I've reviewed this Lavera foundation before on this blog, but seeing as I've been using it for perhaps 2 years now I thought it would be a good time to write about it again!

I love this foundation completely. It's a great option for liquid foundation when you are first starting out experimenting in the 'natural' 'green' 'clean' beauty world. It's very affordable and easily available from a whole bunch of sites which is why i was drawn to it in the first place. Highstreet prices have always been more attainable to me than the higher end products.

I actually think the formula may have changed since I first used it but I never kept the packaging so we will never know! However I haven't found any change in quality so if it has changed it hasn't been a negative thing. The formula is very light and very smooth. It is definitely on the lighter end of coverage but it's pretty build-able. I find it really evens out my skin tone, hides most blemishes and still looks natural and shows some of my natural skin texture through. If you want it heavier, that's easily done with a second 'coat' and it blends like a dream. A 5 pence piece sized amount does my whole face and down my neck with medium coverage- but I do have a small face!

As for the colour, I have to say if I didn't have the skin tone that I do then this probably wouldn't be so great for me. I actually use what used to be the lightest shade in the range - 01 Porcelain. This name has actually now been changed to Ivory Light 01, and they have had a change in colours since I re purchased a few months back. I think it is to accommodate more skin tones because this one has a gentle warm yellow undertone to it, perfect for my skin but I can't see it being very good for paler or pinker tones. I can see that they have now developed some paler more pinker shades to fit with those skin tones. After this bottle runs out I'll have to try and re-find my shade - oh darn, more make-up shopping, life is hard teehehe.

On first application this does look like it is going to be streaky but it actually blends and smooths out wonderfully. Like a lot of natural foundations that I've used I find it initially has a startling chalky white finish to it as you first apply but this quickly blends to your skin tone, I guess as the foundation oxides and the result is a lovely dewy non streaky coverage.

I've used this with many brushes and sponges and my hands etc but my brush of choice is always the Skin Perfecting Brush from Ecotools. Together they are a dream team!

Lavera Liquid Foundation


Here's a product that has taken me months and months to review, simply because its taken me months and months to appreciate it and figure out the best way to use it for my hair.

At first this Yarok Leave in Conditioner was never something I reached for. When I first tried using it I sprayed it way too liberally over my whole head and as you can imagine I just ended up with a bit of a greasy mop. After a while I realised to be a lot lighter handed with it as a little spray goes a long way.

The best method for me is 2 to 3 sprays all at the lower lengths of my hair. I find it's better now that my hair is longer again. I also find this spray is best suited when sprayed to my wet hair and then combed through with my wooden comb to help evenly distribute it. On dry hair I find it can leave my hair with a sticky residue and clumpy. 


Lately I have been really reaching for this spray before drying my hair. Due to the cold weather i can't let my hair dry naturally these days and have been relying on my hairdryer a lot. Not only does this dry out my hair but I also feel that the central heating is not only drying out my skin but also my hair too. Traditional wash in and wash out conditioners are too heavy for my hair as it just doesn't need that extensive moisturising, however it does need that little hydrating boost, which i where their leave in conditioner proves its worth.

I love how quick it is, spray 1,2,3, comb, comb, done. For someone who barely does a thing with their hair, this is a brilliant product to have for quick and easy use. I know it will protect my hair from the heat and I like how shiny it leaves my hair afterwards, I actually think it's helped maintain the glossiness I got from dying my hair (i just love the shine you get from freshly dyed hair!) It leaves my hair tangle free and silky, without being so silky that you can't style or maintain a style after. 

As for the formula it is ridiculously clean, i love how pure it is. Truly 100% natural. A rare find. Plus it smells divine.

I've currently go the small 2oz bottle from a beauty box, and despite that it is eye-wateringly pricey, I think I'll be saving for the largest 8oz once this is gone.

Yarok ~ Feed Your Ends


Now lets just say straight off before people start pulling their hair out- I know Lush isn't the cleanest most natural product company out there and lots of their products do have chemicals/ingredients that we would all rather avoid!

But- having said that there are a thousand and 1 other companies out there with products in exactly the same position and it all depends on what you are comfortable with. Some people don't mind certain ingredients and some people do mind. There is literally no right and wrong because honestly there is no strict guideline that exists that states 100% what is completely 'good' and what is completely 'bad'. Sure there are some guidelines, but depending on which one you choose, each guideline will be slightly or vastly different (just look at the categorising of 'organic' between all of the certification boards.) That is the field of landmines of the 'natural', 'green', 'clean' etc beauty world!

So in that frame of mind I'm happy to explore some of Lush's 'cleaner' (in my eyes/mind) products and show you that there is some wiggle room for you if you just can't resist the draw of Lush's wafts scents and glorious colours!

Now I'll admit there aren't all that many and it does take a good lot of umming and ahhhing on compromise. In the end I found two that I think are passable so that I can enjoy a quick bath without having to make my own products (FYI- which i'm learning to), where I can dash into the store on any main highstreet and get something that will help after a stressful day.

I've broken each bath bomb down to its ingredients and given a very brief and rough guide about each ingredient and why it does/doesn't concern me. But as I said it is up to YOU if you are comfortable with these formulas and ingredients.

Key: Green = Ok, Orange = could be a concern, Red = concern

Lush Bath Bombs that I can use!


Strictly speaking this isn't really beauty related but I wanted to share with you my latest obsession anyway!

This, my friends, is the answer to all your scent issues, if like me you are A) Hyper sensitive to scent (smell everything and everything strongly!) B) you are very particular about the scents you like and C) you hate the thought of inhaling fake chemical laden nasties from traditional scenters, fragrances, candles, plugins etc etc!

I've been lusting after a diffuser for a long time and a few times nearly just jumped in and bought a cheap one but I held out for Christmas and after a whole load of research settled on this IRIS Aromer Diffuser* as a gift from my lovely mother. I chose it because it has so many great features that just work with my picky, particular-ness!  

This diffuser has several settings and functions. There are two mist volume settings: gentle and rapid, two timer settings: constant and intermittant 30 second intervals (on/off) and three light functions: off, constant colour of your choice or multi changing effect. I love the choice this gives you, my favourite combination is the have the multi-lights changing with the intermittent setting (30 sec ons, 30 secs off) on the gentle mist- just perfect!

What I love most about this is how easy it is. You just fill it with water drop in 5-6 drops of your chosen essential oil, put the glass lid on and choose your settings! No fuss, no muss! Its perfect for me as i don't have to worry about any candles burning in my room and I can leave the room without ever needing to worry about it being left on. If it runs out of water it automatically turns itself off! Simple!

Other great benefits form this being electronic and not an oil burner is that it uses Ultrasonic technology, so there is no oil degradation (remember to always use a natural, good quality oil), no altering of the scent and no hot surfaces! It uses minimal energy and it's pretty quiet. It does hum a bit but it becomes just soothing white noise to me and I like the odd little 'plink' of water that sometimes you can hear.

The scent in your room is controllable, and both settings give instant scent and little need to ever top up the oil.

And lastly it is also great as a humidifier without oils for when you sleep at night, which has been just lovely for my skin and of course it is even an ionised so not only does your air smell good but its also gets nicely purified and some research indicates that ionisers may help people with sleep and allergies (i can't say i've noticed an effect on any of these)

These are easily available, I got mine from Amazon and they come in a whole variety of colours, material, shapes, sizes and designs. I just happened to like this one. As I said this was a gift at Christmas, but would it be worth the price? Well as much as I love it, I do think it is a little over priced but there are cheaper alternatives out there which will probably be just as good!

IRIS Aromer Diffuser


We've all been there, short on pennies while lusting over endless beautiful desirable natural goodies, never spending on them, making lists and saving saving saving! Then all of a sudden all your hard skimping and saving combined with the joys of Christmas and Birthdays results in the most exciting day ever! HAUL DAY!

This was me this weekend. I finally let myself loose on the shops and bought (almost) every product that my heart was desiring (only stumped by the products that were out of stock or unavailable in that shop -damn it!) I actually only went to two shops, firstly my favourite natural beauty destination Content Beauty (you can see my snap here) and then my second favourite, WholeFoods beauty department!

So lets not faff around! Here's a quick overview of what I got! I wont go into detail on each product because as you can imagine I want to review each of these babies individually once I've had a good old play!

Left to Right:

 Pacifica Stella Gaze Length and Strength Mineral Mascara - Supernova (black) 

I've never used Pacifica before and have run out of mascara so thought it was time to branch out and try this brand to see what it can do for my lashes. I got it in black but it is also available in brown.
(WholeFoods)

  Lady Green Divine Mascarade Enhancing Mascara - Black 

This is a completely new brand to me so I couldn't miss out on the chance to check it out and see how it compares to other mascaras including the Pacifica one.
(WholeFoods)

  Jane Iredale Liquid Eyeliner - Black 

Jane Iredale is such a fabulous brand I just knew I had to get some more products from her range and couldn't resist purchasing her liquid eyeliner in black after I swatched it instore and saw how flawless the application was. This was also a raved about choice from the lovely ladies in the store. I adore the Dr Hauschka liquid eyeliner formula but the brush is not for me, this brush looks much more my style!
(Content Beauty)

  Pacifica Solar Complete Color Mineral Palette 

I actually saw a blogger a while back post about this and it's been on my must have list for a while. This palette includes 3 highlighters, 1 blush, 1 bronzer and 6 beautiful eyeshadows! Drool!
(WholeFoods)

  RMS Beauty Cream Eye Shadow - Solar 

Everyone lusts after this beauty- Solar, it's like cream gold. I'm actually fairly new to cream eye shadows so this will be interesting to use compared to powder eyeshadows I'm used to.
(Content Beauty)

  Jane Iredale PureLash Lengthening Mascara - Jet Black 

I know it seems like I went a little cray on the mascaras but i'm at that stage where literally all of mine are drying up or running out and I'm seriously in need of new ones and a bit fed up of my old trusty brands- time to find something new and pow pow!
(Content Beauty)

  RMS Beauty Eye Polish - Magnetic 

Another much mentioned and blogged and reviewed product that I had to have after ogling so many reviews. Again I got some great tips on how to use this in store.
(Content Beauty)

  REN Satin Perfection BB Cream 

There was no way I wasn't buying this, I had a sample adages ago and fell in love, I've been missing it ever since. I'm so glad to be able to get this on my face again after so long. Its a makeup staple for me
(Content Beauty)

  Benecos Natural Liquid Eyeliner - Black 

And finally, I've shirred away from Benecos ever since I've heard about them because I wasn't a hundred percent on some of their ingredients, however I thought you never know until you try and so again thought I'd get another eyeliner on the other end of the price range from the Jane Iredale one to have something to compare with!
(WholeFoods)

What do you think of my choices, did I get anything that you think is a must have or a disappointment, share your comments below!

Natural MakeUp HAUL! (Eek oh yes!)


 

Sometimes when it comes to skincare you need a little bit of mechanical intervention! I have to admit that in the past few months my eating habits have been pretty shocking and this 100% effects my skin and my regular cleansing routine just wasn't quite cutting it! Very luckily for me I was gifted this amazing Silk'n SonicCleanPlus Cleansing Power Brush* a few months back to give a whirl!

Now I've never actually sued one of these before. The hype kinda passed over me due to the pricing, I'll admit, but this never stopped my desiring one, so obviously I was pleased as punch to test this out! As I said it was few months back now and I feel like I've had  a good run with it to give it a proper review!

I'm not afraid to admit right out that despite my curiosity this actually kinda scared me a bit. I charged it up (which didn't take long) and looked at this loud buzzing, vibrating machine (context!) and thought 'that's going on my faaace? Aaah hell no!' However after calming myself with some reviews online and reading the instructions back to back, I took the plunge!

So is it scary…? Um no, its actually pretty great! The brush is much softer and more gentle than I expected. It took me a while to get into the groove of using it, they said you can use it with just water but I found that best results were obviously with a cleanser. Foamy cleansers (no SLS mind!) are the best for me. I've now got into a routine with it and find using it for about 10 minutes on a lazy sunday evening works a charm for my skin.

At first I was worried about that 'purge' stage people always talk about but even when I was using this twice a week I didn't ever get a purge of spots at all, just my skin produced a little more oil by the next morning, but that settled down when I figured out the best settings for my skin. I use the first setting, a gentle constant vibration on the more delicate areas like my cheeks and temples, using an upward circling motion and then hit put he 2nd setting which is a much stronger vibration and get to work on  my blackhead prone areas like my chin and jawline! As for the two pulsing settings I haven't totally figured those out yet…I sometimes use the short pulse setting as an occasional added way to tackle that damn dry skin on my nose but other than that I'm still exploring those settings.

Overall I like this brush so much more than I expected and feel like its really helped my skin be much fresher in the mornings and I don't mind the little bit of extra time you have to spend on using it. It's pretty quick to charge and actually the charge lasts ages and it's water proof and cordless which is ideal for my ridiculously designed-to-never-ever-ever-dry-out bathroom!

Yes it's expensive (and as i said i was lucky enough to be gifted this as a sample) but if it broke it would be something I would save to buy again (because what else would i do on my sunday evenings! ha)

Silk'n SonicCleanPlus


I'm not very good at treating myself and self pampering really,  but a face mask is something that I do like to indulge in!
My current face mask of the moment has got to be this little delight. This is the OXYGEN 'Purifying Honey Masque' (spot the typo on the labelling!) and it is perfect for my skin.

Over the past year or so I have collected a few of these sample sizes from various beauty boxes and often dipped in and out of using the mask. Lately though I've been using it a lot and really enjoying it.

The texture of this mask is like nothing I've tried before and I've never found another mask with a textured formula like it. It's like a very thin wet gel, quite fluid and completely clear (colourless). It goes on easily and is really quite slippery but soon becomes tacky as it dries. I actually don't find the texture of the formula unpleasant, it is just odd and can take  bit of getting used too especially if you are more of a thick clay mask user.

The smell it has to be said is disgusting. I'm not going to lie and say 'it's not that bad' but it is pretty gross. It has a fair hint of earthy honey scent to it, but there's something more than that, that I genuinely can't pin down and quite frankly is rather unpleasant. However, not unpleasant enough to not use it, as luckily the scent fades fair rapidly (either that or I get used to it quickly) which is a blessing as you know, its on your face and close to your nose! 

As I said despite the smell it is well worth using, the formula and ingredients (including Nelson's Manuka honey, aloe vera juice and organic apple and cucumber extracts) make my skin feel so super soft even after a quick 10 minute mask. Leaving it on longer is so hydrating for my skin, it just feels amazing the next day (i like to use this in the evening before bed and don't use any moisturiser after)! There is no dryness or tightness as a result of this mask which is ideal and I don't experience any excess oil production either, all of which I find common results of other masks I've tried, especially for clay masks. 

Personally I think that this mask has been helping me with the dark marks and pigmentation that I get after having a mega spot, which I believe is down to the power of the Manuka Honey, but that could just be me and wishful thinking! But this for sure helps soothe and moisturise my skin when it needs a boost!

*!* The only down side- the use of the ingredient Phenoxyethanol which is used to as a preservative and anti-bacterial stabiliser. It's used as an alternative to parabens but despite being classed as low- moderate risk by EWG there is some 'umming and aahhing' about it's safety and as an irritant, (it IS banned by both ECOCERT and Soil Association) currently I'm still using the mask as I want to do more research on this ingredient but I would rather this masque didn't have it as an ingredient from what I understand so far but,- the jury is out...

(Also I just can't get over the typo in the name 'purif-I-ying' ha, i looked on their site and they type it correctly but the labels still have the typo! I wonder if they have noticed this...)

OXYGEN Purifying Honey Masque

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