Saturday, 30 August 2014

Rave Review *My Eco Sponge*

The Benefits of Charcoal

Yes I reused a picture from a previous post. Bad blogger me.

I received this Konjac Bamboo Charcoal face sponge in the Native Box the other day and I thought I would give you an updated opinion on it. I have been using this sponge once a day for two days and already I am seeing a dramatic difference with my skin, Seriously. My complexion looks brighter and a lot more even than before. I am also noticing a lot less red blemishes on my skin. To use this all I have to do it wet it, lightly cleanse my skin using small circular motions then press the water out with my hands and hang to dry. It's so easy! I don't have to worry about lotions of exfoliators, this sponge does it all. So, being the quizzical person I am, I had to do a bit more research on charcoal and how it benefits the skin...

The Benefits Of Charcoal for the skin

Charcoal is a great adsorbent this means that it draws out impurities in the skin like excess oils, bacteria, chemicals and dirt.

Activated Charcoal powder is proven to adsorb thousands of times in own mass in dirt and impurities, making it very popular for skincare.

Charcoal is gentle enough to use on even the most sensitive skin types.

Charcoal is gentle enough to use on the face, neck and around the eye area.

Make your own Charcoal face mask

Purchase some Charcoal tablets from your local pharmacy
Crush two or three tablets into a fine powder 
Add about one teaspoon of water
Mix to make a paste
Apply evenly to your skin
Leave on your face for around 10 minutes
Notice the wonderful difference to your skin!

I hope you have enjoyed my little lesson in Activated Charcoal.

Have Fun!

Renee x

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Native Box Unboxing - Winter 2014

Go Aussie Go!

I am completely pumped for this post today because my long awaited Native Box has arrived! Native Box is a subscription box that focuses on Australian brands. They have a Classic box, Vegan box, Super size box and the box I chose, The Beauty Box. The Beauty Box comes out for $24.95 a quarter. I had high expectations for this box because I had seen previous unboxings on Youtube when I was contemplating subscribing and I was impressed. So will my expectations be met?

I just opened the box and already my heart leapt with excitement when I spotted this Konjac Bamboo Charcoal Sponge by My Eco Sponge. I have seen these eco sponges drifting around other eco beauty blogs and I kinda wanted one. Just to try and see what all the fuss was about. To use just add water and give your face a gentle massage with the sponge and then let the sponge dry naturally. The Bamboo sponge is suppose to cleanse, exfoliate, shrink pores, eliminate blemishes, relive sunburn and moisturise the skin. One drawback is that this sponge in particular is made for oily and acne prone skin (which I don't have) but I am so curious about trying it I might ignore the label.

This massive bottle of moisturiser is a very nice find because I have been wanting a new moisturiser for some time now. At the moment I am using the Yes To Carrots Body Butter which I really like but I have had the hankering to slather on a bit of a floral scent. The Seraphina Happy Go Lovely Body Custard smells amazing, like natural roses. There is nothing artificial smelling about this cream. I even like the name. Body Custard mmmmm. Custard... anyway getting back to it. This cream is super thick -I have to really make an effort to squeeze it out the tube- kind of thick. It's full of Shea and Cocoa butters, aloe vera, Vitamin E and rose. I have a feeling that I am really going to enjoy this moisturiser during Winter.

I got two lovely little samples of tea from Byron Bay Tea Company. These tea combinations were created by a naturopath and herbalist to make a healthier body. The first is Skin Light and Refreshing, this contains lemongrass, ginger and peppermint. It's meant to give the drinker a healthy glow and sustain internal vigour. The second tea sample is a light detoxing blend made with Fennel, Nettle, Calendula, Ginger and Licorice. I'll be saving these for when I want to try something new.

La Mav is a brand that I have heard about a lot but have never tried anything from their range. Even though these are tiny samples of Antioxidant Rich Nightly Repair Nectar I am really keen to start incorporating these into my daily skincare routine. I only need one or two drops for my face and neck so I think these will last a little while. Rose, ylang ylang and neroli  are some of the ingredients in this oil and are great for locking in moisture on dry skin.

I used to work in a pharmacy that sold these Refreshed Lemon Myrtle Soaps and I have always enjoyed the wonderful fresh lemony scent. I had never bought one so I am eager to use this sample size. This soap contains moisturising Macadamia nut oil which makes it perfect for sensitive skin. I also enjoy a soap with an added gentle exfoliator.

I have seen the Australian Bush Flower Essences been advertised in a magazine and it looked really good, so I am pleased to have received this. I use hands creams regularly and apply them in the evenings when I am watching a movie on T.V and drinking my evening chamomile tea. It's  like a bedtime routine I got going on. This cream doesn't leave that dreaded greasy feeling on my skin and it smells of a really nice rose.

There seems to be a bit of a Rose theme going on in this Native Box and I don't mind at all. As soon as I took a picture of these Essentially Natural Therapeutic Rose Bath Salts I ran a bath and popped them in. I love bath salts but It's not often I use them, for me they are a special treat. These bath salts only have six lovely ingredients in them and I know what each ingredient is ( a big tick of approval) Epson salts, sea salts,white clay, Organic rose petals, sunflower oil and Rose essential oil. All good stuff for the skin. What I loved most about these bath salts were the dried rose petals that floated around in the bath. They made the water smell beautiful.

I also got a few of sachets. The Sanctum Hydrating Gel Mask sachets will go in my travel bag for holidays. These are the perfect size for one application without taking up any room in a suitcase. I have a full size Sanctum Hydrating Gel mask in my bathroom cabinet that I use about once a fortnight and it is brilliant at cleansing any excess oil around my nose and forehead as well as being really moisturising. The Care You Love Persian Rose Face Moisturiser is an interesting one; I haven't heard of the brand and again Roses are an ingredient added to help keep skin soft. I think I may be smelling a bit rosey during the Winter.

Last but certainly not least is the Rainforest Remedies Lemon Myrtle Lip Balm. This all natural lip balm gives a slight shine and is really moisturising on the lips. The balm just glides on and leaves a very subtle Lemon scent that I love. Already I can tell that I will use this lip balm down to the stub because it is soothing, doesn't have an over powering scent and it has organic ingredients. All things that I love in a lip balm.

Native Box Verdict: Bloomin' Heck! I love this box. Not only am I pleasantly surprised at the amount on contents in the box, all items are cruelty free which is so so important to me and it's not common to find a subscription beauty box that is all cruelty free in Australia.  I also really enjoyed that this season there was only skin care items ( and tea). I don't wear a lot of makeup and even though I love a cosmetic sample box, I find that I never wear all the makeup and It ends up being a bit of a waste of money. I can say without a doubt that I will use all of these skincare items. Having said that, a couple of makeup items would be nice for the Spring box. Organic and cruelty free of course. 

Is there anything in this Native box that sparks your interest?

Have Fun!

Renee x

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Update: Life, blog and events

What's Been Happening??

Hello there! I have been looking at my feed and I noticed that during the month of August I have only put up 3 posts. Shame on me! So why am I so absent? Well, the month of August has been quiet turbulent. Mummy and Bub has both had a virus that has been going around that consists of headache, fever, sore throat, runny nose and a wet cough. Pleasant. So that's taken about three weeks of my time. First taking care of bub for a week and a half then realising with utter dread that I had caught it too. Urg. That's another week of resting as much as I can with a one year old. 
I have also decided that it's time for all the Perth Beauty Bloggers to catch up and have a bit of fun, so I am in the middle of organising a meet up. This has taken me right out of my comfort zone. At first the idea of contacting people that I didn't even know kind of felt a bit daunting but all the girls are lovely. It's not so scary any more and I am really looking forward to it.
I have quiet a few items to review which is really exciting for me because that's my favourite part of being a beauty blogger. I just have to wait for them to arrive in the mail. Soon this blog will be overloaded with new posts which will keep me delightfully busy
I am also making a few tweaks to my page (nothing drastic so don't panic). I am adding an About Me page and a page called Animals and Chemicals Don't Mix. I have been working on the Animals and Chemicals Don't Mix page for quiet some time and I am eager to get that up so people can have a squiz at that. Very interesting stuff on there. 
A quick mention about the Perth weather. I am loving it! Cool days, spot of rain here and there and usually it's raining harder at night. I love Winter, I think the weather is so interesting when it rains or its windy. I feel like a bit of a hypocrite in Summer when all the Aussies are out in the 35 degree weather saying ' oh I love Summer it's fantastic!' and I am sitting there all silent when all I want to say is 'No its horrible! Temperatures this hot isn't natural and shouldn't be enjoyed!.' I go a little nuts in Summer, sitting in the corner of an air-conditioned room counting down the days until Autumn. 

So that's my life recently I hope to continue with my regular bloggin' in the next couple of days.

Cheerio and Have Fun!

Renee x

Thursday, 14 August 2014

No $$$? No Worries!

A Savvy Way To Shop Online

Being part of a one income family, times can be tough. It's hard to keep up to date with fashion and have few item in your wardrobe that aren't faded, stretched or have a few holes in them. That's the truth. Spring is on its way and I love nothing more than collecting a couple of new tops that fit right and dresses that haven't been worn through. Having a baby can make clothes shopping a little difficult too, because sitting in a pram and watching mum rifle through the sale racks and try on countless tops and adding up the price in her head can be VERY boring for baby. This can result in a fussy baby and stressed mumma and no clothing being purchased, this very reason is why I have turned to shopping online.  Shopping online is a magical, wonderful place where I can sit in a comfy chair, hot chocolate next to me and spend a little bit of me time flicking through the sales and looking at the lovely pictures of all the pretty clothes completely at leisure.
However, online shopping can also be a maze of ads, companies that just don't look 'right' and poor quality clothes being delivered to your door. When I heard about Cuponation I was eager to have a look.
Basically Cuponation is a website Jam Packed full of shops and various coupon offers for each shop, kind of like your own personal coupon drawer.
There are already a few shops on their that I wouldn't mind browsing around a bit more like Lush, Priceline, ( and for those wardrobe essentials) Forever 21, Surf stitch and Ozsale.




  I had a look at ASOS and these a few items here I have my little eye on. What shall I choose to wear as a guest at a wedding this Summer? Thankfully I am able to save a bit of money while I shop for something new! Also I checked out a couple of cool Accessories from The Iconic, I'm sure I can mash up a cute look with these added bits and pieces.

                                Bangle                                                                                  Ring

What dress do you think?

Have Fun!

Renee x

Friday, 8 August 2014

High Tea at Sweet Country Abode

Just A Little Bit Fancy...

I'm still on a bit of a high from this morning. I took my cousin out for a High Tea for her birthday and we had such a great time. This was my first High Tea and I knew that it would be something that Sarah and I would enjoy together because we both have a fondness for tiny portion sizes and teacups. We went to Sweet Country Abode in Midvale which is a cafe and countrified shop thats full of country charm and shabby chic influences. I decided to go there because I have only heard good reviews. The out side of the shop is a bit deceptive, being found on an 'industrial' road the only downside would be the location. As soon as I walked in I was surrounded by white shelves full of pillows, sweet smelling candles and quirky wall hangers. At the back of the shop can be found the cafe which is were the high tea was set for our celebrations.

The table was set up with a table cloth, floral plates and tea cups and petite cutlery. The service was lovely as the waitresses were so polite and helpful. We were brought out three tier stands - one for each person- full of delicate savoury rolls, sandwiches, sweet pastries and two types of slices. And of course the vital part of a high tea were scones with jam and cream. All the food tasted delicious, I couldn't finish all of it so I bought some home for hubby to have and I'm sure I saw his pinkie raised as he popped the cherry slice into his mouth. 
I would highly recommend Sweet Country Abode for a High Tea. There is delicious food and tea, the shop is full of lovely gift ideas and I felt no need to hurry as the atmosphere is very quiet and relaxing despite the busy street outside.
Price $35 pp

Was it worth the price? From what I gather, most High Teas around our area are $35pp anyway. If I am only having a high tea for a celebration or on a rare occasion then yes, I think it was worth the price, for the amount of food we got and the endless tea and beautifully laid out table. I probably wouldn't want to go any closer to Perth because some high tea's near the city can cost up to $45-$50 pp. I just don't have that kind of cash!

Yummy Scones and Jam

Enjoying my tea 

Three tiers for each person

Where's you favourite High Tea place?

Have Fun!

Renee x

Saturday, 2 August 2014

First Buys From iHerb

Great Cruelty Free Buys

The most exciting find from the iHerb website was the Hemp Organics Love Lip Tint. I have used Hemp lip balms in the past and have found that the are superior at nourishing and moisturising my lips. When I saw this organic lip tint in a gorgeous wine colour I took the chance and nabbed it! These lip tints have no added fragrances, petrochemicals and synthetic preservatives and they are 96% certified organic. 

The Hemp Organics Lip Tint give such natural looking hint of colour, but the most important part to me is that they are good for my lips and really hydrating.

E.L.F Cosmetics is well known in the beauty blogger community to be cruelty free. It's very affordable and is easily found in Australian Kmart averaging at around $8.00 a piece. However being very new to the E.L.F range I didn't know I could even find them in Aust and I purchased them from the American iHerb site (even though I like to purchase Australian when I can.) Getting on with it, as I was browsing the site I was pleasantly surprised at the prices of iHerb. This E.L.F Jumbo Lip Gloss Stick in Tiki torches was $3.22 AU. I really like the look and feel of this Lip Gloss. Not being a matte kinda girl, I like that it has a bit of shine to it and it feels really creamy to wear. I also love the colour, it is only about two shades deeper than my natural lip colour so I feel comfortable wearing this during the day for a regular natural makeup look. I can also layer this on top of a deeper lipstick for a dramatic night look as well.

Swatch of E.L.F  Jubo Lip Gloss Stick in Tiki torches

When I swatched this All Over Cover Stick in Pink Lemonade I fell instantly in love. This is my kind of pink! It's a really bright and light pink that illuminates the skin to make it look healthy and glowing. No taller than my thumb, the packaging is so cute and compact and I know that I am going to use this so much during spring/summer when I want a brighter makeup look. Only a little bit needs to be used because it blends really easily on my skin for a lovely looking flush. I will be looking more into the other cover stick colours because I like the smooth consistency and the fact that it doesn't clog my pores.

Swatch of E.L.F All Over Color Stick in Pink Lemonade

Sadly my Dr. Hauschka Deodorant was almost run out so I needed another and I always like to try something different. So I went ahead and ordered the Natures Gate Deodorant in Chamomile and Lemon Verbena. This is an aluminium free blend with baking soda and vegetable enzymes that help to neutralise odour. I have only used this for three days but so far so good. I'm very impressed with this and because it is a deodorant stick and not a liquid, I don't have to wait for it to dry before I finish getting dressed. 

The last week or so bub has had some restless nights sleep so I decided to get something to help her sleep and relax. As well as a warm bath before bedtime I thought it may be a good idea to spray her pillow with a calming Lavender mix. The Hugo Naturals Calming French Lavender spray has Lavender, Rosemary and Honeysuckle and it just smells really gentle. This is a Gluten free and vegan product and I hope this helps make her sleep a bit deeper.

I know that sometimes ordering things online can be a bit of a gamble, but I am really happy with the things I got from iHerb. I will definitely be visiting their site again soon.

Have Fun!

Renee x