Thursday, 29 January 2015

January Beauty Haul: Lavera, Nivea, Dove, Schwarzkopf

January is about to end and it is time when I post my beauty hauls. As you know, I changed the way I shop and this reflects on my haul's post this month.

If you follow my blog, you know that I have had a very bad experience with the Bourjois Paris Healthy Mix concealer. I can update you, that it is all ended very well. Bourjois Paris will kindly replace unfortunate concealer with my favourite mascara in a few days time. It is worth to complain to the company when you can't return product to the store. I am glad I did it!

January was a month dedicated to a concealer. I researched all the best concealers and decided to try a natural one next. I bought Lavera Natural Concealer in shade Ivory - 01. It contains very good ingredients and I hope it won't just conceal, but will improve my under eye skin. I bought as well Lavera Eyeshadow base and Lavera Natural Beautiful Mineral Eyeshadows in Magic Gray. I received Lavera Basic Hair and Body wash sample and three more samples to try out. I will post a review and swatches next month.

I run out of my Nivea Gentle Make-up Remover and thought to try something new this time. I settled my mind on Nivea Sensitive 3 in 1 Micellar Cleansing Water. It is great to remove eye make-up and to cleanse face gently. I combine it with my oil cleansing method.

I bought few more beauty replacements: Schwarzkopf Ultimate Volume shampoo and Dove roll-on. They are just basic products I have used before, so I know they will do their job nicely.

What is your best beauty buy this month?

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Empty Bottles - January 2015

I have collected few empty bottles for you to review. Let's begin!

1. Dove Pure Roll-on. This is 48 hour anti-perspirant combined with moisturising benefits. Dove Pure is fragrance free, doesn't contain parabens, colorants, alcohol. I will give Dove Pure Roll-on 4 stars out of 5, because on a busy day it doesn't give a 100% protection. I would still recommend it and I know that I will buy it again in the future.

2. SkinPep Hydra Boost - Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum. I got this serum in my December Glossybox and I used it as a overnight serum for around a month. It is a gel texture, fragrance free and what I enjoyed the most it doesn't leave your skin sticky as my YESto blueberries does. 

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

Aqua, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Lecithin, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Carbomer, Triethanolamine, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Disodium EDTA.

I think it made my skin bit dryer, but that probably is normal due to the acid nature of it. It didn't irritate my skin, but I didn't see any magic with my fine lines either. At the moment I am not sure if it is worth to buy it or not, but I will give Hydra Boost - Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum 4 stars out of 5. I wonder if one month of use is not enough to see the results.

If you live in UK, currently you can sign up for SkinPep newsletters and receive a free trial with free delivery. This serum is on the list, so you can try it for free, just click here to follow the link.

3. OGX Argan Oil of Morocco Conditioner. Another Glossybox items from last year November. This is a lightweight conditioner with a lovely scent.

Here is the ingredient list:

Water (Aqua), Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Glycerin, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Glycol Stearate, Glycol Distearate, Ceteareth-20, Isopropyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Cyclotetrasiloxane, Citric Acid, Cyclopentasiloxane, Panthenol, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Tetrasodium EDTA, DMDM Hydantoin, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Yellow 5 (CI 19140), Red 40 (CI 16035), Fragrance (Parfum).

I will give OGX Argan Oil of Morocco Conditioner 4 stars out of 5, because it has only one fault - it made my hair static. If you are looking for a light daily conditioner I can recommend OGX. It has a good ingredient list and overall leaves the hair soft and shiny.

4. Vatika Naturals Egg Protein Rejuvenating Shampoo. This shampoo as and my recent beauty discovery came from the Vatika Naturals hamper bag I bought from Ideal Homes Christmas Special. I can tell you that this is a very good shampoo to try, has an oriental scent which linger on hair for a few days. I will give Vatika Naturals Egg Protein Rejuvenating Shampoo 4 stars out of 5. I would like to try other shampoos from the Vatika Naturals range.

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

Aqua, Sodium laureth sulfate, Cocamidopropyl betaine, Cocamide MEA, Dimethiconol (and) TEA-dodecylbenzenesulphonate, Glycol Distearate, Perfume, Ethylene/Octene Copolymer (and) Ethylene/Sodium acrylate copolymer, Sodium Chloride, Guar Hydroxypropyl Trimonium chloride, Carbomer, Sodium hydroxide, Honey extract, Egg powder, Disodium EDTA, Magnesium Nitrate, Magnesium Chloride, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, FD&C Violet No. 2 (Cl 60730), FD&C Red No. 33 (CI 17200)

5. Nivea Extra Gentle Eye Make-up Remover. I have reviewed this make-up remover few months ago, it wasn't the first buy and I do believe not the last either. Click here to read all about it.

6. Avene Cold Cream Ultra Rich Cleansing Gel. I have received this cleansing gel sample from Avene few months ago to try. It lasted me for couple of weeks in the end of December and beginning of January. This cleansing gel is soap free, has rich, milky texture and good for dry and/or sensitive skin type.

Here is the ingredient list:

Avene Thermal Spring Water (Avene Aqua). Water Aqua.Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate Myristic Acid. Peg-7 Glyceryl Cocoate. Coco-Glucoside Glycerin. Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate. Isohexadecane. Cocamidopropyl Dimethylaminohydroxypropyl Hydrolyzed Glycol. Beeswax (Cera Alba) Cetyl Alcohol. Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil (Citrus Dulcis). Glyceryl Stearate. Propylparaben. Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil (Rosmarinus Officinalis). Sodium Hydroxide. Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer. 

I will give Avene Cold Cream Ultra Rich cleansing gel 4 stars out of 5. It is a lovely cleanser for winter months, will gently cleanse your skin without stripping it down to much.

Strangely enough, I rated them all 4 stars out of 5. Maybe January wasn't a brilliant month in my beauty world, but it wasn't a bad one either. How was it for you?


Sunday, 18 January 2015

Basic Beauty List - Conscious Spending

I shared with you in one of my last posts the new approach to my beauty shopping and I thought that I can't leave this topic without sharing my basic beauty list as well. 

You see, conscious shopping is all about planning and being confident in what you want to buy and this basic beauty list will give you an idea what you normally use. After completing your own beauty list you can carry out a "stock take" and make a shopping list for anything is missing or running out.

I made my list with one thought in mind - less, but better! You can use my list as an example, but keep in mind that we all are different and have different needs and desires. This beauty list should be just about yourself!

My basic beauty list


1. Toner
2. Day cream
3. Eye cream
4. Serum
5. Night cream
6. Cleanser
7. Facial oil
8. Face mask
9. Scrub
10. Facial sponge/brush

This is my basic list of beauty products I need for the facial skincare. Personally I will opt for natural beauty products with lots of antioxidants to care after my 30+ normal skin. 

When you are making your own list, keep in mind what do you need for cleansing, moisturising and toning. Plus what kind of products do you need to address any skin conditions or issues you have: be it acne, blemishes or fine lines. Do make space for a treat for your skin, like a face mask. If you are on a low budget opt for a natural hand-made face masks, you can find some recipes on my blog, just check in the search bar.


1. Eye make-up remover
2. Concealer
3. Face Powder
4. Bronzer
5. Blusher
6. Grey Eye Pencil
7. Basic Matte Eyeshadow Palette
8. Mascara
9. Lip Balm

As you see, my make-up list is not a long one. Yours might be longer or even shorter. I tried to think of my daily make-up and what do I usually use. I do have more in my make-up bag, but I don't plan to add anything else to my future shopping list apart from the items you see on the make-up list here.

I want to divide my cosmetics in two groups: one for a daily use and second for special occasions. I will make a post later on how did I get on.

Another small point, I don't plan to spend a lot on my make-up. I want to go for a reasonable price with a good quality, but not splashing out. I will leave all splashing out for my skin care, I truly believe it deserves it more.

Click here for my autumn/winter cosmetics.


1. Powder brush
2. Bronzer brush
3. Angular brush for concealer
4. Eye shadow brush
5. Small blending brush
6. Small angular brush for eyebrows and eye liner

I don't have any favourites, but I do like my Ecotools brushes a lot. They are soft, full and don't shed anything while I wash them. I would like to replace some of my brushes with ecotools.


1. Cream/lotion
2. Body oil
3. Scrub
4. Shower gel
5. Soap
6. Pumice stone for feet
7. Body sponge

I didn't add any personal hygiene items girls use. We all know about them, but there is no need to shout out loud what are they. So add what ever else you need to your personal list. 

I use body cream or lotion all over my body. I don't buy separate hand or feet cream, I don't feel that there is a need. I think I spend the most on my body creams and soaps, rest are just reasonable priced items. I make my own body oil and once in a while body creams.

Click here to read my current facial care and body care routines.

Hair care

1. Shampoo
2. Conditioner
3. Hair treatment
4. Hair oil
5. Leave in oil
6. Wide brush for long hair
7. Small brush for a hand bag

I am in a search for ideal hair care routine. When I will have at least an idea what I and my hair like the most, I will share it in the updated hair care routine. For current hair care routine click here.

Hands and Nails

1. Base and top coat
2. Basic shade for a casual nails
3. Dark plum or red for toe nails
4. Manicure set

I use body cream or lotion and scrub in my hand care routine. Due to Glossybox I have collected some nail polishes, but if I am going shopping in the future only those you see above will be on my list. You can check my hands and nails care routine and products I use here.

When you have completed your list, you can see that some items you might need to buy once, or just once in a while to replace with a new one. I think this kind of items, like make-up brushes, manicure set, face brush ect. deserved to be a better quality and you might will need to spend more. As I said a lot here is up to you to decide how much to spend, what quality you want item be and only you are aware of your own budget and priorities. 

This simple beauty list helps me to come back to basics and helps me to be organised and clutter free. There are beauty products I can't let go for a few reasons, so they are kept for a special occasions. Just keep in mind that you need to follow with cosmetics shelf life at all times.

Do you have a basic beauty list? What do you think is worth to spend more money on?

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Glossybox - January 2015

My Glossybox arrived on Monday and I am happy to share with you its content. What is great about this month's box is that it has only full sized products. Great value for the money!

1. Kueshi Natural and Pleasant Cosmetics Revitalizing Face Toner. This was in the last month's sneak peek and I was excited to get it. This toner contains a soothing blend of calendula, chamomile and aloe vera to calm and rehydrate skin. It is Paraben free and has "ok" ingredient list. I am looking forward to add it into my skin care routine.

This toner comes in 200ml and costs €10.70.

2. Jelly Pong Pong All Over Glow. This is illuminizer for highlighting and it gives a radiant glow. Mind you, I never used one before. I am happy it came in small tube, I might take some time to figure out how to use it right. Feel free to leave a link or advice how to highlight in the comments below. I am still in a learning stage with contouring and highlighting. Will let you know how I get on later.

This is an oil free, lightweight luminizing gel, enriched with micronised pearlescent pigments to highlight the face for a fresh and radiant complexion.

I got 20g tube and it costs £10.

3. Nicka K New York Colorluxe Powder Blush. This loose powder blush is packed in a faux metal pot complete with a soft, powder puff applicator. I don't like the packaging that much, but blush colour is great!

I received this blush in Romantic-NY065 shade, 5g and it costs €8.95.

4. MeMeMe Eye Line Pencil in Clay. This eye line pencil is a long-lasting, but soft. Nice addition to my make-up bag and I am looking forward to use it in the future.

This eye pencil costs £4.

5. Naked Lips Organic Lip Balm Superfruits. This is a very nice formulated natural lip balm, full of oils and antioxidants. Has a berry scent when you smell it, but I could feel sunflower oil on my lips after using it. I can say it glides softly on the lips and leaves them hydrated.

It contains 4.25g of balm and costs €5.

I got as well Hello Fresh £25 gift card. They deliver a box of recipes and fresh ingredients to your door, so you can save time on shopping and cook delicious dinners at home. Great for busy people, who still want to eat fresh and healthy.

Have you had a beauty box this month, if you would like to buy a Glossybox just click here.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

My New Approach to the Beauty Shopping - Conscious Spending

Last month I did no beauty shopping challenge in order to review the way I shop for the beauty products and how I would like it to be. 

I can tell you that what I would like my shopping experience be and what I actually go through are both different things. Not a very satisfying thought indeed! I gave it some pondering and decided to try a new approach to the beauty shopping this year.

I am not rich to make wrong choices. This is my new motto for the beauty and non-beauty shopping this year and I hope beyond that. 

I made list of rules I plan to follow in my future shopping:

1. Buy less, but better. You might see less often beauty hauls posts on my blog, but I would like to spend my money on a better quality beauty products. This doesn't mean I will buy only expensive or high end beauty products, but you will see some of them soon. There are beauty items worth a splash of cash and there are some you shouldn't bother with a price, because their quality or properties will be the same. These products could vary from person to the person, but I believe you know what I am about here.

2. If in doubt, leave it. You know sometime we have that feeling about something, but still go against it just in case. I will try from now on listen to my intuition, because I know how many time I were wrong when I didn't.

3. Make my own. I am still learning how to make DIY-Beauty items, but what I know so far is a useful asset to keep in mind when I do my shopping list. Check my DIY-Beauty page for some creative, but simple recipes.

4. Stick to the shopping list. I tend to substitute what I want with a cheaper beauty product. I will try to do my homework instead and buy what I really want and need even if I it will require to spend a bit more for a better quality.

5. Don't care for the rest. If a beauty product works for me and I like it, I will stay with it and won't shop around. This is a hard one for a beauty blogger. But I have my Glossybox for a new beauty discoveries, so I shall be able to pull it off.

I do believe, if I will plan my shopping this way I actually will be able to buy what I want and be more happy with the results. We all know that quality lasts longer, gives better results and brings you more satisfaction overall. This how I want to see my shopping this year and hope to build a strong foundation for the future.

Have you ever tried conscious spending and what are your tips to avoid the waste of money?

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Lunch ideas - what I ate at work this week

Many of us in January try to eat more healthy, but some are not sure where to start. I already have shared energy nuts&fruits mix for the snack time and thought to photograph what do I have for my lunch at work. If you want any recipes or have any questions, feel free to leave your comments below.

Day 1: Sesame crisp-bread with roast pock slices, cucumbers and cherry tomatoes with green tea and a kiwifruit. 

I didn't use any spread here or ketchup, I like my veggies and fruits as they are. Tasted great and filled me up until the snack time.

Day 2: Cucumber and cherry tomatoes salad with soft chilly cheese and tomato soup.

This salad is so easy to make. Again I didn't use any dressing or salt, but soft chilly cheese provided me with a lovely spicy flavour. Mind you, I used soup from the packet, I didn't have time the night before to prepare my lunch and it was a quick, but yummy fix.

Day 3: Beetroot and beans salad with sesame crisp-bread, orange and seashell chocolate, followed by cup of warm water.

I love this beetroot salad with beans, I used mayonnaise as a dressing. That day I had a chocolate and orange as a treat. I do believe you can enjoy various foods if you know your limits.

I usually don't follow the diet, but try to eat healthy most of the days. I do like to enjoy my food, but if I overindulged with a cake one day I will have a fruit the next day instead, you know what I mean?!

What was your favourite lunch this week?

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

My Beauty Discovery - January 2015

Here is another brilliant beauty product I would like to share with you. I love to uncover simple beauty treats which make a big impact in general.

Ta dah!...
Dabur Vatika Enriched Coconut oil.

It was in my Dabur Vatika hair care hamper and I only started to use it when I run out of my Natural Hair Oil Mix.

Dabur Vatika Coconut Hair oil provides natural nourishment to the hair, giving it body and radiance while taking care of the critical balance of nutrients. What is so special about this oil and why it is my beauty discovery of the month, because  it contains 8 useful herbs. These herbs work magic on the hair, giving the hair and the scalp complete nourishment. This coconut oil contains Triphala, Brahmi, Henna, Neem, Lemon, Rosemary Oil, Kapurkachri and Soya Extracts.

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

Coconut oil (Cocos Nucifera Oil), Neem (Azadirachta Indica Leaf Extract), Brahmi (Centrella Asiatica Plant Extract), Fruit Extracts of Amla, Bahera and Harar Extracts of Emblica officianalis, Terminalia belerica and Terminalia chebula, Kapur kachri (Hedychium spicatum rhizome extract), Henna (Lawsonia inermis leaf extract), Milk, Rosemary Oil (Rosmarinus officinalis oil), Lemon Oil (Citrus limonum oil), TBHO (t-Butyl Hydroquinone), Fragrance.

As you can see there is no mineral oil on the list. I love Dabur hair oils, but majority of them contain mineral oil and other unpleasant ingredients. Those ingredients not just useless for hair care, but not easy to wash off. With natural oils and a good shampoo you just need to wash your hair once, what is less drying to the scalp.

I am using it once or twice a week (leaving for the overnight); depending on my free time and I can see such a difference in my hair. They are light and silky on touch, hair look healthy and what the most delighted news for me, my hair seems much stronger.

If you are using a coconut oil in your hair care routine, or would like to try one - this oil will help to restore your hair health and strength and keep it up with a regular use. I plan to alternate Dabur Vatika Enriched Coconut oil with Natural Hair Oil Mix I make myself. 

I would like to give Dabur Vatika Enriched Coconut oil 5 stars out of 5, because it is the best coconut oil I have tried so far.

Have you tried it yet?

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Fight those January blues and Energy Nuts&Fruits Mix

January is here and as I have noticed most of people I know feel a bit or a lot on a lower side. Well, it could be stress after festivals, overindulgence in food or drink, weather or just people around you. I can't say that I am not affected by January blues, but I know few tricks how to keep my mood up these days.

5 ways to keep up your spirit and enjoy first month of the year:

1. Take a rest. Try to find free time to relax, if you are tired and had a really busy December behind you. Don't worry about jobs needed to be done: house cleaned after party or that flower pot needs to be replanted. Well, what ever busy girls do in January! Just relax! Remember, some jobs can wait, so prioritise and give some time for yourself to recover your strength.

2. Have a facial at home or go to the cosmetologist. Nothing can boost our mood with positivity as massage and/or facial. Each time I have one, I wonder on its effects on my mood and abilities to cope with the world. I have some recipes on my blog related to homemade facial, like simple DIY face massage and natural homemade face masks. Feel free to browse the search engine on this blog, you will find it in the top right corner. I will be delighted if you find something useful and please let me know in the comments below how did you get on?!

3. Use your favourite perfume and/or burn some uplifting essential oils. It is amazing how scent we love affects our mood, so why not to use it to the advantage. Grapefruit, Lemon, Orange, Peppermint, Rosemary, Geranium all have an uplifting effect on the mind. Choose one you like the most and treat yourself to aromatherapy. Read here about my collection of essential oils and their beauty benefits.

4. Drink water and/or green tea. This is a simple way to recover your inner balance after indulgent December. Water will replenish any liquid deficit in your body and green tea will help you to detox and remove build up of toxins. I would advice to develop a habit of drinking water and green tea on a daily basis. I will make a separate post about benefits of green tea later on in the month, but you can check my water drinking challenge in here

5. Opt for energy full snacks to recover strength and give yourself an energy boost. We all know that eating healthy is important. If you struggle with food chooses, try to stick to a healthy and energy full snacks during the day. It takes lots of effort to eat healthy and I think snack is a brilliant starting point for anyone.

I wanted to share with you fruit and nuts mix I like, which is full of vitamins and minerals to boost your energy levels. Just keep in mind that nuts are high in fat, so snack responsibly! 

Energy nuts and fruits mix.

To make this energy mix you will need hazel nuts, walnuts, raisins and apricots. Feel free to add dates, almonds, goji berries or anything else you like. 

Place all the ingredients into small container you can take with you when you are out and about and enjoy! 

Hazelnuts are very high in energy and loaded with numerous health-benefiting nutrients (folate, vitamin E, vitamin B6, manganese, potassium, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium) that are essential for optimum health.

Walnuts as well are rich source of energy and contain health benefiting nutrients, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins that are essential for a good health. Walnuts are rich in fatty acids, vitamin E, manganese, copper, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium. Selenium is an important micro-nutrient, which functions as a co-factor for antioxidant enzymes.

Raisins, like dried apricots, figs, and prunes, are dense sources of energy, vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants. Raisins are richer in fiber, vitamins, mineral and poly-phenol antioxidants than the fresh grapes. Raisins and apricots are full of minerals like calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, copper, fluoride and zinc.

If you have nut allergy or want something alternative to the dry fruits and nuts for your snack time, why not to have a fresh fruit. Apricots, plums, cherries, bananas, persimmon, oranges, apples in season are great resource of vitamins to boost your energy levels too.

What are your tips to keep up your mood high in January?

Sunday, 4 January 2015

December Beauty Haul - my last beauty buy of 2014...

Happy New Year everyone! I wish all your dreams and aspirations will come true in 2015.

I promised to share with you in my no beauty shopping challenge the only beauty buy I did in December.

So, here it is:

Avocado, Olive and Basil Body Lotion from Crabtree and Evelyn. 

I have enjoyed so much my all purpose balm from Crabtree&Evelyn, so I wanted to try their body lotions or creams. Currently they have a very good offer 2 for £20 in store and/or 3 for £30 in store or online. I am actually so happy I had free time to go and choose a body lotion I liked. When you buy online, you can't feel the texture or the scent. As you see, I do enjoy old fashioned testing and trying before taking new beauty item home.

I bought this body lotion because of a very good moisturising and nourishing formula. It is without colour, parabens, mineral oil and glycol. Main ingredients are olive oil, shea butter and avocado butter. I love the scent as well - it is a light and herbal, one you won't get tired of. Texture is lovely and creamy, you can feel a good body lotions when you try one!

I will keep you posted with a review when I will finish one bottle.

Was it anything you couldn't resist in December?