Tag Archives: natural

Yes and no to Yes To Carrots

Standard

Yes to carrots (or cucumbers, tomatoes and blueberries) is a natural skin care line that uses ingredients from fruits and veggies to create a skin & body care that, as they say, won’t break the bank and is packed with vitamins for effective care. Contains no parabens, SLS, mineral oil etc. I got mine in my local Sephora.

Can you C me – Complete Makeup Remover

This is quite a thick white cream that smells slightly odd yet not unpleasant (I just can’t figure out the scent at all, I can smell “salt” if that makes any sense) that is to be applied all over your face, massaged and removed with water and muslin cloth. I prefer to use a separate eye make-up remover as I don’t like having mascara massaged all over my wet face. What I really like about this product is how easily it works. And how well it works. It removes all my makeup in one go. Easy peasy. I need 4-6 squirts of the cream, spread in my palms, apply onto my moist face, massage for 30 sec or so and wash it off using a muslin cloth. Makeup is gone, completely. I have to say that the vitamin C in it is rather potent. I cannot use this when my skin is winter-sensitive and reacts to pretty much even water. But for most of the year I get no reaction to it. My face is cleaned, no oily film left behind yet my face is not stripped of moisture either. The pump-up bottle is generous, 250ml/8.45 fl.oz. and may last you almost 6 months or more ( I had mine for over a year).

PS: don’t trust your Sephora SA when she says “oh, it’s just like usual makeup remover, put it on a cotton ball and remove the rest with a toner… aka I know nothing about the products we are selling, just guessing”. My skin ended up looking bright red. Then I read the instructions on the package.

Can you C me – Eye Contour Cream

Lets’ start on a positive note: I really wanted to like this cream. It feels buttery, has no perfume, packed with vitamin C and I love the amount you get – 30ml / 1 fl.oz which is unusual for an eye cream.

The bit I like slightly less: if you have some wrinkles and want some firming action you may like it as it really tightens the skin around your eyes, literally. And I don’t care for that feeling as I am constantly aware of that tightening sensation around the eyes.

Unfortunately the reason I cannot use it is probably the vitamin C. Every time I apply it I end up with very red raccoon eyes. And it takes a couple of hours to return back to normal. While it doesn’t burn or sting I still feel like I am irritating the sensitive area around my eyes. Maybe if you’re used to vitamin C eye creams and cope well with them, give this one a try.

What is your experience with Yes to Carrots products?

New additions: bath, body & hair

Standard

I’m not going to call it a haul since I have accumulated all these things within 6-7 weeks. It’s also not going to be a thorough review on each and every single item, just a quick scoop. And if you want to hear more about a particular product let me know in the comments and I can either reply to you there or if more of you will be interested about a particular item I’ll do a proper review.

I’m also sorry for the poor quality of pictures, my camera said goodbye yesterday and my iPhone is very old and sad. I already have an eye on a new camera so hopefully the quality is going to improve soon.

Kamill Hand & Nailcream Intensive

I needed a small size tube for my handbag and picked this one on a whim. It’s very moisturizing and while the scent is quite nice it’s way too strong for me. Won’t repurchase.

Amia Hand Balm

That tiny little jar is packed with super thick potion for dry and cracked hands. That is my hands, I’m afraid. The scent is ok and quite subtle (yay!). I don’t use it for the whole of my hands, only on my cuticles and it does a decent job. It’s very inexpensive (49 kc / $2) and it’s something I may get again.

Matrix Moisture Cure 2 Phase Treatment

The only reason I got this along with the shampoo was that it was discounted. I needed a shampoo and this came almost free. You shake the bottle and spray a few times onto your towel-dried hair. I was pleasantly surprised. The scent is very fresh and pleasant and it actually does make my hair soft and shiny. I din’t notice and weigh-down or build-up. I almost feel like I don’t need oils for my dry hair anymore.

Matrix Total Results Moisture Shampoo

While the spray was a pleasant and (almost) free surprise, the shampoo is … just blah. Smells good but can be too strong for some people. My favourite shampoo of all time is Joico Moisture recovery. I tell you why: you need the tiniest amount to wash your hair, smells great without being overpowering but mainly, makes my dry hair supple, shiny, touchable. Matrix Moisture shampoo on the other hand: you need much more product to do the job (even drugstore’s Elseve doesn’t require as much) and you need to do it twice. Makes your hair clean without stripping them, no squeaky clean feeling but I also didn’t feel like it did anything in the moisturizing departement. My last objection: it’s the second time I have a Matrix/Biolage shampoo and I always end up with quite some dandruff. And I am starting to think it’s not a coincidence.

AA Cosmetics Nature Spa Sensitive – Nourishing hand cream, Blueberry

This cream is for sensitive hands prone to allergy as it contains no allergens, parabens, color additives, mineral oil, alcohol, silicones, preservatives, etheric oils, propylene glycol and PEG. The list of non-existing ingredients is almost longer than the list of existing ones. Feels very soothing, once applied hands feel super nourished. Unfortunately on my super dry hands the effect doesn’t last too long. The scent is very fruity – blueberry, but not strong. Reminds me of a subtler version of The Body Shop body butter’s scents.

Garnier Body Intensive 7 Days Body Milk with Mango Oil for dry and rough skin

This is my favorite body moisturizer at this moment. I LOVE the scent, yes very fruity, definitely mango there. Feels light to the point I was skeptical how such a runny milk can do anything for my dry skin esp. for my dry shins. And yet, my skin is perfectly moisturized without any oiliness and stickiness. I’m on my third bottle.

Garnier Body Intensive 7 Days Hand Cream with Mango Oil for dry and rough skin

If I LOVE the body milk I logically have to love the hand cream as well…right? Well, not necessarily. While it’s of fluffy buttery  texture it also soaks in immediately, smells as great as the body milk, but leaves slightly sticky residue that dissipates  within 5 minutes on the skin but the residue stays on polished nails and feels very odd. I’ll use it up as it smells great but will not repurchase.

Dove Purely Pampering Nourishing Shower Gel – Coconut Milk with Jasmine Petals

I really like Dove shower creams and I almost never go for anything with coconut. Most coconut scents are too artificial and cloying to me. This one is on the edge, a bit more and I would have to write it off as well, but maybe adding the jasmine into the scent makes it very comforting scent. The texture and performance is the same as their Indulgence shower cream. A nice everyday shower gel.

Crabtree & Evelyn Goatmilk Comforting Body Wash

This was a gift from a dear friend, she couldn’t handle the scent. I’m not surprised. It’s definitely not what I imagine when you say “comforting”. This scent is very strong, in your face with a very good (or bad?) staying power. The scent reminds me of  old fashioned parfumery shops. It’s not unpleasant but it’s not for everyone. The best thing about this wash is how tiny amount you need to create super thick soothing foam. The original price for this wash is rather high for me but considering how very long this will last you it’s actually not that bad. It’s slightly moisturizing, no tightness afterwards.

Crabtree & Evelyn Goatmilk Comforting Body Lotion

This is more like gel-lotion that absorbs instantaneously, leaves no residue, the same scent that will last all day on your skin and clothes. I was worried my dry skin could feel tight and it just wouldn’t be enough. I was quite wrong. The moisturizing effect lasts easily to the next shower. While I love what both products do next time I may have a look at the Aloe Vera range for fresher scent.

Do you have any experience with any of these products or do you have any suggestion for my super dry hands? I would love to hear from you in the comments 🙂

Smooth, curly, wavy, frizzy, fine, colored…my hair & products

Standard

When I was a teenager my hair slightly resembled an afro with curls framing my face and waves at the back. And it was all rather frizzy and dry. As you can imagine, I wasn’t too fond of my hair. Forward ten or so years, after bad dye jobs (instead of chocolate I ended up with raven black) and numerous hairstyles I finally settled on some style I am happy with. It’s not perfect, it’s a combination of being realistic about my hair, it’s merits and limitations, the budget and my laziness when it comes to styling. I am just not willing to wash it and straighten it every day. Plus, my hair being on the dry side, I just can’t afford to use the hot tools too much.

So I’m going to show you a few products that work for me … and some that don’t.

Redken – Smooth Down Heat Glide: protective smoother for very dry/unruly hair with macadamia oil

My hair is not that dry but can get frizzy and just having mind of its own to my annoyance. I was recommended this product and while I like it, I don’t love it. It’s a silicone based oil/serum that is designed for wet hair application followed with blow-dry. It’s supposed to make your hair manageable and smoothed. There is a few good things about this product: it does smooth your  hair and make them less all-over-the-place and while it’s rather pricy, the bottle is 150ml and will last you forever. What it doesn’t do is taking a bit of the volume down and it feels like it doesn’t get absorbed by the hair and just kinda sits there a bit. Which is good as far as a protection from heat goes I suppose but it will not give you that super soft hair without ironing. The smell is very pleasant, not too strong, feels light and fruity. I like to use it just on my hair ends for smoothening and protection when blow-drying my hair. Also, it doesn’t defy humidity too well.  It’s a good product for what I use it for now but I will not repurchase.

BEAD HEAD Tigi After Party – Smoothing cream fro silky, shiny, healthy looking hair

This one is to be used on dry hair as a final smoothing/styling item and for that it works perfect. Smells great (but rather strong) in that typical BH fashion, very fruity. It’s silicone based as well, doesn’t feel sticky. It’s quite rich and unless you have lots of hair combating frizziness I wouldn’t recommend it apart from using it for a special  occasion.  The 100ml bottle will also last you a while.

BEAD HEAD Tigi Smoothing Stuff

This cute little 50ml pink ball contains pinky pearly gel-cream that is loaded with fine shimmer. It should seal and smooth your split ends and give your hair extra shine. It does both but… it’s rather sticky and I feel like the gloss is looking artificial. It’s not a bad product, I will use it up but will not repurchase.

WellaProfessionals Boost Bounds – Curl Enhancing Mousse

While I am not fond of Wella hair care, I like a few of their styling products and this is one of them. Approximately a year ago Wella re-designed their entire styling range and I thought while the packaging looks better now, the actual product inside is the same. I loved their previous mousse for curl enhancing. It made my waves/curls defined and soft and that effect lasted 2 days for sure. It was perfect for days when I didn’t want to style my hair straight, especially in summer when I just wanted to wash my hair, condition, apply the mousse and let it dry naturally to beautiful soft curls. It was heaven for curls & waves. The new version, not so heavenly anymore. It’s still pretty good but my curls are slightly crispy to the touch and I cannot go my usual 2-3 days without washing as it makes my hair feeling dirty on the second day. What a shame.

Frederic Fekkai Glossing – Sheer Shine Mist

It gives beautiful gloss to your hair. Wow! It also smells absolutely terrible. Rotten plastic fish anyone? How could this pass the quality control and the nose of Mr.Fekkai is beyond me. Glossy locks are important but there are so many good glossing products on the market that do smell lovely, it’s anyone’s guess why would to pay so much money for … well, rotten marine fauna 😉

L’Oreal Professionnel Nature Serie – Masque aux huiles for rebellious hair

This mask is a part of L’Oreal’s line targeted for customers preferring natural ingredient based hair care without silicones and  parabens.  According to the ingredients list at the back there is olive and rice bran oil, also glycerin and some fatty acids. This mask truly makes my hair beautifully soft yet manageable, smooth, shiny. I don’t feel like it leaves a residue and I don’t need to wash my hair the next day. My only BUT – and you knew there had to be one, right? – is, yet again, the scent. Why does a natural mask have to smell like a spice rack? What is wrong with lemon or  lavender essential oil? Or orange and mandarin? Or even vanilla? Why does it have to stink…er, sorry…smell like cinnamon and garam masala??? Ok, if you’re truly natural and hippie person that is used to earthy scents you may like it, but I don’t. I will use it up as it is a great hair mask and peg my nose in the process 🙂

Alverde Sensitiv Shampoo – with birch and sage extract

I’m sure my scalp would enjoy watching Itchy & Scratchy in the past as it was the only thing it could sometimes do. It can be horrible and I even scratched my scalp while sleeping. I have tried every pharmacy shampoo for sensitive and irritated scalp  from Vichy, LaRoche, Bioderma etc to no avail. And then I thought I could give this drugstore shampoo a go since it’s so inexpensive ($2-3)and if it doesn’t work, so be it, no big loos (unlike with the previous brands). And surprisingly, it worked and still works. It’s silicone free, has a slightly jelly like texture and smells very herby (not unpleasant)…and it soothes my scalp like nothing I have ever tried. After second washing my scalp is itch free for weeks even months. I still can’t believe such an inexpensive drugstore product is so amazing. You can buy it Drogeriemarkt (DM) only as it’s their own natural line for hair,face, body and make-up.

BEAD HEAD Superstar – Conditioner for big massive hair

I got this from a dear friend and I cannot understand how this would give anyone volume. It doesn’t weight hair down but volume? I love it so I cannot imagine my friends aspiring for massive hair would find it helpful. It contains silicones and quite a few of them. Feels very creamy, smells great (strawberries & peach) and makes my hair nourished without overloading them. If I blow-dry my hair straight I can go 3 days easily without washing and without that sticky/oily/dirty feeling. My locks get glossy, smooth and soft. Is BH sure this one is for volume??

This are pictures of my hair washed with Alverde Sensitive Shampoo, conditioned with Bead Head Superstar, Redken Smooth down oil on the ends and Wella mousse applied all over my hair,dried naturally. Pictures are not perfect, I’m blaming my camera (iPhone) and hubby 😉

That’s all for now, next time I will post about my fave shampoo and conditioner. If you have any tips for products or styling my kind of hair or just want to ask anything about a particular product, feel free to do so in the comments. Happy Sunday!

Pai skin care for sensitive skin: first impressions

Standard

I know I know…I promised a post on some nail colors and here I go with a skin care review. But you may forgive me after reading this post because Pai is pretty…well, amazing, actually!

So let me start by telling you something about the condition of my skin. It’s always been oily, very oily but as I get older my skin behaves according to the weather. If it’s hot it gets oily, if it’s cold it gets dehydrated and super sensitive. And the older I am the more sensitive it gets. And this winter was a total nightmare. Absolutely everything left my skin burning and lobster red. I could go ’round to our local kindergarten and scare the kiddies 🙂 Even those famous micellar waters from pharmacy brands such as Eucerin, LaRoche-Posay or Bioderma did nothing good for me. Some burned like h… some very hot fiery thing. And after reading London Make-up Girl’s review of the Chamomile and Rosehip Sensitive Skin Moisturizer I went to pai’s own website and ordered samples.

Forward a few weeks: I’m going to give my first impressions of this line, respectively of their three products aimed at sensitive or hypersensitive skin. I have the Chamomile & Rosehip Sensitive Skin Cream 30ml, Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser 100ml and Rosehip BioRegenerate Fruit & Seed Oil Blend 30ml. And as far as I know the packaging has no effect on the quality of skin care, let me just state that I drool over their design. Simple, classy, yet cute (make any sense?).

Chamomile and Rosehip Sensitive Skin Cream

  • has a medium texture but not too balmy or oily in the least
  • while the smell is herby (as you would expect from an all natural skin care line) I think it’s very mild and dissipates quickly, feels soothing
  • I need less than one pump to cover my face
  • when my skin was dehydrated, rough, peeling etc. (TMI?) it didn’t feel moisturizing enough but now when my skin is “just” dehydrated it feels very comforting and soothing, no flaky skin anymore
  • the best thing though: it is ultra calming – there are no words to describe my wonder when I applied a little dollop on my face, warily, expecting at least slight burning and some red patches… NOTHING at all. I swear I could hear my skin breathing out in a relief!
  • it’s also wonderful that unlike many natural lines this moisturizer is not loaded with alcohol or beeswax and of course no artificial fragrances, phenoxyethanol, propylene glycol and parabens

 Camellia and Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser

  • the scent is a bit stronger than the one in the moisturizer, but still very mild for a natural line. It’s also very pleasant, I can detect more roses than camellia
  • it’s not a balm, definitely a cream, the texture makes it easy to glide all over my face
  • removes all make-up, haven’t try it with a heavy duty one though
  • while it removes mascara, it’s a bit of work and quite messy so I prefer to use one of my favorite bi-phase eye make up removers
  • also no burning or reddening my face
  • you need, again, less than one pump (or one full with a heavier make-up)  to clean your face so I assume that 100ml is going to last quite a while

Rosehip BioRegenerate Fruit & Seed Oil Blend

  • this is the only product I didn’t try first as a sample but after reading all the things it has and does and how many magazine awards it won…I was sold 🙂 (yep, I am that easy)
  • have you ever drunk rosehip tea? I did as a kid and I still remember the scent of a freshly brewed cup. Well, this is exactly how the oil smells, it’s beautiful, feels so fresh and organic without all those (sometimes risky) essential oils
  • the oil is of an almost bright orange color, feels balmy and you only need one drop to cover your whole face
  • I’m not sure about using this oil in the heat of summer on my oily skin but any other skin type shouldn’t turn into a slick mess after applying this oil
  • leaves a silky feeling
  • I even used it under my eyes and there was no adverse reaction
  • on the other hand, some bits of my face, still being overreactive I guess, did react ever so slightly tingly but that lasted two seconds and that was it
  • did I mention the scent of freshly brewed… I did, didn’t I?

So after a few days my skin is not reactive anymore, no red spots (or red lobster face), no burning, no nothing. My face has still a few flaky spots but I’m sure they are going to disappear quickly. My face isn’t like a sandpaper anymore but feels silky smooth. I keep touching my face and liking what I feel.

I will definitely update this review when I finish the products.

I purchased my set on beautybay as they ship internationally and often have free shipping specials on.

Aproximate prices (from the pai website):

  • Chamomile & Rosehip Sensitive Cream – 30ml/1 fl oz : $44, £24, €32
  • Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser – 100ml/3,4 fl oz : $45, £25,  €30
  • Rosehip BioRegenerate Fruit & Seed Oil Blend – 30ml/1 fl oz : $35, £20,  €24

Testing, testing… Wild Cow by COWSHED

Standard

Since this is my first post I should probably say also something about what I expect, like and loathe about body care, natural or not-so-natural. I (naively) think I don’t want too much. I want my body lotion to be moisturizing, to smell good or not at all, to feel silky and the nourishing effect to last at least to the next shower. What I don’t like about body potions is them to be sticky, not absorbing well, unpleasantly smelly and irritating. Obviously, if a good body lotion doesn’t break the bank, it’s even better.

I don’t mind natural products but I also do not look for them. My only issue is the scent of many of them. I admit it, I prefer the fruity or clean scent of many drugstore or luxury body lotions, but my nose doesn’t cope well with the often earthy or herby scents of natural products. I find them pleasant enough as such but don’t feel like slathering it all over myself.

So having that in mind, I received COWSHED’s Wild Cow Invigorating Body Lotion as a present from a friend.

COWSHED prides itself in producing green body care, packed with essential oils, without parabens, no petrochemicals, no sulphates and no artificial colors. Wild Cow Body Lotion should leave your mind feeling revitalised with oils of lemongrass, ginger and rosemary (I’m already little scared!).

The good :

  • the lotion is on the thicker side, feels very soothing and nourishing without leaving oily or sticky residue
  • my winter-chapped hands felt soothed and I didn’t notice any irritation or burning feeling as with many other hand lotions and potions
  • the texture feels quite pampering and I love the fact that unlike most natural lines Cowshed doesn’t use alcohol as a thinner or preservative
  • the nourishing effect lasts until the next washing/shower

The slightly less good:

  • this is probably not going to be a huge surprise but the scent is a bit too much for me, the ginger is very strong, as is the lemongrass and the rosemary and the clove bud gives it a slightly bitter end. Also the scent is pretty long lasting, which is a good thing if you love it, otherwise you are looking at 1-2 hours of smelling like ginger tea and a spice rack 😉

The verdict:

So, would I buy it again? No… BUT what I would do, is to look for a scent that is friendlier to a not-so-natural beauty addict since the lotion itself is very good. But for £18 for 300ml I cannot get past the scent.

PS: I’m impressed that Cowshed (again, unlike many natural lines) acknowledges the possibility of irritation from essential oils.

Ingredients:

Vitis vinifera (Grapeseed oil), Prunus amygdalus dulcis (Sweet almond) oil, Glycine soja (Soya) oil, Sesamum indicum (Sesame) oil, Calendula officinalis (Calendula) flower oil, Cannabis sativa (Hemp) seed oil, Vaccinium macrocarpan (Cranberry) seed oil, Thuja occidentalis (Cedarleaf), Citrus sinensis (Orange sweet), Rosemarinus officinalis (Rosemary), Citrus paradisi (Grapefruit), Cymbopogon flexuosus (Lemongrass), Citrus reticulata (Mandarin), Origanum majorana (Marjoram sweet), Coriandrum sativum (Coriander), Pimpinella anisum (Aniseed), Ocimum basillicum (Basil), Syzygium aromaticum (Clove bud), Zingiber officinalis (Ginger), Tagettes glandulifera (Tagette), Pimenta racemosa (Bay).
*Limonene, *Linalool, *Citral, *Geraniol, *Citronellol, *Eugenol.
*potential allergens from natural sources.Due to the high ratios of essential oils used in this product, a skin test is advisable. If you are pregnant or breast feeding, seek advice when using essential oils.