January 6, 2015

Recent artworks: small landscapes

Two French countryside landscapes inspired by my own memories.

Spring time in Rhône-Alpes

 Acrylic on canvas, 4" x 6" (10,5 x 15,5 cm)


Summer time in Rhône-Alpes

Acrylic on canvas, 4" x 6" (10,5 x 15,5 cm)

Buy this on Etsy 


January 4, 2015

My favorite organic lip balms (Part 2)

Happy 2015 !
Here goes the latest portion of my favorite lipbalms:

Caudalie lip conditioner 
from the 'Moisture Essential set'

This lip conditioner, first of all, smells lovely. Just like another product of this brand that I've tried, so I guess it's their signature scent. The scent is very light and gentle but up close it's there - somehow fruity - I guess grapes with some citruses. The moisturizing power is about medium, it is one of the harder, waxy types, but good enough for me. Will not melt easily.

This probably sells only as a part of a set. I got mine gifted to me, but as far as I know, you can get it from Caudalie website or specialty spas.
UPDATE 02/2015: This lipbalm is available at UK-based store naturisimo.com with free intl' shipping.

My rating: 4/5

Hurraw Balm

Yeah! Finally I got my hands on these and I'm in love. Pictured are mint (green) and coconut (brown), but I've had a vanilla too. Well, these must be the best lipbalms I have ever tried. I just love the oily-buttery softness, how it instantly melts on my lips, how divinely they all smell and are made of raw, organic or wildcrafted goodness. And they are vegan! Go get some !

My rating: 5/5

To see all my lipbalm posts, go to http://art-and-beauty-by-maggielet.blogspot.com.es/search/label/lip%20balm


May 3, 2014

April 26, 2014

SWATCHES: Silk Naturals (under eye) concealers

Silk Naturals 'Sleep In A Jar' - powdered concealer in Light Peach and Medium Peach, HD cream peach concealer in shade 30.
Compared to Silk Naturals HD cream foundations in G30 and G40.

Pictured are all sample jars except for the first one which is a full size jar.

Shade G40 is my face match (the last dab in the picture). And I pair it with the cream concealer in shade 30 (top right in the picture).

March 24, 2014

SWATCHES: Silk Naturals HD Cream Foundation

Silk Naturals came up with HD cream foundations in stick tubes. They are mineral based and in my opinion really good, meaning smooth and with a pretty good coverage. Here are my swatches from the samples. Swatched on the underside of my forearm.

G40 is my year round match (comparable to Lucy Minerals' Creamy Olive or Creamy Bisque), although I'd be G50 when well tanned in the summer. The G's go for GOLDEN meaning yellow undertone. Otherwise they make neutral and cool tones too:

Here's the full size. So portable and travel friendly!

It is recommended to apply on skin straight off the tube and blend with a damp sponge (the cosmetic expandable drop shaped type) or a brush. I just use a finger to blend so far, but I'd try it with the sponge once I get my hands on one.

December 26, 2013

Recommendation: Handmade earrings

I present you this unique jewelry handmade in France by my friend Sophie who runs her shop: Les Jumelles .
New creations added regularly. If you share the taste or have that unique friend to treat with a gift, here's an idea!

Check out 'Les Jumelles' at alittlemarket.com

November 4, 2013

My favorite mint balms

If you're a fan of chest rubs, minty ointments, cooling lipbalms or suffer from painful dry nose when having a cold, read on.

These are my two favorite all natural balms, which I mostly use on my nose when feeling dry. Well, eucalyptus does a nose good, sick or not.

Baume respiration (Respiration balm) by Biofloral
35ml in a screw-lid tin

It's shea butter based, vegan, 100% organic (certified), besides eucalyptus and peppermint contains plenty of other essential oils (lemon, cinnamon, lavender, rosemary, clove, thyme, silver fir etc) and feels quite strong, which I love.

Aromatic chest rub by Badger
21g / 0.75oz in a (nail breaking) press-on lid tin

This one is olive oil and beeswax based, feels less concentrated in essential oils and therefore more gentle. USDA certified organic. Besides eucalyptus and peppermint contains essential oils of ravintsara, tangerine, ginger, tea tree etc.

Both of them are quite hard to scoop out with a finger, that's why I use back of a nail if I want more than just a tiny bit. Once on skin, they melt instantly. They stand up to extreme heat without going any bad or changed. I don't believe they would do much as a chest rub but both are very usable as a lipbalm or wrist rub for aromatherapy.

November 3, 2013

Truly natural alternative to vaseline

Its called Care Jelly made by Handmade Naturals (UK).

Ingredients: Virgin Organic Olive Oil, Virgin Organic Shea Butter, Organic Calendula Infused in Organic Sunflower Oil, Essential Oils of Lavender, Geranium & Manuka.
(But note there is no apparent organic certification)

Comes in a glass jar of 60ml (2oz)

What can I say, it's just like petroleum jelly. Looks like it, feels like it, but! this is made from plant ingredients and has healing properties, contains shea butter, packed with vitamins A, E and F and it's vegan too.
I've never been a fan of petroleum jelly, but hubby is, so I got this for him to use instead of vaseline. And guess what, he loves it, and he likes how it smells too.
My rating: 5/5

More reviews from Handmade Naturals coming, they make some wonderful stuff!

July 14, 2013

Random cool stuff: Hunky billboard

A billboard in my city, with Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx in one place ! 

 Makes my day everytime.

June 9, 2013

Review: My favorite cream deodorants

Yes, my favorite type of deodorant is a cream in a jar. As natural and effective as it gets. No aluminum, no alum, no alcohol, no water, no harsh chemicals. Just oils and butters, fine clays, essential oils and sometimes baking soda in a pasty consistency inside of a handy reusable jar. The best part of it - you can add up and blend in your own ingredients! Or you can try to make your very own deodorant inspired by the ingredients of these products.

Here are my top 3 right now:

1. Face Naturals - Grapefruit & Bergamot Cream Deodorant

I adore the scent (I'm a citrus fan), has drier pasty consistency. To apply, I blend it with something oily (say body butter) to avoid crumbling. Works great.
My rating: 5/5

2. Soapwalla - Deodorant Cream

Has a kind of herbal smell (tea tree and lavender is something I dislike but it has some citrus too and the scent is just faint so it's all good).
The strongest and most powerful to keep you smell-free all day out of the three I mention here. I blend in some melted shea butter or coconut oil because by itself it tends to irritate and dry my skin.
My rating: 4/5

3. Bubble & Bee - Pit Putty Cream in Geranium Lime 

Feels more creamy and buttery comparing to the other two. I'm not a fan of geranium but I prefer this scent to the rest they have, and I have tried most (not the newest vanilla though, which could be a new fave..). The product has a fancier labeling now. Works great as well.
My rating: 4/5

Random fun stuff: Lava lamp fun

Some creative boredom ....

June 8, 2013

My favorite watch

Its Timex T2N445 (model of 2012). A golden case with white strap.

Features 30 Swarovski crystals

Genuine leather on the inside of the straps

Fits any wrist size, ticks really quiet, time easy read, thin design, smooth rounded edges, pretty bling when sunlight hits it. Simple yet stunning.

May 28, 2013

Welcome to Madrid #4 : Would you eat that?

This is an on board plane food. It's a ham and cheese sandwich. (Gotta loooove ham and cheese as a true Spaniard....) With a rather impressive ingredients list.  

It's written all in Spanish, but even if you don't speak it, you get the idea of what delicious mix we got here:
Total count of E's mentioned: 26
I see 6 stabilizers, 6 emulsifiers, 5 preservatives, 6 antioxidants, 3 colorants and of course some aromas and flavour enhancers, just to name the interesting stuff.

Well, no, I didn't eat that! And not because it's not vegetarian (the ham was removable lol), but dont wanna kill myself just yet...

May 13, 2013

Review: Lavera Sensitive with SPF

My thoughts: Too waxy. Even in super hot weather still too hard for my liking. The Titanium Dioxide doesn't visibly whiten upon application, but some hours later there are white patches on my lips. And it's only SPF 5 with Titanium Dioxide being ingredient nr7. Not very moisturising either, my lips feel dry after a while.

I use it for sunny days but like to layer some Silk Naturals lippie on top.
No significant smell. Lots of good ingredients but the makers should cut half of the waxes and butters and change for oils.
My rating: 2/5

May 2, 2013

Truth seeking: North Korea Exposes the Western Propaganda

Full length documentary film of 1h 35mins really worth watching from beginning to the end.
As always, thinking for yourself highly encouraged.

April 24, 2013

April 20, 2013

Dying my hair black with henna

This is my natural hair color, a very dark brown:

And as I like it more black, but I want to avoid harsh chemical hair colors, I tried the "black" henna.
Btw my favorite conventional dye used to be L'oreal Casting Creme Gloss in "ebony black" some years ago. A nice natural black, not a bluish black. Now I refrain from this toxic stuff.
First henna I used was a prepacked powdered mix of henna and indigo herbs (Lawsonia inermis and Indigofera tinctoria) that I got here. This henna powder felt  somewhat grainy, not finely milled. I used 2 packs of 100g each for my long hair.That's about 6 per coloring.
My experience: I mixed very hot water with the powder, added a few drops of lemon and applied. The application was A LOT more messy than expected. I kept it under shower cap and a towel for 2 hours. I shampooed it right away (no sulfates). It washed out purplish-blue water.

My hair got visibly darker (to me anyway, not that anyone actually noticed), and lightly covered my grays. But it felt oh so dry and brittle when combing because I didn't use any oil in the mixture. 
I haven't had used any silicone stuff on my hair for some time prior to this coloring, but I moisturized my hair with coconut oil two washes ahead. I didn't notice any change in shine or condition of my hair after this dying.

Another one that I used 3 months later, was SANTE's powdered hair color. This one according to ingredients list contains two different indigoes and no henna herb. But it looks the same like the previous one, a green herb powder. Felt finer milled than the previous one. I got this with discount, but regular price was about 8. I managed to use one box of 100g for one dye job.
My experience: I mixed very hot water with this powder and added about 2 spoonfuls of coconut oil.
I kept it under shower cap (was inside the box) and a towel for 3 hours.
Application and also the washing was a bit easier due to the oil content. It left my hair greasy but I shampooed only on the next day (no sulfates). This one washed out green water :)
The result was about the same like the
previous henna. The blackness has mostly washed out since then so now I got it blacker again.

My result color:

Looks darker than my natural color, black-brown,
in direct sunlight it's a deep coffee brown as opposed to reddish brown of my natural color.
Same results achieved with both products.
Worth the mess and price? Hard question.
Hopefully it does my hair good at least.

Close-ups of a before completely white hair now irregularly colored from henna:

Read fortune from my palm
anyone? lol

Things to remember: 
*Use natural (and preferably sulphate free) shampoo and silicone free conditioner at least for 2 washes before using henna so it can adhere to the hair. Otherwise it won't.
*Use small amount of oil (preferably jojoba or coconut) in the mixture, it will condition the hair during the dye job but won't seal off the color like silicones do.

Based on positive reviews, I plan to try the "Caca Noir" from Lush. In that case I will add up and update this review.