The Number One Reason To Choose Sunscreens with Non-Nano Zinc Oxide

May 29, 2017

I think it's about time that we speak about sunscreens again. It seems that everyone is talking about them, not only bloggers and magazines but also people in general. We all want to find something good for the skin, something that gives us a good UV protection and that it's not too heavy and pore clogging. I'm lucky enough that I found some great products that do all that and more. I will mention them down bellow but first should we speak about that number one reason?
Non-nano Zinc Oxide is coral reef safe and it's not toxic to marine life. And that is the number one reason why you should be a more conscious consumer and spend your money wisely. Zinc oxide is a physical UV filter, the same as Titanium Dioxide but the later doesn't provide as good of a UVA and UVB protection as Zinc Oxide, and is also more prone to cause acne. Zinc Oxide on the other hand can actually help with treating and healing acne. But not all physical filters are created equally, so make sure that you choose ones with non-nano particles that don't penetrate into your body. But know onto the biggest problem, is your sunscreen safe for the planet?

If you're using sunscreen that contains chemical filters like Oxybenzone, Octinoxate, Octocrylene, Homosalate and more, then I'm sorry to say this but yes, you are causing damage to marine life. And don't think you can get away with it in your everyday life. Each night when you wash off your sunscreen from your face, it goes down the drain and the pollution already begins. I don't know how to write this post not sounding too high and mighty, and a know it all, but these are facts and there is nothing you can do about it. Well you can and I urge you to change your sunscreen and then you won't feel like I'm attacking you. I know that some people respond to images better than words so why not google something like "sunscreen coral damage"? In posts like this I always feel like I have to defend myself saying things like "I'm not perfect" and things like that, but the truth is that I'm trying and that is often times more than lots of people are doing. I only want to bring this to your attention and make you think. We are already doing so much shit to our oceans and planet in general as it is (plastic pollution!!) and sunscreens with chemical filters are only adding more stress and damage to marine life.
(I found these pictures online: photo 1, photo 2 & 3, picture 4.)

As someone who uses sunscreen on a daily, at least at this time of the year, this issue is very worrying and the whole "ignorance is bliss" thing really bothers me. I completely get that not everyone is interested in these things and unfortunately media isn't really talking about this. But when you do learn things like this then I think you really should make a change. Why bother supporting brands that aren't doing anything good for the environment? And that aren't even good for you? Chemical filters are in fact worse not only for the planet but they actually don't offer as good of a UV protection as non-nano Zinc Oxide. They are photounstable, which means they are less effective and therefore useless because they can leave your skin at risk from sunburn but also from longer term skin damage like photoaging. Not to mention the whole other nasty things that are associated with chemical filters, like for example being hormone disruptors. As you can see there are many reasons why it is best to choose non-nano Zinc Oxide based sunscreens.
One thing I have to also mention is that of course not every non-nano Zinc Oxide sunscreen is good. They are great for the planet but they may still contain some ingredients that you may be better off. I think everyone should do their own research but often times less ingredients is better. I love that in this day and age there are many sunscreens that aren't as heavy and rich as they were and don't leave any white residue on the skin. I don't have many options but for my face I utterly adore Kari Gran Three Sixty Five SPF 28**(review here). It is just amazing! No white residue, it's not heavy, doesn't break me out or dry out my skin, and also contains a gorgeous array of ingredients. LOVE. Next one is from Earthwise Beauty Farizad's Veil SPF 30+ Powder* (review here). I love this one because you can customize it to your skin. Since it is a powder you can mix it with your favourite oil or moisturizer and make your own concoction. This one can be a bit drying if I use too much, which I actually just found out a few days ago.

One of the sunscreens that also sound good and is more affordable is Badger Rose Face Sunscreen SPF 25, but I haven't tried it. I did use some other Badger sunscreens and yes, they are a bit rich and heavier but their ingredients are great and for that one week of summer holidays I think it's manageable. The one I mentioned is supposedly lightweight so maybe try that. BUT I will say that one year I wasn't that impressed with one of the Badger sunscreens. First year was good and then the next year is wasn't. They recommended to gently but thoroughly squeeze the bottle to mix all ingredients together and that shoud do the trick. For my holidays this year I will be using Raw Elements Eco Formula SPF 30 in a plastic free tin! Unfortunately they don't ship to Europe but I was lucky enough to buy it from Andrea via her Marketplace. I also suggest checking out Josh Rosebrook, 100% Pure, Pratima, Soleo Organics (this brand is like Badger also available in Slovenia) and Suntegrity is another brand that many green beauty bloggers have tried it. There are more but these are the ones that I can think of at this moment. Search for nano-nano Zinc Oxide based sunscreens that don't contain any chemical filters. One other thing I also have to mention is makeup. I'm happy to report that Lily Lolo, Inika and Alima Pure are using non-nano Zinc Oxide

If you want to learn more about Zinc Oxide then check out the post What's up with Zinc Oxide?. I don't know everything about this mineral but the safest option for our planet and ourselves in sunscreens today is definitely non-nano Zinc Oxide. You can also check out the Three Beautiful Non-Nano Zinc Oxide Sunscreens post from last year.

There is so much more to say about this topic but I will leave it at that. You can get some good sunscreens in some health stores but when it comes to these products it looks like online shopping is the way to go.  

Hope you're well and have a happy Monday!

Love,

Jana xx

*sample generously provided
**affiliate link

PS. You can now find me on Facebook! I finally made an account. :)

Earthwise Beauty Ruby Facial Oil

May 24, 2017

There has been some time since I've talked about Earthwise Beauty and Ava's blends. But there has been a product I've used lately that stood out to me and is actually my favourite facial oil I've had a pleasure to try from Earthwise Beauty. Ruby Facial Oil* has been my everyday oil for the last couple of weeks and I have to say I'm impressed. It is the perfect oil for warmer and sunny months and you'll see why in a minute.
 Ruby Facial Oil was launched only a couple of months ago, in March 2017. Their main goal for this oil was to offer a face oil that would work perfectly with their sunscreen, the Farizad's Veil SPF 30+ Powder (I wrote about it here & here). I was fortunate enough to get this ruby baby just a day or two before it was launched and I was honestly like "oooh check out those ingredients *insert heart eyed emoji*". The base is Organic Guava Seed Oil from India and it is said that it helps to maintain skin elasticity to prevent signs of premature aging and wrinkles. Guava Seed oil is non-comedogenic and helpful with acne. It is also said to reduce pore size, tone and tighten skin. Not sure if the use of Ruby reduced the size of my pores but I really haven't experienced any problems with spots and my skin has been looking very lovely lately. Yas! There are some other oils I would like to mention that are in the Ruby, such as Cranberry, Rosehip and Raspberry Seed Oils + Pequi, Buriti and Celery. The last three ingredients are very interested and I don't see them in many products, if at all. Some of these oils are rich in antioxidants, many of which carry their own sun-protective qualities, others are wrinkle-reducing and sun-damage-correcting (I'm like yaas!), and there is a large group of non-comedogenic oils particularly recommended for skin types prone to congestion (Milk Thistle, Guava, Rosehip, Cranberry). And it contains the ever amazing Turmeric. Nuff said. Oh and there is no essential oils which is perfect for all of those with sensitive skin.

I love that Ruby contains so many beautiful antioxidant-rich and non-comedogenic oil, and also because some of the oils have some sun-protective qualities. Love that! Based on these ingredients it truly is the perfect oil for summer. Now don't go out using just this oil and think that your skin will be really protected from the UV rays, but I do love that some of the oils offer a bit of UV protection. I won't say that it doubles the SPF protection of Farizad's Veil but the two are a perfect match. So far the oil checks all the boxes. What's next? Scent? Nothing special, light and non invasive. It is described as "a very light scent of guava fruit, pequi fruit (which itself reminds us of pineapples and passion fruit), and rosehips with a minimal addition of the bliss-inducing, extremely relaxing mimosa flower". It has a lovely darkish yellow colour that doesn't stain my skin.
The last but certainly not least is the consistency of Ruby, and this is another reason why I think this oil is perfect for summer. Ruby has a very lightweight texture. It is beautifully absorbed into the skin and makes it soft and supple. There is something really special about this oil and my skin really agrees with it. It's not at all heavy but light and beautiful.

Ruby Facial Oil is certified cruelty free, vegan, handcrafted, fair trade, and my combination skin adores it! Suitable for all skin types including acne-prone and sensitive. You can get Ruby Facial Oil directly from Earthwise Beauty where you can use my code "LOVELINESS" to get 15% off. If you live in Europe get it at Eminessences shop. Last option and also my fave is that you can get Ruby as a part of the June Boxwalla Beauty Box, as I've already said in my previous post. The last day to get the box is the May 25 so if you like the sound of it, be sure to subscribe.

Have a lovely day!

Much love,

Jana xx

*sample generously provided

´Wandering Woman's English Spring´ Beauty Box by Boxwalla

May 22, 2017

Hi loves! How are you all doing on this fine day? I wanted to do a rather short and sweet post about the April's Boxwalla Beauty Boxwith a theme "Wandering Woman's English Spring". Unfortunately you can't receive this box any longer, since you have to subscribe to Boxwalla boxes in advance. At the moment Boxwalla's instagram is all about their upcoming beauty box which you can get if you subscribe to May 25. I'm very excited about it actually and I'm sure you'll be to because The Drunken Boxwallas are featuring the beautiful Earthwise Beauty. Since the brand isn't the most affordable one, now really is The time to try three of their products by subscribing to Boxwalla and get them for a very, very good price. You can get three gorgeous products valued at $160 for less than $50! But enough about the June Beauty Box, I do have some things to say about the April box.
 The Wandering Woman's English Spring Box is a sojourn through England in Spring, filled with hydrating drinks to quench your skin. I love how Lavanya (co-founder of the wonderful Boxwalla) each month brings us something completely different to the previous box. There are always some very exciting brands and products featured in their boxes. Her curations are wonderful and just oh so amazing. I really can't fault her + her writings are to die for magical. When I say box, I am talking about their beauty boxes. They do have other boxes as well, if you're more into books, film or food. Check them out here.

But now let's being our journey in East Sussex, in Lisa's wildflower meadow called Amly. 100m bellow the Amly Meadow, flows an artesian spring with water rich in silver. Lisa & Kerry were inspired by this healing silver-water to create Amly Botanicals and their Radiance Boost Silver Rich Face Mist. Handmade in England, this face mist is formulated specifically to relieve tired, stressed skin, but can be used by all skin types. We all need a revitalising and illuminating skin product in our beauty cupboard, don't you agree? I sure as heck do! This face mist is hands down one of my favourite mists I have tried. It's so good! First of all, I love the chic and super luxurious packaging. This kind of packaging really makes my heart skip a beat. But as you know, the packaging can only do so much, the thing that really matter is what's inside. Formula is blended with organic flowers, hedgerow fruit, native herbs and exquisite essential oils of Neroli, Jasmine, Rose Otto, Chamomile, Linden Blossom and Frankincense. It smells like walking through the most wonderful and heavy scented forest garden. It. Is. Devine. I will say that I was very surprised seeing the ingredient list. There is a lot of ingredients, including moisture-boosting Hyaluronic Acid, skin-perfecting Copper Peptides and nourishing plant Probiotics. The mist is hydrating and it really is oh so beautiful. The perfect toner for the 7 Skin Method. The mist ticks all the boxes. It's full of gorgeous natural ingredients, it's hydrating, smells heavenly and also looks very nice on my bathroom shelve.
From East Sussex, we land in Central London where Pedro Catala practices as a pharmacist. Inspired to threat his patients' post treatment reactive skin, he created Twelve Beauty, a line that exemplifies the magic that happens when the beauty of nature meets the rigors of science. The Twelve Beauty product that was featured in the Boxwalla Beauty Box was their Ideal Moisture Level Serum, described as "deceptively light, deeply hydrating serum that forms a permeable viscoelastic film on the skin, allowing nutrients through yet preventing moisture loss from the skin". It's an interesting serum since it has water-like consistency but even tho it feels like water, it feels completely different on the skin as "plain old" water does. It packs a punch oh hydration and plumps up the skin. I haven't used it for long but I quickly noticed my skin to be plumper and bouncier.
Both products bring so much hydration to my skin and they really are so beautiful. I've been enjoying them thoroughly and I'm very excited to keep on using them and reaping all their benefits. As I've said this box is no longer available but definitely check out the June Beauty Box: The Wandering Wood Nymph's Sun Kissed Alchemy. And yes, there will be a sunscreen in there. Read more about Boxwalla boxes and their philosophy in my post and if you're interested in joining you can subscribe here. I almost forgot but I again have to mention how much I love the carefully crafted tree-free handmade paper that each Boxwalla box is made of, and the fact that the products fit perfectly into them. Perfectly-sized boxes are my jam, I always love and appreciate that.

Have a wonderful start of the week.

With love,

Jana xx

*sample generously provided

Walden Two Eternities Natural Perfume

May 19, 2017

I don't know when was the last time I talked about perfumes. Many, many posts ago. Today I want to review a very special perfume. Special in a way that I (along with some other bloggers) was a small part of creating them. We helped with choosing the scents. So a while ago I've received a parcel with 5 perfume samples and I had to test and score them from 1 to 10. Honestly, I wasn't too keen on any of the samples so I was crossing my fingers that I got the smelly ones. I didn't know what to expect but I was hoping for the best. And then Walden Natural Perfumes came to life. Made from only the finest natural absolutes, resins and essential oils Walden Perfumes are named after Henry David Thoreau’s seminal work Walden. The book - part meditation, part handbook for simple living in natural surroundings - has inspired countless readers and Walden Natural Perfumes are proud to walk in his footsteps.
I wanted to try something fresh and floral, something for spring. I was on the fence which perfume to choose since they all sound so beautiful but Two Eternities and A Little Star-Dust sounded the most appealing. After a much needed chat with Stephan from Love Lula I decided for Two Eternities. And I couldn't have picked a better scent for me!! A Little Star-Dust has a strong and quite sweet scent of Ylang Ylang, which I actually like but not so much as a perfume. Two Eternities* is the one for me. It is described as "a garland of forest flowers including Wild Rose, Jasmine and Iris floating above a fresh citrus base of Bergamot and Sweet Orange Oil". It is exactly that! A beautiful floral scent, it's fresh and slightly sweet, so, So lovely. Mmm I love it. I also really like the packaging. It looks like a proper perfume with heavy glass and a wooden cap. It's a spray perfume and I don't have a lot of those. Natural perfumes most of the time come in a roll-on packaging where the flower and essential oils are blended in an oil base or solid perfume where there are also butters in the blend (or beeswax, something solid). I don't discriminate but I do tend to apply this perfume only on my clothes, not so much on my skin. Why? Because the base is Alcohol which I don't like to apply on my skin. But that is not a deal breaker, not at all. In the base of Grain Ethanol there are all those beautiful ingredients like Jasmine, Wild Rose, Sweet Orange and a few more. The scent is dreamy.
Now you know that I love the scent but does it last on me? Is the staying power any good? When I first started testing it out I was quite disappointed and not that impressed. Since all my other perfumes are oil based or solid, and because I never liked too strong perfumes, I only applied two spritz of it and thought that was plenty. I never wanted to be that person who you can smell a mile away. Not my thing. But there is a difference between conventional and natural perfumes. Two spritz didn't work as I thought they would and not only that I wasn't That person, I couldn't even detect the scent after an hour. So I started using more and that did the trick! Now I apply a few more spritz, like five or even more, and as I said, I apply the perfume on my clothes and the perfume definitely last for a few hours. Awesome! But it's not as long lasting as is A Little Star-Dust. Probably because it's fresher and more light, and the later is more heavy and sweet. But saying this I do still detect the scent on the shirt I wore yesterday.

I've fallen in love with this perfume and I've been wearing it every day. Get your Walden Two Eternities Natural Perfume at Love Lula. If you're not that into fresh and floral scent then check out their other perfumes here.

Happy Friday!

With love,

Jana xx

*sample generously provided

3 Things I've Learned so far from my Meditation Practice

May 17, 2017

About a month ago I joined Mindspo. Mindspo is an online meditation course run by Australian babe Rochelle Fox. The course started on the first of May so I've been doing meditation for more than two weeks already. I have to say it's been really great and I'm so grateful to the lovely Mavs for introducing Mindspo to me. I will do a proper review once I finish the whole 4 weeks but for now I just wanted to share three things I've learned so far.
1. Start with a few minutes and take time for meditation every single day. I think this is the first and most important thing. Make it a part of your routine, make it a habit. I heard that we need 21 days to make something a habit (well after a quick google search it's actually longer, but 21 days sounds better to me haha) so be persistent and keep on going, even if your mind goes crazy when you try to meditate. Take time and keep going. And yes, start slowly, with only a few minutes. The course is actually designed to increase the minutes each week. At Mindspo we started with 5 minutes and I did that for a week. Now I'm on 15 minutes and yes, it is way more challenging that only 5. But you know what? Prior doing this course I would never said that 5 minutes of meditation is easy. Now I can say it's not just easy but super easy!

2. It is okay if you find yourself thinking about other things than your breath. There is no way I can meditate and not think of stuff. Not every meditation will be a "proper & good meditation" when you won't think of a single thing. The important thing is to acknowledge your thoughts and let them go. You can say "let go" in your mind, it actually helps! Just focus on your breath rather than stressing out on the fact that you're thinking about stuff (like I need to make tea for kombucha or something silly like that). The whole point of meditation (among other things) is that it reduces stress so you don't want to cause any more by stressing out during your meditation time.

3. If all else fails, start counting. Maybe I'm wrong but pretty much every guided meditation starts with "focus on your breath". But starting out it can be hard to focus on just your breath. I learned that counting really help and it's as easy as it sounds. You can first start with counting inhales and exhales and then move on on only exhales. Count to ten and then start from the beginning. Whatever feels right for you and whatever keeps you focused.

+ one bonus tip - meditate with headphones and listen to some meditation music. It helps to cancel out all the noise. And don't be pissed it someone disturbs you while you meditate. You have to keep in mind that the world doesn't stop for you and that you can't control it. Come back to the breath and just keep swimming (like Dory).

These things really helped me to be better at this whole meditation thing. Rochelle also introduced us to mantras and included one in her guided meditations. Her mantra works amazingly well but that is a topic for another post. So far I'm very pleased with the course & my progress, and I'm so glad I took the chance and joined Mindspo family.

Do you meditate? Have any tips and tricks?

Much love,

Jana xx

Beauty Heroes x max and me

May 15, 2017

Max and me is an absolutely beautiful brand created by the lovely and light-filled Tanja and Max Gruber. This is an exquisite Austrian brand, which to me is even extra special since I only need a couple of hours to Vienna where the max and me magic is happening. Max and me is all about high vibration. Max & Tanja meticulously search for ingredients that possess a rare and unusually high level of vibrancy. Guided by their intuition and refined connection to the natural world, they identify pure, lit-from-within plant materials that they believe will deeply communicate on a cellular level. The higher the vibration, the more potent in their healing capacities. It really is such a beautiful brand and the packaging is just out of this world gorgeous. Like really super pretty.

 So in the May's Beauty Heroes Beauty Discovery* you get a full size Circle of Protection Body Oil + a travel size of the oil and a tiny little sample of the awarded Enchanted Facial Oil. I know this facial oil has been on the wishlist of many lovely ladies, I haven't tried it yet but I'm excited to see how it works for my skin. I did try their I am the light Facial Oil and it was nice but I didn't see any dramatic results on my skin. My friend also tried and used it for a couple of weeks, or more like months and she loved it. So yeah, I'm excited about the Enchanted oil, also because I can compare it to the I am the light oil. And why did they include the travel size of the body oil if we've already got the full size product? They suggest carrying the oil with us at all times. "Use it as your on-the-go guardian and inhale its beautiful scent when external elements begin to feel overpowering".  Or share and gift it to one of your friend.


The Hero of this month, the Circle of Protection Body Oil is truly stunning and an exquisite oil. I adore the writings on the Beauty Heroes card, the oil is "a guardian of skin and spirit, that works on a physical and energetic level to support radiance and luminosity, inside and out". As I said on my insta, this oil is as beautiful as it looks. If not more. It's a blend of certified organic, wildcrafted or organically grown vibrant plants, like Argan, Marula and Rosehip. The oil is quite lightweight and absorbs beautifully in the skin. As this box came a little later than usual I can't tell you if it made a huge difference on my skin, but so far I've been really enjoying it. Makes my skin soft and just lovely. The main thing with this oil is for me the scent. The glorious and wonderful scent. It's floral and jasminy. So lovely! Contains a blend of Magnolia, Manuka, Jasmine, Litsea, Vetiver and Silver Fir. Or to make it sound even more special and deserving - "Delicately fragrant vetiver, bourbon geranium, brightening magnolia, uplifting jasmine and shielding manuka envelope the aura while high vibrations of litsea and silver fir, attract cosmic protection and white light". 
But Circle of Protection is not only a beautiful oil for the skin and my nose, it's more than that. Circle of Protection means more than "just" a body oil, it can literally be a circle of protection, a place where one can feel at peace. Tomorrow is the day when we can all join in a worldwide Circle of Protection by participating in a global meditation intended to fill our bodies and our communities with luminous energy. If you have the time I urge you to join Beauty Heroes Founder, Jeannie Jarnot, and max and me founders, Tanja and Max Gruber. The meditation is open to all!! Find more details here. I've been really into meditation lately, it's such a good practice and one that I'm positive I will master in the near future, but sadly I cannot join tomorrow. Hopefully some other time. 

There is still a few days left to receive your Beauty Heroes x max and me Beauty Discovery by subscribing here. The box is valued at $95 but you can get it for less than $40 (+ shipping cost). 

Love and light,

Jana xx

*sample generously provided
**this post contains affiliate links

Vertue Box Wanderlust: Asia

May 12, 2017

Vertue Box is a fairly new bi-monthly green and cruelty-free health and beauty subscription box with an online shop based in the UK. Vertue was founded by a former makeup artist, Laila Sanderson, who after being diagnosed with an auto-immune disorder, started to lead a healthier and greener lifestyle. At Vertue they aim to make it easy for us to discover and try award-winning, up-and-coming and well-known brands that are good for the health and the environment. They give 10% of annual profits to environmental, health and food charities and use eco-friendly packaging and suppliers. As supporters of the Real Beauty Manifesto, they believe in purity, compassion, honesty, community, transparency and sustainability. Love all that!

Today I'll be reviewing one of their trial boxes - the Wanderlust: Asia*. Unfortunately it is no longer available but I think that the products will eventually be available in their shop. Their trial boxes cost £18 and their bi-monthly subscriptions are £30 for an Original Box (+ shipping cost if you live outside the UK). I like that they have this option of trial boxes. Each box also has a theme and this Asia theme was like it was made for me! I loved pretty much every single product and I have to say I'm very impressed with the selection. There is a whole lot more info on Vertue boxes on their FAQ page, but just to mention one more thing - all products featured are suitable for vegetarians and most are suitable for vegans, and are free from most of the common ingredients that are best to avoid in the products (Parabens, Synthetic Colours and Fragrances, Phthalates, Triclosan, SLS/SLES, Formaldehyde, Talc, and many more).

Fushi Organic Tamanu Oil is one of those oils that is suitable for all skin types, even oily and acne prone skin. Especially for oily skin. The oil is anti-bacterial (it kills bacteria on the skin that cause acne), it has anti-inflammatory benefits and offers antioxidants. It is said that Tamanu oil has been using in South East Asia and the Pacific Islands for centuries as a cure-all for many skin problems. Not only that it can be beneficial to all skin types, especially acne prone, it also helps to rejuvenate the skin suffering from sun burns, scarring, stretch marks and pigmentation. Tamanu oil is known for its strong healing properties so if you do suffer from skin problems I've mentioned then you should definitely check it out. I haven't tried this particular Tamanu oil yet, but I have to say that I really love Fushi's philosophy. It is stated on the packaging "we believe in being honest to our costumers, kind to our planet, and responsible for our actions". Yes! Also this Tamanu Oil really do sound very special - it's 100% pure organic, cold pressed, unrefined, certified organic by Soil Association, not tested on animals, free from artificial chemicals. Only the good stuff. It's ethically sourced directly from Vietnam and is fresh from the harvest, meaning the sun dried Tamanu nut kernels were pressed to produce this tropical oil. One more thing I find fascinating and I appreciate the info is that the 50ml of oil was made from approx. 380g of sun dried Tamanu kernels. I have to say that I'm really impressed.
Whamisa Organic Fruits & Tomato Fermented Hydrogel Facial Mask with Lactobacillius is a sheet mask, my first sheet mask I've tried! This hydrogel mask is made with 100% natural and 95% organic ingredients, including some gorgeous and interesting ingredients like Apple, Kiwi, Banana, Tomato, Raspberry and Honey. Some ingredients are fermented and I do love me some good fermented foods (if you've been following my insta stories then you may know I've been obsessing over homemade kombucha). It is said that this mask is lifting, revitalizing and toning, a powerful hydrating blend for instantly more nurtured, hydrated and clearer skin. I love that the mask comes in two parts - very handy, especially since it was my first time applying a sheet mask. I didn't know exactly what is the "right" way of application, in terms of other products. Do you use anything under or not, what's the deal here? After asking that on my insta, I got a few different answers, but the one I really liked was that you use all your skincare except for cream (so toner, serum and treatment if you use any). In this way you allow the sheet to "push" ingredients into the skin. But since I already had it on my face I used it like Whamisa suggests - you wash your face, apply their toner and then apply the mask. So I used some toner and applied the bottom half first and then the top. I actually really liked the feeling on my skin, it was cooling and toning. My skin thoroughly sucked in all the goodness and when I removed the mask there wasn't much left. I massaged the remaining serum from the packaging into my skin and some Siam Seas Elements Balm on top so seal in all the moisture. I would like to try their other sheet masks as well, and some other Whamisa products, but I'm not sure if they are 100% cruelty free so for the time being I will leave it here. I mean I think they are because they wouldn't be featured in this box if they weren't.
Alchemy Amla Hair Remedy is a lovely hair oil with a refreshing and delightful citrus scent. It is a "potent blend of 5 oils to promote growth and strengthen hair". I've only used it twice so I can't tell you if it really promotes growth but oil like this should definitely be used in the hair treatment that I described in this post. It contains Amla infused Sesame Oil, fractionated Coconut Oil, Avocado and Argan Oil, and Lemon Essential Oil. I wrote a few words about Amla when I talked about the wonders of Triphala. Amla is a plant or better, a fruit that has been used in traditional Indian medicine for ages. Amla actually has wonderful anti-aging benefits and it has almost twice the antioxidant power of acai berry. Check out the antioxidant value of plants here. Dragon's Blood is the number one but Triphala which also contains Alma is the third on the scale. Not only that Amla is full of antioxidants, it's supposedly also wonderful for your hair (promotes hair growth, reduces hair greying, helps with dandruff and scalp conditions). I love applying this oil as a hair treatment and leave it on overnight. It easily washes off with shampoo since it's quite a lightweight oil. It makes my hair softer and yeah, it is a lovely hair oil.

Chi Organic Coconut Oil Pulling Antibacterial Oral Hygiene in Mint flavour is exactly what it sounds and looks. A sachet of Organic Coconut Oil & Organic Peppermint Oil used for oil pulling. I've been a huge fan of oil pulling for a few years but lately I haven't been doing it regularly, if at all, so this really came at a perfect time. A very good reminder. I wrote a whole blog post dedicated to oil pulling but just too quickly sum it up. Oil pulling is an Ayurvedic dental health technique for which you swish an oil (usually coconut or sesame oil) in your mouth for around 20 minutes. Regular practice of oil pulling has numerous benefits including health teeth and gums, it whitens your teeth and detoxifies the whole body. I've been doing it with pure coconut oil but changing it up with a little mint flavoured coconut oil has been very nice. I love the fresh and clean feeling I get after using this oil. I understand that the sachets are very easy to use but because of the environmental problems I would prefer more sustainable packaging like a glass jar. But the product itself is great.
Wunder Workshop The Original Golden Mylk Blend is an organic turmeric latte. And you know how I feel about turmeric right? I utterly adore it! I love eating it and applying it on my face, it's an amazing anti-inflammatory and brightening ingredient. Turmeric lattes (and matcha lattes) are all the rave at the moment and I completely understand why. They are delicious and full of good stuff. I have never heard of this particular brand, I usually mix my own golden milk with pure turmeric, but it is nice to have something blended together to simply mix with milk (milk alternative that is). Wunder Workshop is sourcing the purest organic turmeric from the heart of Sri Lanka and makes the blends in London, UK. Their recipes and principles are inspired by Ayurveda, which stresses the importance of a preventative approach to health. This blend contains Coconut Milk, Turmeric, Cinnamon and Black Pepper (an essential ingredient in this blend because it helps with the absorption of turmeric). I used half of the blend and mixed it with a bit of water and oat milk. It's yummy on its own but maybe next time I'll be adding a bit of coconut sugar.

I wanted to keep the best for last. Of course I'm talking about the absolutely gorgeous and magical brand, the one and only Siam Seas. Oh how I adore this brand! Supadra knows exactly what she is doing and I'm grateful she is sharing her potions with us. I've already wrote about the Mekha Herbal Active Cleanser, which I got a chance to try in one other beauty box, the Boxwalla. Mekha cleanser is different than any other cleanser you've used before. It is a perfect marriage of healing butters, pure plant oils and sweet unsprayed raw honey infused propolis and pollen. I'm in love with the ingredient list. Beside the already mentioned Honey, there are also Mango & Capuacu Butter, Grapessed, Avocado, Olive Oils and a bunch of yummy tropical herbs like Thanaka Bark, Ivy Gourd, Ginseng, Turmeric and more. I don't know them all but together they create a stunning blend. The extraordinary Southeast Asian botanicals work synergistically to alleviate inflammation, dissolve dead skin layers and stimulate blood flow in preparation for maximum nutrient absorption after cleansing, revealing your brightest skin. I don't use it as my first evening cleanser because it's not as oily to easily remove my mascara but I love it as my second cleanser which I then leave on my skin as a mask. It works beautifully! It's deeply cleansing and decongesting, and also exfoliating. My skin is left soft, smooth and soothed. It's absolutely beautiful.
Another beautiful Siam Seas product is the Head-to-Toe Purifying Herbal Mask. This is a powder mask full with beautiful ingredients, like it's always the case when it comes to Supadra's magic potions. It is a blend of 9 powerful ancient herbs from all over Southeast Asia, a recipe passed down through generations for its potent skin-transforming properties. I love that I can personalize it and mix with whatever I want. I always mix my powder masks with a few drops of water and eucalyptus honey, works like a charm every time. I used this mask only once so far but I loved the results I got. My skin was brighter and more healthy looking. Should I use the word glowing? Maybe. It does contain Turmeric and I bet some other herbs in it help to achieve glowing skin. It also purified my skin. I have to say that I really liked it and I'm very excited to use it again.

A bit of a long post from me today but since I was very impressed with this Vertue's Box selection of products + I'm in a chatty mood, I had to write a bit longer reviews. I'm in love with it and I think Vertue has a very good potential of being another wonderful green beauty and health subscription box. There is definitely a place for it in my world. As I said you can no longer get this Wonderlust: Asis box but the next one sounds equally exciting to me with a theme of Active Beauty. I don't know what will be in it but if you're interested go ahead and follow Vertue Box on Instagram or subscribe to receive it here.

Much love and have a great end of the week,

Jana xx

*sample generously provided

Rahua Voluminous Shampoo & Conditioner

May 09, 2017

I've been testing the Rahua Voluminous Shampoo and Conditioner for quite a while now and I can finally give you my two cents on them. I've actually already mention them in one other post, and since then my thoughts haven't changed, my love for them grew even stronger. Rahua's story began deep in the Amazon rainforest thousands of years ago where the women of the Quechua-Shuar tribe discovered the beautifying properties of Rahua oil. The oil is sourced from Rahua nut tree and its fortifying and shine-inducing effect on hair and nourishing and lasting glow on skin, quickly elevated it to an honored ingredient that has solidified its place in Amazonian beauty rituals for centuries. The ancient beauty practice was revealed to the New York hairstylist Fabian Lliguin who then founded Rahua with his wife Anna Ayers.

All Rahua products are vegan, organic, sulfate-free, paraben-free, gluten-free, cruelty-free and support indigenous economies. They are dedicated to the preservation of the Amazon rainforest and the indigenous people that live there. In the process of bringing the Amazon’s greatest products to us, Amazon Beauty® Inc. has committed itself to building sustainable communities and creating learning centers within the Amazon rainforest. I love their philosophy and I'm most thrilled to be supporting them.
Rahua Voluminous Shampoo* is said to have a gentle formula which provides the very finest nature has to offer, creating beautiful volume and bounce. Formulated with the most exclusive plant derived ingredients sustainably sourced from the Amazon rainforest. Increase hair's body and bounce. I'm loving the 100% natural and vegan ingredient list with plants like Green Tea & Lemongrass, which supposedly work to create body, volume and bounce by balancing and removing excess oils from the scalp and hair shaft, without compromising the integrity of the hair. There is also Aloe Vera extract, Molasses (fyi are you eating Molasses? It's full of B6, magnesium, potassium, iron and some other minerals as well), and Rahua (Ungurahua) Oil, to name a few. The shampoo has a lovely herbal scent of Lavender and Eucalyptus. The scent is not too stong and overpowering, it's quite calming actually and I like that.

Shampoo lathers really well and that makes it very easy to thoroughly wash your hair. It very effectively cleanses them, even if I apply an oil treatment all over my scalp and hair. Big thumbs up for that, not every shampoo washes off oil so nicely. The reason I like this shampoo so much, and the matching conditioner as well, is because they make my hair really soft and smooth. I was actually really impressed with this hair care duo when I first used them as samples. I noticed the soft hair right away. I don't use this shampoo every time I wash my hair but when I do, I'm always impressed with the softness. As for the volume goes, I see none of that, unfortunately. They are more bouncy and less tangly, but not voluminous. Since they also say this formula is essential for oily hair and scalp, and works to balance, clarify and thoroughly cleanse, I tested it out for that too. For me it doesn't extend time between shampoo. As long as it makes my hair soft, doesn't weight them down and feels nice when washing, then it's all good. It's such a gorgeous shampoo and I love using it. Btw it's also safe for color-treated hair.
The matching conditioner, the Rahua Voluminous Conditioner*, is lovely too! The ingredient list is quite similar to the shampoo actually. It's also 100% natural and vegan, and made with certified organic ingredients. Besides the ones I've already mentioned in the conditioner there is also Shea Butter, Jojoba and Colza Oil, obviously conditioner needs more ingredients that are moisturizing and nourishing. I've never heard of Colza oil before and a quick google search shows me that it's also known as Rapeseed Oil. Contains lots of Vitamin E & K and omega-3 and 6 omega fatty acids. Supposedly it is a very good hair oil. Conditioner has a texture of a nourishing and rich lotion, which gently but effectively moisturizes the ends of my hair. Like I said, in conjunction with the shampoo, it makes my hair really soft, smooth and shiny. I have yet to try it as a hair mask but I bet it works really well if you leave it on your hair for more than just one or two minutes. Like the shampoo it is a very lovely product and also safe for color-treated hair.

You can get this gorgeous duo at Love Lula (free shipping for the win!). At the moment they don't have them in stock, that's way I also couldn't link to the actual products (they only have travel size shampoo).

With love,

Jana xx

*samples generously provided
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