Protect Your Skin

oktober 29, 2017

Before October ends I want to share my thoughts on the October Clean Beauty Box* from Art of Organics. The box themed Protect perfectly followed the September box Bright with the oh-so-amazing Brighten Facial Mask* from Laurel Whole Plant Organics. The mask brightens my skin, my hyperpigmentation spots and redness like nothing else and I'm so in love with it. Check out my review here. One product from the October Clean Beauty Box continues brightening and protecting my skin at the same time, and I'm all about that. The product I'm talking about is the Ursa Major Brighten Up Vitamin C but let's first start with the Akar Skin Lush Balance Toning Mist since toners are always applied before serums.
 Akar Skin Lush Balance Toning Mist is a delicate toning mist formulated to protect skin from free radicals, to promote cell repair and renewal, to restore skin's natural pH balance and minimize pores. Akar Skin is a new-to-me brand and I really like the story behind the brand. "Akar" means white crystal in Tibetan and is a symbol for purity. The founder Kate Chen draws inspiration for her brand from the Tibetan plateau, a place that is free from pollution at its high altitudes and houses botanicals in their purest form. Love. Brand is 100% natural and cruelty free. The toner is also vegan friendly, with ingredients like Rose and Neroli Water, Aspen Bark and White Willow. It has quite a strong scent, I mostly smell Roses. It's refreshing and I've been really liking it. Toners are the hardest products for me to review but I do feel it's skin balancing, like they promise. Plus it's suitable for all skin types. Based on this product I would definitely like to try some other products as well and that surely means something. You can find it here.
Ursa Major Brighten Up Vitamin C Serum is the brand's new featherweight face serum that goes deep to protect and provides instant hydration, simultaneously boosting collagen levels to firm and brighten skin while evening out skin tone and calming irritation. This serum is so lovely and is definitely my fave product from this box. This is an Aloe Vera based serum, which means soothing and hydrating (I always love serums and toners with aloe vera) but the main active ingredient is Scorbic Acid Polypeptide, a super-stable, water-soluble form of Vitamin C complex. Vitamin C is an amazing ingredient to have and use in your skincare routine! It's a wonderful antioxidant and skin brightening agent, which I LOVE. The serum not only protects from free radicals and is brightening but it's also soothing. It's suitable for all skin types and it definitely has my name written all over it! It's very lightweight, it quickly absorbs into the skin, has a lovely fresh citrus scent and of course has a bunch of amazing skin benefit. I love using it under my moisturizer or oil but in the summer oily skin types could easily use it alone. This serum delivers and I love it. At the moment it isn't available at the Art of Organics store but you can get it straight from Ursa Major.

To sum this box up - I really like it! But Clean Beauty Boxes are not only about natural & organic beauty creators artists so I also have to mention the artist, a Chicago-based illustrator Brittany who created the geometric print on the box. Check out her Instagram account here.

The October box is no longer available but you can get these products separately. Or you can subscribe to the November box, subscription is already open. Check it out here.

Wishing you a beautiful Sunday!

With love,

Jana xx

*sample generously provided
**this post contains affiliate links

Boxwalla & H is For Love #2

oktober 25, 2017

Remember my excitement about the October Boxwalla beauty box*? If you don't, then let me tell you that I was soo looking forward to get my hands on it and in the meantime I also influenced my friend she got her own box. October Boxwalla beauty box brought us a brand that many Boxwalla subscribers were already familiar with, the stunning H is For Love. I adore the description of the brand on the card that came in this box - effortlessly chic, deeply soulful artisanal brand. The founder Bee Ham really looks like that effortlessly chic babe we all want to be, and that shines through her brand & the products. You should definitely follow the brand on Instagram, Bee sure is funny and oh so gorgeous. The packaging and the design is beautiful and minimalistic. The thing I love most are the details of little flowers which you can see on the photos down bellow. The October or Wild Honey Box is named after the figurative Honey, that Bee has made: 3 products that heal, rebuild and cocoon.
Let's start with an exclusive launch, a glowing, rich, decadent body balm named KINU. This body balm has the best texture! It's so creamy and soft, it's as they say - whipped to creamy perfection. I'm so in love with it. KI-NU is actually a Japanese word for silk and this body balm makes my skin silky and smooth. If you would just look at the ingredient list and see Jojoba, Coconut, Olive Oils and Beeswax, you'd first probably think it's just like any other body balm. But it's really not. Carefully chosen oils, organic or wildcrafted, complement each other so well and the ratio of the ingredients make this one truly a special balm. I didn't expect anything else from H is For Love. The scent is so different and unique. I've never smelled anything like it. I like it and the more I'm getting used to it, the more I like it. I wish I could describe it but I can only think of words like warm and soft, and comforting. Contains Grapefruit, Cedarwood, Vanilla, Bergamot, Rosemary and Clove. Another thing that makes this body balm special is that it makes my skin literally glowing. It contains natural mica which gives a gold shimmer to the skin. It looks pretty and I don't mind it but it is a shame I can't show off my legs with this beautiful glowing skin. Without a doubt, Kinu is a special body balm and I really like that it's not overly greasy or oily but that it's quite fast absorbing & nourishing at the same time.
RAPHA Harmonizing Oil Cleanser is at this moment my favourite product from the box. It's so good and I've really been feeling it! Ever since I saw the photo of the in-house healing herbal infusions of Chamomile & Calendula I was like yaaas gimme that! Loving the supercritical CO2 extractions of German Chamomile and Turmeric too. As you can imagine this oil cleanser smells like Chamomile and I absolutely love it! It's calming, soothing and just the perfect way to end the day. With gentle massage, Rapha very beautifully removes my makeup. I do want to mention that one time I used a bit too much oil on my eyes and it stung them. I think it is the Olive Oil but after removing it, it was perfectly alright. How I remove the oil cleanser? With a warm, damp washcloth, which I always loved to do but I've been doing it a bit differently lately. Have you seen the new video Laurel made about facial compressing?? It's everything! Compressing benefits the health of our muscles, circulation, lymph, and our entire nervous system. All four directly impact the health on the skin, so it's definitely something to look into. Check the article and video here. Even more than ever I've been wrapping my face and neck in a steamy towel and pressing very gently into my skin to stimulate lymphatic flow. I repeat twice or thrice and while doing this the makeup and excess oil is gently lifted from the skin. My skin always looks so good after doing this. It's definitely calmer and less red. Such a beautiful product.
You know what's the best product to apply after removing your makeup? Well it's a mask of course! Enter PROPOLIS Regenerative Mask, a potent mask that reveals bright, clear, glowing skin. This mask actually doesn't contain Propolis, like you might think but it is named after its ability to stimulate cell renewal and boost collagen production. This is a powdered clay based mask containing French Green and Kaolin Clays, vitamin C rich Camu Camu, Raw Cacao and a new-to-me ingredient, White Turmeric. I used this masks twice so far. First time I mixed it with water and I felt a strong tingling sensation. Probably because of Cinnamon and Clove. Luckily that feeling quickly went away but next time I mixed in some honey and oil as well. The second time I didn't feel anything so I really recommend you mix in something else as well, not just water. I do feel like the first time the mask worked better or maybe I should say quicker. Either way my skin was brighter and my skin tone more even. Skin is brought to new life as the mask purifies and deposits its nutrients into skin, though its intensity can vary day to day. Based on my experience I would recommend mixing it with mostly water and then adding only a couple of drops of oil (I used this one) and a bit of honey (raw and organic is best). Leave on for 20 minutes and rinse. All that's left to say is that I wish Propolis would come in a bigger jar.
The more products I tried from H is For Love the more I'm fall in love with the brand. I hope Lavanya and Bee will continue to collaborate together. There are only a few October beauty boxes left as one-time boxes so you better hurry if you want to snatch one! Check it out here.

Boxwalla is a bi-monthly subscription service and so the December subscriptions are already open. I don't know what's in the beauty box but I can bet it's something amazing, as always! You can subscribe here.

With love,

Jana xx

*sample generously provided
**this post contains affiliate links

Isla Apothecary Neroli Body Oil

oktober 23, 2017

Happy Monday lovelies! Hope you're all doing well. I'm coming at you with a short and sweet post about a new-to-me body oil and also with a new-to-me beauty brand. Isla Apothecary is a vegan brand handcrafted in London using only the finest raw and natural, organic and wild crafted, ethically sourced ingredients, which remain pure and unadulterated. For the first product to try from them I decided for their Neroli Body Oil*.
 Packed with oils like Safflower, Coconut, Pumpkin and Rosehip, this product moisturizes my skin so beautifully. You know this oil is something else. It's very lightweight and I totally get why it's described as a "dry body oil". Because it is! It's not greasy or too oily but like I said, really lightweight and can be easily applied even after a morning shower and before putting on your clothes, not pjs. I really do love how this oil feels on my skin and that it absorbs into the skin so quickly. So beautiful. Plus it makes my skin soft and moisturized and I can't forget about the gorgeous scent.

"The heady and romantic floral and peppery aroma of the bitter-orange blossom is the proud and exquisite heart note and key ingredient in our cult favourite Neroli Body Oil." Contains the stunning Neroli essential oil which is one of my faves, plus there's Petitgrain, Mandarin and a rich and grounding base of Patchouli and Frankincense. The scent is romantic and floral, I really do like it.
I adore the eco-friendly, amber glass bottle as well and the rose gold packaging & design is just so in and gorgeous. Love it. As you can see, I am a fan and I definitely recommend this body oil.
You can find it at Love Lula.

Have a lovely start of the week!


Jana xx

*sample generously provided
**this post contains affiliate links

Inspired by the Sun

oktober 17, 2017

Oh sun, glorious sun. I live for warm and sunny day, and the sun has really inspired me to write this post. I'm struggling with this intro today so why not just skip it and dive straight into the beautiful natural and organic products that somehow remind me of the sun. 
Laurel Whole Plant Organics Brighten Facial Mask* (review) is hands down one of my favourite masks. If you have sun damaged skin (not to sound rude but you probably have, we all have, some more than other), scarred skin, like hyperpigmentation, post-acne scars (me!) or if you just want a mask full of vitamin C and other skin rejuvenating and brightening ingredients, then this is the mask to go for. This stuff works like nothing else, and it's all organic, like all Laurel's products are. Camu Camu, Acerola Berry, Rosehip Fruit, are all full of vitamin C, which is shown to repair damaged DNA and sun damage, and can reduce hyprepigmentation over time, restore collagen and increase firmness. Yes, yes, yes. With regular use I notice dramatic results on my skin, especially regarding my post-acne redness. Can't recommend this mask enough! I got this mask in the September Clean Beauty Box from Art of Organics. Sadly the box is no longer available but you can still get it in their online shop. If you're a subscriber you receive 15% off. Get it here.
Lani Tropical Coconut Face Polish* is the newest product from Lani. 100% tropical. 100% natural. 100% vegan. This face polish contains 5 ingredients and is based on nourishing Coconut Milk Powder and when mixed with water is smells strongly of coconut. I really like that it contains vitamin C, I need that in my skincare regime more and more (being 30 and all that haha). This polish buffs away dullness and impurities, and restores softness. I wouldn't say it's harsh but you definitely feel the tiny particles working and doing its job. I haven't been using for long but so far it's been a nice face scrub to use once a week or so.
Earthwise Beauty Sungod Face Mask* is a product that will definitely get its own spot on this blog of mine but for now let me just quickly mention it. Based on the description, Sungod is THE perfect mask for me. "It is for the souls who always crave sun rays, who worship the sun's power, and who, during dark winter months, dream about sun-washed beaches and cliffs." That is SO me! And then I saw the ingredient list and was like omg I need this! And it didn't disappoint. It contains ingredients that my skin knows and loves like Calendula & Turmeric, and some that I have never used before but seem to be working well with my skin, like Wildflower Pollen. Like always, Ava created a product with interesting and unique ingredients, and I really like that. The mask doesn't promise instant results but it needs to be given a proper chance with frequent applications and time. I tried to be as consistent with it as I could and I noticed my skin to be brighter and more firm. Suitable for all skin types, especially mature, with signs of aging, sensitive, and acne-prone. You can get it here.
Earthwise Beauty Ruby Facial Oil* (review) is hands down my favourite EWB oil. I fell in love with the ingredient list immediately and Ruby really impressed me. I love that it contains so many beautiful antioxidant-rich and non-comedogenic oil, and also because some of the oils have some sun-protective qualities. Plus there are no essential oils in this baby. This is my second bottle of Ruby and I simply adore it's gorgeous rich colour, the lightweight texture, the softening and brightening benefits, and of course it pairs beautifully with the Farizad's Veil Sun Protective Powder*. Ruby is special and makes my skin very happy. Get it here.
Leahlani Skincare Citrus + Citrine Regenerating Toner is a mist formulated for mature and oily skin types. This is definitely one of the loveliest toning mists I've tried. It has THE best spray nozzle that disperses the beautiful blend of lots of Hawaiian ingredients. Here is the full list if you want to have a look. As you may know I love that it contains Aloe Vera, always a wonderful ingredient to have in a toner. CiCi has a gorgeous scent (like you would expect me to say anything else about a Leahlani product), smells like Neroli or more like Neroli + a mix of other citrus. So lovely. The toner is hydrating, energizing and illuminating. On top of that it also contains a Citrine gemstone, that has been purified in the Hawaiian sea and sun. Citrine emits a strong vibration of joy, prosperity, energy and abundance. Citrine also helps to clear negative energy. Get CiCi here or at Reina Organics.
Odacite Pa + G Serum Concentrate* (review) is a potent facial oil designed to mix as a spot treatment or mixed with some other product. The Pa + G serum is specifically targeted to treat hyperpigmentation, which you know I love. 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. I've already used this baby and I really liked it. I got it in the August Boxwalla Box but you can check it out here.
Turmeric is one of my favourite spices, as is clearly seen in majority of these skincare products. It's such a powerful brightening, anti-inflammatory and rich in antioxidant spice, and I simply can't get enough of it! I used to swear by turmeric and honey mask, which is still amazing but I honestly don't do that much DIY products as I used to. But I do love eating it, either in different foods or I make a golden mylk, or I take a supplement cause it's just so convenient. The two things I want to mention is that you should enjoy turmeric with black pepper because it increases the absorption of turmeric and be careful because it can stain your skin and your clothes.

For the end I want to mention two products I really loved using, and they both also contain Turmeric. Clear skin Advanced Spot Treatment with Calendula & Turmeric* from Province Apothecary is one of THE best oils I've tried for reducing post-acne scars (those annoying red spots that just won't go away). It's a beautiful oil and definitely one to have if you suffer with acne. The other (almost) equally good product is the matching face serum, the Clear Skin Advanced Face Serum with Jojoba & Sea Buckthorn*. It balanced my skin beautifully and also helped with the hyperpigmentation spots. Reviews of both here.

Have you tried any of these lovely products?

Much love,

Jana xx

*samples generously provided
**this post contains affiliate links

INIKA Certified Organic BB Cream Foundation

oktober 09, 2017

I'm excited to review one of my favorite foundations, the beautiful INIKA Certified Organic BB Cream Foundation*. Not sure why I'm saying it's one of my favourite foundations because it actually IS my current favourite and it has been for the last few months. On all my latest selfies on my Instagram I'm wearing this beauty and I couldn't be more pleased with it. Natural and organic makeup came a long, looong way in terms of pigment, shade range, longevity, over-all performance and INIKA is definitely up there at the top. INIKA is 100% natural, certified organic, vegan, halal, and cruelty-free. INIKA’s tubes, pots and brushes are made from recycled materials and all INIKA packaging is recyclable.
 I've tried one or two INIKA's products before but the product that really impressed me from the brand is their BB Cream Foundation, made with 80% certified organic ingredients. I love the ingredient list! There's a bunch of ingredients rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals like Aloe Vera, Avocado, Argan, Pomegranate Seed, Prickly Pear Seed Oils, which moisturize and hydrate the skin + pigments which provide coverage. There are of course more ingredients that I mentioned and you can find the whole ingredient list here. This BB cream is hypoallergenic & dermatologist tested, and suitable for all skin types.

It's described as "a multi-tasking 3-in-1 formula that combines; a silky primer, moisturiser and foundation - all in one product". INIKA BB Cream Foundation is available in 6 shades. I have the shade Cream, for fair tones. What they don't say is that this shade is yellow or to say it in a more polite way, it has yellow undertone. This may be a deal breaker for some but for me it is a perfect match! I have other foundations that I love but none matches my skin tone this well. It has a good coverage, I would describe it as light. It beautifully evens out my skin tones, it looks super natural, it's very lightweight, feels good on the skin, it doesn't clog my pores, and it's just a gorgeous product. This BB cream is also long lasting and it really ticks all the boxes for me. I actually didn't expect to love it this much. It really is such a wonderful product. And many other green beauty bloggers would agree with me. I found out that the best way to apply it is with your fingertips. No brush or beauty blender can make it look as good and blended in as your fingertips can. Changing up the application made such a massive difference and since then the love for this product just kept on growing. I also wanted to mention the finish of this foundation but I find that a bit harder to describe since I always apply oils under my makeup so my skin always looks more dewy than anything else. I'd say that it gives a slight dewy look, it gives just a right amount of dewiness without looking greasy.

I'm completely in love with this product and I highly recommend it! I'm excited to try more INIKA products. You can get this BB Cream Foundation here.

Hope you're all having a lovely Monday!

With love,

Jana xx

*sample generously provided
**this post contains affiliate links

Vegan Cooking #6

oktober 04, 2017

I have another cooking article for you today and this one I wanted to get up as soon as possible because it's more than perfect for this time of year. It's nothing that special but it is a dish I've been quite obsessed with lately. It's everything I want in fall, it's comforting, warming, creamy and delicious (of course!). It's time for a pumpkin soup y'all. Whenever I post a new recipe I'm always like "it's so easy to make" but this one really is super easy and everyone can do it.

For this recipe you will need:

- one pumpkin,
- a few cloves of garlic,
- salt & black pepper,
- nutmeg,
- ginger and
- cayenne pepper.

Since we have a bunch of homegrown hokkaido pumpkins I used that one in the recipe, but you can use butternut squash as well. So first wash your pumpkin really well. Then you have to cut your pumpkin which sometimes can be such a struggle because of the super hard and thick skin. Be careful when cutting it okay. Remove the seeds and leave the skin on. Well perhaps remove just the bits of skin that don't look the best. Then simply place on baking tray and bake on 200°C for about 30-40 minutes. You can try if it's baked by sticking a fork into it. The last 10-15 minutes of baking the pumpkin also add a few cloves of garlic.

After it's all baked cut the pumpkin in smaller pieces so it's easier to blend, and place in a pot. If you have a good blender you can toss everything in there but I don't, so I smash and blend the pumpkin + water with a hand blender. Here I added about a litre and a half of water but it depends on the size of a pumpkin. Add seasoning and spices (I didn't write any specific measurements because that's up to your taste buds. Start with a small amount and gradually add more), and then place the pot on a stove and bring it to a boil. There is no need to keep cooking it for long, I usually left in on for about 5 minutes, even less. I like to serve this soup with some pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seed oil, which make the soup even more delicious.
 Happy cooking!

With love,

Jana xx

Leahlani Skincare Meli Glow

oktober 01, 2017

Can't stop, won't stop talking about Leahlani Skincare products. Today I'm sharing with you a sweet treat for the skin that you would immediately want to eat and then perhaps also slather on your face. It's time for glow, Meli Glow*, an Illuminating Nectar Mask. This mask kinda smells like strawberries, kinda doesn't, it's sweet and not as tropical as other Leahlani products I've tried but equally beautiful. 

Say aloha to a soft, supple and more even-toned complexion with Meli GLOW. 

Meli Glow is filled with enzyme and vitamin rich tropical fruits, nutrient dense beauty oils, skin moisturizing and plumping hyaluronic acid and stimulating clays steeped in the creamy fusion of organic Hawaiian nectar. This mask is based on Organic Raw Hawaiian Honey and I could just stop right here, because anything and everything containing raw organic honey works like a charm on my skin. Spoiler alert - this product is good! Honey is antiseptic and antimicrobial, it's moisturizing and very healing to the skin. Brightening as well. Check this out -"once mixed with water, honey will release a peroxide property which helps to heal acne and impede bacterial growth". It's all sorts of good for your skin. Meli Glow get its colour from Rose Clay and in there you can also see particles of what I assume are Rosehip Fruit and Strawberry, I think. Both are rich in Vitamin C which means they help to reduce and lighten acne scars and hyperpigmentation. I also want to mention Starfruit, Guava, Banana Fruit and beautiful oils of Argan, Sea Buckthorn and Avocado, plus more. Such lovely, lovely ingredients.
Meli Glow works at the molecular level to increase blood circulation and oxygenation. I've been using this mask once a week or so, but you could easily use it a couple of days a week, even every day. Since this mask contains fruit enzymes, I treat it like a gentle exfoliating mask and because I use other gently exfoliating products I don't want to overdo it and over exfoliate my skin. I apply Meli Glow on freshly cleansed skin using a bit of toner or water to easily spread it on my face. I do a quick massage to make it easier for my skin to absorb and reap all the goodness that Meli Glow provides. It is suggested to leave it on for 5-15 minutes but I usually leave it on longer, for about half an hour or so. My skin is left super soft & smooth and brighter, which I love. Up until two weeks ago week I have been using Meli Glow on its own but then Leah wrote about a new Aloha Alchemy "recipe" mixing Meli Glow with the one and only Mermaid Mask. I mixed equal parts of both masks and after washing the concoction of my skin I was blown away. My skin was visibly brighter, redness was reduced and it just look so good. If you have both, I definitely recommend trying this out!

Meli Glow is suited for all skin types, but is especially beneficial for dry, combination and mature skin. What can I say? Meli Glow is yet another beautiful Leahlani product and I highly recommend it her. You can get this tropical face mask directly from Hawaii from Leahlani Skincare or if you live in Europe I recommend getting it at Reina Organics.

Wishing everyone a happy October!!

With much love,

Jana xx

*sample generously provided
**this post contains affiliate links
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