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Blend Collective Enlivening Lip Balm

Blend Collective Enlivening Lip Balm

 

Think I might stick with this video thing. I get way more done than typing. Mostly because it just seems easier. I will figure out how to prop up my iPad properly also because the best background is in the bedroom…just getting a way to prop it in bed without it falling is tough!

For the record I’m pretty sure I bought this lip balm at Love Lula (not BeingContent) [not that it changes the price] but it is available at both e-tailers (Love Lula and Blend Collective) and you can look on Blend Collective for more stockists.

xo

Sara

MIA :(

So…horror of horrors, the monitor bit attached to my laptop has DIED! It is being temporarily held together by using an external monitor and keyboard and mouse but it pains me to use it. I abhor being chained to a desk! So despite finally getting my pain medication increased for the first time in months and actually feeling like a normal person (almost) who actually could blog…I have no money for replacing my computer. So I will be MIA for awhile (and I have SO MANY REVIEWS TO WRITE, GRRR!!!) until I can afford a replacement.

Very frustratedly yours

Sara xo

Caudalie Polyphenol C15

Caudalie Polyphenol C15

So a few weeks ago I had the rare pleasure of attending an awesome event by Caudalie for their new Polyphenol C15 range. I say rare pleasure because I usually go to events and feel pretty lonely because I don’t know anyone and usually it isn’t as cool as you think it’s going to be. I remember getting my first event invite and being sooo excited and then attending and realising I didn’t know anyone or the people I did know already had their “event friends” (because they were friends in real life too [and I don't have any blog friends in real life]) and you go to events and it’s fun to see the product and learn about it but you don’t get to talk to anyone about it except maybe tweet about it? But this event was really fun for me because we were all split into groups and had different “stations” to go to and each station had its own activity and there was less of the standing around and more interaction between the brand and the product and everyone at the event. I had an awesome time (which was weird and fun), I wasn’t standing around feeling awkward because I didn’t know anyone and we (everyone at the event) got to speak to a nutritionist to learn about antioxidants, we spoke to a representative from Caudalie to learn about the products and took the online profile to learn our “Antioxidant level”.

So this line is pretty simple and I’m very much in love with it, I am turning 30 this year (and genuinely couldn’t be more excited!) so this range is pretty perfect for my skin. It is made up of the Caudalie patented ingredient made from grapes plus C15 and apparently the super smart scientists who work for Caudalie found out that when you combine the two you [your skin] blocks 100% free radicals. Apparently free radicals are what cause wrinkles…which are formed when free radicals attack your skin and take away the normal balance of things on your skin and attach a free radical to a normal cell and it becomes a wrinkle instead of what was a normal cell.

Caudalie Polyphenol C15 Serum

So there is the serum you put on morning and night, it’s a sort of milky fluid and it absorbs quickly into the skin and has no real smell, it has hyaluronic acid and olive squalane. This bottle runs you £35 (I must admit that this is the only thing I’ve been any good at using on a regular-ish basis, my pain has been pretty bad lately so my skincare regimen has been rather nonexistent. I mostly just sit in a bathtub for hours in a time because I’m in pain and so hence blogging and skincare not so much!)

Caudalie Polyphenol C15 Eye Cream

This is another from the line that I should be using (and when I have used it I’ve liked it) but it mostly comes down to laziness. I can never quite seem to incorporate eye cream into my skincare regimen even though I’m “at that age” where it stops being a suggestion from brands and starts being a ..um…demand? Haha, how do you phrase it nicely! I like that it is light and absorbs fast, it doesn’t feel heavy or sticky in any sort of way. Sometimes I try eye creams and they are filled with so many “helpful” ingredients that they end up feeling heavy or never really absorbing into my skin? Has anyone else ever felt that? I didn’t find that with this which was quite pleasant. This is filled with Matrixyl 3000 (whatever that is!), fern, horse chestnut, liquorice and witch hazel extracts. 15mL for £26 (for the record [at least for my dry lips] this doesn’t substitute a chapstick…or really moisturise my lips in any way? So I just use it for eyes [whenever I bother being proactive enough to use it!])

Caudalie Polyphenol C15 Sun Protection

This is the product I wish I could form the habit of using daily. It’s a brilliant sun cream, SPF20 and blocking out all those wrinkles I’m supposed to care about not getting (although I can tell you right now that I don’t care…maybe because I work from home so my time in the “outside world” is quite limited?). Using sun protection daily is probably my biggest skin care bad habit (as in one I don’t do) and one I really want to change…eventually? Apparently it takes 28 days to form a habit…I’ll let you know if I ever start a habit of actually using sun protection! I like this and haven’t decided if I will buy this one in full size when I use up the trial or an organic one I’ve had my eye on for awhile.

I will say the cool thing about going to events is you get little trial sizes of products so you get to use them without buying them. I mean not loads of product but enough to kind of get a feel of if you like it or not. I wanted to post my pictures from the event but I use my phone for pictures and since my phone was at about 10% battery during the event so all my pictures came out blurry and bad :( .

 

Dr Andrew Weil’s Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid

So Dr Andrew Weil is a freaking genius. I adore him (not that we’ve ever met) but I am a huge fan of his medical advice (he was one of the first [I think?] to advocate for the integration of Western and Holistic medicine, a practice I am a big fan of…granted it is something that should be done very carefully as not all herbs and supplements mix well with Western medicine (like St John’s Wart can reduce the efficacy of hormonal birth control…etc!) so always best to ensure you’re mixing wisely and with the guidance of medical practitioners. But he created this awesome thing called the “Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid” and I am certainly hoping to follow it more closely (especially as I am suffering quite severely from an IBS flare-up, so much so that I am getting stomach cramps and spasms but I have a hard time controlling my stress and it unfortunately isn’t something I know how to take out in a healthy way, I only know how to internalise it inside my body and I get quite sick :( it isn’t fun at all! So in my time of pain and sickness I thought I’d share this awesome thing I found on (from someone I deeply respect – Dr Andrew Weil) a very cool blog called the Natural Beauty Cabinet -

Dr Andrew Weil Anti Inflammatory Food Pyramid

 

HEALTHY SWEETS
How much: Sparingly
Healthy choices: Unsweetened dried fruit, dark chocolate, fruit sorbet
Why: Dark chocolate provides polyphenols with antioxidant activity. Choose dark chocolate with at least 70 percent pure cocoa and have an ounce a few times a week. Fruit sorbet is a better option than other frozen desserts.

RED WINE
How much: Optional, no more than 1-2 glasses per day
Healthy choices: Organic red wine
Why: Red wine has beneficial antioxidant activity. Limit intake to no more than 1-2 servings per day. If you do not drink alcohol, do not start.

SUPPLEMENTS
How much: Daily
Healthy choices: High quality multivitamin/multimineral that includes key antioxidants (vitamin C, vitamin E, mixed carotenoids, and selenium); co-enzyme Q10; 2-3 grams of a molecularly distilled fish oil; 2,000 IU of vitamin D3
Why: Supplements help fill any gaps in your diet when you are unable to get your daily requirement of micronutrients.

TEA
How much: 2-4 cups per day
Healthy choices: White, green, oolong teas
Why: Tea is rich in catechins, antioxidant compounds that reduce inflammation. Purchase high-quality tea and learn how to correctly brew it for maximum taste and health benefits.

HEALTHY HERBS & SPICES
How much: Unlimited amounts
Healthy choices: Turmeric, curry powder (which contains turmeric), ginger and garlic (dried and fresh), chili peppers, basil, cinnamon, rosemary, thyme
Why: Use these herbs and spices generously to season foods. Turmeric and ginger are powerful, natural anti-inflammatory agents.

OTHER SOURCES OF PROTEIN
How much
: 1-2 servings a week (one portion is equal to 1 ounce of cheese, 1 eight-ounce serving of dairy, 1 egg, 3 ounces cooked poultry or skinless meat)
Healthy choices: High quality natural cheese and yogurt, omega-3 enriched eggs, skinless poultry, grass-fed lean meats
Why: In general, try to reduce consumption of animal foods. If you eat chicken, choose organic, cage-free chicken and remove the skin and associated fat. Use organic dairy products moderately, especially yogurt and natural cheeses such as Emmental (Swiss), Jarlsberg and true Parmesan. If you eat eggs, choose omega-3 enriched eggs (made by feeding hens a fl ax-meal-enriched diet), or organic eggs from free-range chickens.

COOKED ASIAN MUSHROOMS
How much: Unlimited amounts
Healthy choices: Shiitake, enokidake, maitake, oyster mushrooms (and wild mushrooms if available)
Why: These mushrooms contain compounds that enhance immune function. Never eat mushrooms raw, and minimize consumption of common commercial button mushrooms (including crimini and portobello).

WHOLE SOY FOODS
How much: 1-2 servings per day (one serving is equal to ½ cup tofu or tempeh, 1 cup soymilk, ½ cup cooked edamame, 1 ounce of soynuts)
Healthy choices: Tofu, tempeh, edamame, soy nuts, soymilk
Why: Soy foods contain isoflavones that have antioxidant activity and are protective against cancer.  Choose whole soy foods over fractionated foods like isolated soy protein powders and imitation meats made with soy isolate.

FISH & SEAFOOD
How much:  2-6 servings per week (one serving is equal to 4 ounces of fish or seafood)
Healthy choices: Wild Alaskan salmon (especially sockeye), herring, sardines, and black cod (sablefish)
Why: These fish are rich in omega-3 fats, which are strongly anti-inflammatory. If you choose not to eat fish, take a molecularly distilled fish oil supplement that provides both EPA and DHA in a dose of 2-3 grams per day.

HEALTHY FATS
How much:  5-7 servings per day (one serving is equal to 1 teaspoon of oil, 2 walnuts, 1 tablespoon of flaxseed, 1 ounce of avocado)
Healthy choices: For cooking, use extra virgin olive oil and expeller-pressed organic canola oil. Other sources of healthy fats include nuts (especially walnuts), avocados, and seeds – including hemp seeds and freshly ground flaxseed. Omega-3 fats are also found in cold water fish, omega-3 enriched eggs, and whole soy foods. Organic, expeller pressed, high-oleic sunflower or safflower oils may also be used, as well as walnut and hazelnut oils in salads and dark roasted sesame oil as a flavoring for soups and stir-fries
Why: Healthy fats are those rich in either monounsaturated or omega-3 fats.  Extra-virgin olive oil is rich in polyphenols with antioxidant activity and canola oil contains a small fraction of omega-3 fatty acids.

WHOLE & CRACKED GRAINS
How much: 
 3-5 servings a day (one serving is equal to about ½ cup cooked grains)
Healthy choices
: Brown rice, basmati rice, wild rice, buckwheat, groats, barley, quinoa, steel-cut oats
Why: Whole grains digest slowly, reducing frequency of spikes in blood sugar that promote inflammation. “Whole grains” means grains that are intact or in a few large pieces, not whole wheat bread or other products made from flour.

PASTA (al dente)
How much
: 2-3 servings per week (one serving is equal to about ½ cup cooked pasta)
Healthy choices: Organic pasta, rice noodles, bean thread noodles, and part whole wheat and buckwheat noodles like Japanese udon and soba
Why: Pasta cooked al dente (when it has “tooth” to it) has a lower glycemic index than fully-cooked pasta. Low-glycemic-load carbohydrates should be the bulk of your carbohydrate intake to help minimize spikes in blood glucose levels.

BEANS & LEGUMES
How much: 1-2 servings per day (one serving is equal to ½ cup cooked beans or legumes)
Healthy choices: Beans like Anasazi, adzuki and black, as well as chickpeas, black-eyed peas and lentils
Why: Beans are rich in folic acid, magnesium, potassium and soluble fiber.  They are a low-glycemic-load food.  Eat them well-cooked either whole or pureed into spreads like hummus.

VEGETABLES
How much: 4-5 servings per day minimum (one serving is equal to 2 cups salad greens, ½ cup vegetables cooked, raw or juiced)
Healthy Choices: Lightly cooked dark leafy greens (spinach, collard greens, kale, Swiss chard), cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale, bok choy and cauliflower), carrots, beets, onions, peas, squashes, sea vegetables and washed raw salad greens
Why: Vegetables are rich in flavonoids and carotenoids with both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity.  Go for a wide range of colors, eat them both raw and cooked, and choose organic when possible.

FRUITS
How much:  3-4 servings per day (one serving is equal to 1 medium size piece of fruit, ½ cup chopped fruit, ¼ cup of dried fruit)
Healthy choices: Raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, peaches, nectarines, oranges, pink grapefruit, red grapes, plums, pomegranates, blackberries, cherries, apples, and pears – all lower in glycemic load than most tropical fruits
Why: Fruits are rich in flavonoids and carotenoids with both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity.  Go for a wide range of colors, choose fruit that is fresh in season or frozen, and buy organic when possible.

Additional Item:

WATER
How much: Throughout the day
Healthy choices: Drink pure water, or drinks that are mostly water (tea, very diluted fruit juice, sparkling water with lemon) throughout the day.
Why: Water is vital for overall functioning of the body.

Source

Favourite Toners of the Moment

So I know I haven’t been posting…I don’t have reasons beyond life really kicks my ass a lot. I’d like to post more but….I promise to always write what I care about. I’ve been to some great events and learned about some fantastic products recently but right now I am home sick with tonsillitis and have about as much energy as a snail (not the Turbo kind!) and wanted to write something to do with all the time I have feeling like death and my nose is doing that awful runny/stuffy thing (ugh!) and my throat is more raw than the harshest sandpaper because my glands are so swollen I can barely breathe and I’m coughing nonstop…so basically I figured I could blog about something simple like a few of my favourite products! Now…can I say toners really do anything? Sorta…after I wash my face they sometimes bring off extra grime or I like to swipe them around my chest or upper back to get some grime off when I come home at the end of the day to feel less gross after wandering around the dirty smog-riddled loveliness of my beloved London streets! I definitely use these 4 toners in a half and half way. 2 are very calming and moisturising for my uber dry skin and 2 are more astringent-esque (although definitely not in a paint-stripper way…my sensitive skin would die!) and I tend to use 1 of each every time I tone my skin. I start off with the astringent one and finish off with the moisturising one to calm down any temporary inflammation or dryness caused by the thorough cleaning done by the stronger toner!

Astringent Toners: Pixi Glow TonicPixi Glow Tonic has been lauded by pretty much everyone who has ever tried it…including me! I heard about this from the imcomparable Caroline Hirons (she has no equal, if you don’t read her now you should begin ASAP!) I have to admit the first time I used this it did burn my skin (but I was warned it might do this…especially with my uber sensitive skin) but it wasn’t unbearable, more of a strong tingle and it went away by the 2nd or 3rd use and now I don’t feel anything when I use it and truthfully it is one I often forget I own because of the two bathrooms in my flat I leave it in the smaller one (and tend to do all my face stuff in the big one so I can sprawl with all my products around me!) and so it is sort of a constant pleasant rediscovery product for me, I am perpetually coming across it and wondering why I don’t use it more often because it is absolutely lovely and strong enough to slough off gross bits of skin and not so harsh that it aggravates my skin that pretty much gets upset by…..air! One of the big things about this product is its comparison to Biologique Rechereche P50…apparently they are mostly the same product but the Pixi Glow Tonic is more widely available and a fraction of the cost. I cannot comment on this as I missed the “world’s best toner” (I use quotes because I cannot authenticate these claims without having tried it myself!).

This can be purchased from the Pixi website both US ans UK. It is supposed to be available from Asos and Target but I couldn’t find them online!

Kinara Dry Skin TonerA bit of me wishes I was more into skincare and a bit less into being a teenager when I was still living in Los Angeles (pre-London move!) because I would have had unlimited access to skincare brand Kinara and now I have to buy it imported from my childhood town! This is actually a brand I found out through reading another absurdly amazing blog, the ever talented and uber famous Lisa Eldridge (another must-read blog! This woman’s tutorials have taught me how to apply makeup properly!!!) I originally looked into this brand for their lactic acid serum that Lisa praises highly (and I definitely do also!!!) and stumbled across their dry-skin serum while browsing their website and I think this was pre-Pixi Glow days or it was sold out (it was sold out and they were unsure of when it was coming back for awhile because when Ms Hirons says to go and buy something…you can guarantee you’ve got a hit :) ). I can’t give you a better reason beyond it was a highly recommended brand and an exfoliating toner specifically designed for dry/sensitive skin (my skin!) sounded like a product I needed to own. So I tend to use this as my primary “workhorse” toner (mostly because I keep it in the bathroom with the gigantor sink, mahoosive counter space and big mirror and better light [which I obviously commandeered the moment my husband and I moved into our flat...a beauty junkie woman has her needs!! ;)]. I use 1-2 pumps depending on if I just cleaned my face or just got out of the shower (2 pumps for at the end of the day cleaning and really just wanting to get everywhere like my chest, back of my neck…anywhere I can think of that has been exposed to the air and grime after a long day versus 1 pump if I just got out of the shower and I know my body is supposed to be squeaky clean and this is just a simple part of my routine and ensuring I am thoroughly cleaning my pores!).

Kinara is a more expensive brand, in the UK it is only available at FeelUnique and it will run you £32 but I genuinely find it to be worth it and I’ve had my bottle at least a year and it has genuinely helped my skin. I couldn’t tell you which to pick because I genuinely use the Kinara more than the Pixi but this is a product I would repurchase. I believe it has helped improve the quality of my skin and I know that as much as I love cleansing balms and oils and washing my face thoroughly using this toner will pick up what gets left behind…because about 99% of the time somewhere on my face be it on my neck or near my hairline or somewhere…some bits of dirt will remain in my pores and these two toners can grab it and remove it.

I can attest that for both products a little goes a LONG way. I’ve had both for ages and I’m maybe 1/2 way through the Kinara and I use it frequently and I have to admit I’ve barely made a dent in the Pixi Glow but mostly because I keep forgetting I own it. I really should put it in with the rest of my skincare products!

 

Moisturising

Lulu & Boo Rose and Chamomile TonerLulu & Boo were one of the best discoveries I made in 2013. A Vegan/EcoCert/Organic company that I have fallen head over heels for and own (I’m almost certain) their entire dry/mature skin range of products and use them all regularly (or as regularly as my stupid fatigue allows me to take care of my skin!). Every product is a dream and a pleasure to put on my face. As someone who reacts to almost everything these products are a joy to use and I tell everyone I know about them. When I wanted to write a blog post about my favourite discoveries/brands of 2013 (and then got too sick to ever write it) this brand was at the top of the list. I’m not much of a “carry spray around in my bag to refresh my face” kinda person…but if I was…I would carry a tiny bottle of this. Sometimes when I am feeling tired or stressed or my skin just feels gross I spray this all over my face. Way more sprays than I need because I just like how it feels (I used to hate the smell but it grew on me) and rub it into my skin because it makes my skin soft and moisturised and calm and it sort of settles me as a person. If that makes ANY sense at all! This is one of the two toners I use after using an astringent one. I use the astringent ones onto a cotton pad and swoosh it around my face just like I read how to in a few books so I would do it properly but this one I spray directly onto my skin and it feels cooling (but not cold…I hate cold!) and lovely. I then take a cotton pad and do the swooshing thing again. It has a few benefits: it puts any moisture lost from the astringent back onto the top most layers of my skin (at least in my head because it feels nice and soothing) and it picks up any last dirt brought to the surface from the astringent section. It’s pretty win/win for me. Then I go onto serums and oils and moisturising depending on the time of day.

Jane Scrivner Lavender Drench Skin DrinkThis beyond glorious product is from my other favourite brand of 2013 (I’m not saying these are new brands…but they were new to ME in 2013), Jane Scrivner. Another discovery from the brilliant Ms Hirons although she was pushing the cleansing balm (which I own and use frequently and it’s so so lovely) and while I was on the Jane Scrivner site I saw she had a limited edition Wild Lavender Drench which I had to look up because I sort of understood having been to a couple REN seminars and overloaded my brain with knowledge about pure rosewater and it was sort of the same concept. It is as if someone took the best parts of lavender and lavender essence and distilled them into liquid but amplified by a very large quantity. I use this one pretty sparingly because I’ve only got the one bottle and it was a limited production run…but I have to admit every time I use it I want to undo all the goodness I’ve done to my skin and run my hands all over my face because it feels like what I imagine a baby’s butt feels like. Super smooth and soft…I basically just want to pet my face over and over again. It’s a little creepy. I think she might have put lavender addiction drugs in them ;)…it’s just that good!!! It also smells beautifully calming (unless you hate the smell of lavender [which then I would suggest NOT buying it!]) and you just pour the tiniest amount onto a cotton pad and swoosh it over your face and it feels wonderful. It is definitely one of the better purchases I made last year.

This is only available on the Jane Scrivner website (and I cannot be held responsible if you decide you need every product she makes…over many many months I sucumbed to that sin as well…and I won’t apologise! I’ve yet to find a product that isn’t crafted with knowledge, reverence, care and genuine individualised attention to her customers. I am definitely a Jane Scrivner convert and if I happen to turn you into one as well…I will gladly welcome you to the addiction ;) ).

Wildcrafted Lavender Drench – £32

 

I just thought you would all like to know this post took me 4 very sick days to write but I really wanted to share something with you all because I miss my blog but I have been very sick and very busy but I don’t neglect this lovely blog because I have nothing to say. If you only knew…I have over 14 half written entries. It’s just finding the time and energy to finish them. Between my migraines and fibromyalgia (and now tonisillitis!) it is very tough to start things I finish and the sliding scale specialist I used to see died so to see a new specialist for my diseases will cost me $850 for 30 minutes. So things have been tough for me but I’m still reading blogs and keeping busy by trying to keep on the periphery of beauty as much as possible. I hope you liked reading about my 4 toners. :)

xo

Sara

(I’m sure publishing at 10pm UK time is bad for stats or something but truthfully? I’m not in this for the numbers or the freebies anymore. I bought each one of these toners with my own money and every review is a honest one of a product I purchased with my hard earned money. So I’m not getting anything except hopefully your comments. Please comment? I miss you all!!!)

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