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17 Sep 2014

Organic September | Beauty

Organic Beauty As you may be already aware September is Organic Month whereby this is a time where we can celebrate and indeed promote all things organic. Organic products don't just refer to some of the things we eat at our table as food, clothing and of course beauty products can all fit within this category.

I'm in no way shape or form an expert when it comes to organic products as in all honesty I'm a bit fifty fifty when it comes to shopping for new beauty products as it isn't something I automatically look for. That's not to say I don't look for them as I have increasingly become more interested in what is on offer to us, I've also noticed that there are more organic brands around than I was aware of which makes shopping for organic beauty much more interesting.

Not all companies that claim to offer organic products are certified by official bodies such as the Soil Association and EcoCert however from what I can tell this doesn't mean that they're not organic; they're just not officially certified. Overall I think that in those situations it is generally down to the consumer if they want to buy it or not, having said that it is nice to have the confidence that accreditation with those bodies provides. Independent certification from these bodies helps to provide confidence to customers so that they know that the products that they are purchasing are made with high levels of organic ingredients that are free from synthetic ingredients that are strictly prohibited within certified organic products.

Unfortunately there are companies which can label their products organic even if they have used as little as 1% organic ingredients, so this is something to bear in mind if indeed you are wanting to be more select in your beauty purchases. The reason they can do is that there are currently no legal standards set in motion which determine whether a product is organic or contains enough organic ingredients to be able to be marketed as so.

Due to this the Cosmetics Organic Standard (COSMOS) has been set up which is internationally recognised for setting a standard for organic and natural cosmetics. Digging around for this information had me slightly confused at one point however in a nut shell there are two types of beauty product, those being products that contain over 95% organic ingredients and those that contain 70-95%. A product can only be called organic within the product name if it contains 95% or more organic ingredients of which water is excluded. Of course there are products out there that require higher quantities of preservatives which do reduce the organic content within a product. In that case if a product contains at least 70% organic ingredients where water once again is excluded then they will be certified however they are not allowed to use organic within the product name and must also state the percentage of organic ingredients used.

Choosing organic products therefore can be a bit tricky and does somewhat remind me of my hunt for cruelty free options two years ago. My personal view of both of those matters really boils down to how you as an individual interpret organic and indeed cruelty free, they are subjects to read around and then decide for yourself.

Useful sites are mentioned above whereby there is considerably more in depth information that is explained much better than I could ever do. To me this is an extremely interesting topic to research considering what my educational background is therefore I hope you enjoyed it and learnt a little more about organic products.

15 Sep 2014

My Exfoliation Story Part 1

Physical Exfoliation

Exfoliation these days is a lot different to how it used to be, well, it is as far as I'm concerned. Upon reflection my skincare habits have changed drastically ever since I started running this blog where of course I have learnt a few do's and don'ts along with a few tips on the way.

Whilst physical exfoliation and chemical exfoliation are quite topical at the moment I have therefore decided to split this post into two as I do use both methods each week within my skincare routine. There are as you will find some products that I prefer over others whereby it's worth remembering that what may work for me may not necessarily work for you and visa verca.

Physical exfoliation was for me all I was aware of when it came down to buffing those dead skin cells away each week. Those rather gritty products may have felt as though they were working a treat at the time and yet it is only now that I have become more aware as to how harsh they really can be on our skin. 

One of the products that immediately jumped to my mind when I thought about physical exfoliation was the St Ives Apricot Scrub which I purchased over a year ago. This was a product that I had read a lot about before I tried it therefore I had purchased it with high hopes. Upon using this scrub however I immediately felt the rather large and almost sharp shell pieces which at the time made me think I was giving my skin a really good clean when in fact I was just using a product that was far too harsh for my delicate skin. I remember using this and afterwards seeing a bright red face in the mirror, needless to say I have only used this twice in my life whereby I'm sorry to say I won't be using it again. In truth I had kept this under the bathroom cupboard for some of my family members to try yet it has only been by reading more information on exfoliation in particular that I have decided to get rid of this completely.

A much more gentle option comes in the form of the Good Things Deep Clean Blackhead Exfoliator which for me used to provide me with a light exfoliation without being harsh on my skin. There isn't a huge amount I can say about this product in particular as I think it's a nice affordable option to include within your skincare routine once a week or so. I have found myself moving onto other things since trying out Good Things briefly in the past however I do remember really enjoying their creamy cleanser which I do believe was aimed at younger skin than my own at the time although it did the job well.

Moving on to my favourite of the three I have featured is the REN Rosa Centifolia Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser* which to this day remains my first choice when it comes to physical exfoliation. As the name would suggest this is a gentle cleanser with a really fresh minty scent to it (thumbs up) which for me makes it an extremely pleasant product to use once or twice a week. Out of the three this one has received a dedicated review to it in the past whereby you can read that here if you desire. 

For me I have realised that exfoliation doesn't have to be so harsh on your skin as for some reason when I was younger I was under the mind-set that the rougher the product was the better the results would be. All you're aiming to do is to carefully remove that dead layer of skin cells; you don't need to go at your face with a cheese grater. 

13 Sep 2014

Tom Ford Cherry Lush Lipstick

Tom Ford Cherry Lush Tom Ford Cherry Lush Lipstick

Just over two weeks ago I attended the Perfecting Beauty Event at Selfridges Birmingham whereby after a pure stroke of luck I found myself coming away with a sample of the Tom Ford Lipstick in the shade Cherry Lush. This was for me like finding the sack of money at the end of a rainbow as whilst I had being gazing at the beautiful products at the Tom Ford counter I did feel as though they were out of my price range, therefore on the night I didn't go for anything despite so many things catching my eye.

I'll start off with the price of this lipstick which is for me more often than not the determining factor in whether I end up buying something or sadly putting it back. At £37 these are the most expensive lipsticks that I have personally ever come across. They are without a doubt something that I would have to think long and hard about and then some before I handed over my cash. Quickly getting over that painful fact let's move onto the lipstick itself where as you can see the packaging and shade is pretty divine. A black case with gold outlining detail along with an embossed TF on the top of the lid makes this certainly stand out against my other lipsticks. 

When you initially look at this in the bullet it does come across as quite a vampire red (if that makes sense) however on the lips it really does have more of a cherry tone to it as the name suggests. There are pink tones coming through this quite strongly when applied onto my lips which makes it very unique to the other red shades that I have within my collection; of course lipsticks can and do tend to look different on everyone so it's always worth trying out in store, particularly if you're thinking of buying an expensive product.

I can quite categorically say that this transfers onto cups very easily and doesn't seem to hold up well against chocolate spread on toast, however in the defence of the lipstick I wasn't very patient as I had my toast within ten minutes of applying this. After around three hours on me the intensity of the shade does wear down however wear is very even and it still looks really nice if I do say so myself. Pigmentation as you would expect with such a product is truly incredible and application is nothing short of a dream. The creamy texture enhanced by soja seed extract, chamomillia flower oil and Brazilian murumuru butter makes this one of the nicest textures that I have tried thus far.

Overall I have to say that yes I'm now hooked on this lipstick, but as to whether I would go out and spend just shy of £40 on one that is still left to be said. There is no denying that it is beautiful and makes me feel oh so special when I use it yet I know deep down that I don't think I can justify it just yet, especially when my lipstick stash is already somewhat out of control.


11 Sep 2014

The Secrets of Blogging Tag

The Secrets of Blogging Tag 
Tags are generally something I like to do every now and then as they make me feel like I did when I first started out blogging. Who else got super excited when they had been tagged in something? I know I did. The beautiful Claudia from Beauty and the Chic tagged me to take part in The Secrets of Blogging Tag of which you will find my answers below; thank you Claudia!

When did you start blogging and why?

It's funny to think that come next March I will have been blogging for three whole years whereby I can safely say it has been one of the best things that I have done. I started blogging because from others that I had stumbled upon I had gained a real sense of passion and interest by those that were writing about skincare and make up. Don't get me wrong I had only read a few at the time over one evening yet all I could think about the next day whilst at work was creating my own when I got home that night.

I guess deep down I wanted my own little space on the internet where I too could share my interests with others. If somebody had told me that I would be sitting here over two years later still writing it I truly wouldn't have believed them.

How many people in real life know about your blog?

At first I did keep it to myself other than from a few friends at university and then eventually showed my mum a few months later. To be honest it wasn't until last month when I finally mentioned it on my own personal Facebook page where my friends and the rest of my family would be able to see it and hear about it straight from the horse's mouth. It's only after two years (and more) that I can finally say that most people now know about my blog however it did take me a while to pluck up the courage and make it known to them.

What are your favourite posts to read?

In general I don't have a favourite type of post to read as I enjoy a variety of content to delve into depending on my mood at that particular time. Hauls are always fun however I do really enjoy reading individual product reviews, especially if it is on a product that has been hyped up in the past as I like to know people's opinions on them and if indeed they are worth the hype.

List a blog you discovered recently?

One of the most recent blogs I have discovered is Lipsticks with Some Sunshine which is written by Tamira. In truth I have no idea why I'm so late to the game in discovering her blog however I'm so glad I finally have. Being a huge fan of monochrome I couldn't help but be pulled into the content being produced on her blog; it's pretty fantastic and worth checking out if you have a spare moment,

Which posts are you most proud of?

I find this a hard question to answer as I'm not entirely sure which posts I could choose for this. After all I rarely delve into my personal life and find it a bit hard to feel overly proud about a beauty post, despite the effort I put into them. For me after delving back into the archives I would have to say that one of my proudest posts would be 'In the Spotlight' where my blog and I were featured within Blogosphere Magazine. That for me was quite a surreal moment and one which to this day still amazes me that I was given such a wonderful opportunity.

Which advice would you give future bloggers?

In all honesty blogging is a working progress where I even now after two and a half years find myself learning new things every single day. The only real advice I could give would be to blog about what you find interesting whether it is beauty products, travelling, fitness or even woodwork if that floats your boat. The readers will come in time so don't worry about the numbers, just focus on your enjoyment.

I tag Megan, Amy, Chaitra and Latasha

9 Sep 2014

Nourish Skin Care

Nourish Skincare

Readers over here on A Little Boat Sailing will know that as much as I love my make up and fall in love rather quickly with pretty packaging it will always be skincare that comes as a priority to me.  After all your make up will always look ten times better if it is applied to skin that is looked after well. A little while a go now I was kindly sent the Nourish Balance Starter Beauty Collection* which is a starter set aimed at those with a combination skin type. Nourish has been a brand that I have stumbled upon more than once before whilst looking for more natural and organic skincare, therefore if this is something that interests you it may be worth having a look at too.

The brand uses biodegradable ingredients and plant extracts that are obtained through organic farming. Being certified through the Vegan Society as well as being cruelty free and organic it is most certainly a brand that clearly focuses on its ethics. Within the starter set there are four products of which you will find the Balance Detoxifying Cleanser, Balance Refining Toning Mist, Balance Nutritious Peptide Serum and the Balance Essential Moisturiser. The whole range smells like apples and pears to me which is really nice and is quite the contrast to the more citrus scents that I tend to go for as these are much more soothing in my personal opinion.

First up the Balance Detoxifying Cleanser is a light weight cleanser which can be used to gently remove make up and offer that first cleanse to the skin. Personally I'm generally not a fan of milk cleansers as I tend to like something a bit more heavy duty however this was quite a nice change to my usual routine and provided quite a nice experience overall. I would recommend a dedicated eye make up remover with this though as I did find that it struggled to remove my eye make up in comparison to foundation for example. You could of course use this as a second cleanse therefore it's up to you how you use it. According to the directions you should use this with a cotton pad however that's something I never do, I'm a water and cleanser kind of gal.

The Balance Refining Toning Mist for me was probably the stand out product here as I found this so incredibly refreshing and light on the skin. I would use this after I had cleansed whereby its aim would be to balance the skin pH and also close the pores all whilst preparing the skin for the next stage in the skincare routine. I can't really comment if it helped to close my pores as I didn't really see a visual difference, it did however feel really nice and smelt lovely too.

For me the Balance Nutritious Peptide Serum was a bit of a let-down as whilst it did leave my skin looking quite healthy and balanced I found that it made my skin really quite sticky. To be honest I really couldn't cope with that feeling as it just didn't feel very nice sadly and made applying the moisturiser really hard because it just didn't want to sink into my skin at all. I felt as though the moisturiser was left sitting on top of the serum not doing much at all leaving my skin feeling a bit wet.

Eventually I did decide to leave out the serum and use the moisturiser alone which made a world of a difference in terms of experience. The moisturiser was able to sink into my skin a lot better leaving it soft and hydrated without feeling too greasy. I did find that a little does go quite a long way with this moisturiser so you won't need as much as you initially do think.

My first experience with Nourish has been a bit hit and miss although I would say I'm leaning towards quite a positive review as three out of the four products worked really well for me. 

Nourish skincare and of course other exciting brands can be purchased from Liv.