I think I'm forming a habit by starting the first paragraph by stating 'I love masking' or 'I love cleansing/eyeshadow/blush/etc'. But life is a joy when you love many things with passion? I've talked about some masks in my rotation before, but the evidence in my cupboards say I can't get enough of masking (thanks to Black Friday and other sales). Today I'm doing a chatty post about my thoughts on masking - the routine, ritual and efficiency. The idea for this post came when I started to re-evaluate my love for masking and how I haven't been super impressed by a wash off/overnight mask in a while. Sheet masks I'll discuss in a different post!Read More
The Spring is coming to the Northern Hemisphere, I'm so excited! The Sun is shining, but the weather is still chilly here in Finland. During the harsh and cold winter months I became obsessed with face balms. Think about this: a facial oil in the form of a creamy, melting texture that protects and moisturizes? Yes please! I've gotten more and more into green beauty lately and I was ecstatic when I got a chance to try this balm from Mahogany Naturals. My expectations were high, and fortunately the weren't let down at all.
Mahogany Naturals is an artisanal skin- and haircare brand created by hair stylist, aromatherapist and beauty therapist Tope Beesley in 2012 to address the needs of curly, textured and afro hair. The brand has expanded to spa quality natural skincare, bath and body products. I was very interested in the brand from a self-care perspective and I'm thinking of trying their cleansing oil and manuka mud mask (sounds delicious) in the future. All the products are made in the UK in Bletchley Milton in small batches to maximise freshness and potency. All the ingredients are 100% organic, cruelty free and vegetarian friendly.
The Blue Lover
The Blue Lover is a skin calming and moisturising beauty balm with a natural aroma to soothe anxiety and stress. Retails 70£/82€/$87 for 60ml, packed in a glass jar. It is an investment product, but you get a lot of product and little goes a long way. The price per ml/oz is much lower than many other eco balms, let's say, the May Lindstrom Blue Cocoon for example. Mahogany Naturals ships their products internationally.
Using a facial balm
Face balms can be a hybrid between an oil and a moisturiser, sometimes even a pressed serum. Usually they are to seal in your other products, protect and keep your skin extra moisturised and supple. The balmy texture usually comes from ingredients that are solid in room temperature, such as shea butter. The consistency of the Blue Lover is a stiffer balm, quite solid instead of whipped or soft and oily.
I like using a spatula or a wooden knife to measure about 1/2 pea size amount for my face and neck. I rub my fingers together and let the heat of my hands to melt the balm into an oil, releasing its beautiful aroma. I bring my hands to my nose and inhale deep, letting the scent ease my mind and relax my senses. This is a beautiful spa moment for me. Then I spread and press the melted balm into my skin, like I was pressing a toner. I even dab it under my eyes, I have experienced no milia whatsoever. Sometimes when I feel agitated I take a knob of the balm and apply right under my nose to help me calm down and relax. Heavenly. The balm feels especially good if my skin is agitated or when I'm using a prescription tretinoid (read more about my current skincare routine).
(Oenothera fiennis ) Evening primrose, (Theobroma Cacao) cocoa butter, (Butyrospermun Parkii) shea butter, (Sclerocarya birrea) marula, Tanacetum Annuum (Blue Tansy) Oil, ( Adansonia Digitata ) baobab, (tocopherol) vitamin e, camellia, (Rosa canina) rosehip, (Persea americana) avocado, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium Rose) Oil, tea tree, (Anthemis Nobilis) camomile.
The bulk of the balm is evening primrose, then cocoa and shea butter that both moisturise and give the balm its solid texture. Evening primrose is a pretty yellow flower, rich in antioxidants and omega-6 fatty acids, including linoleic acid and gamma linoleic acid (GLA). On topical application evening primrose efficiently hydrates skin while treats inflammation, such as acne flare-up, atopic dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis and itching. Evening primrose increases skin's elasticity and helps to fight wrinkles without being comedogenic.
Cocoa and shea butters melt just above room temperature: perfect when you massage the balm between your fingers. They give the balm its solid nature and are wonderful for very dry skin. I've read differing opinions on should cocoa or shea butter be used for your face: shea should be safe and non-comedogenic, but cocoa butter may be heavy for oily acne prone skin. Personally I've been prone to acne but my skin is very dry and I haven't had any problems - unlike with coconut oil. I think it's also about the quality of the butters. If you're concerned I recommend you to patch test first or only use the balm on your very dry areas, such as cheeks or dry patches.
The Blue Lover also has a generous amount of Blue Tansy Oil, which has been a super star ingredient in the media for the past couple of years (an ingredient in Sunday Riley Luna oil, May Lindstrom the Blue Cocoon etc). Blue tansy's notable features are its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory nature. Genetically similar to camomile, it shares great skin and mind calming qualities. The Blue Tansy also gives the Blue Lover it's beautiful signature topaz color. After blue tansy there's moisturising baobab, Vitamin E, camellia, rosehip and avocado. Other skin and mind ingredients such include lavender and camomille. Tea tree is also clarifying and effective for breakouts and congestion.
The Blue Lover is accurately named. It has a seducing scent makes me weak at knees, the beautiful color captivates any soul. It nurtures and calms my senses while working like an anti-anxiety pill for my skin. I've found a new staple for my skincare and self-care routine. I can warmly recommend this balm if you've an eco beauty nerd or someone who has been interested in quality ingredients or face balms, but haven't dared to splurge before. I will definitely repurchase once I run out!
What's your favorite beauty balm?
The product in this post was generously provided for consideration. Regardless, my opinions are my own honest and unbiased views. The links are for your convenience and do not contain ads.
There are few things in life that excite me more than a good cleanser. What few things? It's coffee, climbing and cats - all good things seem to begin with a 'C'. What's good cleanser is totally personal, but to me it's a sum of efficiency, enjoyment and great ingredients. As much as I love applying my make up I equally love taking it off; the good 5-10 minutes of "me time" properly cleansing and massaging my face. To me it's anything but a chore. Josh Rosebrook team kindly sent me a couple of his products to try and I already raved about his Active Infusion Serum (review here), which I've been loving in my current skincare routine. Today I'm reviewing you his Complete Moisture Cleanse.Read More
Chanel cosmetics had never intrigued me, something so fine and classy seemed so out of reach. Thinking back I can't remember any of Chanel's past collections, except for the impossible to get LE contouring blush called Notorious. Then came the new creative makeup director Lucia Pica and the eyeshadow quad with only matte browns and a red. It was a stunner. I didn't end up purchasing the quad, but I was mesmerized with the red eyeshadow and suddenly Chanel was on my radar. You can see my recreation of Chanel's le Rouge in this post. When the promo pictures for the Chanel Coco Code Blush Harmony were released I fell in hard love and was ready to take the plunge.
Coco Code Blush Harmony
To my knowledge the Spring 2017 collection reinterprets and celebrates Chanel's iconic beauty and colors. Quoting Lucia Pica: "Red, black, gold, white, beige: these are 'the secret codes' of Chanel beauty". Indeed, all of these colors are featured in Coco Code blush (except black just for the packaging), contrasted cleverly in promo images next to Rubik's cube and crossword puzzles. The blush is made in France and comes with a velvet pouch and a mini natural hair brush. There's a massive 11g/~0,38oz of product for 57€/$70.
This blush is excellent. The powder is smooth, not "buttery", but finely milled with a good balance of firmness and softness. I have used the blush several times and the embossing is not yet ruined. What I've swatched the regular Chanel blushes, the Coco Code Blush Harmony doesn't feel as hard. The pigmentation is medium-buildable and the product is easy to pick up and blend. The blush wears good 8 hours on my skin.
What I love the most about this blush is you're able to customise the finish by swirling the brush focusing on beige-gold-red or any other combination you like. You won't get a 4-in-one product as the squares are too small to use individually with larger brushes like a bronzer brush, but you can adjust the amount of red, beige or shimmer in your blush. I find the highlight shade easy to pick up separately with a candle shaped highlighter such as Hakuhodo B 5521 or a large eyeshadow brush. To decrease the amount of shimmer I mix all shades but white equally for a beautiful summery blush. On me it's a red flush with coral and golden undertones while the white works beautifully as a shimmery highlighter.
'White' is a pinky champagne with silver flecks of shimmer, beautiful highlighter shade
'Beige' is a red based matte bronze
'Gold' is a patinated yellow gold with golden microshimmer
'Red' is a matte fire engine red
All four mixed is a warm red coral shade with flecks of shimmer
Make up of the day
ADDICTION tinted moisturizer on the top of Rouge Bunny Rouge Aqua Primer. Brows RBR long-lasting brow liner in Antimony (review here). I wear a mix of RBR mattes with Surratt's Bien Cuit eyeshadow on my lids. The blush is obviously Coco Code: I mixed 3 deeper shades as my blush and added the white a cheek bone highlight. Lipstick is SUQQU Extra Glow Lipstick in 07 Syunake. Mascara Heroine Make Long&Curl (film type), which btw is also excellent and wears during working out without smudging.
I know this blush is quite an investment piece at one go, but if the colors speak to you I can warmly recommend Coco Code Blush Harmony. I saw it's still available online and on the Finnish Chanel counters. I think you get your money's worth in both quality and 11 grams/0.38oz of product (less than ~0.2 grams more expensive than Tarte for example). You can nicely adjust the amount of each shade to customize your blush and get a beautiful highlighter shade as well. I think for deeper skin tones the gold would also work as a subtle highlighter on its own or mixed with the white.
How do you like the blush, would you spend the $$$ at one go? I'm also curious to hear what are your thoughts on reviewing limited edition items? Would you still read the posts although the product was no longer available?