Green Beauty Collab: Products I’d repurchase

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Since starting up a blog, I’ve been keen to involve myself in the exciting events of the blogging community. I decided the opportunity to join a collab post from one of my favourite natural beauty bloggers, iluvjesse444, was too good an opportunity to pass up.

In my opinion, it’s always a bit of a gamble when you shop- you never know whether you’re going to love or hate what you buy… perhaps that’s why it’s so addictive! There are many natural cosmetics that I have bought and regretted buying almost immediately, however there are just as many that I try for a while and wonder, ‘how could I ever have been without that?!’

The following are a list of products that fall into the latter category. Although I am a sucker for new things, I will most likely be repurchasing these products due to their total awesomeness:

  1. Burt’s Bees facial cleansing towelettes: 99% natural, smell awesome. These towelettes are great for when I just CAN’T be stuffed going through the whole routine of washing, cleansing, moisturizing. I just wipe of the makeup, spray on some toner and hop into bed! ONLY downside is that they do contain phenoxyethanol…but seriously, they’re good wipes.
  2. Jurlique lavender silk finishing powder: wow, I am in love with the smell! Ingredients are great. Works well for keeping my t-zone matte and my makeup in place. Sturdy packaging with powder puff included. Maybe a bit pricey, but so worth it!
  3. Physician’s Formula Organic Wear translucent powder (light): for something so inexpensive, it ticks all the boxes! Great ingredients, goes on smoothly, matches my skintone and provides just the right amount of coverage to not look cakey.
  4. Physician’s Formula Organic Wear jumbo lash mascara: I was blown away when I saw how good this was. I bought this to replace my old, toxic mascara, and didn’t have high hopes- how could this ever be as good as the chemical-laden variety? But I was proven wrong. This makes lashes go cray-cray! I am actually waiting on the new Physician’s Formula ‘fake out’ mascara to arrive from an iHerb order, so I’ll soon be able to compare the two. But take my word on this one- this stuff is awesome!
  5. Dr. Hauschka translucent bronze concentrate: I can’t even explain exactly what I love about this product- it just seems to make everything better! When mixed in with foundation, it just seems to hide imperfections and brighten up my complexion. I am SO going to buy this again!
  6. 100% Pure Lip & Cheek Tint in ‘pink grapefruit’: I have already done a review on this product, and if you cannot tell from that, I absolutely love this baby! Beautiful colour, and goes on sooo smoothly. I just want to eat it!
  7. Rejuva Minerals eye makeup remover: BEAUTIFUL ingredients. Works a treat for removing eye makeup. Just pop a bit on the tips of your fingers, run it through your eyes/eyelashes and wipe with a facial towelette. BYE BYE makeup!
  8. 100% Pure organic coffee bean eye cream: I have this perpetual fear of developing bags. Having this stuff makes me feel powerful! I can actually tell that it reduces puffiness and keeps me looking slightly more human in the early hours of the morning when no-one should be allowed to see me. Also smells amazing!
  9. Mychelle Dermaceuticals concealer in ‘creme’: ironically, I am awaiting a replacement on this one as I write. Smooth and soft. Perfect tone and colour for my winter skin. Great coverage. Stellar ingredients. Can also be used to create a blank lip canvas. You gotta get on this!
  10. Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm in ‘honeysuckle’: I’ve figured out that pale lip colours look better on me. This is a beautiful soft pinky-peach that works great as an everyday lip-balm. May not work on every skin-tone, but certainly on mine!
  11. Ecco Bella Flowercolor Blush in ‘Earthy Rose’: I use this a contour powder. I love the fact that it’s matte, pressed, and has a blue base rather than orange. This is decently pigmented and lasts a long time on my face and in the box. Ingredients such as ‘sweet almond oil’ and ‘green teas extract’ make me love it even more.
  12. Nude by Nature eyebrow pencil in ‘blonde’: I use this regularly to fill in any sparse areas and define my brows. This pencil goes on smoothly and doesn’t look artificial. I have learn that going a few shades lighter than your natural brow colour is the way to go! The spoolie brush at the other end also gets used frequently to comb brows in shape. I seriously could not be without this now!

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Swatches: Nude by Nature blonde eyebrow pencil, Mychelle Dermaceuticals creme concealor, Ecco Bella earthy rose blush, Burt’s Bees honeysuckle tinted lip balm

iluvjesse444 is a green beauty blogger who also does videos on Youtube comparing and reviewing a variety of natural makeup products. You should totally check out her blog: http://iluvjesse444.blogspot.com.au/

Healthy choc-peanut balls

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I LOVE chocolate and peanut butter together. It’s just one of those combinations that was meant to be. Like chocolate and mint, and apple and cinnamon. It just works.

I have tried Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups before, and they blew me away! I have also tried homemade replicas of Reece’s peanut butter cups, and they also blew me away. But what I really wanted to see, was whether or not it was possible to make healthy peanut butter cups that tasted just as good. So, today, I tried another ‘sperament’, and quite flukily I got it right first go. Granted, these don’t taste exactly the same as the Reece’s variety, nonetheless, they were enough to have me coming back for more!

So here goes…

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You will need:

  • 1/2 cup all-natural crunchy peanut butter (organic, preferably)
  •  1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 teaspoon himalayan or celtic sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Mix these ingredients together in a bowl until well combined. Roll into little balls and set on a plate

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For the chocolate coating, I chose to make my own ‘chocolate’. The ingredients are as follows:

  • 1/4 cup chopped, pitted dates (you could also use medjool dates)
  • 2 tablespoons boiling water

Soak the dates in the water until mushy. Mix together to make it as smooth as you can.

  • 1 teaspoon crushed or grated cacoa butter (I got this at a health-food grocery shop)
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon of organic coconut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon of good-quality vanilla extract (this stuff is awesome!)
  • 2 teaspoons of cacao powder (you can get this at many places now, including online)
  • A pinch of stevia (my stevia has a tiny spoon inside that is the equivalent sweetness of one teaspoon of sugar)

Next up, place a bowl containing the above ingredients on top of another containing boiling water, and melt gently. Add the date mixture and mix together until well combined. You may have a few date lumps, and this is fine, but try and get it as smooth as possible 🙂

Things are about to get messy…

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As you can see, the next step is simply to coat the peanut balls with the chocolate mixture. I did this with my hands (they were clean, okay? Just clarifying…)

Finally, freeze the choc-peanut balls for about an hour, or until the chocolate coating is firm.

And the most difficult step yet…

Eat them!! 😉

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Some things to note:

  • If you are lazy (just kidding) you can simply coat the peanut balls with good-quality dark chocolate, however, I found it fun making my own!
  • One thing to remember is that once the balls are out of the freezer, the chocolate mixture starts to soften (due to the coconut oil and coconut milk). I personally prefer them when the chocolate is very cold and firm, so I had to refreeze them when they weren’t being eaten.
  • Cacao is the raw version of cocoa. It is super rich in antioxidants, which help fight against free-radicals and keep you looking younger
  • I know these aren’t quite as addictive as Reece’s peanut butter cups, but I’d like to think it’s because they’re healthier and keep you feeling fuller for longer 🙂

Once again, if you have any questions, comments or feedback, please leave it down below. I really hope you like these and find them to be a suitable substitute for Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups! Please give them a go and tell me what you think.

The Poor Paw-paw Deception

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To think that all this time I was using Lucas Papaw ointment thinking it was a perfectly natural product that was doing the world of good for my skin. I feel like I’ve been deceived…the shame of it all!!

What you may not know, and what the Lucas Papaw company don’t tell you on their actual product, is that their world famous ointment CONTAINS PETROLEUM JELLY!!! You know what this means for society as a whole?? We’re all going to die!!

Lol jokes, it’s not quite that horrific.

However, petroleum jelly isn’t all that fabulous. If you knew where it came from, you might reconsider using it on your lips. Petroleum jelly (A.K.A petrolatum, baby oil, mineral oil, liquid paraffin) is basically a by-product of the oil industry, coming from crude oil that has been refined and heavily processed. Just because it’s been used for ages, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s completely safe. Petrolatum creates a physical barrier against the skin, meaning moisture can’t get in and toxins can’t get out! There have also been claims that it may be carcinogenic. While I am not saying that you should avoid this product at all costs, I just want to let you know that there are some alternatives out there that do not contain this questionable ingredient.

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Natural Alternative Organic Paw Paw Ointment- $7.95 for 30g

Ingredients: Castor (Ricinus Communis) Oil, Beeswax, Coconut (Cocos Nucifera) Oil, Cocoa (Theobroma Cacao) Butter, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract, Honey, Jojoba (Buxus Chinensis) Oil, Vanilla (Vanilla Plantifolia) Oil, Carrot (Daucus Carota Sativa) Oil, Stevia (Rebaudiana  Bertoni) Extract, Tocopherol

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Suvana Paw Paw & Honey organic lip balm- $8.95 for 35g

Ingredients: Castor Oil; Beeswax; Coconut Oil; Cocoa Butter; Papaya Extract; Honey; Jojoba Oil; Vanilla Bean Oil; Candelilla Wax; Carrot Oil; Stevia Rebaudiana Bertoni Extract; Tocopherol

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Nude by Nature Papaw Ointment- $5.95 for 30g

Ingredients: Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Hydrogenated Coconut Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Fruit Oil, Beeswax (Cera Alba), Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Jojoba Esters, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract, Parfum (Fragrance)

Note: Fragrance from essential oils

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Nature’s Care Paw Paw Balm- $4.95 for 30g

Ingredients: Sunflower Oil, Castor Oil, Hydrogenated Castor oil, cocoa butter, shea butter, sorbitan olivate, beeswax, silica, macadamia oil, mango seed butter, rice bran wax, jojoba esters, natural paw paw extract(carica papaya), natural paw paw flavour.

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Brauer Paw Paw Ointment- $5.49 for 25g

Ingredients: Vitis Vinifera (Grapeseed oil), Carica Papaya (Paw Paw Fermented), Hydrogenerated Castor Oil,  Caprylic Capric Triglyceride, Beeswax (Certified Organic), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Honey,  Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Daucus Carota (Carrot Oil), Potassium Sorbate

There are even more out there, but I think this at least leaves you with a few decent alternatives. Some of these paw paw ointments, such as Suvana and Natural Alternative, are available at Health Food stores; others like Nude by Nature and Nature’s Care are easier to find in department stores. Also, if you’re into buying big, Brauer and Nude by Nature carry 75g pot jars of the stuff.

As for me, I’m still not sure which one I’m going choose to replace my Lucas. It’s a close call between Suvana and Nature’s Care- both contain great ingredients and have really pretty packaging (yes, I am shallow; pretty packaging is important to me…)

So yes, the title is probably over-dramatic, but I really wanted to get the message out there! Hopefully you are now at least aware of the potential danger of using petrolatum and know where to look if you’re thinking of replacing your bright red baby. Who knows, you may even end up preferring a natural variety? 😉

Feel absolutely free to leave any comments or questions below.

Gluten-free coconut-nut loaf

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Yesterday I decided to do some baking, or as my family likes to call it, ‘speramenting’, because these days I never seem to be going off a recipe; more just making up my own thing as I go along and coming out with something that either tastes really good or really bad (there have been many fails in my kitchen ventures!)

Unless my taste-buds are playing nasty tricks on me, I’d like to think that what I came out with yesterday was a reasonable success. Not too sweet, not too bland, nice texture, edible-looking and most importantly, healthy!

This has been a challenge for me, because I never usually write down measurements, I just throw in whatever I want in whatever quantity and mix it around until I’m satisfied. So after trying this out the first time I then had to go back and do it again, writing out measurements as I went along. Fortunately it came out looking and tasting pretty similar to the first one I made! 🙂

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Here is a list of all the ingredients so you can try this out yourself. Note that some of these things won’t be readily available from the local supermarket; you may have to look for them online or in your local health food store. Hopefully you at least have water…

  • 1 egg, preferably organic
  • I/2 cup gluten-free self-rasing flour (the brand I used was Orgran, which is available at my local supermarket, however I found this on special for $2 at a health food store! Wohoo!)
  • 3/4 cup gluten-free plain flour (again, the brand I used was Orgran)
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar (the brand I got, Madhava, is available on iHerb for a reasonable price)
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons of chia seeds (these little things are packed full of nutrients!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup organic cold-pressed coconut oil (this is beginning to be available everywhere! People are crazy for coconuts!)
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey
  • 1/4 cup water

The method is fairly simple- Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Grease your tin. I actually used two tiny tins because I’m weird like that…(the measurements were roughly 3 x 6 inches). Mix everything together except the water to form a stiff, clumpy batter. Next up, add the water until it reaches the desired consistency (if you prefer to have a more dry, crumbly loaf then add a little less, otherwise add more). As I was putting them in the tins, the mixture looked like this…

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Finally, bake for approximately 25 minutes or until the top becomes brown (but not black, because that means you’ve left it in too long…)

Some other things to note:

  • Due to the density of the mixture these loaves will not rise as much as your ‘standard’ cake mixture
  • I find that these taste better when given time to cool. In fact, in my opinion they taste even better the next day
  • The taste of these loaves reminds me of ANZAC cookies 😉
  • I enjoy these served with a sprinkle of almond flakes and some coconut oil or a dab of butter

If you discover any way to improve the recipe, please let me know! I am not a chef by any means, and I appreciate feedback. I hope you try these out yourself when you’re feeling a sweet craving coming on…:-D

100% Pure haul!

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Clockwise from top right: mauvette powdered blush, pink berry lip gloss, perfect naked mauve creamstick, pink grapefruit lip & cheek tint, rosy pot rouge blush, vanilla sugar eyeshadow, cocoa plum eyeshadow, organic coffee bean caffeine eye cream, taupe eyebrow powder gel, blackberry creamstick eyeliner, chocolate lip palette

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Taupe eyebrow powder gel, blackberry creamstick eyeliner, cocoa plum eyeshadow, vanilla sugar eyeshadow

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Pink berry lipgloss, perfect naked mauve creamstick, mauvette powdered blush, rosy pot rouge blush, pink grapefruit lip & cheek tint

Let me tell you my story for how I came to posses these products: I had been searching and bookmarking every site I could find that sold natural/organic makeup (yeah, I’m a bit obsessed, okay? Don’t judge). I came across 100% pure quite some time ago. Based on reviews and the look of the products, I knew I just HAD to check them out. SO…my brother gave me a 100% pure gift card for my birthday (last year). I kept it for a while, because for some reason I like treasuring my gift cards, feeling like I have something up my sleeve for days when I need some online retail therapy. Anyway, after a while I decided to take the plunge and buy everything I’d had my eye on. Which was a lot. So I put everything in the cart, arrived at the checkout and then BOOM! I discovered to my utmost horror that they DON’T SHIP TO AUSTRALIA!! WHAT THE HECK!! Lol, so, after a moment of panic thinking my $50 was going down the drain, I regained my composure and thought about what I could do. In the end the solution was quite simple- I arranged for a friend in the US to have the order shipped to her house and then for her to send it down to the land of Oz. I am very grateful for her kindness and cooperation, otherwise, I would have been in a right old pickle!

So Anyway, let’s get to the point. 100% pure are an all-natural cosmetic company that use fruit and other cool ingredients to pigment their products. You won’t find any parabens or silcones in these babies! First off, let me talk about the Mauvette powdered blush:

  • $25 for 9g
  • Highly pigmented
  • Long-lasting
  • Great for cool-toned skins
  • Pearly-looking (not too shimmery, but not matte either)
  • BEAUTIFUL packaging (includes mirror inside)
  • Need to take care when applying- not as forgiving as cream blush
  • Overall 4.5/5

Pink Berry lipgloss:

  • $13 for 2.8g (part of the ‘must haves’ gift set)
  • Highly pigmented
  • Twist to release gloss on brush (cool concept!)
  • I found it to be slightly drying, so I just added a tiny bit of my moisturising lipgloss and it was fine
  • Staying power is good, but as with most lip products, I find it vanishes after eating or drinking (which makes me wonder how some women wear it all the time!)
  • Goes well with mauvette blush
  • Overall 4/5

Perfect Naked Mauve creamstick:

  • $15 for 3.3g
  • SUPER CREAMY
  • Again, highly pigmented
  • Darker than I expected- I usually stay away from dark, bold lip colours, but for some this may be ok
  • Also BIGGER than I expected- this is like a fat jumbo pencil, but I like it!
  • Staying power so far seems good
  • Many liners dry my lips out, but this is quite hydrating
  • Overall 4/5

Pink Grapefruit lip & cheek tint:

  • $15 for 7.5g
  • Not as pigmented as some of the other products, but gives a really nice sheer glow
  • Slightly smaller than I thought, but I can see this will last me a while
  • Beautiful light pink
  • Looks very natural
  • Easy to spread
  • Gives a ‘fresh in from the cold’ look
  • Not great staying power- kind of fades a little, but you can still get about 3 hours from it
  • Smaller than I thought, but I can see this will last me for some time
  • I think I’m in love with this!
  • Overall 4.5/5

Rosy Pot Rouge blush

  • $15 for 3.5g (part of the ‘must haves’ gift set)
  • Not as spreadable as lip & cheek tint
  • Nice pink-coral colour- good for warm or cool complexions
  • Reminds me of summer
  • Slightly more pigmented than lip & cheek tint
  • Nice and natural-looking
  • Why do I like cream blush so much?
  • Overall 4/5

Eyeshadows:

  • $15 for 2g (part of the ‘must haves’ gift set)
  • Cute packaging
  • Decently pigmented
  • Pressed
  • Eeek!- the vanilla sugar eyeshadow smashed…no longer pressed!
  • Vanilla sugar- subtle shimmery champagne colour that is great as a highlighter
  • Cocoa plum- pearly deep purple-brown that is great for green eyes
  • Overall 4/5

Organic Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream:

  • $10 for 14 ml (also comes in a larger size: $19 fro 29 ml
  • Amazing smell! Like coffee!
  • Seems to hydrate the under-eye area
  • Makes eyes look less tired
  • Doesn’t ‘instantly cure’ dark circles, but definitely helps
  • A little bit goes a long way
  • Overall 4/5

Taupe Eyebrow Powder Gel:

  • $15 for 3g
  • Smooth and easy to apply
  • Looks more natural than pencil
  • Taupe is a colour that can be used for both blondes and brunettes
  • I’m using this everyday and loving it!
  • Overall 4.5/5

Blackberry Creamstick eyeliner:

  • $15 4.5g
  • SO SO CREAMY
  • Smudges a little on lower lash line
  • Browny-purpley-plummy black- heck, is that even possible?
  • Not as red-looking as the picture on the website
  • Also bigger than I thought- same size as the lip creamstick. Because of the size, it isn’t as easy as ‘standard’ eyeliners to apply to lash line
  • Good for bringing out green eyes
  • 4/5

Chocolate lip palette:

  • $32 12g in total (palette is 4 inches in diameter)
  • SMELLS SCRUMPTIOUS! Exactly like chocolate!
  • Cute packaging (mirror included inside)
  • 4 are matte, 2 have shimmer
  • Colours aren’t very strong- more like a gloss
  • Not a great variation in colours, but enough to mix and match according to your look. Most of the colours are purple-toned
  • Quite moisturising
  • Don’t make the same mistake I did and try to use this as a cream blush…doesn’t really work!
  • Overall 3.5/5

Overall, I am very happy with my 100% Pure purchase and would recommend them to anyone, even people who are not into natural makeup. The company seems to take great care in producing  quality products that not only look good, but are also high-performing. For girls who love pretty packaging and unique concepts in makeup, 100% Pure is the way to go.

There is only one recommendation I have to make to this company…PLEASE SHIP TO AUSTRALIA!! 🙂

You can check out the website here:

http://www.100percentpure.com/default.asp