ATURA Collective

19 Oct 2017

*This post is sponsored by ATURA Collective*

ATURA Collective are an online boutique dedicated to natural and organic skincare. They stock a range of specially selected products from small batch suppliers all around the world. The store was founded by Jess, an Australian living in England who wanted to bring some of the amazing natural brands over to the UK. Jess spent her childhood in the beautiful Jarrah forest in the South West of Western Australia and it's here that the stunning scenery cemented her appreciation for all things natural.
ATURA Collective | This Natural Bee
A few of the brands stocked on ATURA include Byron Bay, Black Chicken, Willow Tree, Caim & Able and Skin Alchemists Apothecary. I had only heard of a couple of the brands on the store so it's definitely one to check out if you're looking for new discoveries from outside the UK.

I've been trying a few products from Black Chicken Remedies and Rohr Remedy over the last couple of months. Black Chicken was founded by Chey Birch after she began blending essential oil and therapeutic botanical extracts to create a natural remedy for her own irritated skin. The bowl she was mixing the ingredients in had a little black chicken on it, and soon the oil started to work on her skin condition. Friends began asking if she could bring ‘the black chicken’ to their homes and soon after, Black Chicken Remedies was born!

My favourite products from the range are the Love Your Face Serum, Balm of Ages and the Cleanse my Face oil. All of the products have quite a medicinal scent to them as they have ingredients like clove, sandalwood and arnica. This is true to the branding as the word "remedy" features in their name and is something that is extremely important to the brand - they want to create products that truly work, rather than just smell or look good.

I've also been incorporating the Lilly Pilly Moisturiser from Rohr Remedies into my routine as the weather's getting colder, my skin needs a little bit more than just a face oil. Emily Rohr is the founder who developed this skincare range after working closely with indigenous communities - she learnt many traditional bush remedies using native Australian plants and combining this with dermatological science, Rohr Remedies was born. The moisturiser is enriched with rice bran and macadamia oils which help to balance my skin and rose geranium, sandalwood and rose essential oils which give it a lovely scent and work together to nourish my skin but not overload it with moisture!
(Jess - founder of Atura in the Jarrah forest)

ATURA have a very strict ingredients policy for the products on their store and have an extensive list of ingredients to avoid when sourcing new products. They also have full ingredients lists on each product for complete transparency & honesty. It's always so frustrating when you go to buy a product online but it has little or no ingredients for you to look at - you can't tell whether it is truly natural or not however Atura never want this to be the case, so you'll be able to find all the details on every single product page.

Next I have my eye on the Caim & Able Magnesium Body Scrubs and the Byron Bay Exfoliate & Mask. They also have their "Indulgence Box" which would make the perfect gift for someone who loves natural & organic skincare.

Amber

Balm Balm Organic Skincare

17 Oct 2017

*This post was originally from the Love Lula Blog*

Balm Balm have added a few new products to their range and all of them are now available on Love Lula. It is a 100% Soil Association certified organic brand that makes simple yet effective products at a great price point.

The newest addition to the range is the Beauty Balm which is 100% organic. It is full of beautiful oils such as sunflower, rosehip, jojoba and borage, along with beeswax and shea butter. It's a really soft balm that melts down when you apply to the skin. It can be used as a cleanser, a moisturiser and an exfoliator when used with the muslin cloth that comes with it. The balm removes my makeup easily without leaving a greasy residue on the skin. However, I personally do prefer using a fluffy warm flannel to remove my makeup rather than the muslin cloth!

The uses don't stop there though. This balm can be used all-over: as a lip balm for soft lips, as a nourishing hand and nail balm. Or you can even do a little DIY by mixing it with some caster sugar and start exfoliating!

Another addition to their ever-growing line is the Little Miracle Rosehip Serum. Rosehip is a truly wonderful ingredient that is rich in antioxidants. This serum also has a blend of jojoba, borage oils along with essential oils of frankincense, rose geranium, palmarosa, juniper and mandarin. All of these organic ingredients work well to rejuvenate and moisturise your skin.

Balm Balm have also added a few body oils to the range. I have been using the Rose Geranium body oil, which is an organic blend of rose geranium, mandarin, lavender and ylang ylang. These essential oils help to release tension and are very relaxing. The essential oils are infused into a blend of evening primrose, peach kernel, rosehip and jojoba oils - nothing more. A truly simple yet effective oil that moisturises my skin and sinks in quickly.

Another addition to the range are body balms. There is even a fragrance-free option for those who have sensitive skin or may react to essential oils. There is also a Starter Kit, which is a great way of discovering the brand and a couple of Floral Water Hydrosols. Balm Balm's products are certified by the Soil Association, the UK's leading certifying body for organic skincare and food. Their ingredients are simple yet effective and the price point is great - a brand definitely worth checking out!

Amber

Isla Apothecary + Interview with Founder

15 Oct 2017

One of my favourite new brands to hit the green beauty scene has arrived at Love Lula and I'm so excited to share their products with you. Isla Apothecary was founded by Kate who designs, formulates and hand-blends all of the products in London in true apothecary fashion.

Isla Apothecary use only the finest raw, natural, organic and wild crafted ingredients and the products are formulated without animal-derived ingredients, parabens, phthalates, synthetic ingredients or preservatives.

I've already tried a few products from Isla Apothecary so I was excited to try some more from the range. There are products for body and face, ranging from masks and scrubs to oils and bath soaks. I have been using the Neroli Body Oil which is a truly beautiful oil. Neroli is one of my favourite scents in skincare, my skin absolutely loves it so I'm always drawn to products that have it in. It also has mandarin, petitgrain, patchouli and frankincense oils so the scent is quite floral but peppery at the same time.

A product I'm currently on my second pot of is the deliciously scented Blood Orange & Vanilla Sugar Scrub. It smells just like chocolate orange and it's an amazing scrub. It's not too harsh but it gets rid of dry skin and leaves my skin feeling so soft and moisturised. There's no need for a lotion or oil but I do sometimes treat my skin to the Neroli Body Oil afterwards if I'm having a bit of a pamper evening!

Onto face products and the newest addition to my collection is the Refine & Radiate Beautifying Face Mask. It has a simple ingredients list of just three powders; coconut milk, sandalwood and turmeric which you mix with water/honey or your cleanser to make into an amazing bright orange mask. The day after I use this, I wake up and my skin feels so soft and it looks plump and clear. The scent is also amazing - it's sort of like a creamy curry which sounds odd but it's so, so nice!
 
Rather than proclaim my love for Isla Apothecary in this whole entire post, I thought it would be nice to hear from founder, Kate, about her amazing brand & products.

Hi Kate, thank you for joining me on this post for the Love Lula blog. Let’s start off by introducing Isla Apothecary to the readers – tell us about your brand and why you started?

Hi Amber, thank you for having me :-). So yes, I launched the brand at the end of 2015, and the range consists mainly of body care products, with some facial and hair products, all with natural and organic ingredients at their heart.
Starting it was really a case of several factors converging at the right time, but I suppose the precursor to creating the range was years of experimentation and fascination with all sorts of natural ingredients and methods that came from my frustration with some persistent skin maladies, and a desire for simple but effective self-care rituals. Whilst I was increasingly drawn to the realm of natural, I was also rejecting that narrative of having a complex skin care regimen consisting of products whose contents I had no idea about, and that I accepted weren't right for me.

I’m a big fan of your products – I’ve tried quite a few from the range now! Which is the most popular?
Thank you! The Neroli Body Oil has been a pretty big hit since day one. It packs four nourishing and skin-soothing oils and has a blend of five essential oils. People seem to take to the aroma immediately, which I would describe as heady, romantic, and nostalgia-inducing. People have found lots of different uses in it too, from a facial oil to a perfume alternative, which I love hearing about.

Neroli is one of my favourite scents! Your packaging is simply stunning – so different from anything else on the green beauty market. How did you decide on the copper look?
Thank you, again :-) Looking back, deciding on the packaging was one of the bigger challenges and I definitely took my time with it. I had a minimalist aesthetic in mind with regards to the design, but I was looking to do something with the colour of the label itself. I wanted it to feel special, playful, different, and I am drawn to copper. When I think of copper, I think alchemy, balance, harmony, healing and cleansing. All of which actually reflect the ethos behind the products. Having a shiny, copper label was a light bulb moment but I wasn’t sure if it was possible to do. When I found out that it was, I just went for it!

What is your personal favourite product from the range?
One of my favourite things to do in the mornings is to use a body scrub or a dry brush. I consistently find myself reaching for the Coffee + Cinnamon Body Polish, which I use around twice a week. The crispness of the coffee and warmness of the cinnamon first thing, I love, and it suits my skin type. A few drops of Immortelle Scar + Blemish Oil massaged into my face at night has transformed my skin from reactive to resilient. Also, the recently released Jasmine Sunset Radiance Body Oil is a current fave as I'm pale. I don’t have a huge amount of patience for sunbathing, and it’s a lovely alternative to fake tan. It really gives just a subtle amount of colour and a warm glow, and smells gorgeous. Sorry, I picked three! Is that allowed??

Yes, that's totally allowed! It would be hard for me to pick just one myself too. And finally, last but not least - do you have any plans for future products?

Yes! I am working on an exciting collaboration for a limited edition product in time for Christmas. And beyond that, there will be a couple of products added to the range by Spring 2018, which have been in testing since early this year.

Thank you for joining me on this blog post Kate! You can view the full Isla Apothecary range at Love Lula here.

Amber


Tried & Tested: Toners

12 Oct 2017

I love using toners. There are so many different types with a variety of ingredients that are suited to hydrate skin, or tighten it. I love having a few toners open at a time that all have different effects on the skin, so I can reach for the one that my skin needs the most.



Bodhi & Birch Rosa Rosa
One of my most hydrating toners, this rose-infused toner is one I reach for if my skin is looking a little bit lack-lustre and dry. Definitely one to try if you have dry skin that's in need of moisture but it does also work with my blemish-prone skin as it calms spots and redness (as you can see it's pretty much empty!).

Indie Lee CoQ-10 Toner
This is one of the most refreshing toners in my collection and is lovely to use to freshen up & brighten my skin. It's alcohol free and has aloe vera and cucumber which soothe and hydrate skin. It smells amazing and this is my second bottle - a firm favourite out of all the natural toners I've ever tried. This is one I use on a cotton pad so I like using it after cleansing or in the mornings to freshen up my skin.

Tropic Skincare Pore Refining Mist
I reach for this one if I have a few spots or blemishes. Whilst it has cucumber and aloe vera that are hydrating, it also has extracts of aspen bark and cranberry that help to balance my skin.

AS.AP Orange Blossom Aromatic Water
Amanda kindly gifted me this when I visited AS.Apothecary back at the beginning of the year and I've been loving it. I love how long-lasting it is because it has such great pump - it sprays out as such a fine mist and it's lovely to use. The scent is incredible - you can tell Amanda chooses the best ingredients to go inside - the orange blossom is actually gathered and distilled in Cyprus each year by Amanda & her team.

Therapi Honey Orange Blossom
I love Therapi's toners as they're so natural that they're actually edible. My skin loves orange blossom so it's only natural that I would be drawn to this toner. I have previously used the Lemon Myrtle one which is amazing for blemish-prone skin however as I'm getting older I'm finding that I don't get as many spots that often now so I reach for more balancing toners. I would say I either need Therapi's or AS.AP's and it would be very difficult to choose!


Amber
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