A Few Products in More Eco-Friendly Packaging

januar 26, 2018

Following my last post about beauty packaging I gathered some products packaged in either glass, metal, or paper materials. There is of course still some plastic involved but I just wanted to share some options with you. It's really so very easy to find expensive organic products that meet all my standards and that also have beautiful, eco-friendly packaging so I rather picked more affordable products (well some are still a bit up there). I found them all in one store - Love Lula, which also offers free worldwide shipping. There was also a great discussion about beauty packaging in the Love Lula Natural Beauty Club on Facebook, and that also kinda inspired this post.
1. Trevarno Lavender & Geranium Cleansing Oil. Trevarno is definitely a brand that uses my kind of packaging, mostly glass and aluminium lids, even for bottles. This oil is based on Calendula, Chamomile & Comfrey Olive Oil and I'm asking myself how come I haven't tried this oil yet?! Sounds lovely!

2. Trevarno Organic Handmade Soap Selection. I have these soaps and I love them! You receive 5 different soaps and I'm on my third one, the Rose & Jojoba, and I absolutely love it. Definitely my fave. Just so you know the box that came in also contains some plastic which is unfortunate but at least there's way less plastic than with your standard shower gel. They lather nicely, and are not drying. Definitely recommend.

3. Nizou Exotic Jasmin Scented Candle. Ok I kinda missed the point with this one, since it does come in an unnecessary paper box. It's almost 10 pm as I'm writing this and I clearly have to go to bed. Oh well. I also didn't want to choose a candle from PHB with more eco-friendly packaging because I have one of those candles and it's not that great. This candle does sound lovely though. It's hand poured in the UK, created with pure, natural, biodegradable, soy bean wax. It combines the subtle fragrance of sweet jasmine, ylang ylang and white lilies. Comes in a glass jar and aren't candle jars the best to reuse for something else? All in all, soy or coconut based wax candles are such a better eco-friendly alternative to paraffin based candles.

4. Tabitha James Kraan 4-in-1 Organic Conditioner Golden Citrus. Lovely 4-in-1 product that works as a conditioner, leave-in treatment, nourishing scalp cream and a texturize & curl styling cream. I tried all the products from this brand and I really liked them.

5. PureChimp 100% Natural Super Shampoo Bar. I haven't tried this shampoo bar yet but I'm intrigued. At the moment I have two other shampoo bars which I got on Etsy, where there are loads. I kinda have a love hate relationship with them but they are (kinda) growing on me. Bar soaps are such a wonderful alternative to shampoos and shower gels, but I still have to find the one that really works for my hair.

6. KIKI Health Organic 100% Raw Coconut Oil. Coconut oil is such a staple. You can use it for your hair, face (it can be comedogenic so be careful), body, for hands, in the kitchen. Can't imagine a live without it. Coconut oils almost always come in glass jars which are the easiest to reuse. Here I also have to mention honey, which is in my opinion one of the best skincare ingredients. It works so well for my skin and you can also easily get it in a glass jar.
7. Inner Senses DREAM Body Oil. I haven't tried this oil but I love the Sensual scent! That one is a bit more expensive so I rather picked this Dream body oil. The design isn't the most appealing but they do use lots of organic ingredients and the Sensual smells lovely + it's lightweight. I'm looking forward to trying out more of their products.

8. The Ohm Collection Deo Dorant Powder No Sweat - Blossom. This is not your typical deodorant because it comes in a powder form! I'm very intrigued by it but since I'm allergic to baking soda I don't see myself ever trying it. But I like the packaging and I wish they will come out with more options for sensitive skin.

9. Lyonsleaf Body Butter. LOVE. Such a beautiful body butter. Read my review here. Lyonsleaf is a beautiful brand and I highly recommend their products.

10. Alchemy Oils Grapefruit Hair Remedy. 5 ingredients. Simple yet effective. I will say that I was sceptical about the use of Fractionated Coconut Oil because I prefer extra virgin coconut oil but it pleasantly surprised me and I would buy this product again. Makes my hair soft and smooth and because the Coconut Oil is fractionated, the product isn't heavy but rather beautiful and it washes off quite easily.

11. Herbfarmacy Nail & Cuticle Oil. I've had this oil for quite some time and I still really enjoy using it. It's 100% organic and it does a very good job at moisturizing my cuticles and nails. I only wish I would be more consistent with it. Herbfarmacy is a beautiful brand but I do hope they would just stop using phenoxyethanol in some of their products.

12. OKKO Lip Balm - Organic Rosehip - Unflavoured. I love that this lip balm comes in a paper packaging. So refreshing to see that! Mango, Cocoa, Candelila Wax, not only does it sound nourishing but it's also vegan. Definitely the one to put on my wishlist!

13. PearlBar Planet Loving Bamboo Toothbrush. I haven't tried this particular brand of bamboo toothbrushes but I love the one I have. This is a 100% biodegradable charcoal-infused bamboo toothbrush which you can simply toss into your compost pile. Better option than disposable plastic toothbrushes. I will say that they feel a bit differently to the plastic toothbrushes and not every brand worked for me but do give them a go and see for yourself.
14. The Rose Tree Tahiti Cocoa Lip Butter. After trying out their Cleansing Butter (review here) I'm interested in more of their products. I heard that this Lip Balm is really good, someone described it as pure heaven. If you don't mind applying it with your finger then I say go for it. 

15. RMS Beauty "Un" Cover-Up. I'm such a massive fan of this product! I've been using it for so long now and I still have so much left. It's not the most affordable and it does contain Coconut Oil, which can cause acne, but other than that it's a beaut. It's hydrating and therefore perfect for under the eyes and I also use it to cover redness and spots. If you set it with powder it lasts a long time. It's very lovely and I also love the glass packaging.

16. Balm Balm Chamomile Floral Water Hydrosol. Toners and hydrosols packaged in glass bottles are my jam! I haven't tried this one yet, but I had their Frankincense and Rose Hydrosols and both are nice. Not that hydrating, personally I prefer toners with aloe vera but using them from time to time hydrosols are really lovely.

17. Lyonsleaf Marshmallow Soften and Rejuvenate Facial Oil. With Sunflower, Avocado, Baobab, Borage, Rosehip, Marshmallow, this oil sounds lovely. It's a newer product from Lyonsleaf and if you're looking for a new oil serum then definitely take this one into consideration.

18. Elli Face Serum. Elli is a new-to-me brand, grown and crafted in Africa & 100% organic. Nice! This serum contains Baboab, Marula, Jojoba, Chamomile, Helichrysum. I'm into it. Based on the ingredients it sounds really beautiful.

19. PHB Ethical Beauty Mineral Eyebrow Powder. I ordered this product on a whim and I was so pleasantly surprised by it! It's such a lovely powder - great shade match (I have Ash Blonde), it's not orange, it goes on nicely and stays put all day. And in paper packaging. Highly recommend. Check out my review here.

Hope you liked this post and have a lovely weekend!

With love,

Jana

**this post contains affiliate links

Packaging Is Important

januar 23, 2018

I'm interested to know how you choose brands and products you want to try and use? Do you choose based on ingredients? Reviews? Because the product looks beautiful? Because you think it may work wonders for your skin? Because your favourite blogger recommends it?

Do you ever consider the packaging and the materials your beauty products are made of? Are they recyclable? Can you reuse them?
Beauty Products Packaging Is Important. Glass, aluminium, plastic, bamboo, paper.
 Personally I'm very much into packaging. First are the ingredients and the philosophy of the brand, and then it is definitely the packaging and materials. If you do not know, we bloggers are so fortunate that we are kindly gifted a number of products and we probably all have too many products, definitely more than any normal person would need. With that in mind, I always try and think if I really need that new product in my life and I rather say no, than to accumulate products that would just sit on shelves and in my fridge. Not that I'm perfect but I'm very happy with the amount I have (which is actually rather small in comparison to some other bloggers) and don't feel overwhelmed by it. So since I try a lot of products I'm quite conscious of the packaging. More products mean more waste and if I can get a similar product in a better packaging then I'm like no thank you. I'm one of those people who annoys brands if they would consider having a more eco-friendly packaging materials. We consumers have a massive influence on the market so why not speak about the important things in life, which eco-friendly packaging most definitely is. Everything that concerns environment is an important topic to discuss and since my blog is mainly about beauty products, I feel I have to talk about this.

So what is my favourite packaging material? Glass packaging and aluminium lids. So glass and metal.
Glass, paper, aluminium, metal packaging. Eco-friendly. Organic and natural products.Glass. Recyclable, eco-friendly packaging.
Violet Miron Glass packaging, organic and natural products
Glass is a sustainable, recyclable material, made from sand, soda ash, limestone and “cullet,” the industry term for furnace-ready recycled glass. Personally I love Miron Violet Glass the most. Not only is it recyclable but it also preserves and adds vitality and energy to the contents inside. Miron glass blocks all harmful rays from the light spectrum and therefore the products stay fresher longer, and the glass also preserves the dynamic energy of what is stored inside. In terms of preserving the products, brown glass is better than clear, but you can recycle or upcycle all of them.
Glass packaging, aluminium lids. Eco-friendly packaging.
Metal. And by metal I'm thinking of aluminium. It can be recycled again and again and supposedly almost 75% of metal packaging is recycled in Europe, making it the most recycled packaging. (source) That's one of the reasons why I love my 24Bottles stainless steel water bottle. One of the most known beauty brands that uses metal packaging is a makeup brand Kjaer Weis and that's not all, they also offer refills. Not only eco-friendly but also oh so beautiful. Here I also have to mention Earthwise Beauty who uses aluminium lids. Lani, Meow Meow Tweet and S.W. Basics as well. My beloved Gaia Creams were also using glass jars & bottles with aluminium lids.

Next is biodegradable packaging made from waste paper. Meow Meow Tweet's deodorant sticks come in that sort of packaging and I also had a lip balm from another brand in such biodegradable packaging. Even better that "just" a packaging made from recycled paper, is the one that is infused with wildflower seeds. Mel Millis' external packaging is made like that (and they use Miron glass bottles with plastic lids) and all Elate Clean Cosmetics' pressed powder products come in seed paper + they also use bamboo packaging. I also love that Boxwalla's boxes are made from post-consumer paper!
Bamboo packaging, makeup beauty products
Bamboo packaging. As you may know bamboo is a sustainable material because it is grown in abundance in many parts of the world, it grows quickly and is self-regenerating. Plus it doesn't need any pesticide to grow well. I remember living in this apartment where my neighbours had bamboo and it grew like crazy, especially after it rained. Bamboo sure sounds like an amazing option, but is it really that sustainable and eco-friendly as we may think? It depends. Bamboo is usually used as an alternative material to plastic, which I'm all for. First of all I adore my bamboo toothbrush! I think that when it comes to makeup it is also a very good choice and is definitely way, WAY better than plastic (can't even compare the two actually). If the brands also offer refills then that's perfect. As mentioned, Elate offers that and Zao Makeup as well. I still think that metal packaging for makeup is better (in terms of being more eco-friendly) but bamboo is the next best thing, cause sadly plastic is a standard when it comes to makeup. Oh and makeup can be also packaged in paper, not to mention glass as Gressa is doing. PHB Ethical Beauty and 100% Pure use paper packaging for some of their products.

I have nothing bad to say about bamboo but what about bamboo packaging for skincare? The most known brand that uses bamboo packaging is Hawaiian brand Mahalo. They store their products in jars made of glass which are then covered with/in bamboo. But I can toss away my used up bamboo toothbrush into a compost pile but I don't see myself doing that with a glass & bamboo jar. But then I also can't throw this kind of packaging into a (glass) recycling bin. So to me this combination isn't as eco-friendly as one might think but then at least the jars are glass and not plastic. Or am I just missing something? Perhaps you could try breaking them apart, if that's even possible. There are better options and I definitely prefer just straight up glass jars and bottles, without any bamboo attached to it.

Plant-based biodegradable plastic or bioplastic, made from plant biomass, such as corn or sugarcane. Supposedly this kind of plastic is biodegradable and should not contain any synthetic materials but I'm still very vary & iffy of it. Plus I think you would have to have a lot of plants to make it, which in the end may not even be that eco-friendly and good on the environment. And this bioplastic is not the same as biodegradable plastic, which is still made out of plastic. No to plastic of any kind. With that said the plastic resin for Tata Harper's tubes is derived from corn, which means it is made from a renewable resource instead of petroleum, which I have to say I applaud very much.
Plastic packaging
Plastic. Yuck. Nuff said. As you know, I also use and have plastic in my life, sadly I don't see myself being able to live without it, at least not just yet. I can live, happily live, with an oil in a glass bottle with an aluminium lid but we consumers are very fussy, so the majority of brands (still) use plastic lids. Here I'm thinking of pumps, pipettes and droppers. BUT at least they use glass bottles and not plastic! The glass here is definitely half full and not half empty. Sure you could argue that plastic is recyclable but how much of it is really recycled?? And also not every plastic can be recycled, not to mention that it can be toxic and harmful. For example, I have this toner which I ordered online and wrongly assumed that it is bottled in clear glass. When it arrived I was sadly disappointed because it was packaged in plastic. Not just any plastic, but with a sign "PET 1" which is like the worst kind of plastic there can be and is pretty much always a "single-use" or disposable plastic. So no, not recyclable. Plus yuck! This kind of plastic can leak some nasty chemicals into a product. Why would I want to use that? You know I'm not into chemicals and when I want to try a new product which in fact is (that toner) 100% organic but then the packaging was this after thought cheap plastic mess?! I immediately poured it into an old toner glass bottle but I'm still a bit iffy about it. I'm not actually that extreme every time and I just leave it but sometimes I simply can't.

There are many ways of making packaging pretty, beautiful, chic, minimalistic, luxurious and in this day and age the most gorgeous ingredients/products packaged in a single-use plastic packaging can simply put just f*ck off.

For the end I also want to say, is outer or external packaging of the products really necessary? What is it made of? What about the use of soy ink? The one thing that also urks me is when a brand sends me one of their products and the box is like HUGE! Really? You really need a packaging that big for a product that I can fit into my pocket?

I will say it again, I'm in NO way perfect but I do try to choose more consciously and be more mindful of my choices. I know that sometimes it's hard, even impossible to resist a brand and their products but in that case perhaps pick only one product instead of five. Do you really need them? Use less, love more, as Beauty Heroes say. If you can, then choose eco-friendly and recyclable packaging and then of course also recycle. There is so much more that I want and need to say, but I will leave this post as it is and perhaps in the future do an update when I will know more about this topic. There is so much more to mention and to learn and if you have anything to add I would love to chat more about it, either in the comments or privately via email.

I'm no expert so if you want to live even more low waste life then I highly suggest following blogs dedicated to zero waste style, where you will find more amazing tips and tricks. Following people who live a zero waste life, who care for the environment and all that good stuff is especially a wonderful thing to do on Instagram or Facebook. That way you're constantly reminded of all the (plastic) s*it we keep producing.

One other thing, the last one I promise! IT IS PERFECTLY OKAY if you start slow. You don't have to change everything over night. You will only feel overwhelmed and dishartened and possibly you will want to stop asap. Baby steps are better than no steps.

Wishing you a lovely day!

With love,

Jana xx


**this post contains some affiliate links

KHUS + KHUS Sans Age Face Serum

januar 16, 2018

KHUS + KHUS. Ever heard of this brand? It is one to remember, trust me!

I was introduced to KHUS + KHUS last month, when two of their products were featured in the December Beauty Heroes Discovery. Both are so special and I've been really impressed with them. SO impressed. KHUS + KHUS was founded by Kristi Blustein, an Ayurvedic Health Practitioner, Aromatherapist, Herbalist, Certified Yoga Teacher. Mind. Blown. KHUS + KHUS' concept is simple, they believe strongly that plants support the body + mind in healing. Their products are packed with 100% botanical ingredients & they want to collect the life-force energy contained in botanicals and share their healing potential with us, and that requires healthy, ethically grown plants. I'm loving the sound of all this but what really sold me on the brand are truly effective and simply gorgeous products.
KHUS + KHUS Sans Age Face Serum
KHUS + KHUS Sans Age Face Serum Anti-inflammatory and soothing oil
KHUS + KHUS Sans Age Face Serum* was the Sidekick of 2017 December Beauty Heroes Discovery but for me it was the Hero #2. This serum actually comes in a 50ml bottle but we received a very generous 30 ml bottle, which is like your standard oil serum packaging. I'm so, So grateful for that because I've REALLY been obsessed with all the benefits my skin has been getting in the last couple of weeks. And I still have a lot of oil left, which makes my heart sing! This serum is all about diminishing signs of inflammation, and increasing a look of vitality and youthfulness in skin. Have you ever heard of a term "inflamm-aging"? At KHUS + KHUS they understand the biochemical connection between systemic inflammation and visible signs of aging. You can find articles about this topic online, but in its essence the term “inflamm-­aging” is used to describe the aging phenomenon induced by chronic, persistent inflammation. Most people are familiar with the visible inflammation that can be seen on the surface of the skin, with redness representing a sign of infection, irritation or discomfort. It can also be invisible. The best thing to do (for your skin) is to avoid inflammatory food, like sugar, refined flour, meat, especially processed meat, junk food, and stock up on anti-inflammatory food, including green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, berries, and more. My favoruite anti-inflammatory food is actually a spice Turmeric. LOVE. Turmeric lattes are popular for a reason. My curry recipe is also filled with Turmeric, find how to make it here.

The second best thing are products that support your skin and don't cause any further irritation but rather soothe and calm it. Here enters the KHUS + KHUS Sans Age Face Serum, a serum that "evokes sensations of peacefulness and relaxation, lends a cooling feel, and bestows a quality of good energy." This serum promises to reduce appearance of inflammation of the skin and increase cellular regeneration. Does it really work with inflammation? Well let's have a quick look at the ingredients. First is Helichrysum or The Everlasting Flower (in Slovenian it is known as "smilj" or "suhocvetnica") which has strong ability to lower inflammation and also has anti-aging benefits. A family friend gifted me her own facial oil made with Olive Oil and Helichrysum (which btw grows also in Croatia) and I haven't had a chance to properly try it out, but my mom has been using it and she absolutely loves it! She's always like "look how soft my skin is!". Helichrysum is also in my beloved Earthwise Beauty's Tigress Face Balm* and you know how I feel about it. Review here. The second ingredient in the Sans Age Face Serum is Blue Tansy which is also known as Moroccan Chamomile. It is highly anti-inflammatory and has antioxidant properties. It's soothing and relaxing to the nervous system. Blue Tansy is also known for its gorgeous blue colour, which occurs through distillation process. And the third calming ingredient is German Chamomile.
KHUS + KHUS Sans Age Face Serum
This hero trio is nicely tucked away in a blend of oils of Marula, Baobab, Argan, Sea Buckthorn & Rosehip. NON-GMO certified, 99% organic, and sustainably wild harvested ingredients. The serum has a blue-ish, almost green-ish tint and smells of Helichrysum and Blue Tansy. It has a lightweight consistency which my combination skin always loves and adores. My skin isn't that sensitive but sometimes it is slightly itchy and I sometimes also get these random red patches. My skin's main concerns are hyperpigmentation and redness, also inflammation. With continuing use of this facial serum my skin has been less inflamed and I've noticed a reduction in redness on my skin as well. Not brightening but soothing and calming and not only for my skin but also for my mind. Sometimes I just randomly open up the bottle and smell the oil to get some of that peacefulness. The oil is also hydrating and softening. It is really making my skin happier & healthier.
KHUS + KHUS Sans Age Face Serum
Beofre trying out the Sans Age (and the Bleu Body Wax*) I didn't really have any expectations. I knew of the brand and I loved the look of it (fyi I'm so into the miron violet glass) but other than that I didn't really knew much. But as you can see it is safe to say I fell in love with KHUS + KHUS. I highly recommend trying out the brand and this gorgeous oil. It's not comedogenic so I would recommend it to everyone, including itchy, inflamed, sensitive skin, if you have eczema, fine lines, wrinkles, redness, psoriasis, capillaries. I'm very intrigued by their other face serum as well. Check out the whole range here.

You can get it straight from KHUS + KHUS here or via Beauty Heroes here (members get 15% off).

If you're interested I saw that you can still get the 2017 December Beauty Heroes Discovery featuring KHUS + KHUS here.

With love,

Jana xx

*sample generously provided
*this post contains affiliate links

The Rose Tree Carrot & Mango Cleansing Butter

januar 14, 2018

Last month I got this new cleansing balm and all it took for me to fall in love with was one use. Let me introduce you to a new-to-me brand that is definitely not new on the market, The Rose Tree. This UK brand was founded by Olga Rumble and at The Rose Tree they use ethically sourced and as many organic ingredients as they can, they don't test on animals and the majority of their products come in glass jars. The first product I decided to try out from them is their Carrot & Mango Cleansing Butter* and, spoiler alert, I really like it!
They say "Prepare to be amazed with our super luxurious cleansing butter packed with potent botanicals to gently lift off makeup and dirt, and it only takes 2 minutes!" and I could say the same. This product caught my eye with two words, Carrot and Mango. Looking at the ingredient list, which is 75% organic, I see two Carrot components. The first is Carrot Seed Oil, derived from Wild Carrot, and Organic Carrot Oil, derived from organic Carrot Extracts macerated in organic Sunflower Oil. Interesting. Carrots have brightening benefits on the skin and I'm all about that. As for Mangoes go, in the cleanser is Mango Butter which is a "superb hydrating moisturiser, with skin rejuvenating properties".
This butter has such a lovely, smooth & soft texture that melts beautifully on the skin. Like it is with cleansing balms and oils, I apply it on my dry skin and gently, but thoroughly massage it onto my skin. It removes my makeup very nicely and with a bit of time spent on my eyes, it also removes mascara. As always, I remove everything with a wet wash cloth. It leaves my skin properly cleansed and soft, not dry or tight. It doesn't clog my pores, but if your skin doesn't tolerate Coconut Oil, then I would stay away from this product. Oh and there's also Beeswax, therefore not vegan. The butter has a nice, natural scent of Lavender. It's not a strong Lavender scent, which I really appreciate because I don't love every Lavender-scented product. This one I do. I find it quite lovely. I also really love that it comes in a glass jar, I'm all about that less plastic life.

I would recommend this product for normal, dry and mature skin, also combination if your skin agrees with Coconut Oil. You can get this product here.

Have a lovely Sunday my lovelies!

Love,

Jana xx

*sample generously provided
**this post contains affiliate links

Earthwise Beauty Tigress Face Balm

januar 11, 2018

Are you ready to roar?

Meet Tigress. She has a strong presence. Intense, yet calm and centered. She knows how to wait. Powerful behind a comforting exterior. Wild.

Tigress is a first facial balm from Earthwise Beauty and it is mind-blowingly amazing. When you think of a face balm the first thing that probably pops into your mind is that they are for dry skin. It was the same for me but let me tell you that I was proven time and time again that they are not only for dry skin. Not. At. All. Tigress is such a good example of that becase it was especially created for acne prone skin. Yes, you heard me right. This balm is everything you would wish in a balm if you have congested skin - it's really lightweight (especially for a balm), it is healing and repairing, moisturizing. Very unique & innovative.

I am in awe of the ingredient list. First I have to say that it looks like your typical facial balm. It has a very smooth, soft and creamy consistency that melts on contact with skin. But looks can be deceiving. Tigress is created with so many unique and beautiful ingredients that I can't even handle. I'm exaggerating slightly but I'm not really sure how to express my adoration for this product. There is no Shea or Cocoa Butter, and no Beeswax. These three ingredients are pretty much always a part of facial balms, either one or all three of them. Well, not here. (And please don't think I bash other balms, you know I love them!) Tigress is based on Kokum Butter, which comes from cold-pressing mangosteen kernels (interesting!) and is non-comedogenic, pore minimizing (astringent), and rich in vitamin E, and Ucuuba Butter which supposedly is one of the most healing butters. It is an herbal medicine closet, healing to acne and other microbial skin issues, eczema, and psoriasis. Ucuuba renews collagen and promotes skin tissue regeneration. There is also an array of oils and extracts, like Passionfruit, Babassu, Sapote, Tamanu, Turmeric and more. Find the whole list of ingredients here.

There are two ingredients I was a bit confused to see: polyglyceryl-6 caprylate [emulsifier] and polyglyceryl-3 palmitate [emulsifier]. I wouldn't be me if I wouldn't annoy Ava with questions about ingredients and I was like how come there is a palm oil derivative in the balm? It turns out that Usnea Barbata Lichen Extract or Beard Moss comes with these two additions, as Ava said. She tried extracting Usnea herself, "but the extract wasn't as nice and potent, and with strong medicinal plants, it is safer to go with a standardized extraction from a manufacturer (theirs is from Western Europe) that specializes in such. This way the strength and safety of the product can be measured and tested. The total amount of the Usnea Extract in Tigress is 0.5%." I was reassured with this answer but perhaps in the future a simpler version may be available which would be wonderful. I've never heard of this ingredient before but the Usnea is a group of lichen used by herbalists internally for bronchitis and other microbe-related illnesses. It has antimicrobial benefits and speedy healing and drying up of acne breakouts.

What about the scent? Well, it is not my favourite but I very much appreciate Ava's description of 
it and its energetic impact. It's all on their website here but to sum it up, the scent is deep and animalistic but that quickly fades into something soft and mind-quieting & energy-healing. To be more precise, after talking to Ava, I mainly smell Helichrysum. Not sure how to describe it but it is earthy, spicy and almost curry-like.
This ochre-coloured balm is like I said, lightweight and non-comedogenic. It is in fact healing, skin repairing and balancing. It melts instantly and is quickly absorbed into the skin leaving it radiant and glowing, but not greasy or oily. I said that it was created with acne-prone and congested skin types in mind (also psoriasis, rosacea, damaged, mature skin) and let me tell that it sure does wonders on my skin. My skin is more even, I have less tiny bumps & blackheads on my skin and I just adore it. It is also beautifully moisturizing and just oh so stunning. It works great at reducing spots and to some extent even redness. I've been using it in the evenings for about two months or so and it really delivers. I can't rave about it enough!

IT. IS. AMAZING.
Tigress Facial Balm is cruelty free, vegan, handcrafted, 100% natural, preservative-free. It is expensive so I recommend a sample first. If you want to order it, you can use my affiliate code "Loveliness" to receive 15% off your order. Get it here.

P.S. Ava is working on one or two new balms so Earthwise Beauty will have a selection of balms for all skin types. Exciting!

With love,

Jana xx

*sample generously provided
**this post contains affiliate links

Favourite Morning Cleansers

januar 09, 2018

I've been really loving my selection of morning cleansers so if you're looking for something new or were just curious what I love, here are my current favourites.
Lilfox Jungle Glow Rainforest Honey Enzyme Cleanser + Mask is as the name says, a honey based cleanser, exfoliator and mask. Three in one product. What's not to love already? Jungle Glow contains raw rainforest Honey from Hawaii, and I'm sure you all know how I feel about Honey, and Hawaii? Pure love. Honey is very hydrating, skin repairing, brightening and antimicrobial. It is THE best. The product also contains Maracuja & Rosehip Oils, Raw Cacao and White Clay, to name the most active ones. Smells citrusy, of Neroli, Grapefruit, Mandarin. Jungle Glow is hydrating, exfoliating, smoothing, revitalizing, plumping. No matter what kind of skin day I'm having, I can use it every single time and I will always love it. The way I like to use it as a quick morning mask and that doubles up as a cleanser. I apply it on a slightly damp skin, that way it's easier to spread around, and leave it on for at least a few minutes. When I have time or in the evenings I leave it on my skin longer and my skin is really soft and smooth afterwards. Based on some reviews I would not recommend it for very sensitive skin because some ladies find it a bit harsh. I absolutely love it. Get it here.
Leahlani Skincare Honey Love 3-in-1* is another three in one product that I love and adore. At a first glance it sounds pretty similar to Jungle Glow and yes, you could easily say you don't need both. Honey Love is also based on organic raw Hawaiian Honey but that's where similarities in term of ingredients end. This beauty contains whole Maqui Berry Fruit, an ingredient I fell in love with last year, with SkinOwl's products. There're also Noni Fruit, Rose Clay, Hibiscus and probably the most interesting one - Corundum Crystals. "The crystals are ground to a very fine powder and they do not have any jagged edges, so they will not ‘tear’ skin cells like traditional exfoliators. Corundum has bacteria-killing properties and helps to clear the skin, and rinses off clean- without being absorbed into the skin." It's almost impossible for me to compare the two products but I think Honey Love is a bit more friendly to sensitive skin because it's not as harsh, especially if you don't mix in all the Crystals that are at the bottom of the jar. It's beaut and like all Leahlani products, it has a gorgeous scent. LOVE. Also check out this video to see this beauty more up close and personal. Get it here.
Leahlani Skincare Kalima Coconut Cream Cleansing Powder is yet another stunning Leahlani products. I just can't with these products. How are they so good?? Beautiful, filled with yummy ingredients, with intoxicating scents and most importantly, so effective. With Kalima "your cleansing ritual will never be the same." All three products I mentioned so far are my second jars, so you see the love is very real. Kalima is a powdered cleanser and funnily enough, it also acts like a three in one product. Pour some into the palm of your hand, add some water and that will transform Kalima into this magical pink mousse-like potion that will gently exfoliate, brighten and cleanse your skin. I love that Kalima is rich in Vitamin C and I find it very beneficial and effective at fading dark spots on the skin. The same as with Honey Love & Jungle Glow, I apply it on my skin and leave it for a few minutes before rinsing it off. Sometimes I also use it as a mask, always mixing it with water because water activates Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) and I also always add some honey and/or a few drops of oil. The blend isn't completed with some Kokoleka. That right here is one beautiful aloha alchemy. If you have problems with hyperpigmentation I highly recommend incorporating Kalima into your everyday skincare routine. I'm on my second bottle and I can't get enough of her. LOVE. Get it here or via Reina Organics, where I get it from.
Linne Botanicals Purify Face Wash* is a great detoxifying face wash/mask and is perfect for oily, acne-prone skin and for those days when your skin is feeling a bit meh. Purify contains Clays (French Green and Bentonite) and those are just the best ingredients to detoxify and deeply cleanse the skin. I don't use this product often (luckily I don't have to) but when I do, which is about once a week, I use it as a 5-10 minute mask. It dries up very quickly on the skin, it's tightening, cooling and very refreshing. After I rinse it off, my skin feels revitalized and also a bit dry and in need of moisture. Since it is a bit gritty, this cleanser also provides a very gentle exfoliaton. I will say that the packaging is not my fave. I try to avoid as much plastic as I can when it comes to my beauty products but also it's not that functional since I always have to remove the cap to get the product out. But other than the packaing, it provides a lovely daily or weekly dose of skin detoxification. Get it here.

Update: Linne Botanicals commented on my Instagram regarding the problems I experienced with the product: "I so appreciate your feedback! Sadly you are having particular issues getting the product out due to faults by our manufacturer making the product too thick and clumpy for the Beauty Heroes box. The product is usually super smooth and more free flowing and we have switched manufacturers after that horrible outcome. With that said we are still trying to figure out the best packaging. Unfortunately because of the clays drying in the pump straw we are unable to use a glass bottle and we feel that a glass jar invites contamination and other issues. We do use a PET plastic which when recycled has a smaller footprint than recycling glass, plus it’s lighter weight means less petrochemicals needed in transport. Plastic is still not ideal, but when properly recycled, bpa-free PET is a fair alternative. We alternatively could look at softer plastic squeeze tubes..."
Ayuna Less Is Beauty Nourishing Artisan Soap* is the best facial soap I've ever tried! Mind you I haven't tried a lot because they are so darn drying to the skin but this one is something else. This soap is created with Borage, Olive and Coconut Oils and I guess the formulation of them is just right because it's so creamy and lathers beautifully. It cleanses my skin really well and it also removes makeup, but I wouldn't really recommend it for that because it can burn your eyes. Saying this I was so surprised when I did try it as a makeup remover - it removed everything! The soap is ever so slightly drying on the skin but comparing with other soaps you could easily say it's nourishing. But then it is actually almost hydrating. It is a strange one. Strange but oh so lovely. The soap is also enriched with botanical Activated Charcoal to provide the skin with a deep detox. I just used it this morning and let me tell that the scent of this product always brings a smile to my face. Love. Get it here.

The last two things I want to mention is that even though I have this array of gorgeous products, sometimes the best thing you can do for your skin is to simply wash it with water. If you properly cleanse your skin the day before then I see no reason why you shouldn't just use cold to lukewarm water to wash you face in the morning. It is the easiest thing ever! Not to mentioned the cheapest and sometimes also the most beneficial. I'm guilty of over-saturating my skin with products but sometimes a minimalist approach does more good. Having a makeup and skincare free day is also so good for the skin and it is on days like this that you can really tell what is your skin like. I did it about two weeks ago and at the end of the day my skin was a bit oily on my forehead but other than that it was normal. I expected dryness or tightens but fortunately there was none of that. 

The last ingredient to mention is honey. Easy, so effective and so good for the skin. Perfect for dry or oily & acne prone skin. Definitely try it out if you haven't already. Find a good raw honey and slather it on your skin. Leave for a few minutes or one hour and you will have the softest skin. I highly recommend it! 

Have you tried any of these? What are you been using as your current morning cleanser?

Much love,

Jana xx

*samples generously provided
**this post contains affiliate links

Four Art of Organics Boxes From Last Year

januar 05, 2018

I've reviewed Beauty Heroes' and Boxwalla's beauty boxes of last year and I just wouldn't feel right if I wouldn't also mention Art of Organics, which is yet another beautiful subscription box delivery service. I'm so grateful and so lucky to be working with all of these Ah-mazing beauty boxes and it was literally a dream come true when Claire of Art of Organics also asked me to be one of their brand ambassadors. LOVE. I've only been receiving their boxes for a few months but I think they are most definitely worth mentioning, even though I only have four to share.
September's Clean Beauty Box BRIGHT* was my absolute favourite! I mean how could it not be, featuring the stunning Laurel Whole Plant Organics. I couldn't have joined at a better month. Laurel WPO is truly a stunning and wonderful brand and I love everything they stand for. Plus their products are so amazing and effective. Natural & organic skincare on a whole other level. So the box was all about creating that perfect, spa-like masking ritual with Laurel's Repairing, firming + brightening mask named Brighten, and Handcrafted Mask Bowl & Brush. I wrote a whole post dedicated to this box, you can check it out here. Let me just say that this mask works so amazingly well and really brightens up the skin like nothing else. I couldn't believe it actually. And I wasn't the only person who experienced such wonderful results. The mask is perfect for treating hyperpigmentation spots, if you have scarred and sun damaged skin, and mature. It's actually great for everyone because it's full of vitamin C and what is not to love about that? Brightening, repairing, firming. It's everything it promises to be, and more. And the mask and brush? I've been using both for every powder mask I use. Love them so much. Get the mask here (AO members have 15% off).
October's Clean Beauty Box PROTECT* beautifully followed up the previous box, continuing brightening the skin with Brighten Up Vitamin C Serum from Ursa Major. I loved this lightweight, quickly absorbing serum with hydrating and brightening benefits. It's not as brightening as the Laurel's mask is, but a beautiful serum nonetheless. The second product from the box was the Lush Balance Toning Mist from Akar Skin. This was a nice toner with Rose and Neroli Water as the main active ingredients and I liked using it. Check out my review here.
November's Clean Beauty Box SOOTHE* featured three products. First was the Bright Eye Serum from Root Science which is a lovely soothing serum packed with gorgeous botanical oils, like Prickly Pear, Argan, Baobab and more. There are 20 of them. I love that it is an oil formula which I tend to prefer, especially in my evening skincare routine. I can't say a whole lot about how it performs under my eyes because I would need to use it longer and more consistent for that. But when I do use it (as of yesterday I have three eye serums - each one from three different beauty boxes), I find my skin to be hydrated and lovely looking. I don't have any problems using oils under makeup and for me a little bit of the serum under my concealer works perfectly well. Next one was Botnia's Daily Face Cream which I gave to my mum, cause I didn't care for the Emulsifying Wax in the cream. Lastly we had Cactus Milk Bath from URB Apothecary. This was a very soothing and softening bath powder with Coconut Milk and Colloidal Oatmeal. I liked it.
December's Clean Beauty Box MOONBEAMwas another hit with many AO subscriber, including me. This one sold out so fast! With just two products, this box wax valued at a whooping $163. For me both products are star products of this box. I love that AO boxes include very well known brands in the green beauty community and smaller, indie brands as well. The mix of both in this box is gorgeous. First we have the Moisture Mask by Kahina Giving Beauty. This is my third product from Kahina and yet again I will have to describe their product as soothing and anti-inflammatory. It also reduces redness, which I noticed the morning after my first use. It's lush, hydrating, repairing. A beaut! Second product of the box is Moon Boost Lash + Brow Enhancing Serum from Luna Nectar. I've never heard of this brand before but I've always wanted to try a lash and brow serum. Moon Boost comes in a bamboo packaging and is bursting with Aloe Vera, Castor & Argan Oils, Red Clover, and more. Designed to moisturize the roots and trigger length and thickness. Of course I didn't took any before photos but I do think my brows are looking a bit thicker and nicer. As for my eyelashes go, I don't think there's any change yet. I know Trish had amazing! results, Nic as well, so I'm excited to use it for longer and see how it works for me.

Done and dusted. I'm ready for a new year of Art of Organics boxes, but those will start again in February. January is a detox month for Art of Organics as they decided to give the subscribers a chance to catch up on our fave products, take a breath from the somewhat overwhelming holiday consumerism and just enjoy what we have. Another reason they've decided to put a short pause is so that Claire and her husband can fully embrace new parenthood and enjoy every second of their brand new baby's life. I fully support and respect their decision!

For the end of this post I wanted to also mention my love for the beautiful prints on the cards. Each month Art of Organics features the artist who created the print and I really like that. If I have to choose I would go for the last one, the December print made by Khristian A. Howell. I would love to have a dress in this print!

That's all from me today. I hope you enjoyed reading this and the last two posts. I highly recommend all three subscription boxes and for the life of me I can't and I won't decide which one of them is my favourite. Each is special in their own way and I love all three of them very dearly.

Read more about Art of Organics in this post. Check out their website here and subscribe for their February box here.

Love,

Jana xx

*samples generously provided
**this post contains affiliate links

Boxwalla Year in Review

januar 03, 2018

Hello lovelies! Hope you are all having a wonderful start of 2018! I'm wishing you lots of love, health and may all you wishes come true this year. My last post of 2017 was about my fave Beauty Heroes discoveries (check it out here) and the first of 2018 is going to be about another beauty subscription box that I love and have received for the whole year of 2017. Enter Boxwalla. I have a feeling it will be a long post so let's just get straight to business. Boxwalla is a bi-monthly subscription service, which means 6 boxes in a year and because I mentioned 6 BH boxes, I think it's only fitting to do the same in this post.
February Boxwalla Beauty Box* aka Secret Garden introduced many of us to the wonderful H is for Love products. I'm so grateful for all these amazing subscription boxes because I would probably never tried so many amazing and unique brands! H is for Love is just magical and the founder Bee is a wonder woman. I highly recommend following the brand on Instagram here, Bee is full of knowledge and also funny, not to mention she is a complete babe. Anyways, in the first Boxwalla beauty box of 2017 there were two products from H is for Love. First was the stunning Bara Balm which I loved using. This baby has the best scent and to me it still smells like "potica", a pastry traditionally filled with walnuts & raisins. Slovenian holidays mean it's time for potica. Well this balm smells exactly like the potica's filling. I have no idea why it reminds me of that but I guess a blend of Chinese rose, Vanilla, Frankincense & Lavender brings out holiday memories. Anywho, Bara Balm is a gorgeous balm made with oils & beeswax (no shea or cacao butters). The other H is for Love product was the Lip Glace in Root & Berry. A beautiful and nourishing lip balm/gloss/tint for your lips. More about these two products here. The third product from this box was Love Springs Eternal serum from One Love Organics. I really loved this oil, as you can see here. Lightweight but still hydrating and just lovely. Even though it was all that I kinda forgot about it a little bit once I started using other oils.

April Boxwalla Beauty Box* aka The Wondering Woman's English Spring brought us two very hydrating and skin loving products, both from the UK. Amly Botanicals Radiant Boost Mist is one of the most luxurious and amazing facial mists I've ever tried. I loved it dearly! This mist is filled with a lot of ingredients and I find the blend so gorgeous. I simply adored it. Very hydrating, soothing + it had a wonderful spray nozzle. The second product was gorgeous as well, and very hydrating. Twelve Beauty Ideal Moisture Level Serum looks like water but it just locked moisture in my skin and hydrated it beautifully. More in this post.
June Boxwalla Beauty Box* aka Wandering Wood Nymph's Sun-kissed Alchemy featured one of my absolute favourite brands, the one and only Earthwise Beauty. You all know I love Ava and her products so much and I was really thrilled to see EWB in a Boxwalla box so that more people got a chance to try Ava's creations. In the box there were the famous Nap in the Meadow, a super lightweight aloe serum that is very hydrating, anti-inflammatory and anti-redness. At that time it was also just reformulated without polysorbate-20 and that meant I was slathering it on my face once more like nobody's business. Check out my review here. I highly recommend. Next was Ruby Facial Oil, which was launched earlier in Spring of this year and I immediately fell in love with this precious oil. It's the perfect! daytime summer oil. It's lightweight and packed with antioxidant ingredients, many of which with sun damage correcting & sun-protecting benefits. I used two bottles of Ruby last year and I thoroughly enjoyed every last bit of it. Definitely my favourite Earthwise Beauty oil. Review here. Last but most certainly not least is my FAVOURITE SUNSCREEN ever! EWB's Farizad's Veil is a powdered sunscreen and is nothing like I've ever used before. The thing that I was a bit sceptical about I now love and adore. The fact that it is a powder is the best thing ever. Truly! I love that I have to mix it with an oil (or a balm or moisturizer) because it means I can use whichever oil I want. It's SO customizable and I just can't get enough of it. I've used a smaller jar of it already and I simply can't get enough of it. LOVE. More about this box in this post. Shop Earthwise Beauty here and you can use my code "Loveliness" to receive 15% off your order. (affiliate code)
August Boxwalla Beauty Box* aka Summer Comes Softly featured two Odacite products and one from Henne Organics. With heavy heart I will have to say that this was my least favourite box of the year. It's hard to say this cause they were all pretty spectacular and it wasn't anything wrong with this one, but you know how it is. My fave product from the August box was Odacite's Pa + G Serum Concentrate with Papaya Seed Oil. I liked this oil but I don't think I would repurchase. Odacite Oleosomes Time Release Delivery Creme is a lovely hydrating moisturizer and Henne Organics' Nordic Berries Lip Exfoliator is a great product to use before applying a matte red lipstick. More here.
October Boxwalla Beauty Box* aka Wild Honey was one of my faves since the brand was yet again the beautiful H is for Love. This brand truly is stunning and so effective! In each box there was the new H is for Love product, the silky smooth and sparkly Kinu Glowing Body Balm. A decadent, whipped body balm with some shimmer. It's nourishing and makes my skin glowing. Literally. Next is Rapha Harmonizing Cleanser which I loved so much that I'm thinking of getting myself a new bottle of it. I love the healing in-house infusions of chamomile and calendula as well as anti-inflammatory CO2 extractions of German Chamomile and Turmeric. It's true that some other cleansing oils remove mascara better but nothing beats the calming and soothing benefits of Rapha. It is absolutely gorgeous! Last but certainly not least is the Propolis Regenerative Mask. Oh my, this is one potent and effective mask! Lavanya (co-founder of Boxwalla) subscribed it perfectly: "A potent mask that contains precious ingredients like rare, skin-brightening white turmeric, vitamin c rich camu camu, antioxidant-filled raw cacao and vanilla bean, French green clay, red alea sea salt that's chockfull of minerals & more! Whimsically named for its ability to stimulate cell renewal and boost collagen production, this mask is magic." It is and once I use up a few mask I will order a new one. More about this box here. Find H is for Love products at The Green Jungle Beauty Shop where you can use my code "Jana" to get 10% off your order (not affiliated).
December Boxwalla Beauty Box* aka A Brief History of Timeless Things featured three beautiful brands. I was most excited to try the Precious Face Oil by Australian brand Lepaar. Their packaging is on point! This oil has a rich yellow colour and an array of gorgeous ingredients including my love Calendula, Papaya Seed Oil, Frankincense and more. It's special as it is but one ingredient makes it even more special - the serum contains non-nano cosmetic grade 24 K Gold, that supposedly slows collagen depletion. Mind you that I only just received the box last week, but my first impressions are good. Another product from the box that I was very excited to try and to have in my life is from a Spanish brand Dafna's Personal Skincare, their Eye Care. This is a lightweight eye serum/gel that is beautifully and quickly absorbed into my skin. It's hydrating and lovely. Last addition to the box was a fun one since it was a candle. I love that. The cute little candle tin is from the Rebel & Mercury and the chosen scent is Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Clove. This candle is made from Coconut Wax and has a lead-free cotton wick. It's a beautiful holiday scented candle and even though the scent is very strong straight from the tin, luckily it's not that strong or heavy once you burn it. It gives off a lovely scent that isn't overpowering or causing headache. I like.

Those were the Boxwalla Beauty Boxes of 2017. What will the New Year bring for us? Lavanya already started sharing sneak peeks for the February 2018 box and it is going to be good! Follow Boxwalla on Instagram here to learn more about it. You can check out & subscribe to Boxwalla Beauty Box here. Boxwalla also has Book, Film and Book Boxes, if that is more your cup of tea.

Wishing you a beautiful day!

With much love,

Jana xx

*samples generously provided
**this post contains affiliate links
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