Thursday, April 30, 2009

Product reviews: Honoré des Prés perfumes

The people from Luckyscent, a cool fragrance website, sent me samples from a new perfume range called Honoré des Prés. Honoré des Prés is a French brand, and the perfumes are 100% organic. There are five perfumes in the collection – all are EDT, and USD$145 for 100ml, in glass bottles. Or you can buy 7ml samples for $3, or you can buy a sample set for USD$30, which contains 1.5ml spray bottles of each perfume. They can be bought at Here are the reviews.

Bonte’s Bloom

Notes: Sunflowers, flower grass from the South of India, wild Moroccan blue chamomile, fresh citrus leaves from Paraguay, sage leaves, white orris butter.
Verdict: This is a very pretty floral scent, and not too overpowering. Very nice!

Chaman’s Party

Notes: Vetiver root from Haiti, sacred basil from Egypt, wood of life from Venezuela, dried clove flowers from Madagascar
Verdict: It’s a very spicy scent. It didn’t really suit me so well, but if you are into more spicy scents, this would be great.

Honore’s Trip

Notes: Pure tangerine extract, Mediterranean oranges, yellow and green lemons, pepper, pimento, resins.
Verdict: Very citrusy and fresh. I really like citrus scents, so I love this! It smells good enough to eat.

Nu Green

Notes: Mint leaves, grass, Indian botanical musk, medicinal tarragon and cedar wood.
Verdict: This is gorgeous! This one and Honore’s Trip are my favourites, because I like perfumes that smell really fresh, and this one definitely does. It’s very...zesty!

Sexy Angelic

Notes: Fresh almond, hemlock flowers, angelica seeds, freshly baked calisson accord.
Verdict: Nice and floral. The scent of almond is quite strong to begin with, but it fades as the fragrance settles, and then it smells more generally floral. Nice!

It was great to be able to try these perfumes, so thank you to the people at LuckyScent! I think that Honoré des Prés is a great eco-friendly brand with some really beautiful scents.

Happy Birthday to my blog!

It’s been a year since I started writing this blog, and it’s been a lot of fun! It has also been about two years since I became a vegetaraian!

I started this blog because I wanted to make known what natural/organic/eco/green beauty products were available in New Zealand. Over time, the focus of the blog has become a bit broader. I have done reviews for some really great products, which cannot be bought in New Zealand (they can, however be ordered online, so are still available to those who live in New Zealand). I am still writing about beauty products, but also about personal care, health and wellness products.

So, in the future you can expect more product reviews, information on great new products, and more!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Products for new mums

I know a lot of women who have recently given birth, or are just about to, and it’s all very exciting! I don’t speak from personal experience here (I don’t have kids), but having a baby has a major effect on your body (obviously). Luckily, there are a number of great products specifically designed to help with the after effects of childbirth.

Earth Mama Angel Baby has a number of products to soothe post-birth soreness. Try Earth Mama Bottom Balm, $25.50 for 60ml, Earth Mama New Mama Bottom Spray, $24.50 for 120ml, and Earth Mama Postpartum Bath Herbs, $16.50 for 112g. If you have had a Caesarean birth, try the Earth Mama C-Mama Healing Salve, $55 for 30ml.

If you want to use more eco-friendly maternity pads, try Natracare New Mother Maternity Pads, $14.60 for a box of 10. They are free from chlorine, plastic, latex, and perfume, and are biodegradable.

For tired legs, rub on some Living Nature ‘Kekemama Soothing Leg Gel, $30 for 100ml. To soothe tired feet, try Egg Essential Care Cooling Foot Rub, $23.90 for 175ml. Or use a foot soak like Earth Mama Angel Baby Earth Mama Happy Feet, $13.50 for 140gm. For aching muscles, get someone to give you a massage with Egg Essential Care Bath & Body Oil, $27.90 for 175ml, or add it to a warm bath.

To help fade stretch marks, try an anti-stretch mark product like: This Works Stretch Mark Oil, $108 for 120ml; Egg Essential Care Belly Butter, $19.90 for 100gm, or Earth Mama Angel Baby Earth Mama Stretch Oil, $41 for 129ml. There are some more suggestions for anti-stretch mark products on the post about products for pregnant women.

To help reduce the swelling associated with breastfeeding, try Earth Mama Angel Baby Earth Mama Booby Tubes, $39.50. Booby Tubes are a gel-free breast pack made with a 100% organic cotton shell and filled with all-natural flaxseed. They can be used warm or cold, heated or frozen. To support healthy milk production, drink Earth Mama Angel Baby Earth Mama Milkmaid Tea, $22.95 for 112g of loose tea leaves, or Weleda Nursing Tea, $18.50 for 40g (20 teabags).

For sore, cracked nipples, use a nipple cream like Earth Mama Angel Baby Earth Mama Nipple Butter, $24.50 for 60ml, Living Nature ‘Kekemama Nipple Ease Balm, $17.50 for 12ml, Weleda Nipple Care Cream, $11 for 10ml, or Mahu Nipple Cream, $8.95 for 50ml, and $16.95 for 100ml.

I know I’ve mentioned Earth Mama Angel Baby a lot in this post – they have such a great range of products! They also have a range of products for women who have lost a baby through miscarriage or stillbirth. I’m not sure if this range is available in New Zealand, but check it out here.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Happy Earth Day! New skincare range for men!

Happy Earth Day!

Men’s personal care brand Zirh has a new green range, Zirh Natural. The products are free from parabens, sulfates, fragrance, synthetic dyes, petro-chemicals and phtalates.

The products are:

Foams and gently cleanses skin to remove dirt and oil without dryness or irritation.

A nutritious blend of ingredients gently buffs dull surface skin for a smoother and brighter appearance.

Provides continuous moisture all day and restores skin tone.

Nourishing night cream that delivers intense moisture and protection and helps regenerate and restructure damaged skin to prevent signs of aging.

A renewing treatment that stimulates circulation and boosts protein production to help revive tired eyes.

Helps smooth and calm skin while shaving to protect against razor drag, burns, nicks and cuts. Clear gel formula creates a visible surface ideal for maintaining a precise shave.

Rich cream that calms skin while shaving with soothing aloe Vera, a powerful anti-inflammatory. Creates a slick surface that allows the razor to glide easily over the skin and protect against razor drag, burns, nicks and cuts.

Soothes and relieves freshly shaved skin, while maintaining moisture.

Also, in conjunction with the launch of the Zirh Natural line, ZIRH will donate 5% of all online sales during the month of April to The Elephant Sanctuary – a non-profit organisation that provides a safe haven for endangered African and Asian elephants. It is located on more than 2,700 acres of land outside of Nashville, Tennessee and is home to elderly, sick, or needy elephants in need of recovery from life in circuses or zoos.

Good to see a new natural skincare range for men, and a great organisation being supported! Check out the Zirh website -

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Product reviews: Products from Ikigai

I previously mentioned Ikigai, a great online organic skincare boutique. The people at Ikigai sent me some products to review. Here is what I got:

- Pangea Organics Egyptian Geranium with Adzuki Bean & Cranberry Facial Scrub (full size)
- Two 10ml sachets of John Masters Organics Lavender & Avocado Intensive Conditioner
- Two 10ml sachets of John Masters Organics Honey & Hibiscus Hair Reconstructor
- Two 10ml sachets of John Masters Organics Citrus & Neroli Detangler

I have heard good things about Pangea and John Masters products, so it was great to be able to try these products out. Here are the reviews:

Pangea Organics Egyptian Geranium with Adzuki Bean & Cranberry Facial Scrub

Packaging: A squeezy recyclable plastic tube with a flip-top cap in a cardboard box embedded with seeds – You can plant the box!
Price: AUD$39.95
Size: 110ml
Suitable for: All skin types
Available at: Ikigai website
Pros: Gentle, smells nice, generous size, plantable box!
Cons: None

Verdict: I have been using this weekly, and it is nice and gentle, but also effective. It leaves my skin feeling soft and smooth, and it smells good too. I think it is very cool that the box can be planted. I haven’t done this; I’ll have to get onto it. When it is planted, medicinal herbs will grow (the same herbs which are used in the product). Nice!

Note: The reviews for the haircare products give details of the price and packaging of the full size products; I tried the sample sachets.

John Masters Organics Lavender & Avocado Intensive Conditioner

Packaging: A squeezy recyclable plastic tube with a flip-top cap
Price: AUD$40.50
Size: 207ml
Suitable for: Dry hair
Available at: Ikigai website
Pros: Moisturising, non-greasy
Cons: None

Verdict: I have dry hair which tends to get frizzy, so this was really good for my hair. It says to leave it in for 1 – 5 minutes, and I left it in for about 2, which worked well.

John Masters Organics Honey & Hibiscus Hair Reconstructor

Packaging: A squeezy recyclable plastic tube with a flip-top cap
Price: AUD$51.60
Size: 118ml
Suitable for: Very dry, damaged or colour-treated hair
Available at: Ikigai website
Pros: Very moisturising, nice smell
Cons: None

Verdict: My hair is not colour-treated, but it is pretty dry, so using this helped give it some much-needed moisture. It is supposed to be left in for 2 – 4 minutes, and I usually left it in for around 2 minutes.

John Masters Organics Citrus & Neroli Detangler

Packaging: A recyclable plastic bottle
Price: AUD$29.99
Size: 236ml
Suitable for: Dry or fine hair
Pros: Very thick and moisturising, amazing smell
Cons: None

Verdict: The instructions say that this is to be left in for 1 – 3 minutes, but also that it makes an excellent leave-in conditioner. I used it as a leave-in conditioner. It is very thick, adds a lot of moisture to the hair, and smells very yummy!

Thanks to the people at Ikigai for sending me these great products! They came at just the right time, because I was almost out of face scrub, and my hair had been getting very dry, so using the John Masters products helped with that.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Shimmer products

There are quite a few shimmery mineral eye shadows around, like The Body Shop Nature’s Minerals Eye Colour, $25 (available in six colours), e.l.f Mineral Makeup Eye Shadow, $12.99 (available in twelve colours), and ChiChi Eye Dust, $18.99 (available in fifteen colours). Or try SHE Australia Dusting Powder, $12.99, available in eight colours. I think they would look great on eyes, but they can be used on the face and body as well.

To add shimmer to your face, try e.l.f Mineral Glow in Shimmer, $29.95, or Almay Pure Blends Loose Finishing Powder in Translucent Shimmer, $33 for 7.9g. For a shimmery body, use Linden Leaves Gold Shimmer Dust, $23.50 for 7g, Lush Glitterbug Iridescent, $14.50 for 30g, or Lush Shimmy Shimmy, $14.50 for 30g.

If you want to use a more subtle illuminating product, try Australis Perfection Brush On Mineral Illuminating Wand, $20.90, or Living Nature Illuminating Tint, $52.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Product reviews: Sustainable Youth® Technologies range

Sustainable Youth® Technologies is a new range of evidence-based organic, natural and green nutricosmetic, cosmeceutical and nutraceutical products. The company website explains everything a lot better than I am able to, so check it out:

Sustainable Youth® Technologies Immune Performance™ products all contain Alasta™, which is a propriety blend that contains Aloeride®. This is derived from aloe vera, and research has shown it can be a potent immune-stimulatory ingredient.

The company takes a holistic approach, healing from the inside out as well as using topical skincare. The products are free from animal-derived ingredients and animal testing, so no worries there for vegans. The people at Sustainable Youth sent me their products to try, and I am really liking them, so here are my reviews.

Immune Performance™ Elastifirm™ Supplement with Alasta™

Packaging: A small plastic jar with a plastic screw-on lid
Price: USD$65
Size: 60 capsules
Suitable for: All skin types, and the capsules are vegan also
Available at: Sustainable Youth® website
Pros: Vegan, small pills, no side effects
Cons: None

Verdict: The directions are to take one supplement in the morning and one at night. I have no trouble remembering to do this, because I already take medications at morning and night anyway, so I have been taking these regularly. They are only about a centimetre long and very easy to swallow.

Immune Performance™ Revitalizing Serum

Packaging: A plastic bottle with a pump-top and a clear plastic lid
Price: USD$80
Size: 30ml
Suitable for: All skin types:
Available at: Sustainable Youth® website
Pros: Non-greasy, smells nice, a little goes a long way

Verdict: Very nice! One of the first things I noticed was the serum smells sort of like ginger beer! It’s non-greasy and I don’t need to use too much of it, because a little goes a long way. It contains some really great natural ingredients, including Alasta™, Rice Extract, Green, and White and Rooibos Tea Extracts. I have not used a serum before and I like this one.

Immune Performance™ Elasticity Cream with Alasta™
Packaging: A plastic bottle with a pump-top and a clear plastic lid
Price: USD$80
Size: 30ml
Suitable for: All skin types:
Available at: Sustainable Youth® website
Pros: Non-greasy, nourishing, a little goes a long way
Cons: None

Verdict: Like the serum, a little goes a long way. This is a nice light moisturiser. It leaves my skin nourished, but not greasy. Makeup goes on smoothly over the top of it. I apply this after the serum. This moisturiser contains a long list of impressive natural ingredients such as Alasta™, Organic Olive Oil, Natural Jojoba Oil, Organic Sweet Almond Oil, Organic Shea Butter, and Green and White Tea Extracts.

The products are designed to be used together, and one of the first things I noticed was that my skin cleared up a lot. I had been getting a few pimples, nothing major, but still annoying. But after I started using the Sustainable Youth products, the pimples quickly went away within a few days, and my skin looks a lot better now. Also, my skin had previously been a bit dry and flaky (despite having had pimples), but it has improved a lot, and feels smooth and firm.

I am in my twenties, and I don’t have any signs of aging, but I do feel that my skin is in a better condition since I started using these products, and it definitely can’t hurt to start using anti-aging products. This is a very effective range of products, and I highly recommend them!