4.7.14

Dreaming and relaxing

Being relaxed and adopting a zen attitude are often great contributors to beauty and well-being.

I would like to offer to all of you a little "zen" moment (essential to feel and be beautiful (I think!))  Take a deep breath, grab a fresh drink, and just E N J O Y.

             "Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air..." Ralph Wado Emerson.

Here are a few shots that were taken in my recent little trip to Algarve, Portugal. Amazing place, really peaceful. The beach was absolutely stunning, the sky was blue... everything was perfect.

E N J O Y and R E L A X. 







Where are you heading this summer?

23.6.14

Beauty samples that did not convince me

I rarely review beauty samples (except here). What I mean by beauty samples are the creams/serums you get in those tiny 2 or 3 ml sachets. Samples can be quite useful if you want to explore the texture, the scent and to get a first sense of the efficacy of a product. It is great to give a "first impression" and can really help in making your decision to purchase the full-size product or not. But, obviously, whether the products really work for you in the longer run remain to be seen...


Today, I am going to chat about samples that didn't do the trick - well not for me personally at least. Voila...

Pai Comfrey & Calendula calming body cream
I really love the brand Pai. They have a great company ethos and their ingredient choice is often very appealing. However, I was disappointed when I first massaged a bit of the Comfrey & Calendula calming body cream onto my arm. Thumb up for the really creamy and fast-absorbing lotion, but I did not like the scent at all. It really smelt strange - not fresh and far from what I expect from a body cream. A real shame.

Egyptian Magic cream
I was intrigued for a little while by the really "sort of famous" white and blue pot containing the all-natural cream. Managed to get a sample. What I like about this cream is the simplistic formula (it doesn't contain an almost overwhelming list of ingredients). And those ingredients are real skins goodies (propolis extract, honey...). However, I wished this cream was a bit less heavy and would sink in a little bit quicker. And, again, the scent was not too appealing for me - it just smells like olive oil. I was looking for something a bit more exotic, I guess.

Naturalmente Shampoo Rosemary and Lavender (PR sample)
Another big disappointement here. The shampoo aims at purifying/balancing the scalp/hair, thanks to Rosemary and Lavender essential oils. I had a good sizes sample (15 ml) and could try it a couple of times. I was really hopeful, but unfortunately my hair felt heavier two days after shampooing - certainly compared to my currently favorite shampoo (review soon!). It almost felt like the shampoo did not rinse properly. That is pity.

Do those samples/products work better for you? Did you have disappointing samples recently? Let me know!

15.6.14

All the way from Australia: Flight Skincare

I can't remember how I discovered Flight Skincare. Was it through other beauty bloggers (I think!) or perhaps via google (could be!)? Anyway, I am glad to have found this little Australian beauty treasure and I thought I should spread the word and introduce it to you!

"Flight embraces everything we believe in and is the connection to living a healthier more balanced lifestyle. K. Jakovitch.

Kym Jakovich, the founder of Flight Skincare, generoulsy sent me a few samples a little while ago (merci!). Although I rarely do reviews on small samples, I thought I should share my first impressions about this special line with you.


Sheer Luxury milk cleanser 
This light and delicate milky cleanser features some of the best ingredients (goat's milk, honey and Camellia oil) and really feels incredibly soothing and calming on the skin. Best suited as a 2nd cleanser (and morning cleanser) in my opinion, the white emulsion is great at removing impurities and light make-up. With a fruity citrussy scent that is absolutely lovely, this cleanser is especially a great option if you have a sensitive skin. It contains an exotic botanical extract, that I actually did not know: Quandong seed extract. It is renowned for its high level in Vit C and is perfect to brighten up complexion.

Silk Protein hydrating day cream
As the name indicates, this very light cream feels like a layer of delicate organic cotton on the skin: super soft and extremely protective at the same time. My skin has been drinking this little emulsion with pleasure...and not to forget, the scent is absolutely divine. So subtle. Just how I like a day cream to be. One of my favorite Flight Skincare products- well amongst those 4 samples I have tested. Papaya, Siberian ginseng, Rapsberry seed oils are all part of the silky concoction alongside silk proteins from which the name of the moisturiser derives.

Acai Firming plant mask
This is a handcrafted blend of organic Acai berry, cacao and coconut along with french clay, bentonite clay and chorella. The green pure superfood packed powders transform in a rich and effective paste when you add a bit of water. It promises to restore skin's radiance while serioulsy kicking its firming functions. I really love this mask: cleansing, unifying, restructuring. The scent appears quite earthy but the hints of ginger and cacao really sort of soften the brut aroma.

Pure Nourishing night cream
A very good night cream can boost repairing skin's function overnight - super plumped and relaxed skin in the morning assured. That is exactly what this cream does to tired, dry looking skins. The ingredients include a blend of the most nutritive ingredients (pure botanical oils, honey...) and some quite seriously effective actives (rooisbos, squalene..). I think this night cream is particulary great for really dry and dehydrated skins, because it is fairly rich.

As an overall, this line looks really lovely. The design is chic and I would be more than happy to explore more of it.
I hope so much that Flight Skincare will soon find some retailers in Europe. The product prices range from around 20 euros for the cleanser to 36 euros for the others products. I have really my eye on the Soft white gentle polish now...
Don't hesitate to contact Kym via her website if you have questions or want to have more infos.

Have you tried some Flight Skincare products? what do you think?

3.6.14

My top beauty tips for combination/oily skins in humid weather

Here in the Netherlands we have been enjoying summery days in the past month. It is absolutely lovely to see those gorgeous vibrant coquelicots flourish everywhere, birds singing even louder than before and baby ducks enjoying swimming with their mummies. Days have been particularly gorgeous in Amsterdam....however the atmosphere could already felt quite heavy sometimes.


Humid weather can be a struggle for combination/oily skins, which start to shine after 2/3 hours post- morning cleanse...not always nice!
So what do you do to K E E P a clear/flawless skin/complexion in that situation?

- Right cleansing. Make it an evening routine to cleanse your face thoroughly using a special deep cleansing product that, ideally, contains some great natural purifying ingredients. Look out for Willow bark, green clay, lactic acid, Manuka honey, probiotics in the product formula. You want your skin to be purified, cleared of dirt/excess of sebum without being overwhelmed and feeling tight. Use a refreshing cleanser in the morning.

2 - Switch to lightweight formulas. A gel-based organic moisturiser will keep your face hydrated without feeling too heavy, greasy or adding additionnal stickiness. It is definitely a great choice when air is humid.

3 - Protect your skin from UVA/UVB with mineral sunblock. Organic sunscreens generally contain zinc oxide that not only acts as a great defense against UV rays, but also improves the skin healing process.

4 - Have a soft hand with heavy make-up/foundations. And if you can't resist a little make-up session, choose a texture that is light, weightless or even powdery. The rule? Do not overdo! Mineral make-up is the one to go for as it generally contains pure skin-friendly minerals that do not overpower your skin tone.

-  Use blotting papers to beat that extra shine. Simply apply the sheet on the needed area and it will immediately absorb any excess of oil.

6 - Clay masks are the best to balance your skin without being drying. Once or twice a week, an homemade clay face mask is perfect  if you want to gently purify skin. Sensitive skin? Opt for pink clay, which is very soothing too! Adding some raw honey to your DIY formula will make your skin even smoother and moisturised.

Have you tried those tips? Do you have other advices to share?

26.5.14

Yuli Skincare Panacea Elixir

Toners form a "can't-do-without" part of my skincare routine. Although I am 100% in love with rose flower water (see here why and here too), I am more than happy to give other beauty mists a go.

Yuli skincare is a US skincare company which developped highly effective in-house beauty products by combining the hightest grade and natural ingredients while leaving out alcohol, synthetic derived nutrients but also citrus/bergamot essential oils (which may lead to hypermengation under light).
Although I was eager to try all their products, I picked the Panacea Elixir, which is a lovely crafted toner, as my first :-).





























Product name: Panacea Elixir
Certified: No
For: all types of skin
Texture: mist
Price: $36.00 for 100ml

My opinion

Panacea Elixir embraces a really wonderful mix of skin soothing, balancing, decongestionning natural flower waters in addition to plant extracts, fruits enzymes, hydrating aloe vera, and a trace of colloidal silver. The carefully designed elixir comes in a black stylish bottle that sprays uniformly. I love the minimalist "Chanel" look of it.
Apart from the design, I had high expectations of this toner (and actually of the brand in general). Their website is really clear, detailed, professional and clearly states the benefits of each of their selected ingredients. I also read a few good reviews about this toner.

Composition-wise, I think Yuli skincare does really well! This beauty concoction is a pure skin bliss. While witch hazel water gently purifies and tones skin, rose and helychrisum hydrosols calm and soothe the skin and take irritation and redness away. Extra-moisturing and cooling effects are added through the concumber extract. The watercress extract, also present in this blend, is known to improve complexion by reducing any puffiness. Additionnaly, colloidal silver, which is a suspension of tiny particules of silver, has anti-bacterial properties.

I really like using this Panacea Elixir in both the morning and the evening. I haven't seen any immediate spectacular results (which is too ambitious for a toner anyway), but what I really enjoy is the instant moisturising, balancing and anti-inflammatory effect it has on my skin. It calms and soothes my skin in a very pleasant way. A great start of the night and a great start of the day too...

...However, there is a big drawback: the scent. Although the product consists of pure hydrolats, the scent mix is not appealing to me. The toner doesn't contain any aromatic essential oils, so the aroma you get is strictly the one from the combination of all ingredients. This is an admirable principle, but with these ingredients it just does not work for me. I did not find it fresh or pleasant at all. It is my personal opinion, and I know that it may appeal to others, but for me it is reason enough not to advocate it too loudly. A pity for such a quality product.

... Loving the effect of Panacea elixir, but the scent does put me off!

++ excellent ingredient blend
-- the scent

My overal rating: 7/10

Composition: D-Aloe barnadenis, R. damascena (rose) hydrolat, H. italicum (helichrysum) hydrolat, L. angustifolia (lavender) hydrolat, H. virginiana (witch hazel) hydrolat, H. italicum/L.angustifolia (helichrysum/lavender) hydrolat, frequency enhanced water, vegetable glycerine, C. sativus (cucumber) extract, N. officinale (watercress) extract, biodynamic fruit enzymes, trace minerals complex, colloidal silver.
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