Recent Empty Products

July 24, 2017


Hi lovelies! Hope you're all well. After a short break from my blog I'm coming back at you with a post about products that I've recently used up. For those of you who don't follow me on Instagram, let me just quickly share with you that I haven't been feeling my best for the last couple of weeks. Fortunately I'm almost all better now. I had some serious back pain due to my scoliosis and let me tell you that it wasn't fun. After a few days of complaining and an amazing one hour back massage, I started doing yoga again, which I've been so bad at it lately. I've only done it once a week or every two weeks! I'm on my day 9 today and it feels good. Very good! This was luckily the first time I've experienced such pain in my back, like all over back pain. In my lower and upper back, and in between. I've noticed that my back muscles were and still are very tense and my yoga moves look very differently then they looked before. My flexibility went out the door but every day it is better and for that I'm so grateful. Anywho, I didn't mean to write about my health problems but about some empties, so here we go.


Max and Me Circle of Protection Body Oil* (review) was the Hero of the May Beauty Heroes box and I absolutely loved this oil! It is a beautiful, Beautiful body oil. Max and Me is an Austrian brand and to me it is one of the most special and magical brands on the market. It's highly vibrant & full of loving and positive energy. This really comes across with the scent of this body oil. It's calming, protecting and simply beautiful. Circle of Protection couldn't have a better name. It is everything that it says it is - "it tenderly embraces you and ensures the protection of your skin and your subtle body. You feel safe. You feel strong. You feel beautiful." I think this is what the most beautiful dreams are made of. LOVE.

Skin & Tonic Rose Mist* (review) is a lovely facial mist made with just 4 ingredients. I have to say I've been terribly impressed with Skin & Tonic products. The brand is British, organic and sustainable, and they pride themselves on simplicity, meaning that their products are made with a small number of ingredients. I like that. I also like that the mist contains Aloe Vera which really suits my skin. Honestly it's not the most hydrating face mist I've tried but I would still buy it again.

Rachel's Plan Bee Coconut Beach Body Oil* (review) is one of those (rare) products that really make me smile. I love & adore its delicious scent! It's like summer, beach, yummy sweet fruits and everything else you can think of of your best summer holidays in one place. It's the best summer holiday memories in a bottle. It's sweet with a touch of citrus zing and I'm just obsessed with it. As I'm writing this and trying to describe the scent, I simply cannot stop sniffing it! The scent is also long lasting and the body oil moisturizes my skin all day. I'm sure you are all sick of me writing about Rachel's Plan Bee products but I am not, so you better try Rachel's products asap so you'll finally understand why I love them so much.
Honua Skincare Aloha Youth Serum* (review) is yet another gorgeous products from this bunch of empty products. I miss this serum so much! It's full of beautiful Hawaiian ingredients like Turmeric, Hibiscus, Tamanu, Chia Oils and more. The serum works like magic on my skin, it's balancing, brightening, redness-reducing and hydrating. The scent of Ylang Ylang doesn't hurt as well. LOVE. I'm almost out of the Olena Face Oil as well, which is yet another stunning product from Honua.

Amly Botanicals Silver Rich Face Mist Radiance Boost* (review) is hands down one of the best facial mists I've used! I love everything about it - the scent, the performance, the bottle, everything. The scent gives me all the feels of a spa. It doesn't smell like spa but every time I used it I felt like I'm in a spa. Not that I've ever truly was in one and indulging in all the massages and stuff haha. The mist was a dream to use. The calming and relaxing scent is gorgeous and the hydrating benefits are only a cherry on top. LOVE.

Twelve Beauty Ideal Moisture Level Serum* (review) is a very lightweight serum that actually looks and has a consistency of water. This serum and the Amly face mist were a part of the April Boxwalla Beauty Box and I loved them both deeply. The serum packs a punch of hydration, it's instantly absorbed into the skin and is non-clogging. I loved it, it's a beautiful serum.
Earthwise Beauty Ruby Facial Oil* (review) is probably one of my favourite discoveries of this summer. The name really suits it since it definitely is a true gem. Ruby is lightweight, packed with gorgeous ingredients, it's beautifully absorbed into the skin, it's not heavy or greasy, but hydrating and works lovely at evening out the skin tone. I hear it's also plumping. I love that it contains oils that also have some sun-protecting ingredients and sun-damage-correcting, like I said, perfect for summer. I have another Ruby oil in my fridge since I've received it in the June Boxwalla Beauty Box. All I can say is yaay!

Rahua Voluminous Shampoo* (review) is a gorgeous shampoo that promises body and bounce. I didn't experience any of that but I still loved this shampoo. It foams up so well, it cleansed my hair like a charm, it's not stripping but leaves the hair shiny, smooth and soft. I also really liked the non-invasive, herbal scent. I loved it!

Lilfox Jungle Glow* (review) is an absolutely beautiful Hawaiian honey based enzyme cleanser + mask, and an exfoliator. I adore this product so much! Works perfect as a morning cleanser or a quick 5 minute morning or 1 hour evening mask. It is softening, smoothing, hydrating and also balancing and a bit brightening. Just recently Beauty Heroes had a few of their 2017 beauty boxes on offer and I just had to get another Lilfox box. The love is real. If you want to start the day with some serious pamper, or end it, and if you love honey, then you should definitely give Jungle Glow a go. 

So to quickly sum up this post, I really loved pretty much every single product that I mentioned and I highly recommend them. If you have any questions about them, let me know.

Have a lovely week!

With love,

Jana xx

*samples generously provided
**this post contains affiliate links

Boxwalla x Earthwise Beauty

July 10, 2017

What better way to start this week than with the June Boxwalla Beauty Box*? Get excited because the brand featured in it is the one and only Earthwise Beauty. How amazing is that? If you've been a reader of mine for a while you know I love Ava's products. I've been fortunate enough to try all three products that are featured in the June's Boxwalla beauty box before so not only I can give you short descriptions of the products, I can also link my reviews where you can read more about the products.

 If you don't know already, Boxwalla is a bi-monthly subscription service. Every two months they have a few different boxes, from beauty & food to book and film boxes, so everyone can find something for themselves. I only have experiences with their beauty boxes and I can honestly say that I'm impressed with the selection of brands and products every time. I've seen some comments like this before from other ladies but I have to say it as well - it seems like Lavanya knows what my skin needs and she always delivers. I can't even imagine the pressure to pick just the right products for the boxes, especially since they are bi-monthly, but man does she excels at that. You can actually check out a little bit about this process in this post. Onto the June box aka Wandering Wood Nymph's Sun-Kissed Alchemy. Ava Zhan founded Earthwise Beauty nearly 13 years ago (wow!), to create unique, nutrient dense products for the modern woman (or man) and in the box there are three of her beautiful creations.
Nap in the Meadow (review) is a facial serum packed with anti-inflammatory, brightening and very hydrating ingredients. It's a very lightweight aloe based serum with a gorgeous teal colour which comes from the powerhouse anti-inflammatory duo of Yarrow Oil & German Blue Chamomile Oil, mixed with the sunny yellow Turmeric Supercritical CO2 Extract. I had and used two bottles of it and loved it deeply. Read my review about it here and if you scroll down below to the end of the post you'll see that I wrote two updates, both in regards to one particular ingredient. I have said it already that even tho I am a beautician that doesn't mean I know everything, especially not about every ingredient. Sometimes I do miss things and it the Nap I've missed one ingredient that kept me away from the Nap for a while. I'm talking about polysorbate 20 which is used as an emulsifier. It's not the most harmful ingredient out there but since it's made with ethoxylation I wanted to stay away from it. Of course I couldn't keep my mouth shut and I emailed Ava about it. After our chat she decided to start testing some other ingredients and I'm happy to report that the tests have been successful and Nap in the Meadow is now free from polysorbate 20. Hooray! I haven't yet tried the reformulated version but I bet it's as amazing as it was, if not more. I missed this product so I'm thrilled and thankful that it's back in my life.
Next is the Ruby Facial Oil which is one of the most beautiful everyday face oil and just the perfect summer oil. I already used a bottle of this oil and I'm thrilled to have another one. It's packed with a range of antioxidant rich oils, many of which carry their own sun-protecting and sun damage correcting qualities, like Pequi Fruit, Buriti Oil, Rosehip, Raspberry and more. Ruby is super lightweight, it absorbs beautifully in the skin and helps to hydrate, protect and keep the skin in check. I've tried a few Earthwise Beauty facial oils before but let me tell you that Ruby is by far my favourite. Read my review about it here.
Last but certainly not least is the Farizad's Veil Powder SPF 30+ Powder. This is a very interesting and unique sunscreen powder, made with uncoated, non nano Zinc Oxide. This means you have to mix it with another product, either a serum, moisturizer or a facial oil. I love that you can customize it and use whatever product you want to. Ruby goes perfectly with it but ever since I used a bottle of it, I have been using it with Leahlani's Aloha Ambrosia Morning Moisture Elixir* and I have been really loving the two together. I'm still using the old version of the sunscreen that came in a plastic jar and even though the glass jar version doesn't have a sifter, I much prefer that than the plastic one. #saynotoplastic am I right? It's a bit hard to describe how much I use, I just go by feeling but the description on the Boxwalla card states to mix 1/32-1/16 tsp of Farizad's Veil with 1/2 dropper of Ruby (around 8 drops). You can also mix in some of the serum to make an ultra light, moisturizing lotion. As you can see, all the three product go perfectly together and I couldn't have been more pleased about that. Review here.
What can I say? Another wonderful beauty box from Boxwalla. They keep on impressing me with their curation. Sadly this box is no longer available but you should definitely check out the content of the August beauty box and join the Boxwalla till the July 20th to receive it. You can buy one box or join their subscription to receive the boxes every two months. Boxwalla ships worldwide. You can read more about them in this post or on their website. You can get Earthwise Beauty products here (you can use my code "Loveliness" to get 15% off) or if you live in Europe you can get them via this beauty shop.

Have a lovely week!

With love,

Jana xx

*samples generously provided 
**this post contains affiliate links

The Best Natural Deodorants #NoBakingSoda

July 04, 2017

A lot of time has passed since I last talked about deodorants. I think that deodorants are one of those products you should really switch to a natural version. The amount of shit that is in conventional deodorants is just disgusting and it's not doing anything good for your body. Make a change, even if you're not into green beauty. It's actually been almost a year since I've reviewed my beloved Schmidt's deodorant for sensitive skin in the scent Geranium (now Geranium Flower). You can check it out here. I'm such a fan of this deodorant, even a bigger one than I was when I was writing the review. I've repurchased it numerous times and I think that speaks for itself. It's just so darn good! Honestly, I'm so beyond grateful to this brand for creating these deodorants because I was always one who really struggled with deodorants. Conventional or natural, it didn't matter. Either I had to change them up after a few months of use or they just didn't work like they should have. I do sweat quite a lot and that was always my insecurity. But as years go on, it's been easier and easier and I just accepted that. As long as I have an effective and affordable natural deodorant I'm all good. And now I have even more option that I had ever before!
 I do really like Schmidt's Deodorant in Geranium Flower but I'm not gonna lie that I did hope for some new scents, especially floral. They are always creating new scents but usually they all contain baking soda which sadly, I'm allergic to. I get red rashes under my arms and I just can't use deodorants with soda. But a few weeks ago my wishes came true and I couldn't be happier! They came up with three new scents (+ new packaging design) and I was lucky enough to be sent all three of them. Meet Jasmine Tea*, Coconut Pineapple* and Lavender Tips*. All three have the same base of ingredients as the Geranium has. First is Magnesium Hydroxide, then Coconut Oil and Arrowroot Powder. All three ingredients can be found in some DIY deodorant recipes. I knew about the coconut oil and arrowroot powder but for magnesium hydroxide I was quite surprised. I did find some recipes using magnesium oil tho, especially in baking soda free recipes. No Aluminium or Artificial Fragrance. Talking of fragrances, Jasmine Tea and Coconut Pineapple both contain Natural Fragrance, and Geranium and Lavender Tips contain one essential oil each (either Lavender or Geranium). Certified vegan, cruelty and gluten free.
After trying them out I have a new favourite and it's the beautiful Jasmine Tea. I'm such a fan of jasmine as it is, so it's no surprise it's my favourite out of all four of them. So. In. Love. When I use up all of them this will be a definite repurchase. Love love love! The deodorant I used on vacation was the Coconut Pineapple. I mean it's the perfect deodorant for your beach bag. It's not as coconuty as I though it would be and I actually prefer that the scent is kinda half and half coconut and pineapple. As for the Lavender Tips go, I gave that one to my mum because there is something with me and lavender scented deodorant. I just can't use them. I love lavender, I'm just really not a fan of lavender under my arms.

They last all day, even on hot summer days and when exercising but if I go somewhere in the afternoon I do reapply it because I'm a bit crazy like that. I know it's not necessary but I can't help myself. In my review of the Geranium deodorant I said that I experienced some irritation and redness due to magnesium hydroxide. The solution to that was super simple! After showering I started applying some body lotion or oil and that helped immensely and I got rid of the rash. I think my skin eventually also got used to the ingredients because after a year of everyday use I don't have this problem anymore, even if I don't apply any lotion prior to the deodorant. It is stated on the packaging that you should discontinue use if rash or irritation develops but if it's not that bad you can try my tip before tossing it. These deodorants can leave some residue on clothes but nothing a washing machine can't sort out.
I highly, Highly recommend Schmidt's Deodorants! I've been using them for more than three years (my first post on them) and as the years go by, I love them more and more. Next thing I'm hoping for is that they make a masculine scent in this sensitive line so that my boyfriend, who is also sensitive to baking soda, can use them as well. And no, he is not a fan of Tea Tree, which is the fifth deodorant from this line, and doesn't feel like using other baking soda-free scents that they have. I'm also hoping they will start packaging them in glass jars or some other more sustainable and eco-friendly packaging.

Schmidt's deodorants are sold at numerous places. I don't know if they are sold in shops (maybe in the US) but I order them online via Specia. At the moment the three new scents aren't yet available but I hope they will be soon.

Ps. Now that I'm searching for links I found out they also have two more scents for sensitive skin. First is Fragrance-Free and the other one is a completely new scent named Waves.

Much love to you all,

Jana xx

*samples generously provided

June Favourites

July 02, 2017

I'm not sure when was the last time I wrote a post about my favourites, especially monthly favourites. I was watching Lily's new video yesterday and was really inspired to write one when she said she was trying to think of her favourite products and that it was quite difficult to think of some but after writing them down there have been a few things she's been loving. I was like I should write a post about my favourite products too and when I started thinking of products I loved in June there were so many that I actually had to rethink and only picked my absolute favourite.

 June started on a very high for me since Jaka and I went on our summer vacation on Mali Lošinj. We've been there once before and we both love it! The sea is so clear, the air is so fresh and the nature is just so beautiful. You should definitely visit if you can. I did a short video of our time there and it can be found on my Facebook.
The first product I want to talk about is the Lilfox Jungle Glow*. Now I've been a fan of this one ever since I've received it in the April's Beauty Heroes box but in June I fell in love with it even more. Jungle Glow is an enzyme cleanser + mask so it's a 3-in-1 product - cleanser, exfoliator and mask. At the time of my review I haven't been using it regularly but in June I started using it almost every day in the mornings and oh my word this stuff is so good! It contains beautiful ingredients, all nicely blended in a stunning raw rainforest honey from Hawaii. Honey is a wonderful ingredient for the skin because it's so healing, anti-bacterial and hydrating. I absolutely adore this product as a cleanser/exfoliator and I love it even more as a facial mask. Beyond beautiful. So thankful to Beauty Heroes for introducing it to me. Obsessed. More info in this post.
After a skin cleanse it's time for a toner. Meet Radiance Boost Silver Rich Face Mist* from a UK brand Amly Botanicals. This is one of the most luxurious and gorgeous facial mist I've had a pleasure of trying out. It's absolutely beautiful. The scent is intoxicating, the ingredients are beautiful & it's super hydrating. Plus the bottle is so chic. I can easily describe this product as divine. I got this mist in the April Boxwalla box and the other product in there is amazing as well. Review of both here.
It just so happened that I can give you almost a complete skincare routine with my favourites since I will continue with a serum. Honua Skincare Aloha Youth Serum* is another product from Beauty Heroes beauty discoveries. Honua Skincare was featured last month and both products from the box are so beautiful and so right for my skin. Aloha Youth Serum is a water, Coconut Water and Organic Aloe Vera Gel based serum with a number of Hawaiian-grown ingredients, like Turmeric, Noni, Hibiscus, Tamanu and full of Aloha. I've been using this serum religiously every morning and every night and it's bringing me so much joy every time I slather it on my face. I need all the youth-enhancing benefits as I can, thank you very much. The serum is hydrating, brightening, cell renewing and has a lovely floral scent of Ylang Ylang. Full review of Aloha and Olena in this post.
Now it's time for some makeup. Sorry not sorry but I have another product that was featured in a Beauty Hereos box. I swear that this post was not sponsored by them! I really do love what Jeannie and the BH team are doing. Love! So I wanna quickly talk about their last makeup discovery featuring Au Naturale. The box came with four makeup items and among them I almost instantly fell in love with the Powder Blush in the shade Pink Champagne*. The colour of this blush is everything! I hear it's a dupe for the famous Orgasm from Nars. I wouldn't know but Pink Champagne sure is stunning. It contains a bit of shimmer and I thought it would look like I'm wearing highlighter on my cheeks but it's so not like that. Which I love! It looks natural, my face brightens up when I apply it, it lasts all day and even tho I was a bit sceptical about the packaging, I ended up loving that as well. If I tell you that I haven't used any other blush since I received it would you believe me that the love is real? On all my recent selfies on Instagram I'm wearing this blush if you want to see some more pictures how it looks on me.
The next suprisingly amazing product comes from a newer brand Nui Cosmetics and it's their black Natural Mascara*. Why surprising? Well I tried quite a lot of natural mascara until I found the one I really liked from Lily Lolo. Since then I bought it numerous times and was never really interested in getting a different one. A few weeks ago I received a parcel from this Berlin based brand Nui and my first look at the mascara was like meh. I was never a fan of this kind of brush, it never did anything for my lashes and I wasn't expecting anything good from it. Boy was I wrong! The mascara gives my lashes so much life, it's super black, coats my lashes really well and gives them volume. I will write a post about Nui makeup but for now let me just say I'm impressed. The mascara is made with 85% organic ingredients, it's vegan and gluten free.
My two random favourites won't be very surprising I think, especially if you follow me on Instagram. Both have been my favourites for a few months and more. First I want to say a few words about kombucha. If you've never heard about it, kombucha is a fermented tea drink made from black tea and sugar, with a help of a special little thing named scoby, a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. Scoby is something you can't just make and I was fortunate enough that I got it from a friend. And since then I've been making my kombucha and growing new scobies like a crazy kombucha lady. I will eventually write a post dedicated to kombucha, but you will have to wait a bit longer. Kombucha is amazing for the gut and it improves digestion, and if you google, it supposedly has all kinds of positive benefits. I think it really helped with my skin, which hasn't looked this nice in a while. On the photo above is a new scoby that hasn't been used in a brewing batch yet so it looks so white and to me it's actually beautiful. Here is another photo of kombucha.
Last but most certainly not least are my beloved succulents, which have been all the rave for a while now. You could easily describe them as the most hip plants of the moment. I'm not sure how long I've been having them but this month I was especially into them and have been learning quite a lot of new things. Google sure knows a lot. Succulents are desert plants so they don't need a lot of water. Well they do need to be watered quite regularly but they don't like to sit in water or they can start to rot. That's why it's highly recommended using pots with drainage holes. One thing that amazes me with succulents is that you can propagate them from leaves and cuttings. Just yesterday I tried repotting some of my cuttings and hopefully they will start growing new roots. Here is a photo of them. I really like the look of succulents so I'm hoping they turn out ok. Fingers crossed!

What have you been loving in June?

With love,

Jana xx

*samples generously provided
**this post contains affiliate links

Rachel's Plan Bee Coconut Beach Body Oil

June 30, 2017

I'm sure you all know by now about my obsession with Rachel's Plan Bee products. Their products are so full of joy and happiness, they always make me smile and I really have so much love for Rachel and her beautiful products. There are a few reviews of Rachel's products on my blog already so I'm thinking this post will be more of a short and sweet one.
 Coconut Beach Body Oil* is a new addition to Rachel's Plan Bee body oils collection. I do feel like I'm just repeating myself every time I'm writing about her products but I just can't help myself to share my ever-growing love. This body oil has a sweet, summery scent - it is described as a "light coconut scent with fruity notes that will totally remind you of a fun vacation at the beach". And it does! I absolutely love the scent. It reminds me of warm magical summer nights with cocktails and dancing. LOVE. I used the shimmering version on our vacation and now that I'm back home the scent even more reminds me of those fun times when we were in Croatia. The sweet scent lingers on the skin pretty much all day and like I said, it brings joy and reminders of fun times at the seaside.

The body oil contains 10 ingredients, some are certified organic and some are not. There are Apricot Kernel Oil, Cranberry Seed Oil, Coconut Extract, Vanilla, Sweet Orange and Roman Chamomile, to name almost all. The blend creates a lovely oil which luckily isn't too heavy and can be sparingly applied also in the summer. I don't use a lot of body oils or lotions in the summer time, especially if it's scorching hot outside but a little bit on my legs, decolletage, even some on my arms is a very nice treat for my skin indeed.
The Coconut Beach body oil isn't the only new product Rachel added to her line. She also created Shimmering Body Oils in three scents. At this moment I only have the matching version of the oil, the Coconut Beach Shimmering Oil*. It contains the same ingredients + Mica, Iron Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. I like that the oil gives a very subtle shine to the skin without looking super shimmery and like a disco ball. If you look closely you see them but otherwise they give a skin a lovely natural glow.

You can get Rachel's Plan Bee products here or if you live in Europe check out this shop.

Have a lovely Friday!

Love,

Jana xx

*samples generously provided

Skin & Tonic Steam Clean

June 23, 2017

Skin & Tonic is a brand I've already wrote on this blog of mine. I've reviewed their Rose Mist, a lovely rose toner, and today I'm going to talk about Skin & Tonic's cult product, the Steam Clean. I'm saying cult product because I've seen it on quite a number of blogs and the reviews are always positive. I was really excited to try out this product but my first impression wasn't as good as I was hoping it would be. But things quickly changed for the better.
 Skin & Tonic is a brand made in the UK and they are all about simplicity and organic ingredients. I can just finish here because this definitely makes my heart sing. The founder Sarah truly believes in less is more and creates certified organic, sustainable skincare with no more than 7 ingredients. They support, wherever possible, small and local British & French producers/ farmers, they source from Fair Trade women’s co-operatives in Ghana & Sri Lanka, they've partnered with Charity Water and donate 10% of profits to them, providing essential, clean water and sanitation to those in the world who need it the most. They also strive to be as carbon neutral a company as possible and have already started planting trees in the Suffolk countryside to offset our carbon footprint. I mean how could you not love and adore such philosophy?

Steam Clean is described as a "simple but effective cleansing balm". It contains Grape, Thistle and Borage Seed Oils, and Beeswax. These ingredients create a very lovely consistency of the balm. I'm struggling to describe it, it's very smooth and the word slick actually comes to my mind. It's not grainy which many cleansing balms are due to Shea Butter. It's quite lightweight and I really think it would work great on oily skin types. I don't know how the texture changes in winter but I really enjoyed using it in the warmer months. I was surprised to be so into it, I don't normally go on and on about the consistency. I mean the empty jar speaks for itself, I loved it. Steam Clean turns into oil in seconds and it's such a wonderful product to remove your makeup with. It just glides on the skin and just a little bit of massaging breaks everything down and effectively removes all traces of makeup. It really works like a charm and I can say it's definitely one of my fave cleansing balms I've used. 

The only thing that slightly bothered me was the scent of Eucalyptus and Spearmint. I wasn't too keen of it. I consider myself lucky that I can quite quickly get used to smelly-to-me scents and in the end I kinda even enjoy them. In all honesty this unisex scent doesn't smell bad but I would definitely prefer something else. On the other hand Eucalyptus is a very beneficial plant, especially for acne-prone and oily skin. It's anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and has healing properties. Spearmint has some of the same skin benefits. To think about it now my skin did look healthy and nice when I was using this balm. 
As said I used the Steam Clean in the evenings to remove my makeup and all the grime from the day. I massaged a small amount of balm straight onto my face and removed it with a warm washcloth. I always double cleanse so this was my first cleanser and then I went in with a little bit of this or some other balm/oil, and repeat the whole process. After removing my makeup my skin was always very soft and smooth, properly cleansed but never dry or uncomfortable. 

Handmade, cruelty free and packaged in 100% recyclable glass container, this product is suitable for normal to oily skin. It excites me to also mention that Skin & Tonic will soon be providing refills to save on packaging. I got it from Love Lula** but you can also get it straight from the Skin & Tonic website.

Happy Friday!

With love,

Jana xx

*sample generously provided
**affiliate link

Beauty Heroes x Honua Skincare

June 19, 2017

It's almost the 20th of June, where has the time gone? The 20th is the last date on which you can snatch the current month's Beauty Heroes beauty discovery. So it's about time I share my thoughts on the June's discovery featuring the beautiful Hawaiian brand Honua Skincare. Since I need a bit of time to properly test out the products this will be more of a review in quotation marks. I have been using the products for about 4-6 weeks but I know that my skin needs more time to really show me all the pros and benefits. I've actually never been one to test a bunch of products at the same time and each skincare item I'm testing out I use every day for at least! 3-4 weeks and then give out any thoughts. But I rather use them even longer, and my skin prefers that as well. I usually only change up one skincare product at a time because you know how it is using two new products at a time, you can hardly tell which one is working better for your skin. Or is that just me? But this month I have been using two new products at the same time and my skin has been very happy. So what is in the June's Beauty Heroes Beauty Discovery?
For less than $40 you will receive two full sized Honua Skincare products worth $106. I'm always amazed and thrilled that you can get expensive products for half of their actual prices. I mean who doesn't like a good deal? I sure do! If you follow me on Instagram, then you've already seen a couple of posts dedicated to this month's discovery. Honua Skincare is a newer brand on the market and I was drawn to it ever since I found out about it. There is just something there that really sparked my interest. Maybe it is the beautiful founder Kapua Browning, who was actually born with two names and I love the meaning behind both. One means ˝exotic flower˝ and the other translates to the ˝woman in charge of bringing peace˝. What I really like about Kapua is that not only is she a super friendly, passionate and humbled person, at least that's the feeling I got from her, she is also a licensed esthetician and instructor. Who better to create a skincare line than an esthetician who's been working on her clients for 10 years, have been making her own products for clients and knows different skin types? Yaas! 
At the moment Honua, which means ˝earth˝ in Hawaiian, has 4 products in their line, and two of them are available through the June's Beauty Heroes box*. The Hero is the Aloha Youth Serum, a beautiful lightweight yet really hydrating serum that works so well on my skin. The serum is loaded with planet's most potent healing botanicals, phytonutrients and minerals, from Coconut Water, Rose Hydrosol and Aloe Vera to cell renewing Hibiscus, anti aging and brightening Noni and Turmeric, and skin loving Tamanu & Chia Oils. Lots of these ingredients are from farms based on different Hawaii islands and I absolutely love that. Kapua's family is known for protecting the land, water and farmlands of Hawaii and Kapua is passionate to protect the farming rituals of Hawaii by donating a portion of her profits to three organizations in her homeland.

The Aloha Youth Serum has the consistency of a ˝typical˝ serum, meaning lightweight, quickly absorbing and hydrating. It has an off white to light yellow colour and a scent of Ylang Ylang. It promises firming and plumping effect, cool, calm relief from inflammation and healthy, sustained brightening and hydration for all day glow. I would pretty much agree with everything here. The effects for me weren't instant but with regular use, every morning and night, my skin is looking calmer, brighter and healthier. It's hard to speak about anti-aging benefits but I do believe in the product so I'm just gonna keep on using it. I didn't experience any reaction to it but almost every time I apply it (on my cleansed face after toner), I get a slightly tingly feeling that goes away in seconds. I'm glad to say I fell in love with this serum and that it brings me joy every time I use it. It definitely has the right name - Aloha, which is a way of life, a gift from the Hawaiian people to the world. Kapua describes aloha with a few words, like kindness, humility, patience, perseverance. *insert heart emoji*
The Sidekick of June's Beauty Heroes Beauty Discovery is Honua Skincare ʻŌlena Beauty Oil. This is a product I've been most excited to try out even before I knew it was going to be featured in the box. ʻŌlena is Hawaiian turmeric and I'm all about the amazing and beneficial turmeric. This wonderful yellow ingredient is an anti-inflammatory powerhouse known to treat skin conditions like sun damage, eczema and acne. Aloha serum contains quite a number of ingredients, ʻŌlena on the other hand contains less than 10. ʻŌlena contains an organic & wildcrafted herbal oil infusion of Turmeric, Noni, Cacao and Chia, and a few more. The oil has a yellowish to light green colour and quite a strong scent. I have no idea what I'm smelling but it kinda smells like curry leaves. I don't hate the scent and I've already got used to it but it's safe to say it's not my favourite. ʻŌlena promises hydration, super soft skin and improved elasticity. Since it contains Turmeric I was expecting some serious brightening and skin tone evening benefits. The effects don't happen overnight, which is exactly why I don't review products after a week or two. But as I'm looking at my skin, it does feel more even and just healthier. Maybe I'd get even better results if I'd use it morning and night like it's recommended but I prefer to only use it at night. It's not that heavy but I have more lightweight oils to use in the mornings, like this one for example.
The last thing I also want to mention is their packaging. LOVE. I love the bottles, I love the 100% recyclable and compostable paper packaging, I love the writings & the drawings inscribed with vegetable ink, everything. So beautiful. I'm very impressed with this month's Beauty Heroes Beauty Discovery and I'm so grateful to have these two beauties in my beauty cupboard. As I said, this is the last call to get this box so you better hurry if you want to try Honua. You can subscribe here.

I almost forgot to mention that each box comes with this beautiful flower Plumeria. To Kapua, the flower is a symbol of beauty and peace that brings a smile to those around her. Love that. I've shared it in this picture. I think that's all I wanted to say. :)

Have a lovely week. Aloha.

Jana xx

*sample generously provided
**this post contains affiliate links

Teatox Matcha Starter Set

June 16, 2017

Hi beauties! Hope you're all doing well. We're back from our holidays in Croatia so it's time for a new blog post. I was super lazy on our vacation and for a minute there I did think I should write something like "products I took with me" post but I very quickly changed my mind and just enjoyed my time there. You can see some pictures on my Instagram from the beautiful Mali Lošinj and see how beautiful the sea is there, and there is also a short video of the holidays on my Facebook page if you want to have a look.  

 Instead of products I took with me or some other holiday inspired post I kinda feel more like talking about matcha tea today. You may be thinking what is wrong with me talking about tea in this hot weather. Well like most, if not all teas, matcha is one of those teas that can be drink as a cold drink. You may have heard of iced matcha tea lattes. I haven't tried that yet since I don't mind drinking a warm tea even in the summer, but I just wanted to mention this option. But what matcha even is and why has been getting all the rave?

Matcha is a special type of powdered green tea and has a long tradition in Japanese culture. The green tea leaves are shaded from the sun for the last few weeks of their growth, increasing the chlorophyll content and creating a gorgeous green color. Then, the leaves are carefully ground with stone grinding wheels to produce a fine powder. It is then stored away from light and oxygen in order to preserve its gorgeous green color and antioxidant properties. And the later is the main reason why I started drinking it. I've been a fan of green tea for ever and since matcha has a much bigger content of antioxidants it was an obvious next step. Not only it is an antioxidant powerhouse, one of the benefits that I notice is that it gives a boost of energy. But the effect is different than that energy boost you get with coffee. It lasts longer and there are no spikes and crashes. I read somewhere that it just comes on gently and leaves just as gently and I agree with that. Works great! Talking about matcha & coffee there is something else definitely worth mentioning. There is none of that coffee breath and supposedly it also doesn't stain your teeth. Oh yeah! The taste of both is different tho. Jaka doesn't like matcha because to him it tastes like broccoli. Haha to me it doesn't but since matcha is full of chlorophyll he might be onto something. But like I said, to me it doesn't taste bad or vegetable-like, it's like a mild green tea and I really like it.
There are some other health benefits of matcha. It boosts memory, burn calories and detoxifies the body, to name a few. Unlike other types of teas, the green tea powder is not strained out before consuming, so you are consuming the entire leaf, making Matcha more potent than other tea varieties. There is also this whole ceremony surrounding the making of matcha tea. I'm no expert but I did wanted to try the traditionally used bamboo whisked, called chasen. That was one of the main reason I picked up this Teatox Matcha Starter Set* on LoveLula. As you can see the set comes with the whisk and Japanese Organic Matcha Tea Poweder (30 g). These two provide a perfect duo for your own personal tea ceremony. I've been really enjoying them and a while back I also made a video where I shared how I mix my own matcha tea. Well technically it's matcha tea latte since I blend the green tea with mylk (oat or rice) and a teaspoon of coconut sugar. You'll see in the video. I also want to mention that I like to avoid regular teaspoons when I'm making matcha, I only use wooden utensils. I don't know if there is an actual point in doing this, some avoid them and some don't. I also don't like using stainless steel straws for my smoothies because I feel it reacts to the nutrients. Didn't google it, it's just the feeling I'm receiving. Anywho, I've been really enjoying using this Teatox Matcha Starter Set and if you're new to this whole matcha madness then I highly suggest trying it out.
You can get it here.

Have you tried Matcha? What are your thoughts about it?

Much love,

Jana xx

*sample generously provided
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