Beauty Heroes Holiday Discovery ft. Kari Gran

november 30, 2017

To say I was excited to hear about the new Holiday Discovery box from Beauty Heroes is an understatement. What I'm talking about? Holiday Discovery is a limited edition box brought to us by the one and only Beauty Heroes. Last year's Holiday Discovery included the wonderful Rose Beldi Soap from Kahina Giving Beauty (review) + two sidekicks. This year's brand is Kari Gran and if you don't know, this is a beautiful brand! I fell in love with their products last July when they were featured in the July box. Read my review here.

 In the Holiday Discovery 2017* are Kari Gran's Essential Balm and a Lip Whip. You can choose from three different shades - Jolene, Jeannie and Suji Red. But first let's talk about the Hero.

Kari Gran is known for keeping it simple with the quantity of their products and they only create products that bring something to their collection. Consisting of 5 skincare formulas, Kari Gran is slow beauty that promotes simplicity rather than catering to marketing cycles


Essential Balm keeps things simple by doing "more with less", making this a top pick for the season. Part face balm, part eye cream, part primer. This waterless balm is packed with gorgeous organic ingredients. My fave ingredients are Camellia, Rosehip, Avocado, Calendula, Arnica and Sea Buckthorn. No Coconut Oil which I know some of you avoid in skincare cause it can react negatively on the skin (it can cause breakouts). The balm also contains Beeswax, just so you know if you prefer to avoid it. Essential Balm has such a lush, soft and extra smooth consistency. It feels lightweight and the balm isn't heavy or thick. I love it! And the scent? I love it as well! It's aromatic, sweet, floral but not too "girly & fresh floral" but more spicy floral, if ya know what I mean. Smells mostly of Ylang Ylang but the balm also contains Jasmine, Frankincense, Lavender and Rose.

I have yet to properly test it out as a face balm and use it for a few weeks every day. So far I've only used it twice and every time I woke up with soft skin. The balm also didn't break me out but actually kinda soothed my skin. I'm really excited to use it more regularly, especially in the upcoming winter weeks. I would recommend it for most skin types but if you're allergic to essential oils, especially flowers then it may not be for you. Also, since this balm is very concentrated a little goes a long way. I can easily imagine this balm will last me a long time also because it comes in a very generous 50 ml sized jar. The expiration date goes well with that as you have time to use it till September 2019. Another thing I want to mention is that as with any other multi-purpose balms, this one can also be used in different ways. My preferred way at the moment is using it as a nighttime hand cream. Makes my skin soft and hydrated which is precisely what I need at this time of year.

I'm thrilled to have Essential Balm in my life and I highly recommend getting it, or using some other skincare balm so your skin is well taken care of and protected from a cold environment. Check it out here.
A few more words about the Sidekick product, the Lip Whip by Kari Gran. As I said you can pick from three colours. I opted for Jeannie, which is a beautiful dark fuchsia to plum colour. In the pot it looks very pigmented and don't you just adore this shade? Once applied to the lips the shade is not as pigmented and opaque but gives my lips a beautiful glossy finish with a touch of colour. At first it feels tingly and smells of sweet peppermint. Lip Whip is a lovely hydrating lip balm and like Essential Balm, a little goes a long way. I like using it but as you must know for yourself, dipping your fingers into a jar isn't the most hygienic so I don't use it as much as I would like. I do love the glass packaging but sometimes it would be easier if it would be packaged in a "typical" lip balm tube. I still love it nonetheless. Check it out here.

This Beauty Heroes Holiday Discovery is valued at $119 but you can get it for $55. Less if you're a Beauty Heroes member. $2 from each sale will be donated to The Malala Fund on behalf of the Beauty Heroes community and Kari Gran Skincare. LOVE.

If you've been eyeing this discovery be quick about it, because Jeannie informed us that there are not many more left. If you're in need of a new face balm or simply wish to try Kari Gran products now is the time.

You can get this Beauty Heroes Holiday Discovery here.

Lots of love to you,

Jana xx

*sample generously provided
**this post contains affiliate links

Some Old & Some New Makeup Bits

november 27, 2017

I had this idea in mind to publish a makeup look created exclusively with products you can find on Love Lula. I'm happy to say I almost succeeded & I say almost because the mascara I used can't be bought on Love Lula. Some products I used are my firm favourites and I have been using & loving them for months and others I've received about a month ago and been also using them on a daily basis. I wrote quick reviews of each product I used and I hope you find them useful.
Inika Certified Organic BB Cream Foundation* (review) in the shade Cream has been my absolute favourite foundation ever since I've received it. I haven't tried lots of BB creams before but I love this one. It's more opaque as some others I've tried are but it still gives that light wash of colour that you would expect from a BB cream. I love that the coverage is not that sheer so I can easily use it all over my face to even out my tone and then go in with some concealer to cover the parts of my skin that need it. This BB cream is very lightweight, it doesn't feel like you're wearing anything, it stays put all day, it doesn't break me out and it's also full of lovely ingredients. I really love this product and highly recommend it if you're looking for a foundation with light coverage. One tip I have for you is to apply it with your fingers, I find that gives the best finish. You can get it here.
RMS Beauty "un" cover-up* (review) in the shade 11 has been my very loyal companion for the longest time and it just keeps on going and going. I've been loving it as an under eye concealer. It has a light to medium coverage and I really like that it's not drying. Actually that is something I experience if an eye cream isn't very moisturizing. Sometimes if I use too much I do feel it looks almost cakey but a little bit of tapping fixes that instantly. I always apply it with my fingers but on rare occasions when I use it as a foundation I really love to use a dense makeup brush with it, such as the Expert Face Brush by Real Techniques. It is safe to say that it will definitely be a repurchase in the future. Get the product here.
Inika Organic Mineral Mattifying Powder is a nice product but if you're looking for some mattifying effect then this is not the one for you. Upon application it does give that matte look but it quickly goes away. I do use this product quite regularly but it's not one that I would buy again. You can check it out here.

Inika Loose Mineral Bronzer* in the shade Sunlight is another product from the Australian brand. I really love the shade of it because it's not (too) orange or dark, so it suits my light-coloured skin well. I do love that sun kissed look so I've been using this one pretty much every time I apply my makeup. Even though it's a loose mineral bronzer it's not a deal breaker for me because it has a twist and lock sifter. I will say that sometimes it can look a bit powdery on the skin, but nothing that a little blending can't fix. Good for all over the face and for definition on the eye lids. Get it here.
PHB Pressed Mineral Brow Powder* in Ash Blonde has been one of my favourite Love Lula discoveries in the last few months. I didn't have any expectations about this product and it really pleasantly surprised me! The colours is light, ashy and not yellow, it stays put all day (without the use of a brow gel - which I never use) and I'm just really loving it. It says it's long lasting and that it never smudges - I can easily stand behind this. I also adore the eco-friendly packaging and that it has a magnet so it closes properly. Magnetic clicks are so satisfying, aren't they? Highly recommend! You can get it here.

RMS Beauty Swift Shadow in GR-13 Garden Rose* is a pressed eyeshadow in the most beautiful reddish brown shade topped with some shimmer particles. It's pigmented, soft, it blends very nicely and that colour is just so pretty. For this makeup look I first applied some bronzer and then this eyeshadow, both mostly on the outer corners of my eyes & crease. Get the eyeshadow here.
Neek Skin Organics lipstick in the shade Friday On My Mind* has one of the best names, doesn't it? Before applying the lipstick I first apply my love Hurraw Vata Lip Balm* so the lipstick doesn't dry out my lips. This vegan lipstick is a red lipstick with an undertone of plum and brown colours, and it contains a tiny bit of shimmer. I really like that this shade is versatile in its pigmentation - one coat is more sheer and light and with a few coats you can achieve great pigmentation and opaqueness. It's a lovely lipstick and I love that it's vegan & that it comes in a bamboo packaging. There are some more moisturizing lipsticks out there but I wouldn't mind having more Neek lipsticks. Get it here.
Lily Lolo Mascara (review) is the only product from this makeup look that can't be bought on Love Lula. I've been loving Lily Lolo's mascara for what seems to be ages! It's one of my favourite natural mascaras and if you're struggling with finding a good mascara then definitely give this one a go. The only thing that's bothering me is that I'm noticing is that the formula tends to dry out far quicker than it used to in the beginning. Which also means it can start to flake of the lashes much sooner than before. I know I'm not the only one experiencing this so I'm curious do you also have this problem? I do still love it but just be prepared for that if you end up getting it. I love supporting Nina so I get my Lily Lolo products here but do check out their official website to find out the closest shop to you that carries LL products.
The code FRIDAY still gets you 15% off on Love Lula if you fancy some of these products. More info in my previous post.

Wishing you a lovely start of the week!

Much love,

Jana xx

*samples generously provided
**this post contains affiliate links

Natural & Organic Beauty Deals

november 22, 2017

Hi lovelies! There are several amazing Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals going on and I just quickly wanted to share some with you. Some are too good to miss but I also encourage you to be mindful and not go too crazy with them. I'm pretty sure I won't be buying anything cause I already feel like a horder sometimes haha.

ART OF ORGANICS

* Clean Beauty Box: 15% off of ALL subscriptions - AOFAMILY (this applies to 1st box payment of a month to month subscription or entire payment of the 1st billing cycle for multi month subscriptions). Subscribers always have 15% off in the AO beauty shop.

Spend up to $50 get 15% off - GRATITUDE15
Spend $50+ get 20% off - GRATITUDE20
Spend $100+ get 25% off - GRATITUDE25

ART OF ORGANICS deals will run from Black Friday (11/24) through Wellness Wednesday (11/29). Discounts will become active at 12am PST 11/24 and remain active until 11:59pm PST 11/29.



BEAUTY HEROES

* 15% off with the code CYBERMONDAY (for non members).

* members have 15% off + free shipping worldwide.

* as you know Jeannie and Beauty Hereos are all about Use Less, Love More and for the holiday season they opened up the Holiday Store with LOVE MORE selections. For example there's Love Your VITAMINS More, Love MOTHER EARTH More, Love MEDITATION More and so on. I love what they came up with! Find them here.

* On all order $125+ you'll receive a LOVE MORE gift of the Kahina Giving Beauty set at $30 value.



DIVINE GREEN BEAUTY

* 10% off with the code BLACK.

DIVINE GREEN BEAUTY's deal starts Thursday evening and will run until Friday 25 Nov midnight.

Shop at Divine Green Beauty here.


EARTHWISE BEAUTY

* 20% off entire order with a promo code BlackFriday.
 
EARTHWISE BEAUTY's deal starts today, on Wednesday 11/22 and ends on Tuesday 11/28.



EMINESSENCES

* 15% off with code HAPPYBF15.

EMINESSENCES' deal will run on the 24th November.

Shop at Eminessences here.


IHERB

* 10% off your entire order with the code BFR2017

IHERB offers this deal from Friday, November 24th to Thursday, November 30th at 10:00 a.m. PST.

Shop at iHerb here.


LEAHLANI SKINCARE

* 20% off all order over $50 with the code ALOHAMONDAY (except the Nalu Ritual Bowl and their collection items).

LEAHLANI's offer ends at midnight on Monday November 27th.

Shop Leahlani Skincare here.


LOVE LULA

* Get 15% off everything  with code FRIDAY.  (excludes the Beauty Box)

LOVE LULA's offer ends 12/2.



LUXE BOTANICS

* 30% off with the code THANKINABOUTYOU.

LUXE BOTANICS'  ends 11/27.

Shop Luxe Botanics here.


MONO NATUROILS

* #givingbackisthenewblack

* 20% off across the store with the code GIVINGBACK17 (+ samples of their upcoming beauty balm and bath oil will also be included with all orders).

* for every purchase made, they will firstly plant a tree, and secondly donate £3.00 to 'Breakfast in a Bag' which will sponsor a breakfast for a homeless person. I LOVE THIS!

MONO NATUROILS
' deal will run from Friday 24th to Tuesday 28th Nov.

Shop Mono Naturoils here.

 
PURE BEAUTY

* 20% off site wide with a code BlackFriday17. Free gift with any order over $150. While supplies last. (Their free gift will include deluxe samples as well as a few full size products, including a full-size Axiology Lipstick.)

PURE BEAUTY's deal will run from Thursday 11/23 through Monday 11/27.



REINA ORGANICS

* This holiday season Reina Organics celebrates our beauty with a gift on orders above 75€ and they will donate 5% of every order to support children in need in Bulgaria. No code required.

Orders of €75 and above – one trial size deluxe sample and a €10 Reina Organics gift card.
Orders of €125 and above – two trial size deluxe samples and a €15 Reina Organics gift card.
Orders of €200 and above – three trial size deluxe samples and a €20 Reina Organics gift card.
Orders of €250 and above - three trial size deluxe samples and a €20 Reina Organics gift card and a 15 min Skype skin care consultation with Rayna.

REINA ORGANICS will donate 5% of every order placed between 19 November and 31 December 2017 to support children in need in Bulgaria. More info here.



SKIN OWL

* 25% off with code GLOWGETTER.

SKIN OWL's offer expires 11/25 at 11:59 PM PST.



SO NATURAL BEAUTY

* 20% off on Friday 24/11.

* 10% off from Saturday 25/11 to Monday 27/11.

Shop at So Natural Beauty here.


THE GREEN JUNGLE BEAUTY SHOP

* 15% off with the code BFCM.

THE GREEN JUNGLE BEAUTY SHOP's offer expires on Monday 11/27 at midnight EST.



I will be updating this post with new codes so watch this space. As always you can find more codes on my "OFFERS" page on the top of my blog.

Wishing you all the best & much love,

Jana xx

**this post contains affiliate links

Three from Rayna

november 20, 2017

I wanted to share with you one of my favourite birthday gifts from this year. My birthday was way over a month ago and all this time I've been really enjoying this special gift. And all others as well! In the spirit of this gift I first have to say that I'm so grateful for every kind word & all the lovely gifts I received and that it's so hard for me to say I prefer one over the other. It's just that this one has been really on my mind each day, in the morning and before I fall asleep. I'm talking about a journal, The Five-minute Jornal that has been so kindly gifted to me by the lovely Rayna from Reina Organics. I'm also mentioning two more gorgeous products that Rayna offers in her shop. Her stunning shop filled with luscious green beauty products.

So what is The Five-minute Journal? It's "the simplest, most effective thing you can do every day to be happier". It's a journal for those of us who don't write journals. I tried writing down the things I'm grateful for before and I even have a designated notebook for it, but in time I stopped or I just don't do it consistently. But I absolutely love the structure this journal provides and I'm so proud of myself that I've been taking the time to write in it every day. Well I missed one day but that's ok. So the whole thing with this journal is that you take five minutes a day to reflect on the things you are grateful for, the things you wish to achieve that will make your day great and writing down your daily affirmation. You write these in the morning and in the evening you write three amazing things that happened and you reflect on the thing that could made your day even better. You simply answer all these questions and you're done. Practicing gratitude, living in the now, mindfulness, are one of the best things you can do in your life. Shifting your focus on the good and positive things can dramatically improve your happiness. It's not always easy to be grateful or positive but a journal like this can at least make you feel that way for a few minutes a day. In the last year or so I've been really into all these things and I really couldn't have been more happy with this gift. Thank you so much Rayna.<3 Get the journal here.
The next product I've been really into is a candle, the Woodlot candle in Cascadia*. You may or may not know that I love walking in the woods. Forests always calm me down and I just love being in them breathing all that fresh air, admiring all their beauty and just feeling so good. Well, this candle smells just like forest! A beautiful evergreen forest. Love. Straight from the jar the scent can be a bit too much but after lighting it up the rooms fill with the gorgeous aroma of Fir, Cedarwood, Pine, Eucalyptus, Sandalwood & Sweet Orange Essential Oils. The woodsy fresh scent is so good! The candle is of course petroleum free (here is a little bit about that), it contains Organic Coconut Wax and Soy Wax (non-gmo). I also adore the recyclable glass jar and the minimalist & chic design. Get it here.
Another product I've been swooning over is the Leahlani Skincare Citrus + Citrine Regenerating Toner aka CiCi (short review here). It's interesting how you can really see a difference in your skin when you stop using a product and that is exactly what happened when I started testing out some other toner. Which btw is good but certainly not as good as CiCi is. Like I said before, my skin responds so, So good to aloe vera based toners and this one is no exception! It has many more wonderful ingredients that really hydrate my skin + I find it subtly brightening. Also the scent, oh my the invigorating scent! It's filled with Neroli and other lovely citruses. AND each bottle houses 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. This toner is formulated for mature and oily skin and I highly recommend it. Find it on Reina Organics or directly from Leah at Leahlani Skincare.

Wishing you all a beautiful Monday!

With love,

Jana xx

*sample generously provided
**this post contains affiliate links

Vegan Cooking #7

november 17, 2017

Lately I've gotten some requests do share more recipes and food I eat. Also my friend wants to know how I cook my curry, which I shared on my Instagram last week, so here is the recipe for it. Not sure how to call it, so let's just go with the colour and name it a Yellow Curry. It's filled with turmeric, curry powder, coconut milk and lots of veggies.  

This curry is vegan, anti-inflammatory, creamy, comforting and so yum.
YELLOW CURRY

You will need:

- half a small onion
- 4 - 5 potatoes,
- one carrot,
- handful of peas,
- handful of chickpeas,
- cauliflower,
- broccoli,
- a can of coconut milk,
- some tomato sauce (about 5 tbsp).

Seasoning:

- 1 tsp of turmeric,
- 2 tsp of curry powder,
- half a tsp of garam masala (optional),
- half a tsp of cumin,
- salt, black pepper and cayene pepper to taste.

1. Saute the onion. Lower the heat an add in curry powder, turmeric, garam massala, cumin. Mix together with onion and then add tomato sauce. Let is simmer for a few minutes.

2. Add peeled and cubed potatoes, carrot and peas. I like to turn on the heat when adding them and then mix them quite often so the spices don't burn. After a couple of minutes doing that I add in coconut milk. And perhaps some water if the veggies aren't covered with the milk. Add some salt and black pepper. Cook for about 20-25 minutes on low heat.

3. When potatoes are cooked, or almost cooked, add in chickpeas, cauliflower and broccoli. I used about half of cauliflower and broccoli that are on the photos. Cook for about 5-10 minutes more.

4. Taste and add more seasoning if needed. I usually serve with rice but sometimes I also add some quinoa. Enjoy!

Happy cooking!

Love,

Jana xx


* If you're not used to the taste of curry or turmeric, use less. You can always add more.
* If you're using cooked peas you can add them in later, the same time as cooked chickpeas.

5 Under 15€

november 10, 2017

To change things up a little I wanted to share with you 5 natural & organic, AND affordable products. I already wrote a similar post or two in the past but today I wanted to recommed five more products either to help you start on your natural & organic journey or if you simply wish to try some new good products. I've tried all these brands before, and mostly all the products as well, and they are all so very lovely. It was quite hard to choose only five so I stuck to skincare. All these beauties are available at Love Lula which ships worldwide and they also have free shipping. Yas!
Balm Balm Rose Floral Water Hydrosol. I find rose waters so universal and if you're ever in doubt you pretty much can't go wrong with a nice rose toner. This one contains only one ingredient, organically grown Rose Flower Distillate. Use it before applying your moisturizer or oil, before a masking session, as a setting spray or just like whenever you feel like it. I haven't tried this particular product before but I had their Frankincense Hydrosol, which was so nice. Review here. I also love that the toner is in glass packaging. You can get it here.

Konjac Sponge Co.Bamboo Charcoal Face Sponge. I've used a couple of these lovely sponges through the years and I always loved them. This sponge is made from Konjac potato, a plant native to Asia and can be found growing wild at very high altitudes. The konjac the use grows on the volcanic plains of UNESCO protected Jeju Island in South Korea & is free from chemicals, colouring, additives and irritants. 100% biodegradable and fully sustainable. Other ingredient in this sponge is Bamboo Charcoal, which is naturally antibacterial and antifungal, it absorb toxins and removes excess oils. As you can see, this sponge is perfect for oily and combination skin, and is suitable for even the most sensitive skin. I loved using my sponge in the morning, either using it with just water or with a cleanser. The sponge very gently exfoliates the skin, it's super soft and just so lovely to use. The only thing I would change is the plastic packaging that the sponge comes in. You can find my review of the French Pink Clay Sponge here. And find the Bamboo Charcoal Sponge here.

Lyonsleaf Beauty Balm. Vegan, 100% natural and made with 95% organic and wild-harvested ingredients, this balm is such a wonderful treat for the skin. It's filled with beautiful ingredients, smells delicious, has the loveliest & softest texture, and works so well. I used it as a cleansing balm and loved it but my friend wasn't as impressed with it as I was. So she started using it as an evening balm and she adores it! Balms are such amazing products because they are so versatile and multi-purpose. Read my full review here and get it here.

Ooh! Oil of Heaven Moringa Antioxidant Face Oil. I've tried Ooh! oils before but not this one. I loved Cacay Oil but I actually picked Moringa because it has been quite popular lately. Supposedly it is an excellent cleanser and moisturiser as it contains high levels of natural anti-oxidant and is ideal for preventing free radicals and other skin damaging agents. Not only is it rich in antioxidants but it's also anti-inflammatory & anti-microbial, which is perfect for oily and acne prone skin. I chose the travel sized version of the oil so you can first try it out and see if you even like it. This oil contains only one ingredient, organic Moringa and you can find it here.

Hurraw! Black Cherry Tinted Lipm Balm. I've been such a fan of Hurraw lip balms for the longest time! Hurraw makes vegan, organic and raw lip balm. They have a variety of different flavours but I chose the one that was my first from them. At least I think so, who knows if I remember right. This lip balm smells so lovely and cherriful and fruity. It gives a hint of red tint to the lips and moisturizes them really well. It's a great everyday lip balm and if you haven't tried Hurraw balms definitely give them a go. My current fave is Vata* with Cardamom, Almond and Rose. It smells so good and I always love products inspired by ayurveda. Get your Hurraw lip balm here.

Uso code FRIDAY for 15% off your order! (except the Beauty Box)

Hope you enjoyed this post and have a great day!

With love,

Jana xx

*sample generously provided
**this post contains affiliate links

Ayuna. Less is Beauty.

november 06, 2017

Meet Ayuna, a Spanish brand based on the belief that "Less Is Beauty". What does that mean? The founders Begona Sanjuan, a master esthetician and Isabel Ramos, a scientist and cosmetic formulator, bring over 40+ years combined experience (this brand is legit y'all!), and they are all about using less. Less but better. Ayuna only has 5 beautiful and powerful products (check out their products here), that can do it all with greater precision, cleaner ingredients and longer-lasting results than their commercial counterparts. The whole thing with it is that you don't need a different product for every square inch of your face which I think it a great mindset to have (especially when using expensive products). Using less products is also great for the skin so it can just be and feel happy on its own and not always feel it has to rely on products. Ayuna is inspired by the principles of topical fasting; feeding skin only what it needs to stay balanced, thus ridding it of overstimulating aggressors and kick-starting its own self-repair mechanism. With all that said, Ayuna's philosophy shows more than perfectly in their design and packaging. I ADORE their white glass packaging and the font is just so beautiful! Also did you know that a Spanish word "ayuno" means fast or fasting. Everything fits perfectly together and all the attention to details is making me very happy.

This is truly a special, unique and innovative science-based botanical line that is at the moment available in the November Beauty Heroes Box. How exciting is that?!

The November Beauty Hereos Discovery* brings us a full sized Hero product, the Ayuna Essence Cream-in-oil Peel. I will repeat myself (probably more than once) but this is one of the most unique and innovative exfoliators/masks I've ever used. Not just that, I've never used a product like this before. In its essence this is an exfoliator, a whipped cream exfoliant. On Instagram I described the texture as fluffy and cloud like, and it is giving me all the feels. The same is with the scent, the glorious Ayuna scent. It's so hard to describe it and give it the justice it deserves. It's very sweet and kinda fruity but also a tiny bit floral, almost candy-like. It contains Natural Essential Oil-based Fragrance which is just dreamy. It's definitely a happy scent and it always makes me smile. Beauty Heroes describe the scent as a "hypnotic aroma" and I couldn't agree more.
If you follow me on Instagram, then you may have seen my IG stories where I shared how to use Essence. With this product you should definitely read the usage instructions. First apply the cloud product on your face. Apply medium to thick layer and don't mess about with it, it's not that easy to apply a truly even layer. Now leave it on your face as a mask and allow to activate for about 20-30 minutes. In this first step Essence will reveal the skin's radiance with the help of Alpha-amino acids, which trigger skin's regenerative capabilities on contact. Then comes the second step, the fun step. As the mask sets you have to remove it with your fingers. Just your fingers, no water. Gently massage and roll and buff it all away with circular movements. This is gonna be messy, but also very satisfying at the same time. This polish is grainless so you will not feel any grains or beads but it will almost feel like you're shedding your skin when removing the Essence from the skin. You will have to follow up with the third and last step by brushing away any remaining Essence with a dry wash cloth. Don't wash it off with water because once your roll the product away you will be left with a very lightweight oil on the skin. And you don't want to remove all that goodness. Simply follow with the Cream II, which is one of the sidekicks from this month's Beauty Heroes box. From a mask, to exfoliator and finally to a lightweight moisturizer. Essence does it all and as you can see it really is a unique product.

As of this moment I used the Essence twice and I've really been thoroughly enjoying it both times. Not only that it leaves my skin soft and smooth, the skin is also left moisturized (which you can't always say after exfoliation) and it also looks radiant and a bit brighter. After my second use I really noticed that my skin looked plumper and that really impressed me. Essence also promises "softened lines and reduced appearance of pores" which is also something I noticed. To me this is a true Hero product and I'm so grateful that they collaborated with Beauty Heroes because otherwise I don't think I would ever try it. Definitely a product to put on your wishlist. Check it out here.
Now for the Sidekicks. Ayuna Nourishing Artisan Soap has the same wonderful scent as Essence has. All Ayuna products have the same aroma. This baby soap was especially made for all the Beauty Heroes subscribers and isn't it just the cutest?! Each bar of soap has a different pattern and that dark colour comes from Activated Charcoal, which is deeply detoxifying. It's crafted with Borage, Olive, and Coconut oil. At the moment I have three cleansers (four if counting raw honey) and they all lightly exfoliate the skin so I really appreciate that this soap isn't exfoliating. I love using it after my oil cleansing (read all about it in my previous post here) and sometimes in the morning (usually I use either water or honey). Even though it is a bar soap it's really not drying, as many bar soaps are. There's absolutely none of that "squeaky clean feeling" but at the same time the skin is clean. Now that I'm writing this review I'm seeing that you can use this soap for an everyday cleanse like I've been doing already or for a deep cleanse: to activate, use water and a cosmetic brush creating a creamy foam. Apply to skin, along with a warm, moist towel for about 5 to 10 minutes. Focus on the T-zone area, then rinse with warm water and dry. Will have to try that one day. Check out this lovely soap here.
Second Sidekick of the November Beauty Heroes Discovery is Ayuna's Cream II - Rejuvenating Treatment (Rich), a scientifically advanced, botanical formula that boasts an array of high-performance natural ingredients. Phyto-peptides and plasmas, rich in botanical cell factors from Green Carrot, Arabian Cotton, Pomegranate and phyto-peptidic fractions from Turmeric Root and Centella, help skin maintain a feeling of regeneration. I don't use this cream every day because I feel it's just a tad too rich for my combination skin but when I do use it I always love the results it gives. It's luxurious, it's rich but not thick, it's very moisturizing and leaves my skin revitalized and soft. I love using it after the Essence and I almost treat it as a mask, an overnight moisturizing mask. It's one of those cream that you don't need a serum or oil on top because there really is no need for that. The second cream Ayuna has is Cream and it's the Light version which I think would be better for my skin but I'm glad that Beauty Heroes included the Rich cream because it will work better in the upcoming months. Check it out here.
This month's Beauty Heroes Discovery met all my expectations and surpassed them. These Ayuna products truly work and they really are the epitome of luxury. They are also free of cruelty, gmo and gluten, and vegan as well. LOVE.

The Novemeber Beauty Heroes Discovery is valued at a whooping $205! By joining Beauty Heroes you can get these gorgeous products for $39! Really a box you can't miss out on. Check out Ayuna products here and subscribe here.

Wishing you a wonderful Monday!

Much love,

Jana xx

*sample generously provided
**this post contains affiliate links

Say No to Plastic & Go Zero Waste with Your Makeup Remover

november 01, 2017

In this day and era we should all be more wary of the plastic, and waste in general that we use. I do try, I'm nowhere near perfect, but I do try. I encourage you to do something about the use of plastic in your life too. Since pretty much everyone here (hopefully) washes their faces in the evening, either if you're wearing makeup or not, I have the perfect zero waste solution for you. Oil cleanser + washcloth. That's it! If you haven't tried this yet, then definitely keep on reading. 
 How to remove makeup and impurities from the day with an oil cleanser and a washcloth? 

First you need to pick up an oil cleanser. Or a balm cleanser. Both works. If you really want to be zero waste with this then I recommend picking a massive jar of Coconut Oil. Pick one that comes in a glass jar with aluminium lid, not plastic. Choose organic, cold pressed and extra virgin coconut oil. It can be found pretty much in every store, from health stores to regular grocery stores. I've been the biggest fan of coconut oil for years and my combination skin adores it. LOVE. One thing to mention with coconut oil is that it can be pore clogging for some skin and can cause acne. But at the same time it can also heal acne because it's antibacterial. Just a word of caution to do a patch test. If you're scared of coconut oil then you can try Hemp Seed Oil, which works great for oily skin. Or Black Cumin Seed Oil. This one is also great for oily skin type. Or mix them together. Some swear on Jojoba or Grapeseed Oil. The possibilities are endless, especially if you mix and blend them together. One I personally wouldn't recommend is Olive Oil because it can sting your eyes if you use too much, and also be careful with Castor Oil. It can be wonderful in small doses but it can also dry out your skin like nothing else. Again, great for oily skin but don't use it on your own! What I would suggest when buying them is to go for extra virgin, cold pressed and organic + glass packaging.

If you're unsure which oil to choose then you could also go for oil cleansers or balm cleansers created with specific skin types in mind. I mean if you really wish to go as low waste as you can, then go for a big jar or bottle of oil, but an oil cleanser packaged in glass is the next best thing. I love testing out new cleansers so I have quite a number of reviews of them on my blog. My latest oil cleanser discovery is RAPHA Harmonizing Oil Cleanser* from H is For Love, which I've received in the October Boxwalla Beauty Box*. Check out my review here. I also thoroughly enjoyed cleansers from Mel Millis (review), de Mamiel (review), Mallow + White (review), Skin & Tonic (review), Lyonsleaf (review). As you can see I could just go on and on about them. Some of these have plastic lids but if you're changing up your routine from using cotton rounds or makeup remover wipes every day to this routine, then you are already on the right track. Small changes do matter. Like I said, I do love trying out new cleansers but I keep going back to my trusty beloved Coconut Oil. I love that I can always use an empty coconut oil glass jar for something else.
Oil cleanser done, now let's move on to washcloths. Same as with oils, I recommend washcloths made from organic cotton but I too have "normal" ones. Some I received and some are super old. These babies last for such a long time so you definitely get your money's worth. Besides cotton washcloths you can also get muslin cloths, which are more gentle to the skin. Personally I much prefer cotton cloths, because they stay warmer longer and are also bigger. I like to leave the washcloth on my neck as well on my face for a little while, so they work much better than smaller muslin cloths.
Quick update. You could also go for hemp washcloths or organic bamboo washcloths which Tracy from Mono Naturoils recommends. She says they are "ultra absorbent, super soft, naturally antibacterial and sustainably produced/biodegredable".

ROUTINE.

 First make sure to get your hair of your face. I like to do a bun on top of my head but I'm dying to get one of those cute bands with ears or something. Wash your hands. Use an oil cleanser of choice, spread it in both palms of your hands and apply/massage it directly on your face. No water, no nothing. Just oil directly on top of your makeup. Gently massage your cheeks, your jaw, forehead, your eyes. Apply all over, also down your neck. Massage for at least 20-30 seconds, longer if you feel the need or if you just want to give yourself a super quick massage. Oil will gently dissolve makeup, even mascara. If not, then you're not doing it right or you're too quick about it. Mind you that some oils are better and remove mascara quicker, but all should remove it. Also some do feel nicer on the skin then others. Now take a second to appreciate your new look as a panda. Or a blackish mess.

Now comes the fun part. Some use dry cloths, others rinse them under warm to hot water. I do the later and love it! I squeeze the super warm water from the washcloth and apply on my face. Relaxation begin. As I said, I love a bit bigger washcloths so I can cover my whole face + neck. I very gently press it onto the skin (and be careful if you're using very hot water) and then I just leave it on my skin and gently press my face with my hands. Again, very gently. Here I again have to mention Laurel's video on how to do a facial compress so be sure to check it out here. This is very beneficial for your lymph and lympathic system which Laurel describes as "standing water". Which means you have to do something about it so that it can move, like exercising, lymph massages and such. Doing facial compresses helps as well. It stimulates lymphatic flow and detoxifies - which means happier & healthier skin. So after you've enjoyed a bit of relaxation provided by the warmth of the cloth (trust me on this, it's the best thing ever!) you can wipe off the makeup. Repeat again. If I haven't been wearing makeup or if I follow up with a mask then I leave it at that but sometimes I also feel like using another cleanser to really deeply cleanse my skin.
Since this post is about zero waste-ing your makeup removing game, I would highly recommend using raw and organic Honey (from a glass jar of course). I L O V E honey so much!! I don't know how to express my love for it but honey is the best thing ever for your skin! If of course you're not allergic to it. It's sooo softening, hydrating, it fades acne scars, it evens out skin tone, it's skin smoothing, antibacterial, it's just perfect. I love me some straight up raw honey but I also love honey based cleansers such as Leahlani Skincare Honey Love, Lilfox Jungle Glow and Leahlani Skincare Meli Glow.
If you can't or don't want to use honey then I have another option for you. A powdered cleanser. I have some DIY recipes on this from a few years ago, but to make it super simple you can just ground some oats and store them in a jar. In the palm of your hand add some grounded oats and sprinkle some water on top, apply on your face and done. You can always mix some flowers and other ingredients into the blend. Pictured on the photo is my blend of Oats, Hibiscus & Rosehip. Find something similar here & here. If you don't like DIY-ing and would like a luxe product then go for one of my absolute favourite, Kalima by Leahlani Skincare. Or use some other cleanser packaged in a glass bottle.

I didn't expect to write so much for this post but in the end I would like to mention that oil cleansing is one of the best things I've done for my face and I highly recommend it! I can't imagine removing my makeup any other way. My skin is always properly cleansed when removing makeup like this and is also very soft and lovely. And of course it's way, way better for the environment. If you are not ready to give oil cleansing a go then you could replace your disposable cotton rounds with reusable & washable cotton rounds. I haven't really looked into them but they have loads on Etsy. Be minduful of your choices.

Much love to you all,

Jana xx

*sample generously provided
**this post contains affiliate links
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