are small, but powerful concentrated rinse-off conditioner that provides repair for hair. I found it great as a SOS treatment for my hair when I am in a rush to get ready quick. 

Here is the ingredients list for you to have a look:

Aqua, Cetearyl Alcohol,  Behentrimonium Chloride,  Dimethiconol,  Glycerin, Dipropylene Glycol,  Dimethicone,  Hellanthus Annus Seed Oil,  Adipic Acid,  L-Arginine,  Hydrolyzed Keratin,  Parfum,  Hydroxyethylcellulose,  Carbomer, TEA-Dodecylbenesulfonate,  Trideceth-5,  Disodium EDTA,  Lactic Acid, DMDM Hydantoin,  Phenoxyethanol,  Potassium Sorbate, Methylchloroisothiazolinone,  Methylisothiazolinone,  Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Benzyl Alcohol,  Butyphenyl Methylpropional,  Hexyl Cinnamal,  Linalool

I can see it contains Hydrolyzed Keratin, I think thanks to it hair really felt soft and silky after even single odd use. I will give Dove Intensive Repair 60 Seconds Treatment Shot 4 stars out of 5. It was a true saviour while I was figuring out a way how to use my new natural hair conditioner.

6. Amie Morning Clear Purifying Facial Wash. Morning Clear is a soap-free cleansing wash that removes all dirt, oil and make-up from the face without stripping or drying the skin. 

When I bought it at first I was disappointed, maybe because I prefer to use a gel cleanser in the morning and I wasn't sure it will clean my skin well enough. When I run out of my cleansing milk and tried Amie instead. Since when I fount true purpose for this cleanser. It ticked all the boxes for me as a gentle evening cleanser. It is 96.8% natural beauty product, I like the scent and how it makes my skin feel after. 

Here is the ingredient list for you to have a look:

Aqua, Caprylic Triglyceride, Cocoa Seed Butter, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Cetyl Esters, Polysorbate 60, Sorbitan Stearate, Synthetic Beeswax, Sweet Almond Oil, Orange Flower Water, Raspberry Fruit Water, Mayblossom Flower Extract, Elder Flower Extract, Betaine, Panthenol, Parfum, Limonene, Citronellol, Benzyl Salicylate, Hydroxycitronellal, Benzophenone-4, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexyglycerin, Potassium Sorbate, Magnesium Chloride, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Magnesium Nitrate, Methylisothiazolinone. 

I want to give Amie Morning Clear Purifying Facial Wash 4 stars out of 5. Just because it isn't a purifying cleanser as it states on the tube. But it is a natural, creamy, gentle, moisturising and cruelty free beauty product I will buy again and again and it deserves some credit. If you have dry and/or sensitive skin, I can recommend to try this cleanser.

7. Garnier Mineral InvisiCool Anti-Perspirant. This roll on anti-perspirant is without alcohol and parabens, gentle on the skin and does the job. I like freshness of it, but I don't think that it works for 48 hours. I will give Garnier Mineral InvisiColl Anti-Perspirant 4 stars out of 5. It is a good one but not all is true what is on the roll on. Sorry, couldn't find the ingredient list for you.

8. Rimmel London Stay Matte Pressed Powder. Well I was persistent to finish it before buying a new one. Mine was in the shade 003, Peach Glow. I like this powder, a good budget buy. It is light and easy to apply, but I can't say that controls the shiny parts of the face. Not a bad thing through, you do want your face to breath. I will give Rimmel London Stay Matte Pressed Powder 4 stars out of 5. It has 30 months use life, all my powdery cosmetics got less than that. Interesting!

Here is the ingredient list:


Have you tried any from above, share your experience in the comments below!

Read more reviews here.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Dabur Vatika Beauty Haul - Ideal Home Show Christmas Special

Ideal home show Christmas special is currently running at Earls Court, London until Sunday 23rd November. Shows like this one is a brilliant opportunity to buy Christmas gifts, home deco or gadgets and to try something new. All Christmas markets tend to bring the festive spirit and even my little man was happy to see all those Christmas trees, decorations and lights.

I bought few small treats and wanted to share with you my beauty buy from Dabur Vatika. 

Friday, 21 November 2014

Natural Ingredients: My Collection of Carrier Oils

Today I wanted to share with you my collection of carrier oils and their benefits for the skin and hair. There are some oils I use more often and I have them all the time, like coconut oil or olive oil; some oils I am trying out or use in smaller quantities for a specific purpose.

My collection of carrier oils

Carrier oils are extracted from fatty parts of a plant like the kernels of nuts or seeds. The choice of carrier oils depends on the therapeutic benefit that is required. There is a range of excellent products available using carrier oils like creams, body lotions, bath oils, moisturising creams, natural lotions, lip balms etc. The final colours, aroma, therapeutic properties and shelf life of carrier oils will depend on the essential and carrier oil blend. 

The source of essential oils is the leaves, roots and barks of a plant. Read here about my collection of essential oils and their benefits. These oils evaporate quickly and have a strong aroma. Carrier oils are extracted from the fatty portions of plants, do not have a strong aroma and do not dissipate. Some carrier oils have a faint nutty smell. In time, they can become rancid (one indication is a bitter, strong aroma).

Fragile carrier oils that need to be stored for a long period must be kept in dark glass bottles, with tight lids and in a cool dark place. Storing in a refrigerator can prolong the life span unless they are fragile oils – e.g. borage and avocado oils. Bring the oil to room temperature before use since it will be cloudy or even solidify. Some oils have Vitamin E added as a preservative. 

Argan oil. 

This rare and exquisite oil is meticulously pressed from the fruit kernels of the Moroccan Argan tree. Argan oil is rich in natural tocopherols (vitamin E) and phenols, carotenes and fatty acids, amking it a truly luxurious oil. Argan oil absorbs quickly and is often used in skin, nail and hair treatments to deliver deep hydration, strengthen brittle hair and nails, and prevent or reduce stretch marks.

Avocado oil. 

This ultra rich organic oil is a delightful treasure containing high amount of vitamin A, B1, B2, D and E. Also containing amino acids, sterols, pantothenic acid, lecithin and other essential fatty acids. Highly prised to those with skin problems such as eczema, psoriasis and other skin ailments, is also makes a lovely salad oil for dressings. Avocado oil is highly recommended to those with sensitive skin, problem skin and other irritations that require vitamin rich oil.

Castor oil. 

I have two kinds of a castor oil, one is a general type and another I bought out of curiosity - Jamaican Castor oil. They claim it is richer in vitamins and more beneficiary in use. I can't really tell if that is true, but it has a thicker consistency. Castor oil is a natural source oil from castor beans. A hard and shiny oil found in most cosmetics that acts as a barrier agent and protectice medium against harsh conditions and extremes. Very soothing to the skin when included into cosmetic application. Castor oil is famous for stimulating hair growth or as a conditioner to the eyebrows or eye lashes.

Coconut oil. 

This is a great oil for general moisturising and serves as a protective layer, helping to retain the moisture in your skin. It also acts as a mild oil suitable for those with inflamed and irritated skin, and those with skin sensitivities. Coconut oil has long been used all over the world for its many therapeutic and other benefits to the skin and hair. It has antiviral and antibacterial properties, a wonderful balance of saturated fats in its natural form and helps stimulate hair growth. Many aromatherapy recipes use coconut oil for various therapeutic benefits it offers and it is one of my number one oil to use in my DIY skincare and haircare.

Olive oil. 

Olive oil is used not only for cooking, but as a hair conditioner and a moisturiser. It is used extensively as anointing oil and to make soaps, body lotions etc, as it is very compatible with all skin types. Olive oil contains four major antioxidants which allow it to work as a cleanser, moisturiser and protector for skin. Among these antioxidants are vitamin A and E. Vitamin E partly accounts for the anti-ageing benefits of this substance because it helps restore skin elasticity.

There are many more carrier oils and when I will buy any to try, I will update this post.

What is your number one oil to use in you skincare and/or haircare?

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Glossybox - November 2014

My November Glossybox has arrived. I am happy that I have decided to stay with a Glossybox and unsubscribe my Birchbox. I think Glossybox is more on a personal side and so far I am loving all the goodies I get with it and it is a big value for money. 

So here what I had this month.

1. OGX Argan Oil of Morocco Conditioner. 

A unique, precious blend of Argan oil which rapidly penetrates the hair restoring shine and softness while strengthening and creating soft and silky perfection. Looking forward to try this one, never tried anything from OGX before. I got 88.7 ml sample, original size is 385 ml and it costs £3. 

Conditioner has a lovely and light scent. I like the ingredient list, there are few unwanted bits, but majority are oils and good stuff for the hair. 

2. LOLLIPOPS make up eye pencil. 

This retractable pencil provides a deep colour finish with a long-lasting result. Contains vitamin E with anti-ageing and anti-radical action. Interesting! I received a full size product and it costs €14. French brand, girly looking pencil and without fragrance what is good for me. I am looking forward to use it, it is just a right time to change my grey eye pencil for the black one. Will let you know how I get on later. Shade called Goodbye Moon, 701.

3. Burt's Bees Lip Shine. 

100% natural, sheer colour enriched with moisturising Apricot Wax glides on lips for a sweet and super shiny finish. I am so pleased with this lip gloss. It smells like berries, not to liquidy and not that sticky like some lip glosses are. I received a full side product and it costs £6.99. Shade looks very bright in the tube, but on the lips it looks more sheer and natural. It gives light berry tint...yumm!

4. MONU Skincare Soothing Hawaii Facial Oil.

This sample is from professional skincare. A warming facial oil containing Cardamom, Sandalwood and Lavender to soften, comfort and restore healthy skin. Ingredient list is incredibly good. I am very excited with this oil, it has a light lavender scent. This skin oil can be applied in both the morning and evening or used as an intensive treatment instead of a night cream. I received 30ml sample, full size is 100ml and it costs £26.

5. H2O+ Face Oasis Hydrating Treatment. 

This oil free moisture gel delivers deep hydration while minimising the appearance of fine lines. This is Marks & Spencer skincare and spa range, full size is 50ml and it costs £27.50. I received 8ml sample. I am looking forward to try. Cold months require extra hydration for the skin and this little sample will be great for that.

And the last but not the least, I received £20 welcome voucher for Best Secret fashion for members only. I will let you know if I will buy there anything.

So here it is my November Glossybox, full of great bits for the months ahead. As usual I will post reviews when I will properly try these beauty products, so keep checking my reviews page on the blog.

Have you received yours Glossybox this month. What was your favourite beauty product? Or have you used any of the above? Share your experience in the comments below.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Recent Reads - Manuscript Found in Accra

I love reading when I have time and recently I came across one amazing book. I like to read a book which inspire me and make me think more and this one did just that!

I wanted to share with you book by Paulo Coelho, Manuscript found in Accra. 

It is a very light in reading, question and answer book, which shares with you wisdom from the past and teaches how to embrace yourself and your life.

Here are few phrases I love the most from the Manuscript found in Accra:

“If you are never alone, you cannot know yourself.” 
― Paulo CoelhoManuscript Found in Accra

“Don't try to be useful. Try to be yourself: that is enough & that makes all the difference.” 

“The simplest things in life are the most extraordinary. Let them reveal themselves.” 

I think this book gives you a courage to be yourself and gives you a freedom of thought. Sometimes we loose ourselves in the society and in the busy world and we forget the most important thing, why are we here?!

Along with The Alchemist this is one of my favourite book to read by Paulo Coelho. If you are looking for an answer you might find it in there.

What is your favourite read this month?

Friday, 14 November 2014

My Beauty Discovery - November

I wanted to share with you a beauty product I discovered recently. It is just a small, but brilliant thing; my recent handbag must have and I think it deserves a separate review. Amazing how small things can make a big difference in your life and make it so much easier and more fun.

If you want to find out what is it keep reading!

My November must have beauty product

Ta dah! It is Kleenex Shine Absorbing Sheets, powder free and I am in love with them.

I tried before powdered shine absorbing sheets and I can tell you that powder free is so much better. It doesn't leave anything on your skin while absorbing your shiny sebum, so you don't need to worry how to tidy your face afterwards. This shine absorbing sheets dab away excess oil and keep your make-up intact, what else do you need!?

I bought them long time ago and hope I can still find them in my local stores. I want to give Kleenex Shine Absorbing Sheets 5 stars out of 5. This little pack in my handbag is a true saviour when I am on the go.

What is your beauty discovery this month?

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Natural Hair Oil Mix - DIY Beauty

Today I wanted to share with you my natural hair oil mix recipe. This nourishing and strengthening oil mix is easily made by yourself for a cold or a hot oil treatment at home. I love to use a hair oil at least once a week as a overnight treatment and I think this mix does a brilliant job. I used it three times already and I can tell you it is much easier to wash out than a mineral oil based hair oils I used before.

Natural hair oil mix

To make one of your own you will need approximately:

- 20 ml of Olive oil,
- 50 ml of Coconut oil,
- 20 ml of Avocado oil,
- 10 ml of Castor oil,
- 1 ml of Argan oil,
- 50 drops of essential oil, I am using Lavender (20 drops), Blended Rose (10 drops), Rosemary (10 drops) and Ylang Ylang (10 drops) essential oils.

You will need as well one empty and clean bottle or a jar for mixing and storing the oil mix and a kitchen scales to measure the oils.

Pour all the oils into the clean bottle, close the lid and shake to mix the oils well together. I warmed my coconut oil before pouring it into the mix, as you know it becomes solid in the cooler temperature. 

Don't worry if it will start to transform back into small lumps inside your oil mix, or settle at the bottom of the bottle. Just shake the bottle before use and rub the oil between your hands to melt the coconut oil before each application. 

Mind you, don't add to much of castor oil, it tend to be a bit sticky. I love castor oil, but I love it even more when it is mixed with other carrier oil.

Add the essential oils. I added bit by bit to find the right balance and fragrance I like. You can experiment here with your favourite essential oils. Read about properties of essential oils I used, just click here. All carrier oils I used are rich in vitamins and antioxidants for a healthy and shiny hair. 

I will make a separate post about my carrier oils collection and their properties later on this month, so look out for it.

After adding all the essential oils you like, shake your bottle well and ta dah! Your natural hair oil is ready to be used.

I have medium to long hair and I use approximately 20 ml of hair oil mix for one application. I start with the scalp, massaging the oil in and then I apply the rest on the length of my hair. I tend to leave oil in my hair over the night, but 30 minutes under a warm towel will be more than enough if you don't want a messy pillow.

Share with me which essential oils did you use to make your own oil mix in the comments bellow.