Province Apothecary

January 30, 2017

I'm very excited to introduce you to a new-to-me brand, a Canadian brand Province Apothecary. Their products are made from the highest quality certified organic, biodynamic and wildcrafted ingredients from each Canadian Province, and handblends these ingredients in small batches to create skincare that will nourish + balance your skin. Hence the name Province Apothecary. Some of founder's Julie Clark (who is a certified holistic esthetician and aromatherapist) favourite ingredients are organic seaweed from Nova Scotia, maple syrup from Quebec, organic sunflower oil from Ontario, organic beeswax from Alberta, organic lentil flour from Manitoba, and organic raspberry oil + glacial clay from British Columbia. Their ingredients are ethically and sustainably sourced and fair-trade from small farms and companies across Canada, and Julie also gives back and she donates a percentage of yearly sales to different organizations. Beautiful. I'm happy to hear the product match their philosophy.
Beard Oil* with Cedar & Black Spruce has been used by my boyfriend Jaka and it's safe to say he loves it. This product is great for all skin types so as long as you have a beard you can use it. The beard oil contains oils like Sunflower, Jojoba and Grape Seed, and Evening Primrose. These ingredients make the oil very nourishing and they make Jaka's beard shiny and soft. Jaka says that it's the best oil he tried for his beard. Many of them aren't nourishing enough and it feels like he didn't use anything. He is quite picky so this product definitely gets big thumbs up. The scent of it is also great. To me it smells mostly of Lavender, but to Jaka it smell like something else. It has that sort of a lavender scent that I love. It's a bit different than your standard lavender scent, more complex and just oh so beautiful. The product that comes to mind containing such scent is the Body Butter from Metta Skincare. But I said it smell mostly of Lavender so let's not forget about the other essential oils - Bergamot, Black Spruce, Cedar Wood and Vetiver. You know what kind of a scent it has? It's like a forest, woody lavender. I like it and my boyfriend definitely recommends it.
The other two cute little products are designed and created for oily and combination skin. First is the Clear Skin Advanced Face Serum* with Jojoba & Sea Buckthorn. This targeted face serum is specially formulated for oily, acneic and combination skin. The blend of active plant botanicals supports the skin by boosting its natural regenerating abilities, so your skin will appear more even and less irritated for lasting results. This oil surprisingly feels quite heavy but it is not pore clogging. You do only need a tiny bit, two or three drops are plenty, especially in the morning. I no longer use it daily since I've been testing out the Maya Chia The Super Couple* but at the time I did use it, my skin has been really loving it. The igredient I have to mention is the Jojoba Seed Oil infused with Calendula Flowers, Plantain Leaves, Gotu Kola, Comfrey Leaves, Green Tea Leaf and Nettle Leaf. Beautiful. Full ingredient list can be found here. Anyways, does it work and helps to clear the complexion? Yes, it does! It calms the irritation, helps to reduce hyperpigmentation (due to the Turmeric Root Oil), helps the skin to heal faster and I'd also say it prevents some new acne. Based on my experience it really is a wonderful face serum for oily and acne-prone skin. 

Clear Skin Advanced Spot Treatment* with Turmeric & Calendula. No two blemishes are the same; that’s why Province Apothecary has developed a product effectively formulated for all kinds of blemishes, especially cystic blemishes. Featuring powerful organic Turmeric, this blend of exceptional plant botanicals soothe even deep-rooted problems. One drop is all you need to dramatically minimize the appearance and lifespan of imperfections, restoring your skin’s natural glow. This is such a great spot treatment. It also contains infused Jojoba Seed Oil, Neem Seed Oil, Sea Buckthorn Oil, Vitamin E, Turmeric Root Oil and Myrrh Oil. This blend of oils has a rich yellow colour like Turmeric and it also smells like it. The oil works very well at reducing inflammation and redness. I love applying it on a spot in the evening, really massage it in and the spot is definitely less angry and big in the morning. It helps to even out the skin and I'm all about that. When my skin isn't behaving its best I also like to dilute it with some other oil serum and apply all over my face. Very impressed.

Jaka & I feel in love with Province Apothecary and now I'm very intrigued to try their other products. If you get a chance do try them out I say go for it! I think you won't be disappointed. You can get them at the Petal & Post where you can use my code "smallbitsofloveliness" for free shipping on international orders. One x use.

Have a lovely week!

With love,

Jana xx

*samples generously provided
**this post contains affiliate links

Mallow + White Soothe Cleansing Oil

January 25, 2017

Mallow + White is a British brand known for their minimalistic approach to skincare. They bring us beautifully simple skincare (6 ingredients or less) for simply beautiful skin. Each ingredient is a key ingredient that has a purpose, and will work hard to nourish, restore, revitalize and soothe your skin. No fillers, just hard workers that pack a punch. Mallow + White is a 100% natural, organic and vegan brand, handmade with love in small batches in the UK. Each bottle and jar is formulated, mixed and personally filled in the Mallow + White private workshop surrounded by trees, lavender bushes and roses. These carefully hand-blended micro batches help ensure freshness and give maximum effectiveness to the skincare you buy. 
I was intrigued by Mallow + White products for quite some time but as I already said on Instagram, it was the lovely Galina who gave me that last push. If she says their products are good, then you listen. Check out her review here. I wasn't completely sure which product to try first but since I have (too) many facials oil and masks (even though you can't have enough facial masks haha), I decided on one of their cleansing oils. I opted for the Soothe Cleansing Oil*, fragrance free for sensitive skin. This product contains 5 beautifully simple ingredients for simply beautiful skin. The first ingredient is Cucumber Seed Oil, an oil I don't see wildly used in products (at least not in mine). Cucumbers are known for their cooling effect, which is wonderful for all skin types but especially sensitive and reactive skin. There are also Rice Rice Bran, Grapeseed, Apricot Kernel and Jojoba Oil. All poured and blended into sleek, dark violet glass to block light and preserve and protect the delicate natural botanicals in the product.
This product has a lightweight consistency and a delicate, fresh scent of Cucumber Oil. I really like the scent, goes very well with the whole "sensitive nature" of the product. It's soothing and lovely. The cleanser gently yet effectively removes my makeup. I love that it melts away my Lily Lolo mascara so easily and this product is yet another example why I prefer using cleansing oils (to cleansing balms) to remove my eye makeup. The cleansing oil has to be removed with a muslin cloth or cotton flannel, and that leaves my skin soft and nourished, without any greasy after-feel. The cleansing oil doesn't clog my pores, it's not heavy, it works wonderfully at removing makeup, and is just lovely to use! I would recommend it pretty much to everyone, also to those of you who are interested into trying out oil cleansing. I think it would be a great choice! Get it at Love Lula.

Much love,

Jana xx

*sample generously provided

UMA All-Natural 7-Day Challenge

January 22, 2017

Remember my UMA Intensely Nourishing Hair Oil review? The product is without a doubt my favourite hair oil ever! This oil is really magical and makes my hair extremely soft and smooth. After trying out some more UMA products I fell in love with the brand even more. Today I'm so excited to bring you all about their All-Natural 7-Day Challenge which starts tomorrow.
UMA is a very unique brand based on Ayurvedic practices. For the founder Shrankhla Holocek, beauty is rooted in the time-honored traditions of her family farm. Named after Shrankhla's aunt who exemplified simplicity and integrity, UMA oils are 100% organically cultivated, extracted, distilled and bottled on her family's 100-acre estate. Everything is grown and made there, on their farm. Wow! There is a whole lot of things you can learn if you check out their story or if you read Shrankhla's interview on the Beauty Heroes website (click here). What I find very interesting is that she actually doesn't formulate any UMA products - she actually isn't allowed to interfere with the creative process. Traditional and respect mandated that she defers to their most senior family formulator. But that doesn't mean she is only the face of the brand, she started very young in her study of Ayurvedic formulations and she sure knows what she is talking about. But like I said, more in the interview. It's such a nice read.

Now about the challenge. I've already shared a photo announcing it on my Instagram. If you read the caption you will see that this challenge started with sharing the announcement photo on the 16th of January but after talking to Amanda from UMA all is not lost. Yay! The UMA All-Natural 7-Day Challenge is a pretty simple challenge with which UMA tries to promote pure and natural lifestyle. The challenge also encourages consciously questioning what we’re putting in and on our bodies and you know I'm all about that. I was more than thrilled to join the challenge so I'm giving a little shout out so you can join too. Not only you will learn and hopefully try some steps to live more naturally but everyone that participates and follows the rules will receive UMA Detox Bundle valued at $100!! How amazing is that?! So what's the catch? Nothing much but you have to share 7 photos in 7 days on your Instagram account (which has to be public). This challenge is open to everyone around the world and starts on the 23rd of January and ends on the 29th. So to be perfectly clear, Day 1 of the challenge starts on the 23rd and you must post/regram the firs photo on that day. On the Day 2 (24th January) you have to post the second photo and so on, until you post all 7 photos. If you regram the first three photos on the Day 3 for example, you won't be eligable to receive the UMA Detox Bundle. You must participate from the beginning and post daily. I hope you understand, let me know if you have any questions. You can either regram UMA's photos which they will share daily on their Instagram or you can make your own. They have to match the challenge for the day and they have to have at least one UMA product in it. I wanted to write this post before the challenge so you can prepare yourself. You'll need a few things to try the steps at home, I'm sure you already have at least one if not all. Now let's go through the days.
Day 1 (1/23) is about oil pulling first thing in the morning (I don't always have time in the morning so I sometimes do it in the evenings, then I wash my teeth and go to bed). For this you will need extra virgin and organic Coconut Oil, which is my oil of choice but some also swear by Sesame Oil. Oil pulling promotes oral health, gets rid of nasty bacteria that accumulates in your mouth when  you're sleeping, plus it whitens  your teeth. I wish I would do it more regularly, but a few times a week is better than nothing. You can read about oil pulling and my experience in this blog post.

Day 2 (1/24) - trade your daily cup of coffee for a metabolism-boosting, antioxidant-filled cup of herbal tea. Does this mean I can drink a cup of green tea since it's loaded with antioxidants? Probably not because this day is all about saying goodbye to caffeine. I'm sure I'll manage with a lovely cup of rooibos or lemon balm tea.

Day 3 (1/25) - only eat non-processed food all day. I will start my day with a smoothie and go from there. Here is one smoothie and here one juice recipe.

Day 4 (1/26) - use only beauty products with ingredients you can pronounce. You can start with a simple Coconut Oil. You can use it all over your body as a body oil, apply a few drops on your hair, on your cuticles, and so on.

Day 5 (1/27) -​ detox your body with warm lemon water in the morning to improve digestion, support liver detoxification, and reduce bloating. Have a spoonful of flaxseeds before bed to flush out toxins and get a boost of omega-3 fatty acids. You can also add some Turmeric and Black Pepper to your lemon water in the morning for its anti-inflammatory benefits. Plus some Ginger to make it even more delicious.

Day 6 (1/28) - pre-shower, stimulate your lymphatic system and boost circulation with dry brushing. Dedicate 3-5 minutes to massage the body with firm, small strokes in a circular motion towards the heart, starting from the feet and working your way up to the neck and face. Dry body brushing is so amazing! Not only you will help your body to flush out toxins but your skin will also become very soft, smooth and your skin will become really hydrated and you won't suffer from dry, even itchy skin. Here is my take on the dry body brushing.

Day 7 (1/29) - ​meditate for 5 minutes with the help of an essential oil. Sandalwood, Frankincense, and Bergamot are especially soothing. Any of UMA Wellness Oils will do the trick! Essential oils will help you reach a meditative state and promote focus, clarity, and relaxation. Not quite ready for meditation? Just try switching out your perfume for an essential oil with luscious scent notes to reap the benefits all-day long. My favourite way of meditating is through guided meditation I find on YouTube.

These are the 7 steps to help you live more naturally. I think they are pretty simple and straightforward. If you do them and share on your Instagram account, following the challenge terms, you will receive an UMA Detox Bundle valued at $100. Open internationally to public accounts only.

Here are all the rules again:
2. Sign-up for UMA email newsletter for challenge updates (the bottom right of their page).
3. Regram UMA’s daily challenge photo for all 7 days (each day one photo!) with a blurb about how you participated in each day’s challenge, including the hashtag #UMAallnatural. You must do this daily! Regraming three photos a day won't work, you have to join from the beginning and post on time.

Prize
Everyone that participates in all 7 days of the challenge, following the challenge terms, will receive an UMA Detox Bundle valued at $100.

If you need any more info you can read it here. If you decided to join, which I think it's a wonderful idea, I wish you the best of luck.

Have a great start of the week!

With love,

Jana xx

**this post contains affiliate links

Beauty Brews Poise Strawberry & Ginger Tea

January 20, 2017

I've been fortunate enough to receive some recent Love Lula Beauty Boxes. If you don't know already, beauty boxes really excite me, especially if I don't know what's hidden inside them. Each Love Lula box comes with a selection of products usually five and you get full size products and travel sizes/samples. Obviously some are better than other (I for example don't really care for Madara products because of the alcohol) but today I wanted to talk about a different beauty product, an internal one.
I haven't talked about my love for tea in a while so instead of a beauty product review I wanted to share the most exciting product in the December's Love Lula box, the Beauty Brews Poise Strawberry & Ginger Organic Tea*. Beauty Brews is dedicated to sourcing the finest organic teas that combine tried and tested ingredients into delicious blends, each with a specific flavour combination to help you enjoy moments of harmony, peace and beauty that help bring mind, body and soul into natural balance.

As a tea-obsessed person and someone who has too many teas at home, I have to say that this is one very delicious blend of herbs and flowers. It's a Rooibos based tea and I love me some rooibos. Quick google search shows many amazing benefits of drinking rooibos which is also known as The Red Bush and is very unlike traditional tea plants. It grows in South Africa and has needle-like leaves similar to pine tree. Although the majority of rooibos tea has deep red colour, the bush isn't actually red. Its leaves are green and through the natural fermentation they become red. Roobios tea is actually a herbal tea because it's caffeine-free, so a great tea for evening time too. The tea is rich in antioxidants, it's consider a good source of minerals like Calcium, Iron, Potassium, Copper, Zinc, and Magnesium. They work together for better absorption - magnesium balances and helps the absorption of calcium, copper balances and helps absorption of zinc. Not only good for the body but also for the skin. Always a plus.
So now that you know a little bit about the magnificent rooibos let me also mention some other ingredients in the tea. There is Ginger, Apple bits, Cinnamon, Raspberry leaves and Strawberry bits, to name a few. It smells Ah-mazing and tastes delicious! All ingredients are from organic sources with the exception of "Natural Flavouring". I don't know what kind of flavouring that is (unfortunately) but the tea has a berry flavour. It's a very yummy tea and I love drinking it. Here is their selection of teas they have, I really wouldn't mind having one or five more. 

Any other tea lovers out there?

Have a great end of the week!

Much love,

Jana xx

*sample generously provided

Rachel's Plan Bee-ts of Loveliness

January 16, 2017

The other day I noticed something interesting in my bathroom. In plain sight there were three different Rachel's Plan Bee products. One was next to the bathtub, one on the sink and the third on the shelf. Say whaat? I was like wow, that's clearly a sign that I have to write a post about my favourite products created and handmade by the beautiful Rachel. I have so much love for her and her products and I'm very excited to share with you some of my fave body products.
I no longer remember when was the first time I saw Rachel's Plan Bee products, or on which blog I saw them, but I do remember reading rave reviews about her body scrubs. I was never that into body scrubs since I used to regularly dry brush my skin so I didn't need any body scrubs. If I'm completely honest I also didn't think a body scrub can be that good so I just made it at home when I wanted it (sugar + coconut oil). Boy was I wrong. After one of the most successful collaboration between a brand and a green beauty blogger, of course I'm talking about the Jasmine Body Oil created with Kimberly Loc, I was lucky enough to also receive a matching body scrub. It was a limited edition scrub but I hope that will change. After trying out the scrub I immediately fall in love. The hype was real and I couldn't have been more pleased with it. I was sad when I finished it but then I had an excuse to buy a new one. I picked two actually. This one right here is the Body Polish Original. The product has a sweet and candy-like scent. It's not too sweet or sickly but just beautiful. It smells of Vanilla and Sweet Orange and I find it very lovely. This is a sugar based scrub but it doesn't contain only sugar and essential oils. It also has Shea Butter, Moroccan Lava Clay, Apricot Kernel Oil, and more. The scrub has a gorgeous mousselike consistency and I love that it doesn't crumble all that much so the majority of it ends up on my body and not on the bottom of the shower (which can happen with many scrubs). It's also not too harsh but just right. Makes my skin soft, smooth and moisturized. A very beautiful scrub indeed. Very!
Body Butter Vanilla & Spice is somewhat of a limited edition, since it's only available during the colder months. Rachel uses some of her favourite ingredients in this body butter, such as Shea Butter, Apricot Kernel and Grapeseed Oil, Beeswax, Vanilla and Sweet Orange Oil. It also contains Sunflower Seed Oil with Natural and Organic Flavorings. I asked Rachel about it and was very happy with her answer. First of all let me tell you that she responded immediately and didn't have nothing to hide. She was very nice about it and honest, which doesn't happen every time when you ask a brand founder about their ingredients. Rachel said that they use a reputable supplier with organic certification that uses various isolates of essential oils and other extracts of plant material that produces an oil that is a natural fragrance. She did lots of research into this and she is careful to only use suppliers with high standard. All the natural fragrance oils they use are vegan, GMO-free, gluten-free and Kosher. They containt absolutely no artificial flavorings and colouring. If you want to learn more about the ingredients Rachel uses you can check them out here.

 As much as I love the Jasmine and the Original scent, I'm sad to say that I'm not that impressed with the Vanilla & Spice. I don't hate it but it's just not my favourite. I already mention that it kinda smells like buckwheat. Rachel said that in an ideal world they would use Cinnamon and Clove essential oils for this scent but they don't because they can irritate the skin. I agree and respect that. Fortunately it turns into a much nicer scent once it's on the skin for a while. This is one very nourishing butter than turns into an oil when it comes in contact with the skin. When I apply it in the evening my skin is still nourished and soft in the morning. It is the perfect remedy for dry skin and I have to say I'm really loving it. Really!
Last but not least is THE Jasmine Body Oil*. Do I really need to say anything more about this oil? Does heaven in a bottle or paradise for your skin sound like something you want to order right now?! Well I do hope so because it really is so amazing! Do read my review if you need more information, or you could just trust me and buy a bottle of it. You won't regret it! It smells Amazing and it really is one of my favourite scents. It lingers on my skin all day, it keeps it soft and hydrated. LOVE.

To sum up, I love all three products and I highly recommend them. Love, love, love. If you want silky soft, smooth and moisturized skin then look no further! You can get them directly from Rachel's Plan Bee, or in The Green Jungle Beauty Shop (use code "Jana" and get 10% off), or if you live in Europe you can get them at So Natural Beauty.

Have a wonderful week!

Much love,

Jana xx

*sample generously provided

Boxwalla x Siam Seas

January 11, 2017

If you don't know already I usually take a few weeks, sometimes months, to properly test out new products. Especially face products! That's why I'm coming at you today with a brand that was featured in an October Beauty Box*. And not just any brand, and certainly not just any box! Today is reserved for the bimonthly beauty box Boxwalla and an amazing brand Siam Seas.
 Boxwalla is a small family owned business (I've talked with Lavanya, one of the co-founders, and she is such a sweetheart!). They strive to brings us not only gorgeous beauty products but also other things that can fulfill our lives. They offer four different boxes - Beauty, Food, Book and Film Boxes. Yes to all of them! I love that they have options so pretty much everyone can get a box that sounds most appealing to them. I don't discriminate and I would be extremely happy with each of them but honestly I'm most interested in their Beauty Boxes. You can read a little bit about each box here, let me just quickly fill you in on the beauty boxes - each month they focus on an aspect of the beauty ritual and over the course of a year, we can expect to have experienced and acquired products that together will provide us with a comprehensive arsenal for your beauty need. Beauty products in their boxes are free of cruelty (no carmine, no silk, no animal testing), Parabens, Sulphates, Phthalates, and more. Complete list here.

What does the word Boxwalla actually mean? In India it means 'Box-seller', 'box person' or 'traveling merchant'. 'Walla Walla' is the Native American name for a 'place of many waters'. They think of themselves as traveling merchants, getting drunk on things of 'many waters' and sharing those things with us. Each box containing Boxwalla goodies is carefully crafted from tree-free handmade paper. A small company in India makes the paper for them, from cotton scraps, using the traditional art of paper-making that involves 9 steps and takes several weeks. The whole process is completely child labor free and employs 63 local villagers and 20 skilled artisans whose families have been making paper for generations. Yas!
As you can see Boxwalla sure is an amazing company, their ethos and philosophy is wonderful. What about the products featured in their bimonthly beauty boxes? Well from my own experience I can say that the October Beauty Box was a complete win. Wow! Here comes Siam Seas, a brand founded by the beautiful Supadra Geronimo, who started having problems with her skin when she moved from Thailand to the United States. Her soothing rituals learned from her mother and grandmother were edged out by a busier life and career. As a result, her skin became very sensitive, problematic and acne-prone. After trying out loads of products she found her inspiration at her honeymoon to Kauai in 2009. That reignited her passion for mixing her own skincare formulas using unique, potent ingredients sent from family in Thailand—ingredients not available anywhere else. And she saw immediate improvement in both her skin and her confidence, and that’s when Siam Seas was born. You can learn more about the brand on their website and I also recommend reading two interviews with Supadra. First is on the Boxwalla site and the other on The Periodot Mag, where you can also find out what the name Siam Seas actually means.

Siam Seas uses carefully selected natural and organic Southeast Asian herbs in their formulas. They use only the highest quality ingredients, never compromising on purity to cut corners. All of their ingredients are either harvested from their own pesticide-free garden, wildcrafted or locally sourced. Free of toxins, allergens, phthalates, parabens, sulfates, PEGs, TEA and DEA. And they never, ever test on animals. Products are freshly made by hand in Thailand. Now let's finally move on to the most exciting part, to the products and my experiences.
First is the Mekha Herbal Active Cleanser. It is said that the cleanser creates a reset button for your skin by fusing with excessive sebum, drawing deep seated impurities while the queen bee’s royal jelly provides deep enzymatic cleansing to protect your skin against bacteria. This cleanser is really unique. I didn't check the ingredients before trying it out and I was just assuming it's a cleansing balm. At first it was. A lovely, yellowish-green cleansing balm. But after I dug deep into the jar I discovered a whole new world. It's not only a cleansing balm but also an exfoliator. And a mask! As you can see the colour of the product isn't the same as I described it earlier, and when I first saw this dark shade I was very surprised. For a minute there I thought it went bad! Luckily it didn't. This change happened due to the ingredients. It doesn't only contain butters and oils, like Mango and Capacu Butter, and Avocado and Olive Oil, but also some potent and active herbs. One of those is Thanaka, which comes from the thanaka tree and is used by Burmese women for its effective skin properties (tightens pores, clarifies skin, removes blackheads). I first heard of this ingredient because of Lina Hanson, which is another beautiful brand, featured in Boxwalla 'Let It Glow' Holiday Beauty Box. The cleanser also contains my beloved Turmeric and the so called White Turmeric (Curcuma Zedoaria). Can't forget about the Raw Honey infused with Royal Jelly, Propolis and Pollen. It has a gorgeous ingredient list and you can check it out here. The cleanser has an invigorating scent, a citrus based scent - there is Lemongrass, Sweet Orange, Grapefruit and Lemon, plus some other non-citrus oils.

The dried and crushed herbs in this product make the cleanser a wonderful exfoliatior and a mask. Because it's not that oily, as is your typical cleansing balm, I can't use it for removing my makeup. Especially not my eye makeup. I like how it performs as a gentle exfoliator and especially as a facial mask. It doesn't dry out my skin but keeps it hydrated. Since it contains Turmeric it turns yellow on the skin but it doesn't stain my skin. Because of the oils and butters you can't wash it off only with water but a warm cloth or flannel does the trick. After use the skin is soft, smooth and brighterA lovely second cleanser and even a better mask/exfoliator.  
Next is SEAS Elements Beauty Balm, one of the most gorgeous balms out there! I'm really struggling to accurately describe its scent, I simply can't pinpoint the flower I smell, but I can say that it really soothes me. It's not your standard soothing kinda scent, but there is just something in there that calms me. It's quite strong and sweet, a really lovely scent. If I take a closer look into the ingredient list then I know immediately why I love it. It contains the likes of Jasmine, Rose, Neroli, Frankincense, Myrrh, Lavender, all the oils I adore. These and some other essential oils create this unique scent. These oils also target dull, brittle and dehydrated skin. Oh it says on their site that the "sweet scent of jasmine flower envelopes your skin with healing passion", but you can smell much more than "just" jasmine. This green, forest-like balm luxuriously melts with the touch of your fingertips to a flawless fluid that is readily absorbed within the skin.  

This balm is everything! It makes my skin extra soft, it doesn't clog my pores, it brightens my skin and works amazing in this cold winter weather. It really protects the skin from dry and cold air. It's very nourishing and hydrating. I only have good things to say about it. It's said to provide relief for stressed acne prone inflamed skin while replenishing hydration, reactivating skin elasticity, boosting collagen synthesis and regenerating skin cells to create a natural glow. The balm is thoughtfully and carefully formulated with reactive, easily congested skin in mind and is made to heal your skin while allowing it to glow beautifully and healthily without clogging your pores. Yes to all of that! The balm really works and I'm so grateful to have it in my life. Do I even need to go into the ingredients? The list is very impressive and filled with ingredients I've never heard of like Kokum and Mowrah Butters, Ya Nang Herb and Laurel Clock Vine. Interesting! There are also Hemp Seed and Argan Oil, and Tamanu, which is yet another gorgeous ingredient. LOVE.

Last but most certainly not least is the Twilight BeCalm Skin Serum. I said that the Elements Beauty Balm is one of the most gorgeous balms out there, and I can easily say the same for this serum. It's mind blowing. You know I haven't had such quick and amazing results with a skincare product in a while and here I am reviewing not only one absolutely amazing and life skin changing product, but two! It's magic and that can be the only explanation. Where to start? This serum is formulated to heal skin, sooth inflammation and boost cell-regeneration. And it does all that and more. 24 precious active organic, wildcrafted and non-GMO ingredients hand blended to provide a powerful synergistic bioactive liquid gold that will help your skin repair and regenerate cells under the twilight glow. I know how to describe it now, as liquid gold! You know as soon as I hear a founder of a brand suffered from acne and congested skin then my radar goes off the chart. I myself have combination and acne-prone skin (and somewhat sensitive), so I'm always curious in gentle yet effective skincare products directed to treating such problems. I'm sure I also experienced such aah-mazing results also because of my skin type. The Twilight BeCalm Skin Serum is actually cautiously formulated to yield compelling results for those with reactive and acne prone skin through its use of organic, wildcrafted botanicals and non-comedogenic oils at the maximum ratio that won’t clog pores. Music to my ears.
Check out the consistency of this serum. Looks different, and unique. I've never had a serum like this, a serum that visibly consists of gorgeous oils and Aloe Vera Gel. Pulverized aloe vera inner fillet (hand-fillet) is one of the star ingredients in the serum and is one of the best skin soothing ingredients available. Historically used to treat burns, it has the ability to penetrate deeply within the skin to release heat. Two other "stars" are Sappan Wood, which promotes blood circulation, powerful antibacterial, inhibits melanin synthesis which lessens the darkening of scars, heals cuts and damaged skin (acne), Clinacanthus Nutans a very strong anti-toxin and anti- inflammatory. Such a powerful herb that In Thailand the main use of this plant is to treat snakebites and extreme rashes like herpes as it neutralizes toxins from wounds. Say whaaat? I also have to mention Black Cumin Seed Oil which I already love ever since I've tried the Tomato & Black Cumin by Gaia Creams, Pracaxi, Babassu and Tamanu Oil. The scent is so lovely too - hello Ylang Ylang, my love. There are also Lavender, Neroli, Rose, and more.

This serum is recommended to be used only at nights, since it gives the skin a yellow tint (which doesn't stain the skin!). Because of the consistency you have to shake it before use and then apply a few drops on top of the Elements balm. When Nic first told me this I found it a bit because I always apply a serum first and then a balm. But who am I to doubt Nic and the Siam Seas founder?? The first time I used it everything fall into place and I immediately noticed this one isn't just any random serum. Now I can't imagine using it any different way. The serum is very hydrating, brightening, soothing, cell-regenerating, and just oh so beautiful. It's a very effective anti-inflammatory potion and I love it deeply. I'm already dreading the day when I'll use it up, especially since I already spilled some of it on my floor! That was a very sad day! Luckily I saved it quickly so there is still a lot of it left.
I can honestly say that Siam Seam products changed my skin. They heal my skin really fast and the hyperpigmentation spots disappear super quickly. I couldn't believe the effect they had and are still having on my skin. Obviously I still get a spot here and there especially at that time of month (or I myself manage to create red marks on my skin any time of the month), but that's not everything I notice in my skin. And you shouldn't either. But if you do, then do try these products. I strongly believe they will change your skin for the better. 

Unfortunately this amazing box is no longer available, but you can get one of their new Boxwalla boxes. You can get a one-time box or you can get a subscription. They ship worldwide, expect the Food box, but they are figuring out the logistics. As for the Siam Seas goes, you can get their products directly from their shop, or from The Green Jungle Beauty Shop (use my code "Jana" to get 10% off), if you're from Europe you can also order from the Divine Green Beauty shop.

Much love,

Jana xx

*sample generously provided

Lyonsleaf Beauty Balm

January 08, 2017

Say hello to Lyonsleaf, a brand made on a small farm in Somerset, England. All Lyonsleaf skincare is 100% natural, 100% water-free, using 100% active ingredients to produce incredibly effective products that are safe, gentle and affordable. They use home-grown ingredients where possible, to ensure the harvest is the best quality and that nothing has been sprayed or grown with chemicals. Yas! Before diving into the review, do check out their logo, I think it's so cute! And smart, since you can see two pictures. If you look quickly there is "only" a lion's head but at a close inspection you'll notice its mane is more than just that. There are flowers, plants, birds, some gardening tools, all that is hiding it the lion's mane. Super cute.
The Beauty Balm is a cleansing balm made wih 95% organic/wild harvested ingredients. Some of those are Babassu Oil, Shea Butter, Macadamia, Jojoba and Almond Oils. The balm has the loveliest texture. It’s super creamy and soft, much softer than some other balms. I sometimes notice parts of Shea Butter in my balms, they become grainy. You know those small white particles which I heard can be caused by melting the shea butter on a too high temperature. Well this one isn't like that. It melts beautifully on my skin, and also very evenly, which again is because of the smooth texture. The consistency really is wonderful. The balm works great at removing my face makeup, no problems there, but I do need to take some more time to remove my eye makeup. I don't mind taking that half a minute more as long as I can gently remove my mascara. The deal with cleansing balms and oils is that you have to wash them off with a help of a cloth. Luckily I got this balm in one of their gift sets, in the Lyonsleaf Hot Cloth Cleansing Gift Set, which comes with 2 muslin face cloths and a white cotton wash flannel. You can see how it looks in this photo. As a fan of cotton flannels I do prefer it over the two muslin cloths, but all three are nice. I actually enjoy using muslin cloths but the ones I have are too small, and the cotton cloths also stay warmer for longer.
So not only that the balm + a cloth removes all my makeup and dirt from the day, but it also has a nice scent. There is a few essential oils in this products, to me it smells mostly of Sage but the mix of Palmarosa and Patchouli makes it a bit more special. I find the scent to be comforting and soothing, perfect for evening. I'm in love with this balm and I recommend it to everyone. Well maybe not to those who use waterproof mascara, because I don't use such mascara so I can't say how well the balm removes it. But other than that I think you'll like it. It gently cleanses the face, doesn't irritate my skin, it doesn't dry out my skin but leaves it moisturized (without any greasy residue), soft and smooth. It's a beautiful product and I think all skin types can use it, from dry to oily skin. Did I mention it doesn't contain any animal ingredients and is therefore also vegan? You can get this beautiful set, or just the balm (which is a bit bigger), on Love Lula for less than £10.

Wishing you a lovely Sunday!

Much love,

Jana xx

*sample generously provided

Beauty Heroes x Maya Chia

January 05, 2017

I’m always so freakin excited about a brand new Beauty Heroes beauty discovery, but I don’t think I was ever this thrilled. Not only that the brand featured this month is one I’ve been eyeing for ages, but Beauty Heroes also did one exciting change. I’m sure you all know that each box came with one of those cute little hero masks, right? Well I absolutely love them, everything cute rocks my socks (if you ever read libra’s description then you know we love pretty and beautiful things). The Beauty Heroes founder, Jeannie Jarnot, decided it was time for a change and I highly respect and support her decision. She always strive to offer us the most sustainable boxes she can (their printed materials are on 100% recycled paper stock, the highest standard of sustainable printed-paper) and she did struggle with the sustainability of those masks. That’s the reason we will now each month get a beautiful card with an inspirational quote on one side and a photo, a #herogram of products on the other side. It’s actually called a #Herogram card. I think that’s a wonderful idea, truly!<3
The January Beauty Heroes box* features a brand called Maya Chia. The brand was founded by Susanne Norwitz who has been passionate about beauty, ritual and Mayan culture, from as early as she can remember. Her father often travelled to Guatemala and after discovering that the country’s native Chia Seed Oil was the most omega and nutritionally dense oil in nature, Susanne passions converged and Maya Chia was born. Susanne then discovered that chia seed oil had been clinically proven to increase skin hydration, improve skin barrier function and reduce transepidermal water loss. The chia seed oil used in these products is extracted with a supercritical extraction method that uses no chemicals or solvents and keeps the integrity of the oils as close to its original plant-based form. Plus the oil is sourced from sustainable cooperatives in Central and South AmericaSusanne also gives back to organizations that build farms and schools in Mayan communities.

The Hero of January Beauty Heroes box is The Super Couple by Maya Chia. You’ve already read a lot about the Chia Seed Oil used in this product, but what is the other ingredient that makes it the super couple? It’s the Astaxanthin from microalgae that containes over 65 times the antioxidant levels of Vitamin C. I haven’t tried the oil yet, because I’m just testing out Fern and Moss Face Serum by Earthwise Beauty, so it will have to wait for a few weeks. I have high expectations of it, since I love the sounds of it plus I also love Gaia Creams Chia & Peach Kernal Serum. My skin really agreed with the chia seed oil in that product, so I think it will be the same with this one. I'm really excited to try it out! It also contains some other wonderful ingredients, like Jasmine, Rose, Lavender, Frankincense, so I’m pretty sure it smells nice. At least it sounds like it. Oh and other ingredients like Roman and German Chamomile, and Carrot Seed Oil also deeply penetrate the skin to treat hyprepigmentation, inflammation and improve skin health and vitality. Lovely! Will update you how my skin likes it when I try and use it for a couple of weeks.
The Sidekick is the Maya Chia Limited Edition Waterless Wonderbalm. This is an all-purpose balm based on Shea Butter, Chia Seed Oil, Beeswax and some oils. It’s an exclusive-to-Beauty Heroes special edition and is lightly scented with calming and grounding Lavender, Vetiver, Patchouli, Rose Geranium, Cardamom and Roman Chamomile. Sounds really good, and has a lovely texture. I only used it a couple of times, on my cuticles and hands, and on my face as well, when I went for a hike. It wasn’t that cold or windy, but it performed very well - I didn’t get any red patches like I sometimes do. The balm is yummy and my first impression is great.

As always, you can get this box when you subscribe to Beauty Heroes. The January box is valued at almost $100 but you can get it for way, way less. If you think that you get three monthly boxes for $115, then you know it's a great deal! Want to learn more about Beauty Heroes? Then you can check out my introduction to Beauty Heroes post. I always forget to share the Love More promotions so here it is - when you spend $125 in The Beauty Store you will receive a 2 oz LILFOX Mystic Awakening (no code needed).

Much love,

Jana xx

*sample generously provided
**this post contains affiliate links

Prim Botanicals The Body Oil

January 02, 2017

Happy New Year my beautiful readers! Hope you had a wonderful New Years Eve and the first day of 2017. I wish you all the best in the New Year, lots of love, happiness and everything you wish for. I don't have any special post for you today in terms of my fave beauty product of 2016 (I wish I had!), but I do have a pretty special product to show you. Now tell me do you miss the smell of flowers in winter time? I sure do so I'm very thankful for my floral scented products. Lately I've been reaching out for my newest body oil, the Prim Botanicals The Body Oil*. Prim Botanicals is an all-natural beauty brand raised in the Philippines and currently based in New York. They source as many plush tropical ingredients as possible and work with their in-house esthetician to formulate products that work- and work right away. They craft everything in small batches and they are also suckers for pretty packaging. As am I! I adore their packaging and design, so beautiful.
As they say, The Body Oil is everything. Ultra-luxe, silky, hydrating, toning, nutrient-dense, and loaded with lush Amazonian oils like Andiroba and Pracaxi that work wonders on stretch marks and eczema, all while helping create beautifully smooth, firm skin. I've already mentioned these two exotic ingredients (some of Earthwise Beauty products contain them - in Europe sold at the Eminessences Beauty Shop), but there's not only that. Three beautiful oils that the product also contains are more known and recognized - Hazelnut, Camellia and Sweet Almond Oil. All well and good, but the blend that really makes this oil so special is their special blend of essential oils like Jasmine, Wild Rose, Bergamot and Black Pepper. The blend will whisk you away and leave you wanting more. Ooh la la. And it will do that and more. How does this product really smell like? My friend said it well, it's like you would fall into a jasmine bush. Yes, it smells heavenly of jasmine and I absolutely adore it. The scent is like a true jasmine, and it's different than it's the Rachel's Plan Bee Jasmine Oil, which I also love deeply. I love the scent of both, but I would say that I wouldn't recommend Prim's oil to someone who doesn't like jasmine. On the other hand, I would definitely recommend Rachel's oil to everyone. They are different, but both gorgeous.
The Body Oil is moisturizing, but if you have extra dry skin then I think this wouldn't be enough for you. But saying this, the oil makes my skin very soft and lush. Not to mention the beautiful scent that lingers on for a few hours. Not all day long, but long enough to make me happy. It's a lovely oil and I love using it. You can get it at the Eminessences Beauty Shop, an European shop where you can also find Earthwise Beauty! (you know how I feel about the brand<3), Captain Blankship, FitGlow Beauty and more.

Much love to you all,

Jana xx

*sample generously provided
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