Firstly, let me just say that Love Lula is the only subscription box I am getting, and I am really happy with it! I’ve been getting it for around a year and a half maybe, and I have to say they do a very good job at including a good variety of products, apart of a few tiny missteps of too many scrubs or face oils in a row, other products were a delight to discover, and I have to say I am looking forward to each new month in anticipation to what’s to come – Christmas or Birthday present for yourself each month, anyone? They ship worldwide, and the price is 14.95£ monthly recurring for UK customers, and for us international gals there are two options of three months (52.50£) or a year (210£) including post and packaging. Green beauty boxes are a great way to discover new items you might have missed otherwise, and I love that anything coming from LoveLula is cruelty free and guaranteed not to have any toxic ingredients – they have very strict criteria for any product they accept, and that is taking the guesswork off your shoulders. International boxes sometimes differ from the UK ones due to Love Lula not being able to ship nail polishes or perfumes.
If you follow me for any amount of time, you would know that Love Lula is one of my absolutely favourite online shops – and for a good reason! Thousands and thousands of clean beauty products to choose from, natural skincare, hair care, body care, tools, make up – they have everything! I have been a satisfied customer for years and years before being accepted into their blogger family, and I am so happy to report that my experiences as customer Renata and blogger Renata are equally good! I always got what I ordered without a single mistake ever, all my queries were answered promptly and clearly, happy to say they have the best customer service ever and they treat everyone with respect. Continue reading “Love Lula Picks & Reviews – Hurraw, Alteya Organics, Kimberly Sayer, Natura Siberica, Organii [April 2019]”
Today I will do a bit of a different post, a Clean Beauty tag one. I was watching Andie’s The Green Queen Clean Beauty Tag video (here) and it turns out the tag was created by the Conscious Bee (see her video here) whom I just discovered in a series of serendipitous moments. Loving what I saw, I self tagged into it, because that’s how I roll 🙂 Both ladies did Youtube videos, Get Ready With Me style, but since I am a blogger, not a Youtuber, I will improvise a bit – I will answer questions first and will link to some of the make up post after, pretending I was sort of doing make up all along. There are quite a few I’ve done lately, what can I say, I have rediscovered my love for make up 🙂
See my Natural Beauty interview with adorable Andie here and let’s get into the tag, shall we?
CLEAN BEAUTY TAG:
1. When did u switch to green beauty and why?
That was around a decade ago, after accidentally discovering Janey Lee Grace’s book Imperfectly Natural Woman – I was looking for some light read for the weekend and that book changed my life! Many years later I managed to get Natural Beauty interview with Janey Lee Grace, see that post here. Funny story with that book, I had to buy it not one, not two, but four times, because after reading it I started lending the book to everyone around me and I didn’t get it back a couple of times. So I had to buy it for myself again and again, and it was the exact same book I did my very first Instagram giveaway with 🙂 Before that I was naively assuming that all the products on the shelves go through rigorous testing for safety and ingredients aren’t harmful for humans in any way shape or form- oh boy, how wrong I was! I was sick to my stomach to find out how many harmful ingredients are in our skincare (formaldehyde in babies products for God’s sake, don’t get me started on this!!) and I started switching out my products there and then. But the trouble was, clean beauty products were soooo hard to find back then – most people (millennials) will have a hard time believing this, but there were NO online shops back then, so I was having the hardest time switching my products. Yes, you read that right, no Detox Markets, no Love Lula or anything. In fact, I can credit Janey Lee Grace for my blog too – I was having the worst time finding not only my best natural products, but any natural products around me at all, so I remember thinking to myself “this is nuts, what if someone is going through the same transformation and does not know where to start or where to go, I better blog about this to let people know”. So that’s how my blog started, out of desire to help out fellow green beauty sisters – and that’s still a driving force behind my blog to this day! I was here before it became popular and way before PR and marketing was happening. Up until two years or so ago I was purchasing all the products myself, so if that doesn’t prove I am not in it for the money, then I don’t know what will. Fortunately the green beauty scene exploded since – and that makes me very happy! I kind of made it my mission to help all the ladies (and gents) to switch to natural and organic products. Clean beauty world has an answer to any conventional product out there, and it is a proven fact the products work – and they work even better! Just check my post on more than 20 natural dupes for Nars Orgasm here for example – I worked really hard on that post 🙂
2. Do you remember your first green makeup product? Did it work well for you?
Yes I do – it was a Dr Hauschka mascara and for then-unemployed me it cost me eye wateringly amount of money, I remember wincing when parting with my cash – and to make matters worse, it didn’t do anything apart from making my lashes black and it started crumbling in the first week. I remember thinking “oh no, what if all the natural products are so expensive and work so bad?”. Fortunately I was able to find a Holy Grail product in every single category since, you can see them here. I sifted through a ton of products to find good ones that work amazingly well. And they are at all price points too – you don’t need to spend a ton of money in every single category. I choose to splurge on skincare (I am five minutes to forty after all, I kind of need to) and am quite happy to save on body care for example. No money? No problem, use coconut oil as your body moisturizer! Make up? I have it at all price points starting from just 2.50€ going to up to 50€ for a palette. I think that is quite reasonable, no?
3. Have you noticed a change in your skin/overall health since the switch?
Yes! My skin was a disaster before the switch – dry, super sensitive, reactive to every single product I have tried and more and more adult acne as the time went by – and amazingly I never attributed my skin’s conditions are caused directly by the products I was using. I guess I was blindly falling for the “I am worth it” marketing hype – oh the naivety of me! Insert face palm emoji here 🙂 I see history repeating itself with my elder daughter, who’s is convinced she needs certain ingredients and products for her skin to look good. She buys her own products (oftentimes conventional, resistance to parents, sigh) but she reacts to them more often than not, so I am strategically suggesting natural alternatives and am doing a happy little dance every time she does not reject something. I have to say she and I started on the wrong foot with all things natural – I gave her my own DIY deodorant and it burned her pits – turns out she is allergic to baking soda! not only in deodorants but in toothpastes and dry shampoos, everything 🙁 She rejected all natural products for a couple of years since then, and I can’t say I blame her. Slowly but surely she is coming to our side, but we have a long way to go. I do not push her in any way shape or form, I am not one of those green beauty bullies with scare mongering tactics, you might notice that in a way I blog too – I simply let people know about amazing natural stuff and let people think and choose for themselves.
Whoops, Renata, get back to the question, will you? Yes, my skin balanced itself in a month when I switched to natural products and the acne never came back – amazing or what?
4. Is there anything you wish was different about the green beauty space?
Yes, a few things come to mind. Price points for one (a whole topic on it’s own, for another time maybe, there are few things worth their price point, but not all) limited shade ranges when it comes to make up; scare mongering tactics needs to go, as well as greenwashing.
5. What is the nr 1 ingredient you avoid in cosmetics?
Fragrance, parabens, bismuth oxychloride, phenoxyethanol – although the latter is increasingly hard to avoid, it is everywhere!
6. What are your favorite 3 make up products you discovered thus far?
Well, if we are talking about make up only, my first love would be Peachy Keen by Inika– it is a natural and more gorgeous version of Nars Orgasm, even though it does not look like much in most of online shop photos. Trust me, it will get you all heart eyed once you will get it and put it on. Very concentrated, so the jar will last you for years, I promise! Nars Orgasm was the last product I switched, but having found Peachy Keen, I haven’t looked back.
Next would be my trusty workhorse for many many years, a product used and appreciated daily; I have stuck with it going through branding and packaging changes – please step forward Hynt Beauty Duet Perfecting Concealer! By far the most full coverage concealer in the green beauty or not green beauty and it is something I keep coming back to no matter how many other products I have tried. I have not one but two reviews of it on my old blog (see here and here) so I won’t be going into too many details here. So well worth the money, I have my last jar for well over the year and I am yet to hit pan or see a change in the formula (as in going bad) when my newer concealers are starting to smell a bit off after six months. I can’t praise it enough, really. Just one teeny tiny thing, dear Hynt Beauty, if you are reading this, please introduce a shade in between of Light and Medium – those two shades need to have a love child, pronto! You have introduced a shade in between for the darker shades, now please do so for the lighter ones too, pretty please? As you can guess, I happen to be in between the shades and would love to be able to buy just one jar instead of two at a time. The formula is very impressive, so that’s why I keep buying two shades, but I have heard many and many ladies say the same thing. Once again, Hynt Beauty, pretty please?
Do you guys know how hard this question is?? I have to say both moisturizers and Antioxidant Booster by Bella Aura Skincare (review) – I can’t live without them!
*Update on why I no longer stand by this brand, even though I still think their products are fantastic here, scroll down to the very end.
8. What brands do you really want to try but still haven’t?
My wishlist is probably two miles long, haha! The first brands that come to mind are Okoko Cosmetiques, Lovinah, Osea, Live Botanicals, Blue Beautifly, De Mamiel, Odacite, Mayia Chia, Aether Beauty, Laurel, Antonym, Amly – do I need to go on? 🙂
9. What type of product do you buy the most of?
Toothpaste, rinse, body wash (mostly soap, Black African soap preferably). Body Oils. Shampoo. From beauty products, mascara. Same like a regular person, really.
10. Do you like trying new skincare products or do you keep a certain routine?
A bit of both really. My uber sensitive and dermatitis prone skin does not allow me much room for wriggle, I am most likely to react to any product, even to the ones everyone is raving about. Having found my perfect skincare in Bella Aura, I kind of don’t want to test or try anything else, plus having put my skin through a marathon (and burning it more than once!) for the sake of judging in the green beauty awards (see more on my IG), I don’t really want to try anything else for the time being. But still there comes a product from time to time that calls my name organically and I get that magical experience – I am talking about May Lindstrom Blue Cocoon as an example, see more in my recent Favourites post here.
11. If you could only buy from one brand, which one would you choose? Pick one for makeup and one for skincare.
Skincare, easy – Bella Aura! Make up, it would have to be between Inika(amazing blushes and mascara) and Hynt Beauty (concealer and lipstick Holy Grails), but W3LL People are also very high up there – oh, what to do??
12. What do you love about makeup? What about skincare?
I love that make up lets me create the best version of myself – isn’t that amazing how much more confident you feel when you look great? Skincare is my everyday treat to myself, my “me time”, my self care. What’s not to love, am I right or am I right?
13. Name your favorite thing about the Green Beauty community?
The support! I am so so grateful to green beauty community for welcoming me with open arms. Up until then I was kind of not belonging or should I say not feeling welcome anywhere really, and this is where I feel at home and feeling like I am contributing to a great cause. Andie’s comment about other women struck a chord with me, all the backstabbing in my life came from other women, even close friends, so I was kind of floating around in life not feeling that love, support, girl or sister power, up until I discovered the green beauty community. Huge thanks each and every one of you!
(ps. catty behaviour still happens in the green beauty world, this is an industry like any other industry. Fact of life)
Now that all of the questions are answered, let’s pretend I was doing make up at the same time 🙂 I will link three of my last make up posts, so check out the one which look you like the most – I didn’t mention any make up in my recent Favourites post, but any product from those posts below is still a strong favourite to date. Or skip them all together. Your call. Thanks for reading anyway!
Welcome back! And welcome, if you are new here 💕💕💕
Umm, yeah, this happened 🙂 I used to be on top of my empties posts, every month or a quarter at least. You guys know my style, my posts are usually very long because I try to cover every single base I can think of, from company itself, to ingredients, to user experience, whether I liked it or not and why, plus linking everything, products, reviews; you know the drill. Couple that with other projects I’ve had, reviews, judging for a few clean beauty awards and the constant upkeep with the social media and you would understand why these posts became the pain-in-th-you-know-what to do. However I think it is important for me to do empties posts so you guys could see that the products I am using and the reviewing are the same products, plus you guys want me to keep these posts up – so there you go, this is for you lovelies. Something’s gotta give though, this blog is a passion project of mine, not a paid gig, so I don’t want to spend all of my time away from my family, blogging at all hours of the day. So no more links, instead of elaborate opinions and explanations of why I think something is great (or not), I will group them in categories of “Repurchasing” “Not Repurchasing” and if you have any questions, ask. Most of the products will have either reviews or mentions in some posts or the other, so be sure to hit that search box. Thanks for reading in advance!
Welcome back! And if you are new here, welcome 💕💕💕
How are you doing? I hope life is treating you well?
Today’s post is going to be short and sweet, all about a lip balm I love. Please step forward, Bali Balms*! If you follow me for some time or any time at all, you know I am a proper lip balm addict! As you could imagine, I have tested dozens and dozens of them, but it does not mean I like every single one of them – far from it! It is one area where it takes a lot to impress me, formulating a good lip balm is much harder than you think. Most brands just melt some oils, waxes and butters together, and while it is a correct formula for a lip balm, it does not mean it is any good. What I want from my lip balm is for it to have all natural ingredients (obviously!), be nourishing and also protecting my lips from elements, and perhaps most important factor for me is that it should STAY on the lips for good amount of time, and that is exactly where most of the brands fail. I don’t want to reapply my lip balm every five minutes, thank you very much! So long story short, there are just a handful of lip balms I consider good ones, and it is even tougher for them to end up in my Holy Grail Products list.
Welcome back! And welcome, if you are new here 💕💕💕
So as I mentioned in my weekly musings post here, I have a new found love and a new hobby of creative journaling, and some of you wanted to know more – so this post is for you!
You see, I might have a *thing* or two or three or four or five or six or seven about cute stationary, and I had for years. One of the things I was looking forward to every single year was opening a brand new diary, but in all honesty, I never found them quite fitting to my needs. I mean how can anyone fit everything they need to jot down into those measly ten lines a day? I can barely fit all I want to write down onto the whole page – until I get bored/ frustrated mid April and forget about the whole thing until October or something. As I need to keep track not only of the household stuff but also blogging affairs, I spilled over to spreadsheets, which isn’t quite also me – too rigid and not creative enough. So my life was forever changed when I discovered creative journaling is a thing on Instagram – search #creativejournaling and also #bujo and yours will be too! True to my style I soon fell down the rabbit hole. Continue reading “Let the creative journaling begin!”
If you read any of this kind of posts (see here & here) you will know what they are all about, but if not, let me tell you. in these kind of posts I am letting you into my world behind Green Life In Dublin. If you tried your hand at blogging, you might know how much of hard work goes into it – everything from taking decent pictures to testing the products (six weeks for skincare, no less in my case!) to hours and hours of research on newly discovered brands, products and ingredients, to actually finding time to put the review together – it is just a lot, man. And don’t get me started on the other side of blogging, the upkeep of social media! Sometimes I am on top of things for weeks, but other times I am drained, not going to lie. Coupled with busy family life and work with their own stresses and struggles – that’s a lot of plates to spin. And I feel deeply tired. Today is the last day at kids school before Easter Break, and I am typing this straight after the school run, even before my breakfast, all while trying to remember my today’s to – do list in my head and trying to mentally calculate how to cram everything I need to do in less than two hours, because today is a short day at school. All of the rooms need hoovering and mopping, I have a mountain of clean clothes on the dryer racks staring at me right now, with loads of washing waiting. Hello, my name is Renata, and I am never caught up with the laundry, ever. My mind is drawing a blank on what to prepare for dinner later today, and let me confess I am not looking forward to the kids playdate later today. The friend stays over for four hours at a time, so you can imagine the noise and the mess – I am feeling drained just thinking of it. Now that I am typing all of this, I am kind of realizing I have been running on empty all this year past New Year’s Eve. You know Blue Monday? Well, it kind of is still going strong for me.. I think I need a break.
Ok, pull yourself together Renata, people are not here to read about you losing your marbles – and besides, when you are tired, learn to rest, not to quit. I thought of quitting for a second, when I had hell after posting a bad reaction to a certain brand’s product. What happened next, the brand owner immediately flagged me to this green beauty heavyweight, who came down like a ton of bricks on me – her email hurt far more than my burned face. The brand has to deal with negative publicity because of my actions, I now lost all my credibility and so on. I will spare you the details and the names, but I won’t ever forget it.Being far away from everything and everyone in this Green Isle, I keep forgetting that everyone else is connected and can and will use those connection to shut mouths. So, all this aside, let’s look at the things I have been doing/ reading/ watching /brainstorming lately? In no particular order, here they are.
The latest reading list can be seen on my IG post here:
See my thoughts on these books in the comments. Any recommendations for good books in the health and wellness realm are always welcome, so please feel free to share. And thanks for the Dublin City Libraries for making this possible 🙂
I don’t know how about Your country, but here in Ireland climate change is happening in front of our very own eyes – it is 12th of April now, and yet the grass is frosted in the mornings, what is happening? I am not the gardener of any sort, but I think that is not a good news for plants & I assume it will affect the produce. The wind stays freezing cold even if the sun is shining, I haven’t felt brave enough to ditch my winter jacket yet. Imagine feeling hot and cold at the same time? Yes, that’s me most days. The last winter jacket I had from Next was not wind-proof at all, so I spent the last two winters shivering cold, even though Ireland is blessed with mild winters, the temps dropped below 0 for about a week only. Now that we are technically well into the spring, there’s still so much of colds and coughs going around. We missed quite a bit of school due to illness in winter, so despite feeling majorly under the weather, we are soldiering on – I give the kids NYR Organic Elderberry Syrup & NYR Organic Thyme & Honey Syrup – feeling kind of panicky, because I am on my last bottles of both. Mentally taking note to watch out for 20% off NYR sale, haha! We have had a couple of storms this winter, but thanks God nothing like The Beast From The East last year – that experience has left me scarred. Up until then I was lax about the demand-supply of products, but funny (not!) how a bit of snow can stop the entire country in it’s tracks when they’re not used to it! I still remember camping in the bedroom for a week straight because out east facing living room was 5*C FRIGGING DEGREES WITH NOT ONE BUT TWO HEATERS ON! I had to wear a coat and a hat inside to go cook some sort of a dinner, which consisted throwing something into the over and then quickly running back. It was even less funny when we ran out of the food on the day three, ventured out into the cold only to find all the nearest supermarkets and convenience shops closed within ten mile radius. (except for one Russian shop, which saved us then). So my mind, fuelled by the anxiety, is now panicky before every winter and I feel the need to stock up on absolutely everything I could possibly need to last us the winter. If you want to see what natural remedies, teas & homeopathic remedies I tend to stock on, let me know and I will be happy to put that blog post into schedule come next autumn. It wouldn’t make much sense before it, would it? For those of you with you with no patience (like me), there’s this post right here on my natural arsenal against colds & flu (with a fabulously bad pictures to match) and a post on OreganolP73, which is the natural antibiotic I use here. The products are mostly the same, if I find something that works, I stick with it.
Umm, for some reason I can’t see the captions on any IG posts when I browse on my laptop, only on my phone – does anyone else have this problem too, could you let me know?
I have been upping my trusty Tea Which Keeps Me Well In Winters– that applies for any time of the year, plus it is delicious, so I think you would benefit from reading that post too 🙂 Other tea favourites of the moment include matcha, Yogi Throat Comfort and Numi teas with turmeric, which are the best kind of turmeric teas around. I scored them very cheaply from Holland & Barrett a while ago, and now seeing how good they are, I would be happy to pay their worth – only to find out they have been discontinued. Just my luck, huh? Something else I am looking into in natural health realm, is liposomal vitamin C, a thing that is new for me – which is supposedly the best vitamin C on the market, made in a way that it bypasses the digestive tract and goes directly into the cells?? I have to be honest, I balked at the price of it – 50€ for 30, way out of my price range as it is, You need to take two packets per day, which makes it last for 15 days, meaning it’s 100€ for a month for me alone. So if I wanted to get it for my family for four winter months, I would need to spend I-need-to-sit-down-for-this 1600€!! I know, I know, you can’t put price on health, the health is a foundation of everything. But even if I had that much money to burn, I’d put it away for a house deposit if I am honest. So my curiosity was piqued immediately if there’s any way to DIY it, and turns out there is! There are lots of videos on Youtube, which I am not going to link because I don’t have makers permissions to do so, but now that you know, you can search for them yourself. Unfortunately all of them used a sonic jewelry cleaning machine (say what?) and I don’t have it. I have left my research there and then, with a thought to come back to it the first chance I get, which never happened… Anyone knows anything about DIYing it? Any tips, clues or links to clean food grade Vitamin C (not produced in China) would be appreciated. Also, any holistic tips on exposed gums? that’s another thing worrying me greatly. I have been doing this DIY oil pull from the Nadine Artemis awesome book The Renegade Beauty, which is basically coconut oil with probiotics and I am experimenting adding things like turmeric and coconut charcoal to it. If you want to see the rest of my super simple DIYs, see this post. Oh, by the way, this book is absolutely awesome, I highly recommend it. If you buy only one book this year, this is it 🙂 Your mind will be blown, promise.
I also took a bunch of new photos for my Natural Beauty In TKMaxx post on my recent visit to Blanchardstown store, so keep an eye for that, I am going to update the post really soon.
What else? I have been doing Oprah’s and Deepak Chopra’s 21 Days Meditation (it is still on, look for it on social media!) but I just can’t do it for the life of me.. Seemingly simple act of stopping my thoughts for 15 minutes is impossible for me. I try to do it while the kids are at school and I am home alone, but the monkey brain can’t be silenced no matter what I do – the best I have done is sitting still for about seven minutes and then getting up to continue doing stuff on my to do list. I have also been watching The Truth About Cancer The Eastern Edition and taking notes, but only from episode 6 only. Also I recently discovered Mark Hyman’s The Doctor’s Pharmacy podcasts, they sound good! Now that I think back, maybe I should have added all those with the reading list to my recent Favourites post?
What also should have been added to that favourites post is my new found love for creative journaling, something I also wasn’t aware of before. I always had a *thing* for cute stationery, notebook, diaries and such, finding them not quite suited for my needs, I am now jumping for joy at the thought of creating my own! I am working on my post of it, as I am still a beginner and not sure if I want to share my scribblings versus true art I see on other people’s pages. If you are like me and in any way inclined towards journaling, just search #creativejounaling or #bujo (short for bullet journaling) and your life will be forever changed 🙂 I predict you might part with your cash in your nearest art and craft store soon after, just like I did.
That’s it for today, see you here next Tuesday, my posting days. I think I will publish prepared posts in the next two weeks, but will skip the social media thing to give myself a bit of a break, I hope you are cool with that?
Please like and share my posts on social media, it really helps to get the green beauty word out – and you will forever have my gratitude!
How are you all doing? I hope you are well? Now that the sun is out and my SAD has lifted, I feel so much better and feel the zest for life coming back. It also means I got interested in my products so much more, so therefore I have been testing lots, sifting through what’s good and what’s not – and sharing the best with you! Ready to get started? I thought you would never ask 🙂