Fall Makeup with Áureo & Hero

september 28, 2017

I haven't done a makeup look post in a while so here is a fall inspired look which I see myself wearing a lot in the upcoming weeks. The two products that actually inspired this look are both from Beauty Heroes and their seasonal makeup discovery boxes. The first is the organic lip stain or su/STAIN from Au Naturale in the shade Hero*, a gorgeous dark reddish plum colour. I haven't been wearing this shade a lot but since the weather changed I've been really drawn to it. As I shared on my Instagram stories I usually blot the lipstick with some tissue because otherwise it's just a bit too much, a bit too dark for me to use for a daytime look. The other product that also greatly impacted this look is the new-to-me Eye Tint in Áureo* from Gressa. I love this shade, such a beautiful champagne colour that can be used all over the lids or as an inner corner highlighter. It's very shimmery but I love how it looks. In real life it's a bit more yellow than on these photos, just so you know. Since it is a cream eyeshadow I have to mention the longevity. Does it crease, is probably the most burning question. It actually doesn't! I'm so so excited and thrilled about this because eyeshadows always crease on me, not to mention cream eyeshadows. This feels more like a cream-to-powder eyeshadows and when I use a powder as a primer, it stays on all day. No joke!

Okay so on my face I used Inika BB Cream Foundation* in the shade Cream. I love this foundation so much! Then I used two concealers. Under my eyes I applied RMS Beauty "un" cover-up* (review) in the shade 11 and on my spots some Lavera Cover Stick (it's not my fave but it gets the job done). Then I used the brand new Gressa product which I also received in the new Beauty Heroes Beauty Discovery, the Lumiere in Eva*. As I said in this Instagram post, this product is quite heavy and oily, and also not that pigmented. It's actually described as a "pigmented serum" and that it "blends in like an emollient treatment oil but with added beautifying benefits". So it's not like your typical bronzer. The lovely Suzi from Gurl Gone Green actually tried mixing it with a foundation and she loves that. I have yet to try it like that but I will say that even tho it feels heavy and oily, it does give my skin a lovely bronzed look and afterwards a highlighter really isn't necessary. Also it feels much nicer when it sinks into the skin. On top of Eva I added just a touch of my all time favourite bronzer, the Lily Lolo Pressed Bronzer in Miami Beach. I was very careful with the application because as you know, oil and powder don't mix well. More so that on my cheeks I applied it on my forehead and all over the face. I used this bronzer on my eyes as well and I love how the two (with Áureo) look together! I applied a bit of Vapour Aura Multi-use in Eros* (review) on my cheeks as well. 
What else? I used Nui Cosmetics Mascara* (review) and Eyebrow Duo in Light from Lily Lolo (review). I almost forgot that I used a powder as well, as a primer on my lids and as a finishing touch on my face. I used Lily Lolo's Flawless Silk Finishing Powder.

Wishing you all a lovely and sunny fall!

With love,

Jana xx

*samples generously provided
**this post contains affiliate links

Vegan Cooking #5

september 26, 2017

About two weeks ago or so I shared a few clips on my insta story doing cinnamon buns and since I got a lot of comments I’m sharing the recipe today. Like always this is not a recipe per se but more a guideline on how to make cinnamon buns as easily as possible. No complications, only sweet, yummy and soft buns with cinnamon, the perfect autumn and winter spice.
 For the dough you will need:

- yeast (I’d say I use about one to one and a half tsp),
- water or mylk to activate the yeast (you don't need a lot),
- 1 tbsp of sugar,
- 1 tsp of flour,

+ 1-2 tsp of coconut oil and
- 3 cups of flour, 1/4 tsp of salt and 1 cup of mylk.


- 2 tbsp of coconut oil,
- 1/3 cup of sugar (I used brown and coconut sugar) and
- cinnamon. 

First you need to activate your yeast. Add the yeast to a cup and mix in some warm water or mylk, 1 tbsp of sugar and a tsp of flour. Let it sit for 10 minutes. In a bigger bowl add 3 cups of flour, 1 cup of  warm mylk and coconut oil + the activated yeast. You may need to add a bit more flour or liquid, it depends. Mix together with a spoon first and then knead the dough with your hands. After you have a nicely rounded dough, cover it with a cloth and leave it in a warm place for at least an hour, longer if you have time.

Transfer the dough onto surface and roll it out in a somewhat rectangle shape. Brush on the melted coconut oil, then sugar and top it all with cinnamon. I think I use about half to one tbsp. Roll up tightly and then cut into slices. You can now place the buns or rolls onto a baking tray, either place them separately or together, and spread whatever coconut oil that's left on top. I used a cake tin and placed them all together because they are much softer if you bake them like that. Cover with a cloth and let them sit for another 15-30 minutes.

Bake for 17-20 minutes on 180°C. Check if they're baked with a toothpick. 

Bon appétit!

Jana xx

NUI Cosmetics Makeup

september 24, 2017

NUI Cosmetics is a newer makeup brand on the market and I had a privilege of trying out a few of their products, and I'm impressed! NUI is a vegan, high-performance, 100% natural make up with a high percentage of organic ingredients from Berlin. I've tried three products, mascara, cream blush and foundation, and I love every single one of them. Not only are they effective, they are also more affordable than a number of makeup created with 100% natural & organic ingredients. I can't review the foundation since I only had a sample of it but that was enough to impress me. It felt lightweight, had a great coverage, light to medium (if I remember correctly), it blended out beautifully and Taiao was also pretty much a perfect match for my skin tone.
NUI Natural Mascara in Pango* is a black mascara made with 85% Certified Organic ingredients like Chamomile Extract, Coffee Seed and Sunflower Oil, Vanilla and more. Besides being 100% natural and vegan it's also gluten free. They say "the organic formula from our Mascara glides on easily and creates incredible volume and length for a clump free look and defined gorgeous lashes". Yes, yes, yes! I love the effect that this mascara gives my lashes, love! I really hope my photos do the mascara justice, unfortunately my lashes aren't the most photogenic but I really do love this mascara. I actually haven't used any other mascaras since I received this one. And you all know how much I loved the Lily Lolo one! I love that it's so black and that it gives my lashes that oomph. I wasn't expecting to love it this much since I never got along with a brush like this. The formula is quite wet and I always get it on my eyelids, but that is completely normal for me. It can also smudge a bit but I still LOVE. The mascara is available in black and brown and you can get it here.
Cream Blush for Cheek, Eyes & Lips in  Mawhero* is "A Must Have which you can take everywhere!". The shade Mawhero is the brightest of the four colors (all of them look absolutely beautiful!), a soft warm nude-rosé. It's made with 90% organic ingredients and among there is also a palm oil derivative. I'm usually very good at avoiding palm oil and their derivatives and I can't for the life of me figure out how I missed it. For those of you who don't know, I avoid palm oil because massive and numerous palm plantations are causing deforestation, habitat degradation, climate change, animal cruelty and indigenous rights abuses in the countries where it is produced, as the land and forests must be cleared for the development of the oil palm plantations. It's just something I do not wish to support. BUT it's not all black and white and certified sustainable palm oil is something that I can support because there are a few positive things, like protecting the environment and new jobs for example. So what's the deal with IsostearyI Palmitate, a palm oil derivative used in this product? I was reassured that they "ONLY use sustainably and ethically sourced, non-GMO palm oil in our products". They are also working hard to replace palm oil in their products and are looking for alternatives. I like transparent answers like that!

With all that being said, I love using Mawhero as a highlighter, and only as a highlighter, because it's too light and shimmery for me to use it as a blush. It stays on a whole day and it sure is very pretty! Get it here.
I will say that I like the packaging but not the sticker labels because they quickly started to rub off, especially on the mascara. But because the products work so well that doesn't bother me at all. I love both of these products and I definitely recommend them! You can get them here, and check out their other makeup as well because it sure looks lovely.

With love,

Jana xx

*samples generously provided

Soften Your Skin with Boxwalla Beauty Box

september 21, 2017

I want to quickly talk to you about the August Boxwalla Beauty Box* featuring two gorgeous brands Odacité and Henné Organics. I haven't been using the products for long so this is definitely going to be a first impression post. The August box comes with a theme "Summer Comes Softly", showcasing three products that soften in three different ways.
 Odacité Oleosomer Time Release Delivery Crème* contains safflower oleosomes (found naturally in seeds) that are spheres of oil & vitamin E surrounded by a phospholipid membrane and protein. Say what? It is said that the oleosomes melt when they come into contact with the skin and steadily release their nutrients throughout the day, leading to lasting hydration and softness. Okay this all sounds super fancy, doesn't it? We could also say that the crème works double time by delivering a steady dose of actives and hydration both instantly and via delayed release. I only started using this crème yesterday and since it says you can customize it, I mixed it with a couple of drops of my evening facial oil, the Skin Owl's Maqui Berry Beauty Drops*. My skin immediately received a boost of hydration and seeing that made me very excited for the results to come. I have a feeling this crème will be my best friend during the colder months. You know hydration is key to healthy skin and if you have dehydrated skin you should definitely look into water or rather aloe vera based serums and moisturizers. This one sounds particularly good. It's based on Aloe Vera, there's Calendula, Green Tea and more. I'm bummed that there are also two palm oil derivatives. I know that the Palm Stearic Acid used in their Deep Hydration Masque is made from certified sustainable palm oil, produced in socially and environmentally responsible ways, but I'm not sure if these two ingredient are created from the same source. Hope so! I am waiting for them to get back to me and I will update this post when I'll know more. Read more about Palm Oil in this post. Other than that my first impression of this product is great. My skin was still moisturized and more plumped in the morning, and it almost felt like the product was still on my skin. I'm really looking forward to using it daily.

Update: Odacité responded saying that "any Palm Oil derivatives are all certified RSPO" aka these ingredients are from sustainable palm oil!
Odacité Pa + G, Papaya Geranium Facial Serum Concentrate* is a multi-active rejuvenating serum that helps to reduce the appearance of age spots while visibly slowing signs of aging. It's specifically targeted to treat hyperpigmentation and is the perfect oil to use after summer. Spending the days in the sun is the best thing ever but skin gets tired of the sun quickly and starts to show it. Enter products that tackle sun-damaged and scarred skin. The active ingredient in the serum is cold-pressed certified virgin Equadorian Papaya Oil, which is not only filled with vitamins but also with the resurfacing enyzme Papain, which dissolves excess melanin pigments and dead sin, making skin even-toned and glowing. Odacite's serum Concentrate are made with a particular skin problem in mind and are super potent. This one is no exeption! I've been using it for a week or two, mixing it with my beloved Leahlani Aloha Ambrosia* (sadly all gone now) and it worked great. It's a bit too soon to say that I've noticed major difference in my skin tone but I do think it's working at reducing hyperpigmentation spots. Will see how it goes, but so far my absolute favourite Serum Concentrate has been their Camelina and Chamomile, for sensitive skin. I also have a few more of them and I have to bring them back into my routine.

I don't write about Odacité products often but I really do enjoy their skincare line. I've already reviewed their Synergie[4] Immediate Skin Perfecting Beauty Masque* (review) and Mint + Green Tea Hydra-Purifying Treatment Mist* (review). One product from them that really deserves its own spot on the blog is their Deep Hydrating Masque. It is such a beautiful product.
The third product from the August Boxwalla box is the Henné Organics Nordic Berries Lip Exfoliator*. This baby is so freaking delicious!! I've tried a couple of Henné Organics products in the past, including their Rose Diamonds Lip Exfoliator*, which was nice but I couldn't get around that scent. I wasn't feeling the rose scent on my lips. But with this one it's different. The scent is so yummy and it's always making me go uuuuh and ahhh. It's berries galore and I can't get over it! The scrubbing ingredient is Sugar, which works so well at removing dead skin cells and making your lips super soft. The beautiful colour is courtesy of Raspberry and Bluberry Powders. I actually rarely use a lip scrub or any kind of other exfoliator for my lips because I just don't feel the need to. Saying that it's been such a nice treat scrubbing this beauty onto my lips and licking off rinsing with warm water. Of course I'm a sucker for the pretty packaging which makes the product even more luxurious and chic.

I'm thrilled to say that this box is still available as a one time box! Retail value of these three products is $131 but you can get them for $54.95. You can get it here.

Now if you follow me on Instagram, then you know I posted about the Boxwalla October Beauty Box: Wild Honey featuring three stunning products from H is for Love. I won't go into much details but the three products you get in this box are Rapha Harmonizing Cleanser, which is an oil cleanser filled with ingredients like Chamomile, Calendula and Turmeric, Propolis Regenerative Mask, with skin brightening ingredients, and a full sized Kinu Glowing Body Balm, which is described as comforting and evocative, this nutrient-dense indulgence is creamy, dreamy perfection for fall and winter skin. Yas!
Photo by @beautybyparita.

You can usually join Boxwalla to get your own box until the 20th of the month but this time the sweet Lavanya, co-founder of Boxwalla, extended the date till the 29th of September. So if you're still eyeing the gorgeous H is for Love products, now is the time! I can't wait to receive this box because I've been really impressed with the previous Boxwalla box containing H is for Love products. Such a beautiful line, inside and out. Very excited! Like I said, subscribe to Boxwalla Beauty Box until the 29th of September and you'll also receive three H is for Love products valued at $122 for $49.95. You can get it here.

With love,

Jana xx

*samples generously provided
**this post contains affiliate links 

Time for Another Empties Post

september 18, 2017

Happy Monday lovelies! Hope you're all doing well. I've accumulated a few empty products so let's kick of a new week with another empties post. Like always, these products are natural and organic, and cruelty free & if I'm not mistaken they are vegan as well.
Lilfox Mystic Awakening Rosemary Toning Mist* contains only certified organic Rosemary Distillate and a couple of small Amethyst Crystals. Yes, this mist is infused with the beautiful purple amethyst crystals for balance and clarity, which gives me life. Rosemary has antimicrobial and therapeutic properties, it purifies the skin and awaken the senses. The mist is very invigorating and feels lovely on the skin but I have to be honest and say that I didn't love the scent that much. After a while I got used to it but as much as I love this brand and the addition of the crystals, I won't be buying a new bottle this mist.

I finished another face mist, the John Masters Organics Bearberry Skin Balancing & Toning Mist* (review). It's interesting how Lilfox's mist contains only one ingredient, but this one contains a whole bunch of them. I love that it's based on Aloe Vera since my skin tends to always love facial mists with this calming ingredient. It's a lovely face mist but I wasn't as impressed with it to buy a new bottle.

Mel Millis Phytonutri Daily Cleansing Oil* (review). I adored and loved this product so much! The scent of it is out of this world and it was such a beautiful treat to prepare my skin for nightime. It beautifully removes makeup and impurities and leaves skin fresh and cleansed, and not tight or dry. It's a gorgeous product suitable for all skin types and I highly recommend it.
Earthwise Beauty Nap in the Meadow* (review) is one of the cult products created by the forest fairy Ava, the Earthwise Beauty founder. For a hot minute there this product was banned from my beauty cupboard because of one particular ingredient, but thankfully Ava re-formulated it and I couldn't be happier. Nap in the Meadow is a stunning hydrating serum with anti-inflammatory and skin brightening benefits. With regular use this baby works like a charm and based on my experience I highly recommend it. I will definitely have to get a new bottle for the upcoming months. Love.
OOH! Organic Baboab Rejuvenating Face Oil* is an oil rich in omega 3, 6 and 9, making it ideal as a rejuvenating oil for maintaining healthy skin. Baobab oil isn't pore clogging and is said to help relieve skin prone to eczema and psoriasis. I liked this oil but I wasn't able to use up the whole bottle cause it went bad and therefore it's hard for me to really share my proper thoughts on it. I will say that I really liked the Cacay Anti-Aging Face Oil which contains 50% more vitamin E and twice the amount of Linoleic Acid than Argan Oil as well as 3 times more Retinol than Rose Hip Oil.
Tabitha James Kraan Scented Organic Hair Oil* is a lovely hair oil packed with gorgeous ingredients that aren't found in just any old hair oil. It has Safflower, Rosehip, Argan, Sea Buckthorn, Coconut and more + a blend of essential oils that make this hair oil a floral-citrusy scent, a very lovely scent! This oil is also infused with Amethyst crystal which you know I love. I mainly used it as an overnight hair treatment, as a mask and it made my hair softer and healthier.
Leahlani Skincare Kalima Coconut Cream Cleansing Powder (short review) is one of my absolute favourite morning cleansers I've used. I love it so much and I already bought a new bottle of it. I was sure I already wrote a review of this magical concotion made by the beautiful Leah but I guess I'm still due to write one asap. Kalima is a three in one product and can be used as a cleanser, an exfoliatior and a mask. I love using it in all three ways and I simply can't get enough of it. It has an intoxicating and just gorgeous scent and a number of stunning ingredients that help to fade away hyperpigmentation and make my skin really happy and healthy. It's hard to say that it's my favourite Leahlani product because this brand is just pure Hawaiian magic and every single product I've tried, I love so let's rather say it's in my top three. Highly recommend!

Leahlani Skincare Aloha Ambrosia Morning Moisture Elixir* (review) is a beautiful daytime facial oil that I've been using for the last few months and I deeply feel in love with it. It's just so good and it really worked amazingly well on my skin this summer. I still have a tiny bit left, for two days I think and it continued to work well this September when temperatures dropped and autumn arrived. It gives a boost of moisture to my skin and keeps it hydrated all day. Like all Leahlani products, Aloha Ambrosia has a divine scent. A dreamy oil that I highly recommend to you all.

With love,

Jana xx

*samples generously provided
**this post contains affiliate links

Make Your Own Smudge Stick

september 14, 2017

Smudge sticks are something that really peaked my interest lately. By definition, a smudge stick is a tightly bound bundle of dried herbs that is slowly burned to cleanse and purify the air. As far as I know, this smoke-purification ritual known as smudging was done by Native Americans. In their tradition it is seen as a bridge to the higher realms, a way to bring in good spirits and dispel the negative or stagnant ones. If you think about it, similar rituals are founded in different religions, for example Catholics burn Frankincense and Myrrh. At one time both were considered to be more valuable than gold. Aromatic smoke produced by burning dried plants began with the discovery of fire and people would burn wood, herbs and resins over a fire to release fragrance. Working in a museum, I was actually once asked by a very curious seven year old something about perfume and how people discovered it (can't remember the actual question) but yeah, the first "perfumes" were like these, created by burning herbs over a fire. The aromatic substance was actually called "per fumus", meaning by or through smoke. I read somewhere about this transformation of the herbs and barks - from their physical form (of this world), they are changed by the element of fire into smoke (spirit world form). Smudging is a way of connecting the material plane to the realm of the spirits. So as you can see this thing, this practice or ritual may sound very new-agey but is in fact an ancient practice.

So why would you do this? All living beings and everything in this world has its own energy. You know when you just feel a person and don't vibe with him/her and you're not feeling their energy? Well that is something that you don't want that in your live and smudging can help clear that out of your life. It allows to wash away negativity or stagnant energy from your body and life. Either if you believe it or not, even if it is a placebo effect, at the end of the day this makes me feel better, lifts my energy instantly and calms me at the same time. It brings peace. I don't have everything figured out in my life but I'm not complaining either. Clear your space, your mind, body and soul, clear your aura, your crystals, invite peace into your life. It's a lovely ritual and one that I really enjoy doing.

I will say I'm pretty much (still) a noob when it comes to smudging and my ritual isn't as it "should" be and I'm fine with that. I saw that lots of people use an Abalone Shell to place the smudge stick in but I just use a small ceramic bowl which works perfectly well too. I've been using a pre-made smudge stick or a bundle that I got in my Goddess Provision Box and just recently I made my own using herbs from the garden (scroll down bellow to see the herbs I used). I just want to quickly share what I do with my smudging bundle. Before I light it up I like to calm my mind first. Ideally I do this after a meditation, which I've been trying to do regularly, but I still haven't managed to make it a part of my daily routine. Usually you should fan out the smoke (using your hand or a feather, not your breath) but honestly, I haven't been doing that. Well only a little bit with my hand because I don't like that there's a whole lot of smoke. I think it's just the fact that I'm not used to it. I first got into this for cleansing my crystals and clearing them of their energy. I've shared this video on my Instagram. I love how the smoke embraces my clear quartz, makes me so happy! Supposedly the smoke moves differently as it touches certain things. So I tend to start by cleansing myself with the smoke first (from top to bottom) and then move on to the room or crystals. When doing this it is said that you should do a prayer of sort, aloud is best. I feel funny doing that so I keep my thoughts in my mind and I try to only focus on smudging, being grateful and usually I'm also thinking something like "I'm releasing negative energy". So yeah, that's my personal ritual. Clear my mind, light my smudge stick, cleanse myself first (my aura) and then move on other things, and always trying to be present and grateful. When doing this hold the "handle" of the smudge stick over a smaller bowl. When you're finished you can just wait for it to stop or crush the smouldering end until it goes out. Don't use water because it can ruin the smudge stick. I think my routine will change in the future when I will learn more, but having all information at once can be too overwhelming and possibly also "too out there" to handle haha.

Before I move onto my DIY smudge stick I just wanted to say that there are some studies that a longer period of smudging (especially sage) can actually treat bacteria growth in a room. It brings me much satisfaction when I purify air in a room this way, there is just something about it that brings me joy. And like I said it also helps when feeling angry and negative. The combination of groundning myself and smudging just washes away those feeling away. Ok before I go on and on (I swear I meant to do this post short!) let's focus on the herbs used in my homemade smudging bundle. You can use a variety of herbs, you can use just one or combine a few together. Sage is the most widely used and no wonder since it's nature's antibiotics. It works amazingly well if you have problems with throat, mouth infection, angina. Definitely a herb to have in your garden. So I used Sage, Lavender (used in mummification as well), Thyme and Rosemary. I found these four in the garden, but there are a few more that can be used, like Sweet grass, Frankincense, Cedar, Juniper, Mugwort, and more. There's not a lot to say about the whole process of creating your own smudge stick. Pick your herbs, combine them and then simply tie them together with a string. I used a thread but I would suggest something stronger. Wrap your herbs quite tightly because they shrink in size when they dry up. When you're finished, you can trim the edges and then hang it to dry. It needs good air circulation so hanging it somewhere is best, preferably somewhere where it's dark and dry. The herbs will dry in a week or so but before using the bundle make sure it's completely dry.

All that's left for me to say is happy smudging! :)

Much love,

Jana xx

Going Places: Lovran

september 10, 2017

Hello my lovely readers! I'm coming at you today with another "Going Places" post, this time from a coastal city in Croatia, Lovran. As I did with my first post of this kind about Kamniška Bistrica, I'm just going to share a few photos of the place. As you will see, the sea in Lovran is very clear and beautiful and I absolutely loved the famous coastal promenade that stretches from Volosko to Lovran. You guys, this promenade is more than 100 years old and was officially named the Franz Joseph I Promenade, but it is still best known as the Lungomare. It's such a lovely place to go for a walk! Beaches here aren't really big but there are a lot of little bays surrounded by rocks and stones, and that has a charm of its own. There are not a lot of pebble or sand beaches. The weather wasn't the best but we definitely managed to go for a few swims which is all I wanted. I will always have a special memory from Lovran since I finally met with one of my online friends, the beautiful Mirna and her cute dog Edel. She is as sweet and friendly in real life as she is online, if not even more and I'm so happy we could find the time to meet. We had such a lovely time that we completely forgot to take a selfie together so I guess we will have to meet again. :) So this was a very good moment of our vacation but unfortunately there was also a bad one. Jaka dislocated his shoulder! Luckily it was towards the end of our stay and he did manage to put it back in place by himself (!!) but still, very annoying and painful. Poor thing!! He is getting better and better each day. I also have to mention that this vacation I was living in my Fil Blanc Celesto Hammam Towel*. I absolutely love it! It's so lightweight, very absorbent, dries really fast and it's just so comfy.
Have you been in Lovran? Hope you've had a lovely first week of September too!

Much love,

Jana xx

*sample generously provided
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