Jul 312019
 

Random Thoughts #2

What I’ve been up to?

  • The beautiful, sunny and very hot weather – it was time to take a few weeks off. To see places, to do stuff and – to do nothing. Feeling and maybe even being busy is not the same as being productive, and when you’re tired and had already accomplished much of what you’ve set out to do, it’s easy to take the time off. And everyone needs to unplug, to drift away, relax.
  • This past few weeks, I’ve been doing quite a lot of reading and painting, and embarking on some other creative endeavors. It’s good for the mind and it’s good for the soul. Writing, another technique of introspection, is also important for me, along with prayer and reading Bible.
  • Working around my country house, has been reduced to a minimum, given hot hot it’s been. Gardening and such – that yes.
  • Sitting in the middle of my beautiful forest, feeling the coolness and breeze as I read/write translates into my soul and heart having a party. If I were to count the km I’ve walked through the forest this month alone, it would be probably around 300. And I am grateful for each of them.
  • Even though I am a forest person through and through, dipping into the sea nourishes as well, especially since I like swimming so much. As long as the place is not too populated with tourists though, hehe.
  • The scent of freshly cut grass in the countryside. Home. Peace. Tranquility.
  • As there haven’t been many posts in July on my blog, I am preparing to share my skincare and makeup routines with you again in August, as well as reviews and discount posts.
  • Every now and again, during this hot Summer, there’s a storm. To cool everything off, to hydrate us all. Not all storms in life have this same purpose. Sometimes, it feels like they’ll never end. But they do. Sometimes, I wonder how I survived certain storms, sometimes I wonder how I’m going to survive the one I find myself in; the raging thunder and burning lightening of evil spirits. And I always find myself God carrying me through the storm. My faith sustains me, my heart knows no bounds of gratefulness.

Bible verse of the month

  • “God will carry you through the storm.” Isaiah 43:2

Musical inspiration of the month

    • Vivaldi: Summer

This month on the blog

Love Lula Beauty Box July 2019

  • My first impressions of July Love Lula Beauty Box. When it comes to Beauty Boxes, Love Lula keeps pushing the envelope; this month they went beyond with products worth £101 (the yearly subscription cost for Love Lula Beauty Box is £12,66 (or £16,60 for international customers) per month! I thought this is a double Beauty Box, a summer Beauty Box for July and August together. The Beauty Box contains of a Dafna’s travel bag with 4 travel sized products, a perfect for hot Summer days cleansing lotion by Kathleen Naturals, a great Madara lip balm, which also moonlights as a lip gloss and a face elixir by Skin Alchemists Apothecary, which I’ve put on my wishlist immediately upon seeing it launch on Love Lula, but planned on getting it in Autumn. Oh, and in case it wasn’t insane enough to drop £101 worth of products into July’s Beauty Box, you can now get this month’s Beauty Box for FREE! Must be a heatwave over there at Love Lula’s.

What I’ve been testing lately

What I've been testing

  • Ere Perez Quandong Green Booster Serum. I think it was last year when Ere Perez launched this booster serum, and I wished to try to immediately – I’ve been enjoying many of the Ere Perez products, mainly makeup, so this booster serum really looked like a refreshing smoothie for the skin. I kept delaying ordering it, as I had so many other products I needed to use up before getting this one a few months ago. I started intensely using it when it’s gotten really hot, and kept wondering if the bottle is leaking – my skin’s has been slurping on this water-based serum! It seems I’ve gone through half of the bottle in less than a month! I’ve been using another water-based serum in the morning (equally running out of it fast!), and this one for my evening skincare routine (will post updates of my skincare routines soon!), and it’s a treat for the skin: so very hydrating and light – just perfect for this hot weather. A full review soon!
  • Alteya Organics Rose Otto Face Sunscreen SPF25. I was using Madara Antioxidant Sunscreen for a while, but eventually needed something that feels lighter on my face. Given how much I’ve been enjoying the Alteya Organics products, I opted to give their sunscreen a try. It’s still a bit on a thicker side, but in combination of a water-based serum it spreads easily and doesn’t feel all that heavy. I did experience a bit more oiliness, though it’s more on a glow side, but it’s quite normal for this hot weather. SPF protection is on point, and aside that, it’s  a nourishing moisturizer as well. Generous amount of it as well for a very reasonable price. Another excellent product from this brand! Will post a full review soon!
  • Madara Regene Volume Rebuilding Lifting Mask. Got this one in my May Love Lula Beauty Box, and have been using it regularly since – about once to twice a week tops. For that quick pick me up, plumper appearance, especially in the morning.
  • Nature’s Kitchen Super Protein Skin Boosting Anti-Ageing Moisturiser. Got this one a few months back, but the heat-wave interrupted me using it on my face as well. It’s a quite rich and a bit thick moisturizer, which works great on its own but even better after a light serum. Very nourishing. I haven’t been using as a face moisturizer lately, but instead on my neck and décolletage, as it feeds my skin abundantly.
  • Inika Loose Mineral Bronzer. Not a fan of over-bronzed look. With very minimal amount of products used during the day, when I apply only a tiny bit of concealer, I opt for a tiny bit of this bronzer; bronzers are those scary beauty products when blink and you miss it and you look like a framed orange. This bronzer has quite a staying power and can moonlight as an eye shadow as well. A very light hand and much less is much more is the way to approach bronzers. Will talk more about it in my next makeup routine installment.

My wishlist

My Wishlist

  • RMS Beauty Sensual Skin Trio Palette. Of course, the beautiful lip2cheek in Demure in a powder version, along with beauty luminizer in powder – of course I put it on my wishlist immediately. I was wondering whether RMS Beauty might launch a palette of their new luminizers in powder, so I thought it might be better to wait. Well, something similar happened, as they came up with this beautiful trio.
  • Alteya Organics Rose Shampoo & Conditioner. I adore roses and I’ve been binging on Alteya Organics products for a while now. It’s difficult to come across a good rose shampoo and conditioner (my favorite so far has been Andalou Naturals Rose Shampoo and Rose Conditioner). I’ve put this duo on my wishlist immediately, and can’t wait to give it a try.
  • Clockface Clay & Vetiver Face Mask. I’ve been using Clockface Charcoal Face Mask for a few months now, and since it works so well, I am curious to try other face masks from this brand as well, starting with their Vetiver Face Mask.
  • Alteya Organics Iridescent Light Serum. Yes, another Alteya Organics product on my wishlist. This hot Summer I’ve been using two water-based serums, and going through them like I go through lip balms and hydrolates. My skin is really thirsty, so I looked around to see which light water-based serum to get next – and since I like this brand so much, it wasn’t difficult to choose this one.

Readers Questions

  • Interesting questions, regarding whether I have any tattoos or piercings and what I think of them, and what kind of a jewelry I like and wear. I only have my ears pierced and I wear pearl studs or some other type of small, elegant studs – or nothing at all. Likewise, I occasionally wear a pearl necklace. The piercings we see today – all over the face and what not – gross, non-feminine, aesthetically unpleasing. I do not have any tattoos and never will; I find them even worse, much worse, than piercings – they are permanent. Tattoos look so gross and cheap, they really cheapen the person wearing them; they look especially gross on women. It’s like the crazy label themselves this way (the look in their eyes corresponds with this) – there’s always some type of mental drama going on with them. They’ve got no personality, no uniqueness (though they fancy themselves as such, of course) to them – they need to be tattooed, because so many others are – again, they are one of many. How it will all look like when they get older – I don’t wanna even… The face tattoos, yeah, that’s another category; they are, indeed, prisoners of their own mentality and the need to follow, but fancy themselves as like no one else. Is there a prisoner, a prostitute, a drug addict, for example, with no tattoos? Hardly. Just look around, what type of people have them. The tattoos are also a prerequisite for those, with botched plastic surgery – a balloon instead of lips, tons of tattoos… Yeah, self-hatred at its best. Those who do not love themselves, cannot and do not love anyone else. I can not imagine myself ruining my body, my skin with tattoos.
  • What do I think of influencers and do I consider myself as an influencer? Absolutely no, I do not consider myself as an influencer and do not operate my blog as such. The word, the term, the definition itself – to influence someone – has a dark, manipulative, dishonest connotation in my view. On my blog, I share my personal experience and knowledge re: green beauty, which I’ve gained (and am still gaining) for many many years. I do not praise every single product, most certainly not because it was gifted to me – for the purpose of an honest review, I present my objective view of the products I’ve tried, so that those, who may be unsure of the product, can easier decide whether the product is for them or not. I do not kiss behinds of brands, by praising every single product of theirs, and screeching how you must have those products. I am not here (nor in my private life) to influence anyone on anything; I am here to advise, share my knowledge and experience in the most honest, truthful and moral way possible. Influencers would sell themselves to the devil (mind you, I didn’t say they’d sell their soul, as the existence of the soul in such people is questionable in the first place) to gain popularity, free stuff – and they will claim every product they are being paid for to promote is the best and you need it. They have no qualms how they get there: paid followers and likes, lying about experience, stealing other people’s content, typical talking behind someone’s back (usually behind a back of a someone, who sees through them)… Somehow these crazies always find each other. And these are the ones who influence people. Scary, right? A perfect place for narcissists. They promote mindless consumerism, with every day having a new product that is the best they have ever tried (and they’ve tried it once), and so on and so forth. Usually, these are greedy people, who will grift for money and free stuff wherever and how ever they can (even shamelessly begging for money for an “illness” while vacationing), with a narcissistic grade of manipulation. People are bombarded with these marketing ploys, and have no discernment for what is real and what is not anymore. That’s why everyone buys the same, looks the same. If we take, for example, the most infamous family of influencers, and how butchering themselves has had an influence on young women to look the same – and nowadays – they do look all the same. Look closely what they do (even though with most, it’s obvious at the first glance) – do they claim to test a whole collection every few days, but claim how they’ve been testing for months now? Believe me, you’re not getting a genuine, honest and experienced review – you’re getting manipulation tactics from someone, who wants to be seen as an expert, someone, who is successful, so they can grift as many free products as possible. So no – no way no how am I an influencer, and every time I get emails from brands, addressing me as such, I either let them know I am not an influencer or just…meh.
  • Next time, I’ll address your questions and thoughts on the “ambassador” thing, whether I’m a morning person, about my love for forests, and who knows what else!

Tip of the month

  • You can use a lipstick as a blush, too. And you can mix various colors of lipsticks, not only to get a new color you wish for your lips, but as a blush as well. Also, you can use a mineral powder blush, or several of them to mix up your own color, and mix it with a lip balm or clear lip gloss (or this lip balm, which moonlights as a lip gloss as well) – and voila! you’ve got yourself a lipstick and blush – all in one.

Rant of the month

  • When you buy followers and likes, and get 30 liked when you post, then the bots swarm with 1200 likes. When you post a video, and gets 30 likes and the number remains the same as the bots do not “view” your video posts. When 30 likes is the exact and true number.
  • You crazy must be really glad you can steal everything from my blog, right? No wonder the crazy and the scary are so close.
  • The company you keep is who you are. No matter how moral and ethical you try to sell yourself, your actions speak louder than your words. If you see someone doing something wrong, but look the other way – you’re doing the wrong with them. And when you agree with them and buy their stories – you’re a flying monkey. You cannot claim for yourself to be kind, honest, moral person, if you surround yourself and support those, who are not.

A few good deals from around the green beauty world

FREE July Love Lula Beauty Box

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This post contains affiliate links. For more info, read our disclaimer.

Jul 302019
 

I’ve taken a few weeks off and now I’m back with my first impressions of this month’s Love Lula Beauty Box. July is not the only very hot thing happening – July edition of Love Lula Beauty Box is as well! Love Lula has been, especially and also, pushing the envelope with their Beauty Box, offering it to the subscribers for basically barely worth mentioning cost, in itself, but especially in relation to the actual value of the products featured in the Beauty Box. But with their July Beauty Box – I call it the insane edition – they really went beyond. When I opened this month’s Beauty Box, I was greeted with products worth of £101! o_O Keep in mind – the yearly subscription cost for Love Lula Beauty Box is £12,66 (or £16,60 for international customers) per month! I was tempted to send them an email, asking if this is a double Beauty Box, a summer Beauty Box for July and August together.

This month’s rich and loaded Love Lula Beauty Box contains a full sized delicious lip balm, a full sized gentle cleanser, a travel bag with 4 travel sized goodies and a travel sized luxurious face oil/elixir.

So, what’s in this month’s Love Lula Beauty Box?

Love Lula Beauty Box July 2019

Madara Plum Plum Lip Balm (15ml/£10,00). I’ve amassed quite a collection of Madara goodies, both from their products being often featured in Love Lula Beauty Box as well as (subsequently) me binging on this brand. Being almost a hoarder (so any Love Lula Beauty box containing a lip balm gets a double thumb up from me) when it comes to lip balms, I, of course, had the Madara lip balm written on my wishlist somewhere. Had I known before it was this good, I would had gotten it much sooner! It’s a lip balm, but it’s a lip balm moonlighting as a lip gloss as well! The tube is also that of a lip gloss. It’s has a bit of a color, a pretty, very natural peachy one. The scent is delicious, fruity one, that of a plum, of course. This lip balm works as a lip balm when it comes to making your lips feel soft, moisturized and nourished, but its appearance is that of a non-sticky lip gloss. Great for a natural look on its own or over a lipstick – either way, I am glad Love Lula dropped it in my Beauty Box. This Madara lip balm/lip gloss will remain on the top of my favorite lip balms.

Love Lula Beauty Box July 2019

 

Kathleen Natural Cleansing Lotion (150ml/£29,50). In this heatwave, even though the amount of products on my skin is minimal, there’s still sweating and that overall feeling of heaviness on my skin, maybe more oily, so I tend to apply cleansing a bit more often into my skincare routines, including my morning skincare routine (the next edition of my skincare routines to follow soon!), where my skin needs a good but gentle cleanser in the morning as well. Enter: Kathleen Cleansing Lotion. And it is – a lotion: a bit more runny and very light, and the results are equally so – the skin is clean but very soft and not stripped. With its more runny consistency, a little goes a long way and it easily spreads, but somehow, I’ve found myself going through nearly 1/4 of the bottle already (come to think, this has been going on with a few other products since this heatwave, but I digress – more on this in my skincare routines soon); a testament my skin is really enjoying this cleansing lotion, especially since it provides hydration after as well.  In the evening, I do pair it with another cleanser for a double-cleanse session, given I wear sunscreen during the day. The lotion foams mildly; the foaming agent in this lotion is Potassium cocoate, which is, of course, derived from coconut oil, but I’ve found it has no adverse effect on my skin and is, in fact, a very mild (and present in low concentration) foaming/cleansing agent. The scent is also very pleasant: delicate and flowery, a bit of roses and a bit of lavender. Nice. I’ve got one a bone to pick with this cleansing lotion, though: it is a bit (too) pricey, but I am looking the other way, as it’s a really nice, gentle and hydrating product.

Love Lula Beauty Box July 2019

Dafna’s Personal Skincare Summer Heroes Set (3 x 10ml + 1x 5ml/£30,00). A small beauty bag containing 4 travel sized goodies from Dafna’s: 10ml of Active Mist, 10ml of Purify Cleanser, 10ml of Light Moisturizer and 5ml of Eye Cream. As Dafna’s products are more on the expensive side, such a bag with samples is a great way to try the products first before committing to full sized products. Dafna’s Moisture Light (50ml/£60,00) is a light, water-based moisturizer. It spreads easily and absorbs quickly and works nicely when layered with a water-based serum, though even on its own proves to be hydrating. I do have an issue with two ingredients: one being Propanediol, but even more so – a preservative called Caprylhydroxamic Acid; I was quite taken aback seeing this ingredient in formulation. Dafna’s Active Mist (100ml/£40,00) is a bit of an oily mist, containing anti-inflammatory and soothing ingredients. It is a water-based mist (as opposed to only hydrolate-based) and the price is a bit too high. Like the light moisturizer, this mist, too contains Propanediol and Caprylhydroxamic Acid, as well as surfactant/foaming agent called Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate. Dafna’s Purify Cleanser (100ml/£36,00) has in interesting texture – somewhere between a bit of a runny lotion and a bit of a gel. when applied onto dry skin and massaged, it absorbs like a cream, so I prefer to wet my fingers before massaging. As far as immediate results – the cleanser does satisfactory cleanse the skin, but not thoroughly. The skin is soft, but I’ve noticed (with all of these products) there was redness and a bit of an itchy feeling after using this cleanser – and that is due to Caprylhydroxamic Acid. Dafna’s Eye Care (20ml/£51,00). The texture of this eye cream is close to a runny soft gel. I think out of all the Dafna’s products in this travel bag, I liked the eye cream the most: it absorbs quickly, it does feel nice, almost refreshing on the skin, but unfortunately, I experienced a bit of an irritation with this product as well, as it contains the same problematic ingredients as the rest. All in all, the products from this brand did not impress me; a high price point, as I keep repeating, does not necessaririly make for a high quality point product. Especially when a product contains unwelcomed ingredients (Propanediol, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, Cocamidopropyl Dimethylamine). Additional side eye from me: these sample tubes are not full.

Love Lula Beauty Box July 2019

Skin Alchemists Apothecary Sesenne Facial Elixir (10ml/£30,00). It wasn’t too long ago when Love Lula added this new brand on their already loaded shelves, and upon checking the ingredients in this elixir, I immediately put it on my wishlist, with a note I have to pace myself before ordering it (I had planned on ordering the Skin Alchemists Elixir sometime in September, but Love Lula outraced me), as during this hot Summer weather, I am using mostly light water-based serums (along with liters of hydrolates), and very little oils. This elixir, described as an opulent and sophisticated blend contains such precious, luxurious ingredients as cacay oil, prickly pear seed oil, rosa damascena, carrot seed oil and Coenzyme Q10, among many others. The cost of this product corresponds with formulation of this elixir. Now, does it correspond with the effect on the skin – that remains to be seen after I open this bottle and give it a thorough test – and I am very eager to do so. It’s good that the brand offers a smaller, travel sized bottle to try this elixir first, since and especially it’s quite up there with its price point; another reason why I like such products being available in smaller sizes as well is due to the product remaining fresh upon multiple purchases as opposed to one purchase of a bigger bottle (though a 30ml bottle of this elixir is also available). At any rate, I will report back with a full review sometime in Autumn. Oh, I am also curious about Skin Alchemists Apothecary Lady Helen Facial Nectar as well.

Love Lula Beauty Box July 2019

This concludes my first impressions of July’s Love Lula Beauty Box – the insane edition, might I add. I am really liking the Madara lip balm, which doubles as a lip gloss – soft, hydrating, feels good on the lips and smells lovely. Likewise, I am liking the Kathleen Cleansing Lotion – gentle, light and hydrating. While I haven’t tried it yet, I am excited to do so in Autumn – the Skin Alchemists Apothecary Facial Elixir, containing a myriad of precious and skin-beneficial as well as luxurious ingredients. The products from a Dafna’s bag – the excitement is not as strong, mainly due to certain ingredients found in all the products. Most of the products perform satisfactory, but not as potently to justify quite a high price point. If I mentioned that Kathleen Cleansing Lotion price point may be a bit too high, to put it in perspective, in comparison with Dafna’s Cleanser, it suddenly isn’t all that expensive: there’s more of the Kathleen cleansing lotion, it performs not only much better than but very well and it does not contain any of the questionable ingredients. When you’ve been using organic beauty products in all shapes and forms and from many different brands for 20+ years, a price point means little to you; or in other words – just because a product has a high price point, it does not mean it will get an a priori rave review from me – if anything, it will be put under a closer scrutiny from me.

And all these products have a total value of £101,00 (!), whereas the actual cost of the yearly Love Lula Beauty Box subscription is £12,66 (or £16,60 for international customers) per month (yep, even less than it was before). You also get a discount on all the brands featured in a current Beauty Box and even this discount got even better – now you can get all the brands featured in a Beauty Box for 25% off!

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How did you like this month’s Love Lula Beauty Box? Got any products you’ve had on your wishlist? Found any new brands or new favorite products? Let me know!

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Love Lula Beauty Box has been provided to Nature of Europe by Love Lula for the purpose of an honest review.

Nature of Europe is Love Lula’s Accredited Blogger.

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