Easy & affordable – Urtekram hand creams

Urtekram

I’ve been getting a bit giddy lately as I see more and more natural cosmetics products reaching the shelves of my local super markets to compete with the big brands, like L’Oréal and Nivea. Urtekram, the Danish natural cosmetics brand has especially become prominent in the Finnish market. I like Urtekram as a brand. Their packaging is simple, colorful and modern, which I really appreciate! Stands out nicely amongst all products, not just natural cosmetics.

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I’ve already written about the unscented Urtekram hand cream (above) before here, but I have really been enjoying it at work. It’s fast-drying, well moisturizing and there’s no scent to bother my colleagues either. Recently, I also bought the Aloe Vera version of the Urtekram hand cream, which I took with me for a trip to my mom’s.

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The Aloe Vera hand cream has about the same consistency as its unscented partner and it too absorbs very quickly, leaving the hands moisturized, but also ready for work. The packaging has now acquired the Leaping Bunny symbol as well, which makes me very happy! The Aloe Vera hand cream is also suitable for vegans, which is extremely cool since so many hand creams and lotions in general end up using some animal based ingredients. The Aloe Vera hand cream is loaded up with some nice incredients, like (obviously) aloe vera, almond oil, shea butter, jojoba oil, evening primrose oil, sweet orange oil, lemongrass oil, magnolia bark extract and vitamin E. The cream is made 25% of organically farmed ingredients – same applies to the unscented version as well.

The Urtekram hand creams go for about 5-6 euros here in Finland, which isn’t too bad for natural cosmetics, in my opinion. Definitely worth the money, I’d say!

Have you tried Urtekram’s hand creams? Do you like them?

Cattier Paris Perle d’Eau Cleansing Micellar Solution – washing away

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As important as I think it is to remove your makeup well before bed, I’ve still always been on the look out for shortcuts to get it over with quicker. Ever since I tried micellar water for the first time a year or two ago, I fell in love with how quick and easy the makeup removal process was. The first brand I tried was a pharmacy brand, Vichy, but since then I’ve also used up 2 bottles of Nivea’s far less expensive version of micellar water. However, as I have been changing my cosmetics into eco-friendly and natural options, I couldn’t resist ordering my micellar water from certified natural cosmetics brand, Cattier Paris. My decision was further sped on by the fact that the bottle was a big, 300 ml one and not horribly pricey either!

Cattier Paris Perle d’Eau Cleansing Micellar Solution (300 ml / 15,50 €)

Packaging: Simple, pleasant, French/English, mostly two-tone plastic bottle.

Main active ingredients: Organic rose water and organic aloe vera.

Ingredients listed on the bottle: Aqua, Citrus Aurantium Amara Flower Water*, Rosa Damascena Water*, Sodium Coco-glucoside Tartrate, Benzyl Alcohol, Sodium Benzoate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract*, Sweet Almond Oil Polyglyceryl-6 Esters, Lactic Acid, Linalool, Limonene.

Scent: Very fresh, pleasant, barely there. The package says no fragrance, but there is a very subtle one, if you ask me.

Suitable skin types: All.

Product description: “A cleansing solution based on micellar technology and formulated without alcohol or perfume, Perle d’Eau allows perfect face, eye and lips makeup removal while gently liberating the skin from impurities. Its extremely gentle formula, rich in dermo-soothing and hydrating organic rose water and in softening, regenerating and protecting organic aloe vera, refreshes, soothes and purifies the skin. Its ultra-light texture combines the tonic freshness of water with micellar cleansing efficacy to leave the skin perfectly clean, soft and radiant.”

How does it work: As all micellar waters work, you pour some onto a cotton pad and wipe your face clean. You probably need to use more than 1 cotton pad if you’re removing your makeup. For my everyday, full face makeup removal, I tend to need 3 cotton pads. I use this stuff to remove my eye makeup too as this does a pretty good job at that too. I enjoy the fresh, cleansed feeling I get after using this micellar water. It doesn’t seem to dry up my skin, but it doesn’t leave on a film either – just great freshness!

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Who would I recommend this to: Anyone looking for an easy makeup removal option. I would take a bottle of micellar water with me on a trip anyday (which I have) over a package of wipes!

Would I repurchase: Yes, I would. Out of the micellar waters I’ve tried, this one is definitely my favorite and of course, it’s even better when it’s eco certified and cruelty free!

Have you tried micellar waters? Which one is your favorite?

Lavera Organic Mint Pore Refining Moisturising Fluid

 

Lavera Organic Mint Pore Refining Moisturising Fluid (30 ml / 15,50 €)
The product is eco certified and cruelty free.

INCI: Water (Aqua), Alcohol*, Glycerin, Myristyl Alcohol, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil*, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Tricaprylin, Zinc PCA, Squalane, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Germ Powder*, Xanthan Gum, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract*, Tocopheryl Acetate, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract*, Arctium Lappa Root Extract*, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)*, Tocopherol, Citric Acid, Lactic Acid, Tartaric Acid, Lysolecithin, Brassica Campestris (Rapeseed) Sterols, Lecithin, Chlorophyllin-Copper-Complex (CI 75810), Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Fragrance (Parfum)**, Limonene**, Citral**, Linalool**, Citronellol**, Geraniol**.
* ingredients from certified organic agriculture, ** natural essential oils

Packaging: Simple white and green plastic package with a pump. Nothing special, but does look fresh and clean.

Scent: A bit minty, very fresh, herbal.

Consistency: Extremely light pale green emulsion.

How does it work: The light weight emulsion absorbs quickly and leaves the skin delightfully matte and fresh feeling. Works really well under makeup on my normal/mixed skin. According to the product description, this should work on tightening/shrinking the pores and healing skin infections while leaving the skin looking fresh and bright. I would say it does seem to reduce the appearance of my giant pores, somewhat.

Who would I recommend this to: Most definitely to anyone with oily or semi-oily skin and for those who are looking for a very light moisturizer.

Would I repurchase: Yes, especially for summer. I think this will be too light for me during the winter, but for summer this is really good. I love the cooling effect it has and the lightness of it! I bought mine as a package deal with a mask from the same line, but I think this is worth the normal price of 15,50 euros as well.

Natural cosmetics haul

Hyvinvoinnin Tavaratalo

Last Friday I made a pretty large order of natural cosmetics from a large Finnish online “mall”, as it were, even though I was only looking for a new, moisturizing night cream and a hair dye. Somehow, I ended up clicking all sorts of things into my cart (damn you, online shopping!). I have been dyeing my hair with Sante‘s semi-permanent dyes for a few times now, but they are unable to conquer my blonde roots (I’m Finnish, alright) so I decided to take it up a notch and get the Sante’s permanent hair dye in Chestnut Brown. I absolutely love the semi-permanent Sante dyes because they come in a nice tube and are actually very easy to apply. No mixing required either – I would highly recommend them to anyone looking to brighten up their color, natural or not. But, as said, it doesn’t really seem to do much for the roots, so it’s perhaps not the best for that. In order to get the most out of the natural dyes, you should always use a deep cleansing clay mask on clean, freshly washed hair, before coloring – so for that purpose, I bought Logona‘s deep cleansing clay mask for hair.

I don’t know if this is TMI, but I am a shaver. It’s annoying but it’s something I can do while I’m in the shower anyway, so I do it. I have never tried waxing, imagining it would suck, except that on my eyebrows it was alright, the one time it was done. When in USA I sometimes used creams and even this weird, sand-paper like thing you “buffed” your legs with (which was actually kind of nice), but at home, I’ve been sticking to shaving. Now, I’m going to try this natural cream for hair removal purposes (it’s by Acorelle). I’m honestly quite curious about it and how it may or may not work.

For that night cream I was looking for, I chose one by Marilou Bio – purely because I thought the packaging was cute and it wasn’t super expensive. I was looking for something a bit more moisturizing and nourishing than the product I have on daily use, which is the refreshing, minty emulsion by Lavera. In addition to these, I ordered two soaps, one liquid shower gel by Bio Seasons and a bar soap by Finnish brand Flow. The Bio Seasons shower gel is a shea butter one, since I’ve been so into the Body Shop’s Shea Butter line… At a quick sniff, the scent wasn’t the same (not surprisingly), but nice none the less. The himalayan salt & geranium soap bar by Flow is all natural, organic and handmade – said to relieve stress and soothe the mind.

I’m quite happy with my purchases and excited to get to try them all. I already did try the night cream (mmmm…soft…) and the Flow soap (so fresh, so clean), but more on those (and the other products) later!

Do you use natural cosmetics? If so, where do you buy them from?

Cattier Paris Clay Mask For Sensitive Skin

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Cattier amongst the stone cats. I couldn’t resist. The cats were originally a gift to my mom from one of her clients, but I asked for them some years ago because I thought they were just way too adorable somehow. Enough about the cats though, let’s look at the Cattier Paris Clay Mask For Sensitive Skin!

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Cattier Paris Clay Mask For Sensitive Skin (100 ml / 8,50 €)

The Cattier Pink Clay Facial Mask is a gentle treatment for sensitive and reactive skins, allowing these to enjoy the guarantee of a “healthy looking complexion”. Enriched with Shea Butter, known for its restorative, anti-drying and protective properties, and with Peppermint, for its refreshing and stimulating action, it softens and nourishes the epidermis and clarifying the skin. Due to the high content of micro-nutrients present in the clay, it provides the minerals and oligo elements needed for a beauty, glowing complexion. (Cattier Paris website)

Main active ingredients: Pink clay, Organic shea butter, Organic peppermint extract, Lactic acid (vegetable), Aloe vera.

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Packaging: Simple, clean, white, green and pink 100 ml tube. Nothing too fancy.

Scent: Mostly roses. I don’t normally like rose-scented cosmetics (and I must be alone in this), but I quite like the very natural scent of this product.

Texture: Thick, paste-like.

How does it work: Apply the Pink Clay Mask in a thick coat over the face and neck, avoiding the eye and lip areas. Leave on for approximately 10 minutes without allowing the mask to dry on the skin. Rinse off with tepid water and dry the skin with a cotton towel. Complete the treatment by applying the moisturising cream Secret Botanique. (Cattier Paris website)

I personally struggle with keeping the mask from drying as it seems to want to dry up in just a couple of minutes. My skin doesn’t seem to mind it drying though as afterwards it still feels very clean and delightfully soft. I feel as if the clay mask would be able to somewhat repair my skin and balance it out. Certainly doesn’t seem irritating to the skin!

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To sum it up: Despite the problem I have with the mask drying up on my face, I do quite like this product. I was hoping for it to be more moisturizing though, as it is, it feels rather purifying and balancing, but not that moisturizing. A good mask to use when your skin just needs a little “pick-me-up” – or when you just want to relax and smell the roses… I feel the product is also reasonably priced and the 100 ml feels like it will go a long a way. A very nice, cleansing and balancing treatment for the sensitive skin!

Would I buy again: Yes, though I might wish to try the other clay masks (by Cattier) as well. I feel that the product is of good quality and well priced and as such, I’m a fan!

Who would I recommend it to: Though the product is meant for sensitive skin, I would recommend it for everyone who would like a lovely, rose-scented cleansing mask that balances out your skin a bit.

Mineral base mini series – Part 1 – Choosing your base

Lily Lolo Mineral Foundation & Flawless Matte Finishing Powder

First of all, I doubt that anyone is surprised anymore when I say that my personal mineral base of choice is the Lily Lolo Mineral Foundation SPF 15 in Porcelain, I have spoken of it many times before! I have been using minerals for about 1,5 years now, though a bit on and off perhaps, because now and then I’ve still wanted to experiment with liquid foundations. Honestly, not all like the mineral foundation and there are those who don’t even want to give it a chance. I believe there is a suitable mineral base for pretty much anyone out there, with the exception of perhaps those with a whole lot to cover up. Minerals of certain brands can be built up for quite a lot of coverage though. Mineral foundation can also be a real help for those suffering from breakouts or even acne, because they are, at their best, very pure.

Lily Lolo Minerals

If you have decided that you would like to try mineral makeup, I suggest looking around a bit as there are quite a few brands who offer mineral makeup – at least, if you’re not the palest of the pale like I am. Not all ranges offer as wide of a variety as some of the bigger ones, like BareMinerals or Lily Lolo, for example. Most brands also offer you sample sizes of their products so that you can get the feel of the thing as well as figure out what shade is right for you. The samples are usually very inexpensive, but there tends to be enough product to get more than just one try out of them! You might also want to take a look at the ingredients (and INCI) of the product to see if it is actually all minerals, because companies can technically market a product as mineral makeup as long as it contains some minerals. Some brands offer 100% natural mineral makeup, where as some brands also put synthetic ingredients into their minerals to improve them one way or another. The most natural of the mineral bases can contain well under 10 ingredients where as certain brands market their products as mineral makeup – yet have an ingredient list as tall as a house. Lily Lolo Mineral Foundation SPF 15 for example contains only mica, zinc oxide, titanium dioxide and iron oxides, which indicates that it’s made 100% out of minerals. These all natural mineral bases are actually so pure that you could basically sleep in them without having to worry about the condition of your skin. (Though I still recommend removing your makeup in the evening!)

Lily Lolo Mineral

Not all mineral bases suit everyone, which is, again, a good reason to shop around a bit and see which one works for you. If you have a very sensitive skin or skin with a lot of problems, I would recommend to avoid a mineral base that has bismuth oxychloride in it, because it can often irritate sensitive skin. Of course, not all people get a reaction from it – and it’s also used in some lipsticks and nail polishes. By shopping around a bit, you can also find out which base gives you the kind of a look you want to achieve. A common misconception is that mineral bases are very chalky and you can’t, for instance, achieve a dewy look with them. You can actually get a nice, naturally glowing dewy look with minerals, if you know how (more on that in another chapter). For those with a combination skin or oily skin, I would recommend not choosing dewy finishes, because it’s always easier to add a bit of that glow afterwards with the help of a good highlighter rather than trying to take away all the added shine the dewy finish gives you. For those with dry skin, I recommend moisturizing really well and even choosing a day cream that’s perhaps a bit richer even than what you might use underneath a liquid foundation. In general, a mineral base always requires a well moisturized skin in order to look lovely and natural.

When you have found the brand you love (possibly through samples), see if they offer some kind of a starter kit – they often come with the right brush(es) and the basic products to get you started easily! The starter kits often offer a good deal as well, so you can also end up saving a bit!

To sum it up, when you are choosing your mineral base…

  • Consider the condition of your skin; is it normal, oily, dry or combination?
  • Consider the finish you want; matte or dewy – or somewhere in the middle?
  • Shop around and try out different samples by different brands.
  • Try to choose the shortest INCI you can find – if you are looking for the most natural product.
  • Make sure you get your money’s worth – the most expensive brand is not necessarily the best one (for you).
  • Buy the proper tools for applying the product! (A kabuki brush works best, either with a short grip or a long one.)

terre d’Oc Argan Butter

terre d'Oc Argan Butter

I got this terre d’Oc Argan Butter from my last LivBox as a thank you for being a long-term subscriber. I fell in love with the colorful tin immediately – and the scent was pleasant as well! I ended up struggling with getting the tin open, until I eventually twisted one of the “flaps” out a bit to get a grip. I didn’t notice any opening instructions anywhere, so I improvised. It was only later (and after taking these pictures) that I found out you can actually very simply open the tin by pressing the top of it down… Oops. Thankfully I have been able to twist the “flap” back down pretty well.

terre d’Oc Argan Butter (20g / 11,00 €)

Packaging: As mentioned, I do love the packaging. I’m crazy about little tins and even more so when they come so full of colors! The funny thing is, that the tin is only 20g and this is advertized as a body butter. Not much for a body butter, huh? However, a little seems to go a long way.

Scent: According to one site that sells this, the scent is that of orange blossoms, but since I’ve never sniffed an orange blossom, I can’t say if that assessment is accurate or not. Regardless of that, the scent is quite mild and pleasant. Somehow creamy and flowery all at once. Soft.

Consistency: This surprised me! I was expecting the same kind of texture as The Body Shop’s body butters, but this was more like the texture of coconut oil prior to being warmed up by your skin. As I applied the product onto my skin, it started to resemble dry oil. It gives a certain kind of shine to the skin, but it doesn’t feel greasy. The butter starts absorbing reasonably quickly when I try it on my hands and cuticles. It’s more of a dry oil than a body butter, if you ask me!

How does it work: I’ve been using this to treat my extremely dry cuticles at work. Sometimes I also rub a bit on my hands (not palms though) and let it work its magic while I work. It feels like it nourishes my cuticles very well and softens my skin. I could imagine this working wonders on dry elbows and such as well!

Summary: Works well on moisturizing small, dry areas of skin, such as the cuticles. It feels like it nourishes and even repairs the skin. I would love to take this little tin with me everywhere, but unfortunately the product contains sesame seed oil, which my husband is terribly allergic to, so I have to limit the use of this to work, mostly. I don’t want to accidentally cause him to break out in hives! I’m certain that once I have used this up (though it looks like it will be a looooong while!), I will find another use for the pretty thing – perhaps as a place to store my medicine on the go. It’s also worth noting that terre d’Oc products are eco-certified natural cosmetics – which really makes me appreciate the product even more.

Would I buy again: Well, I didn’t buy this one to begin with and unfortunately, due to the sesame seeds, I won’t be buying this in the future. I do still really like the product though and I wish I could buy it, because it does work really well on my cuticles!

Who I would recommend this to: Generally anyone who has problems with dry skin, really.