Green Esthetics Longer Lash Review… and a GIVE AWAY!

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The good people at Green Esthetics (@GreenEsthetics) offered me the opportunity to review a product of my choice, so I was very excited to grab a sample of Longer Lash, an eyelash growth solution, which combines oils and nutrients to encourage lash growth.

I tried the solution – which is a clear, light fluid which is applied with a slim eyeliner type brush to the upper lash line- twice a day for four weeks… I also applied it to my eyebrows, as they could really do with some TLC, with the outer edges of my brows looking a bit sparse.

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Here are my eyelashes before… apologies for the quality of the photo. I had never before realised how difficult it is to take a photo of your own eyelashes. You can also see my brow in the photo. The photo is taken without any make up.

 

rd-photo…And here are my lashes and brows after using the lotion as I’ve described (again, without make up). I think my lashes look thicker and in better condition. They also look darker, oddly, although that may be because they are looking thicker. The most impressive part for me was how well the outer edge of my eyebrows have grown- I will be continuing to use the longer lash lotion on both my brows and lashes, as I think it does a great job of encouraging growth and improving condition.

Longer Lash retails at $69.95 – I don’t know if I would have paid this without having the opportunity to test the product, although I have been really keen to look at a product to help regrow my brows in particular. I have really enjoyed using it, however. It’s a good quality product, with some excellent natural ingredients, including argan oil, emu oil and castor oil.

What do you think- can you see a difference?

If you would like to give Longer Lash a try yourself, they ship world wide…You can also get an amazing 40% discount  and free shipping with the promo code GREEN40. Keep an eye on their twitter and facebook pages for further discounts and offers.

I’m super excited that one lucky reader will win a Longer Lash lotion of their own!

Enter by following the instructions in my rafflecopter- follow Green Esthetics on twitter, share the giveaway in a tweet, visit the Green Esthetics facebook page and give them a like… good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveawayou

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Matcha+Manuka

Thankfully, my hay fever has not been too bad so far this year, but today’s sunny weather has resulted in my sinuses beginning to complain… So I decided on some pampering to make staying in doors more enjoyable.

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I started off with an organic matcha latté, using some lovely culinary grade matcha from new start up Mad Matcha. I felt in need of the skin loving, health bringing nutrients of matcha. I have a milk frother, which whisks the milk whilst heating it. It’s pretty much my favourite kitchen gadget. Mine is made by VonShef and will froth milk cold or heat and froth it. I’ve found that if you start the frother up and add a teaspoon of matcha as the milk is swirling, it disperses really well. I also added honey. Sometimes I add cinnamon or vanilla extract. In the morning I add a shot of coffee, I really like Organic Marley Coffee. I’ve made it with dairy and nut milks- all delicious.

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While I had the matcha and honey out, I decided to make a mask… I added a teaspoon each of matcha and manuka honey then a few drops of rose hip oil, all of which are renowned for their healing properties…

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… To make a very swampy, yet effective, mask! FYI, I tried taking face mask selfies with the cat next to me, with the intention of an amusing face swap, but the app did not recognise either of us as having a face. This is a shame, but suggests that a matcha facemask might offer adequate camouflage in a Predator type situation… As well as leaving your skin glowing. Also FYI- the bright, nourishing green of the matcha can stain your sink and fabric you might get it on, so be a little careful with it. 😉

I hope your Sunday had some space for play and self care, too.

No mud, no lotus x

Myrene Young Organic Skincare Review

WP_20160124_011So… First of all, wow it has been a long time since my last post! I started a new job in September and I found it hard to get a good work life balance going, but here is to a new year and more blogging fun! I have had this post in mind for a while, but Sandra at Beauty Balm dropped me a message to say she featured me in her 2015 roundup and that gave me the extra happy push I needed to get back in the blogging (and blog reading!) saddle.

Well, a few months back I ran out of several products at once and didn’t have a massive budget for replacing them. My low cost product search eventually brought me to Myrene Young – I had not come across the range before, despite the press page having some great mentions in various magazines. The range of natural and organic skincare is compact but well formed. I was in need of a cleanser, serum and facial oil and found all three for very respectable prices. The website and packaging feel fairly no frills, but if that helps keep the prices reasonable, who can complain.

First up, I picked up the Organic Deep Cleansing Lotion at the bargain price of £6.50 for 150ml. This is a wash off cleansing milk which contains some nice ingredients including oat extract and argan oil, which both work well for my skin. The pump delivers slightly more product than I needed, but you can only partially compress the pump to get less once you realise this! I found the milk worked best when removed with a warm flannel. It removed my makeup well and left my skin feeling very comfortable, with no tightness.

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Although the instructions were to rinse with water or use with cotton pads, I think that if you have combination or oily skin, removing it with a flannel is possibly going to work better. I found that I broke out a little using it as a milk with cotton pads, but had no issue when I removed the milk with a flannel. The only thing I don’t like so much about this cleanser is the strong scent of verbena- this was another reason I liked washing it off… This is just personal preference, I tend to favour less scented products. Overall, this is a very good cleanser for the money.

Next up is the Organic Bio-active Serum – this was £8.50 for 30ml. I love this. In texture, it reminded me of the Nars Essential Vitamin Serum which I used to use in my pre-green days (I obviously had more money and sense back then…). It is lightweight and has a faint citrusy scent. With all of the products I tried, I found the pump delivered too much product… But that is my only complaint. I liked it mixed with a drop of the facial oil at night and found it a good base for makeup during the day. In the smaller container, it was harder to half press the pump, so I got through this quite quickly… On the plus side, my décolletage got serumed far more than usual!

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The ingredients are good – I was chiefly hooked by the pine bark extract. I wasn’t feeling too exact, but I am sure Myrene Young would be happy to discuss what “natural preservatives” they use for anyone who needs to have a more specific idea about this.

Finally… I purchased the Organic Facial Oil– again £8.50 for 30ml. One of the peculiarities of the website is that there are some typos and some products have full ingredients listed whilst others don’t. This one doesn’t, but I decided to give it a go. It is a blend of rosehip, argan and other oils, with lavender. It’s a pleasant facial oil, I only need a drop or two and found it very good mixed with the serum at night, as I mentioned. The scent is gentle and calming at night. I think it is good value and apart from the lack of polish with the packaging and marketing, it is an interesting range with some unusual products and beneficial ingredients for the price point.*

Have you tried any Myrene Young products? What did you think?

* one of the repeated typos is “argon oil” – I am assuming this is argan oil as argon is more know for it’s gaseous state than it’s skin loving properties… 😉

JR Liggetts Old Fashioned Bar Shampoo

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I have been using JR Liggetts old fashioned shampoo bars for several years now, after first reading about them on Beauty by Britanie.

I have fine, curly hair and have always found it difficult to find products that suit my hair – natural or otherwise. At the time, I was trying the bicarb and cider vinegar rinse method, but I found that although this left my hair clean and shiny, it seemed to make my curls drop a little, so I was excited to try JR Liggetts – particularly as the write up states that conditioner is not necessary due to the gentle oil based formula – great for me as I struggle to find conditioners that don’t weigh my hair down.

Over the years I’ve used several formulas including Ultra Balanced (fragrance free and suitable for damaged and colour treated hair), the original formula (which smells like Nag Champa insense) and I’ve just purchased the herbal formula (which smells deliciously clean – lavendar, rosemary and cedarwood) and a selection of mini bars in a travel pack. I’ve loved all of them – they lather beautifully, leave my hair clean and soft and don’t make my curls drop.

Both of the UK sources I used to use now appear to be closed for business, so my most recent order was via Vitamin Grocer – a USA based company. Even with the cost of shipping, the prices they charge are very reasonable, as the only other UK sources I have found have been very expensive… as the prices are reasonable on vitamin grocer, I was able to buy 2 full size bars and a travel pack whilst keeping the value under £15 to avoid customs charges. They dispatched my order quickly and I was impressed with their service overall. They have a few hard to find brands and their shipping is very reasonable.

I have been meaning to write a review for ages, but all of the bars I had were open and half used, so I wanted to wait until I had some pretty new bars to show you. Pictured are my lovely selection of new bars… I have a full size ulta balanced/moisturising bar (fragrance free for damaged hair) and a herbal formula bar, (£4.54 each) which probably has the nicest fragrance in the range, in my opinion. I also purchased this adorable little travel kit (£4.31). It comes with a handy bag to store your bars for travel, a useful soap saver (a little piece of plastic which attaches to the bar and means you can put the bar down without picking up fluff and can make the most of the little bars) and four mini bars, one each of the tea tree and hemp and jojoba and peppermint bars and two original formula bars. This travel pack is a great way of trying the bars. I picked it up because I am going on holiday in a couple of weeks time and will be taking hand luggage only. Each bar is packaged in adorable old fashioned, eco friendly paper wrapping and is equivalent to around 24oz (about 700ml?) of liquid shampoo.

These shampoo bars are amazing to travel with – hand luggage friendly, long lasting and multi-tasking. You can use them as shaving soap (they lather brilliantly with a shaving brush or in your hands), to wash clothes and as body soap. I also use the little slivers towards the end of the bar to wash my make-up brushes and find them brilliant as a brush shampoo.

I love using these traditional bars – washing my hair with them makes me feel like I should be in a copper tub in front of the fire in the Wild West… I’ve obviously been watching too much Deadwood. They are great value and very effective. The range of scents and formulas offers something for everyone and I have read reviews from people with many hair types who have had success with these bars for hair washing (without the need of conditioner) and for cleansing locs too. They are also pretty popular with backpackers, due to their space saving and multi-tasking qualities.

Have you tried shampoo bars? I would definitely recommend these ones!

Lucy

No mud, no lotus

Andy Millward to the Rescue!

(photo with kind permission from Andy Millward… I should add that’s not me getting the treatment, though. I wish my skin was that gorgeous!)

I have been reading Andy’s blog, Pampered Prince for sometime. A little while ago, we got in touch through twitter when Andy put a shout out looking for guest bloggers and I did a post for him. We got chatting via email and when I realised how close by Andy is (in nearby Stourbridge), I couldn’t resist booking a treatment with him.

Andy’s page gives lots of details about the fantastic work he does to help improve skin condition to promote glowing skin. I was impressed with Andy’s technical knowledge about skin (something I lack!), his choice of botanical based, highly effective cosmedix products and his holistic approach to skin health.

I booked a 1 hour bespoke treatment. On the day, my skin was particularly stressed. Due to a couple of weeks of stressful happenings and also a lot of time out in the cold and wind, my cheeks were very red and chapped and I was having a breakout on my forehead and lower cheek/jawline.

Andy was so reassuring and very friendly. He completed an extensive consultation – I had completed a 7 day food diary at his request prior to the appointment and he took details about my lifestyle and skin routine.

Andy then gave me an amazing facial treatment – a thorough cleanse with a gorgeous emulsifying oil – this had a wonderful scent and felt beautiful on my skin. Andy was kind enough to give me a sample of the oil to try afterwards – it is a great, very effective product. Andy used ultrasonic cleansing (enjoyably tickly!) and manual cleansing to gently clean my skin…

Andy then completed an analysis of my skin using a special light which apparently lit up the oily areas of my face (chin and the sides of my nose) bright orange! Gross!! Glad Andy got to see that and not me! Hehehe… this was very interesting though and enabled Andy to give me a really thorough breakdown of my skin’s overall health and condition post treatment (via email thankfully, otherwise I would never had remembered it all as I was feeling super relaxed!).

This was followed up by Andy’s choice of bespoke Cosmedix products, to help to address the various issues he had picked up in my current skin presentation. Andy’s treatment completely knocked my socks off – the chapped skin on my cheeks felt a lot smoother afterwards (erm, I promise I wasn’t touching my skin, Andy!! I know you told me not to, but it was so soft!) and the inflamation had really come down. However, what really surprised me is that in the next couple of days, my blemishes really faded and went down and my cheeks continued to heal really well. This was definitely more than a pampering treatment, this was a Treatment with a capital T!

However, much as this was a serious, skin rescuing treatment (I can’t even begin to give you a true understanding of all the technical details, do have a look at Andy’s page, it is packed with details about the products and techniques he uses), it was also very relaxing. Andy gave me a mini shoulder rub with Bodhi and Birch’s Ginger Brew (amazing, now I understand why Andy and Amber likes it so much!) and a scalp massage, leaving me feel very calm and peaceful.

Andy finished up by smoothering my poorly cheeks in healing balm and was incredibly sweet and kind, giving me firm injunctions about looking after my skin post treatment.

His follow up advice was very comprehensive, covering diet and lifestyle as well as skin care routine and giving a detailed analysis of my skin, which was fascinating (oh boy, wish I’d worn a bit more sunscreen!!) and informative and to me, this adds even more value to the treatment itself. There was no hard sell of future treatments or products Andy was promoting, just good, unbiased advice, which I very much appreciated.

Andy offers treatments in the Stourbridge and Birmingham area  – if you are local, I would definitely recommend Andy- he is very experienced and knowledgeable and also very good at putting people at ease.

Thanks so much Andy for this skin saving treatment, I really needed it!

Lucy

No Mud, No Lotus

Disclaimer: I paid for this treatment myself.

Guest post over on Beauty Balm

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Sandra over at Beauty Balm not only has a wonderful blog but also is one of the most friendly and welcoming people I have come across in the green blogging world, so I am super excited to have a guest post up with her!
Go check out my Floral bath melt DIY and don’t forget to have a mooch around Sandra’s posts- I love her recently January loves post, where Sandra reviews some fascinating and unique products. You can find her on twitter @Beauty_Balm

Bee Happy Beeswax Candle Kit

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My Mum very kindly gave me some beeswax goodies, including a Bee Happy Beeswax Candle Kit. I love beeswax and all things bee, so I was very excited to play around with the kit. Beeswax candles are said to purify the air and offer a traditional, soothing alternative to parafin based candles, which are not particularly good for our health.

It is very simple to make rolled candles like the one above – the picture shows a three sheet candle that had been burning for around 12 hours.

The quality of the wax it very good, it has a gentle natural honey scent and the instructions were very helpful.

The kit says that you can make 3 tall candles or up to six shorter candles with the 6 sheets of 20x10cm beeswax and the cotton wicks included in the kit.

I decided to go off piste a little and made one shorter, fat candle (shown) and six tea lights.

For the tea lights, I recycled some metal cups from old tea lights which had burned out by popping out the left over wax.

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I read around and found this tutorial, which had the excellent idea of using hair pins to hold the wicks in place. I cut the wicks to length and popped them into the middle of the pins. I cut 3 sheets of beeswax into squares and melted it in a jug in a bain marie (I did have to give it a short blast of 10 secs in the microwave on low half way through though, the wax starts to set very, very quickly). Then I poured the wax into the metal tea light cups and popped the wicks in. I over poured a couple… oops.

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Three sheets made six tea lights and the tea lights burned well, although I think that the rolled candle gave a more noticeable honey aroma.

I’ve also got some blocks of beeswax, which I often use for making balms, so I’ll be trying out the blocks for future tea light making too.

I was pleased with how the finished tea lights looked (the wicks need a little trim) and had a lot of fun playing around with this lovely little kit.

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