Jan 312020
 

Random Thoughts #6

 

What I’ve been up to?

  • I had a feeling that in the second half of last year things started slowing down a bit, especially how the time used to fly by. But then Christmas Holidays happened and went by so fast; I miss them so much. I immersed myself in peaceful moments, painting, reading, writing, praying, baking… The Christmas lights and scents. And with the sunny and warm weather, the endless walks in the forest. I just miss the Christmas time. And can’t believe it’s the end of January already. And because I took quite a prolonged time-off, naturally, a lot of work was waiting for me when I got back into the saddle, but having this beautiful sunny weather all month, it also means I had to condense the work in order to enjoy sunshine and fresh air – by working around my country house and taking long walks in the forest. There are already signs of Spring popping up, I can feel Spring in my heart, but we’ll just have to make it through an unpredictable February first.
  • It’s been our family tradition, it’s been a part of me since my first year in this world, every year, except 2017, as it was too painful – the Vienna Philharmonic New Year’s Concert. Walnut cake, tea, blanket, and the concert. The beautiful European architecture, culture, history, classical music, elegance. And my family, watching the concert – this beautiful music, which soothes the soul and makes the heart smile. And then the obligatory Radetzky March, oh the joy! By the time I was 4 years old, I knew how to clap to it – we all clapped and laughed while listening to this perky art piece. The concert from year 1987 is still my favorite one, with Herbert von Karajan being the best maestro of all times. I can still, till this day, remember everything about that day in 1987, the way Sun was caressing our Christmas tree, as the music played and we ate the best homemade walnut cake. I cherish these memories and I am filled with gratitude to God for giving me this life and these memories.
  • I do not make New Year’s resolutions, but I do make a lot of plans, and this year’s planner is stacked to the brim; it may feel a bit overwhelming at times, seeing what I need to do, but the feeling when a task is accomplished, outweighs the struggle that it sometimes take for a task to be done. Having said that, I intend to hit the breaks when needed – just dropping everything and saying: this can and will wait.
  • My faith and God sustain me. Every moment of my life. God is my rock, who gives me strength when I can’t seem to go on anymore. God is my rock, on whom I can lean on when I need to rest. God’s mercy is enough. God’s mercy is everything.

Bible verse of the month

  • “For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God?” Psalm 18:31

Musical inspiration of the month

This month on the blog

This Month on the Blog

  • Kathleen Natural Lotion Cleanser Review. Another discovery from Love Lula Beauty Box: a gentle and soft lotion cleanser, which I’ve been using for the past 8 months, including as an eye makeup remover, as it’s one of the rare cleansers which do not irritate my sensitive eyes.
  • Love Lula Beauty Box January 2020. The first Beauty Box of the year 2020 contains 4 full sized products: a carrier oil, a hand cream, a facial mask and a must-have for me (been using it for over 15 years) – magnesium oil.

What I’ve been testing lately

Ive Been Testing

  • Natura Siberica Shower Gels and Hand Soaps. There are many green beauty products, whose price point is passable and acceptable, such as, for example, face serums, foundations etc – and such products can last for quite some time, making their cost more bearable. And then there are such products, which are used daily and in larger quantities, such as hair shampoo and shower gel, and these products can really create a hole in one’s wallet. I’ve been getting quite a lot of emails asking me about both shower gels and shampoos – saying, how it’s expensive given how much and how often we use them, and I could not agree more (will mention more about the shampoos next month), so I decided to test Natura Siberica shower gels and hand soaps. They are, indeed, affordable as is, but also given how much there is of a product in these bottles. The full review will be published soon.

My wishlist

My Wishlist

  • Bloomtown Rose Infused Oil. I like Bloomtown products – they are of a high quality and of an affordable and reasonable prices. And they smell good. Their shower gels, oils and roll-on oils are all on my wishlist.
  • Esse Hyaluronic Serum. My thirst My skin’s thirst for serums continues. This one is newly launched, and was placed on my wishlist immediately. Its price point is an Esse price point – steep, and I will continue tip-toeing around it for a while.

Readers Questions

  • I’ve been getting emails about my Facebook page and whether I am still active on Facebook. More or less – no. I’ve never been a fan of Facebook, for many and various reasons, and I haven’t posted anything in about a year or so now. It just annoys me, the format, everything that Facebook is and isn’t. So, if you send me a message on Facebook and I don’t reply (for a long time) I am not ignoring you, I just don’t deal with my Facebook page. It’s just so…meh.

Tip of the month

  • If you have an ear infection, drop a few drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil on a q-tip and gently massage into your ear. The pain should subdue soon. Just remember – essential oils are a serious business and should not be taken lightly; especially be careful with animals, as essential oils are toxic and even poisonous to them. Here you can read more on Tea Tree Essential Oil.

Rant of the month

  • Man, I tell ya… these “celebrities” and their green beauty blogs. They are totally clueless about green beauty products, but have teams which crawl the actual green beauty blogs to see which brands and products are popping. They have “writers” who steal from actual green beauty bloggers. They will rave about products which have the highest price point, which aligns with their ignorance and snobbery. And since they are “celebrities” some brands, especially those, which care only about one green part of the business, and that’s the money green, go above and beyond to be included in these “celebrity” green beauty blogs and screech when a “celebrity” mentions them. You have this one, from that family of prostitutes, who jumped on the green beauty wagon (and I bet she doesn’t know what phenoxyethanol is, much less how to spell it), while the other family members are selling cheap toxic cosmetics made in China.

A few good deals from around the green beauty world

→  Love Lula has:

Love Lula Sale

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10% off when you spend £40 (code: JAN10). Valid till 5.2.2020
– 15% off when you spend £70 (code: JAN15). Valid till 5.2.2020
– newly launched Esse Probiotic Skincare Hyaluronic Serum
– newly launched limited edition Inika makeup and makeup gift sets 
– newly launched RMS Beauty Hiden Desire Palette and RMS Beauty Foundation
– newly launched Madara Makeup

Love Lula FREE Gifts


 

 

 

 

 

 

FREE Walden Perfumes “Live the Life” roll-on perfume oil when you spend £35 on Walden Perfumes (code: LIFE). Read my first impressions of this marvelous scent.
FREE Nature’s Kitchen Skin Soothing Face Wash when you spend £20 on Nature’s Kitchen (code: KIWI). Read my first impressions of this cleanser (it contains AHA as well, making it not only a cleanser but also a gentle chemical peel).
FREE Joik Tinted Lip Balm when you spend £20 on Joik (code: JOIK). Read my first impressions of this beautiful and nourishing tinted lip balm, perfect for a natural makeup look.
FREE Madara Hemp Lip Balm when you spend £25 on Madara (code: HEMP). Read my first impressions on this sweet smelling lip balm, which nourishes the lips.
FREE PHB Beauty Mascara when you spend £40 on PHB Beauty (code: PHB). Read my full review of an affordable yet surprisingly high quality mascara I’ve been using for a while now.
FREE INIKA Lip & Cheek Cream Limited Edition when you spend £35 on INIKA (code: INIKA). Where did this beauty come from?!
– more free gifts with purchase

→  Alyaka has:

– 12% off your order (code: NY12OFF). Valid 31.1.2020 only.
– Advent Calendar – limited and exclusive – only €145 €123(worth over €300!)
– big discounts (up to 50% off) in their sale section
– FREE gifts with purchase:

Alyaka FREE Gifts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

→  Content Beauty has:

– 10% off when you spend £50 (code: CHECKOUT10). Valid on 31.1.2010 only.
–  free gifts with purchase
– great savings in their sale section

→  Pharmaca has:

– 20% off your order (code: WELLNESS20)

→  Onlynaturals has:

– 20% off on A’kin
– big discounts in their SALE section
– FREE gifts with purchase

→  FeelUnique has:

FREE FeelUnique Beatuy Bag

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

– FREE Conscience Beauty Bag worth €120 when you spend €120 (code: BWACBAG)
– up to 30% off on Gift Sets
– FeelUnique 12 Day Beauty Advent Calendar (worth £120!) for only £45 £31,50
– up to 60% off in their Outlet section
– FREE gifts with purchase

→  The Detox Market has:

Detox Market Best Of Green beauty

– Best of Green Beauty Beauty Box (worth $249!) for $159

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

Jan 302020
 

We’ve barely started the 2020 and it’s already the end of its first month – how?! But before the first month of year 2020 becomes history, I’ll share my first impressions of the first Love Lula Beauty Box of this year – the January edition. This month’s Beauty Box contains 4 full sized products : a carrier oil, a hand cream, a remedy for sore muscles in a form of magnesium oil and a face mask; there are also two hair care sample sachets. Total value of this month’s Beauty Box is £50,00, but you can get it for a fraction of a cost – all the info at the end of this post.

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

Love Lula Beauty Box January 2020

Kiki Health Magnesium Oil Spray (125ml/12,50£). I’ve been using magnesium oil for about 15 years now (I’ve been also using magnesium flakes). It’s a must-have product for me, a natural remedy for sore tired muscles, for much needed magnesium intake during those days of the month, a natural relaxant – it doesn’t just soothe the muscles, but also assists with better sleep. I use magnesium oil more or less every day: mostly after an evening shower/bath; I spray it where needed at the moment, whether it’s my back, legs… The only negative, so to speak, side of magnesium oil is that it makes the skin itchy – a lot, and there’s nothing you can do about it. But the effect it has on the muscles and an over-all good feeling, the itchiness just has to come with the territory. I’ve said a while ago I gotta try Kiki Health Magnesium Oil soon – Love Lula’s Beauty Box outraced me, again. Sweet.

Love Lula Beauty Box January 2020

Natura Siberica Taiga Daily Hand Cream (75ml/6,00£). About a year ago, we got another hand cream from Natura Siberica – a richer one, while this one is of thinner texture. It absorbs very fast and it’s not greasy, making it a great choice for nourishing the hands after quickly putting on gloves. It leaves a silky smooth feeling behind and a lovely, a bit sweet like candy scent.

Love Lula Beauty Box January 2020

Hesh Black Seed Oil (100ml/£7,99). This is a very affordable bottle – a 100ml of a carrier oil for only £7,99. It’s quite nourishing and easily spreadable; I’ve been enjoying it mostly as a body oil, but even more as a hair oil: I just leave it on during the night and wash it off in the morning – it makes for a great hair mask in this cold weather.

Love Lula Beauty Box January 2020

Kathleen Natural Bright Mask (60ml/£28,00). As you know, I’ve tried quite a few products from Kathleen Natural, including one of their newly launched masked, the Deep Pore Treatment Mask, which I’ve been enjoying for a couple of months now. I had the remaining three masks on my wishlist anyway, so I was really glad to see another Kathleen Natural mask featured in this month’s Love Lula Beauty Box – the Bright Mask. But – there was a problem. The formulation of the mask is like a cookie/bread dough, like a sticky glue: you grab some mask out of the jar and basically the whole content acts as one big – bread dough, inseparable. Application is impossible, as the masks just keeps on falling down instead of easily spreading. I immediately knew there’s something funky with this mask and contacted Kathleen Natural, and they immediately responded appropriately: they said it’s either there’s something wrong with the batch or just this one mask in particular and they will inspect it, while at the same time they offered to send me a new one. Professional, right? So at this time, I am unable to share with you my first impressions of this mask – but once I get a new one and give it a proper try (along with all the other Kathleen Natural face masks I am having on my wishlist), I will post an update here and post a full review. also, I’d like to point out that Love Lula is in no way responsible for this, as they are unable to open and try every product to see it’s OK – that should go without saying.

Madara Grow Volume Hair Shampoo and Conditioner Sample Sachets. A while ago I posted a review of Madara hair care products, which, as it’s the case with most Madara products, I liked a lot. These two are from their new(er) Grow collection and I can’t wait to try them both, the shampoo and the conditioner.

Love Lula Beauty Box January 2020

So this concludes my first impressions of this month’s Love Lula Beauty Box. The theme of this month’s Beauty Box is a mixture of a natural remedy for feeling better, a nourishing and affordable oil which can be used as a hair oil, body oil – and face oil, a silky smooth and nicely scented hand cream and a facial mask – which I am sure is a great one, I just need to get one whose formulation didn’t go funky on me, hehe.

And all these products have a total value of £50,00 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 gifted to Nature of Europe by Love Lula for the purpose of an honest review.

Nature of Europe is Love Lula’s Accredited Blogger.

Jan 282020
 

Kathleen Natural Refreshing & Lightening Cleansing Lotion is gentle to the skin while thorough in cleansing the skin; a great choice of a cleanser for any skin type and for any season as well as gentle enough as an eye makeup remover. 

Kathleen Natural Refreshing & Lightening Cleansing Lotion Review

In December I posted my Best of Green Beauty 2019 post, which featured, as an honorary mention, the Kathleen Natural Refreshing & Lightening Cleansing Lotion as one of the best products I’ve been using in the previous year but which has not received a full and thorough review yet. I’ve decided to open the year 2020 on my blog with one of the best facial cleansers I’ve had a chance to try so far – the Kathleen Natural Cleansing Lotion.

My skin is very and especially picky when it comes to cleansers: cleansers based on foaming agents have always been the least favorite of mine, while oil cleansers the most favorite, but that’s in general, since oil cleansers do not suit my skin during hot weather – as opposed to light cream, lotion or gel cleansers.

Kathleen Natural Refreshing & Lightening Cleansing Lotion Review

While by that time, I’d already had a pleasure of trying quite a few products from the UK brand Kathleen Natural, I was introduced to Kathleen Natural Cleansing Lotion by Love Lula Beauty Box in last July (yes, that insane edition, valued at £101). My skin accepted it immediately and it was a perfect choice of a cleanser in that hot weather. Since then, this cleanser has been featured in my many skincare routine posts – both morning and evening, as the cleanser is perfect for any time of the day, any season and basically any skin type. So, after 7 months of using this gentle yet thorough cleanser, I am presenting my thoughts.

The Kathleen Natural Cleansing Lotion comes in a plastic 150ml with a pump – for a handy and easy use. Its texture is quite runny – after all, it’s a lotion cleanser (as opposed to a thicker gel or creamy cleanser) and thin as the cleanser is water-based – it makes for a quick and easy application. The scent is also very lovely, flowery: roses and a hint of lavender.

Half of a pump is enough to spread the cleanser all over the face due to its thin and runny consistency. I apply the cleanser on my dry skin, and then massage the cleanser for about a minute before rinsing it off with a warm water – and the cleanser comes off easily, without having to pull or tug the skin.

Kathleen Natural Refreshing & Lightening Cleansing Lotion Review

The Kathleen Natural Cleansing Lotion is a great choice of a cleanser to be incorporated in your morning and/or evening routine. I use the cleanser on its own in my evening routine when I don’t wear a lot (or any) makeup during the day. I also use it when double cleansing, as the second cleanser, following a more foaming/gel cleanser for the days when I, especially, wear foundation – as a second cleanser, the Kathleen Natural Cleansing Lotion makes for that cherry on the top, gently removing anything left from the first cleanser, while nourishing the skin and leaving it very soft without any tightening feeling. As a gentle, soft and non-irritating cleanser, I also use it in my morning routine – its application is quick, a minute of massaging the skin in the morning  and my skin is gently cleansed of the oils and products from the evening routine collected on my skin during the night: it prepares the skin for a morning skincare ritual just nicely!

Kathleen Natural Refreshing & Lightening Cleansing Lotion Review

As you wash off a facial cleanser, it’s bound a bit of it might end up in your eyes, and since I have very sensitive eyes, I’ve always had a difficult time finding the right cleanser for my eyes: one that would remove my eye makeup, preferably with as little tugging of the gentle skin around my eyes, and for the cleanser to not irritate my eyes. Well, once I’ve figured that my eyes were not irritated, at all, by Kathleen Natural Cleansing Lotion, I said I gotta give it a try as an eye makeup remover – and it worked perfectly as that as well: I apply it on my eyes, swirl and massage around my eyes and just rinse it with water. Eye makeup is removed and my eyes are not irritated at all. After that, the Kathleen Natural Cleansing Lotion place in my skincare routines was pretty much reserved as an eye makeup remover.

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So, how about the ingredients?

Ingredients: Aqua, organic vegetable glycerin***, organic tamanu (calophyllum inophyllum) seed oil***, organic avocado (persea gratissima) oil***, organic rosa damascena flower water***, organic lavandula angustifolia flower water***, emulsifying wax (cetearyl alcohol & polysorbate 60)*, potassium oleate**, palm stearic acid*, xanthan gum*, lemon (citrus limon) extract*, potassium citrate*, citric acid*, potassium cocoate**, benzyl alcohol*, dehydroacetic acid*, benzoic acid*, sorbic acid*, parfum ***licensed by Soil Association **organic origin *natural plant origin

Tamanu Oil promotes new-tissue formation and healthy, soft and glowy skin. It has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antibiotic as well as healing properties. Avocado Oil contains high content of vitamins; it regenerates and moisturizes skin. Lavender flower water has antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Lemon extract has astringent, anti- irritant, anti-bacterial and anti-toxin properties and it promotes cell regeneration.

Potassium citrate is a buffering and chelating agent. Citric acid is a pH adjuster, buffering and masking agent. Potassium cocoate is a foaming/cleansing agent, derived from coconut oil.

Benzoic acid and Dehydroacetic acid are preservatives.

Potentially problematic ingredients?

Benzyl alcohol is a preservative. It can be a skin allergen and can cause skin and eye irritation.While Benzyl  alcohol is also a naturally occurring ingredient, found in essential oils (jasmine, ylang ylang), in cosmetic industry, the synthetic one is mostly used.

Sorbic acid, a preservative, which can be a naturally occurring or synthetically produced compound when used in cosmetics. It can be a potential human skin toxicant or allergen.

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My final word?

Kathleen Natural Refreshing & Lightening Cleansing Lotion Review

Monthly receiving Love Lula Beauty Box and being introduced to either newly launched products or products I may not have otherwise paid attention to – it was precisely the Love Lula Beauty Box that introduced me to this great cleanser. When I had a chance to get another Kathleen Natural Cleansing Lotion about a month ago, I did not hesitate to jump on it; while I do avoid hoarding the products and as a green beauty blogger I try to test and therefore review as many different products as possible, given that this cleansing lotion falls under “wait, is this bottle leaking?” category (read: this is such a great product I am using it all the time and even if I just got it, it’s nearly run out already), I’m glad I had a chance to re-stock my cosmetic shelf with this one – it’s gonna run out soon anyway, hehe.

As my skin reacts negatively to so many cleansers, either immediately or eventually, due to foaming agents and/or concentration of foaming agents, it’s hard for me to find a cleanser, which would not irritate my skin and thoroughly cleanse as well – Kathleen Natural Cleansing Lotion does just that, along with leaving my skin soft and nourished. Yes, this is a water-based cleanser, meaning there are such ingredients as various emulsifiers as well as preservatives (only a strictly oil-based cleanser would not need preservatives) and someone else’s skin may react differently to any of the ingredients in this cleanser – after all, everyone’s skin is different. I am glad my skin has been having such a positive and accepting reaction, and even more so – I am glad that I can use this cleanser as an eye makeup remover for my very easily irritated eyes.

The price? £29,50 for a 150ml bottle – for a cleanser, that is quite a steep and not easily affordable price, despite the fact that half a pump more than adequately cleanses the face and would thus a 150ml bottle last for about 4 months.

Performance-wise, though, Kathleen Natural Cleansing Lotion comes highly recommended by me: if you’re looking for a gentle cleanser, which will thoroughly cleanse your skin, but leave it soft and without a tightening feeling and without stripping your skin.

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Are you familiar with Kathleen Natural brand? Tried any of their products yet? What type of facial cleansers do you prefer: cream, lotion, gel or oil cleansers or does it depend on the time of the day and season? Let me know!

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Kathleen Natural Refreshing & Lightening Cleansing Lotion gifted to Nature of Europe by Love Lula for the purpose of an honest review.

Nature of Europe is Love Lula’s Accredited Blogger.

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

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