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May 10, 2017

How to make your mum feel special (and look younger too)

How to make your mum feel special (and look younger too)

I’m a Mum. As much as I love my kids I know that it’s not often that they make me feel more relaxed and reduce the amount of wrinkles I have. But today I’m giving you all you need to know to give a little bit back to your Mum and maybe make up for a couple of wrinkles you added during your teen years.

This year for Mother’s Day show a little appreciation for everything she’s done (and does).

Give your Mum a Facial

At home, DIY facials are an easy and special way to pamper your Mum on Mother’s Day. You may not have all the equipment of her favourite salon but that doesn’t matter. The idea is to make her feel relaxed and special.

My 10 year old daughter and I made this video so you can see just how easy it is to do.

 

Set up her Day Spa

Take your cues from some of the beautiful sanctuaries you’ve seen or visited. A beautiful bunch of fresh flowers, or a living plant, a clean, calm room (no messy junk rooms please!) with some soothing music playing. Consider what type of music your mum loves. Traditionally, classical or ambient music gets played in these scenarios but if she’s a rock goddess there’s no harm in playing her favourite ACDC tune in the background. It’s about showing her that you know and love her for who she is!

Set up a place where you can sit by her head, perhaps a comfy sofa or sideways across her bed.

I strongly suggest you try this with a salon-quality organic beauty brand - Nivea is not going to cut it this time.

Gather a cleanser, exfoliator, face mask, activating lotion, serum and moisturiser (or gift them to her for an even more luxurious treat). You’ll need a bowl of warm water, some facial cloths, cotton rounds and small towels.

To make sure she’s as comfortable as possible you might also want some pillows, cushions and blankets.

How to Start

Invite your Mum to lie down and make herself comfortable using the pillows and blankets to make sure she’s warm and supported. It’s a good idea to put a pillow under her knees especially if she has back problems.

1. Cleanse

Once she’s settled wet your hands in the bowl of water and put a small amount of cleanser in the palm of your hand. Gently rub your palms together and apply the cleanser to your Mum’s face.

If you need more water to help the cleanser smooth on, just dip your hand in the water bowl again. Gently cover her whole face (avoiding the eye area) with cleanser using smooth, fluid strokes and massage for 2 - 3 minutes.

Now is a good time to apply a warm damp towel to help the cleanser do it’s job. Drape it in a circle around her face, leaving a breathing hole around her nose. Leave for up to 5 minutes (side note: its a good idea to tell Mum what’s going on as you go through the facial. You don’t need a running commentary but a bit of warning before you put a hot towel on her face might avoid Mother/Daughter tensions later!)

After 5 minutes start removing the cleanser in long upward strokes. Use a warm, damp face cloth. Avoid the eye area and try not to pull the skin - just nice gentle relaxing movements. Switch to damp cotton rounds to swipe lightly and gently across the eyes, moving from the nose outwards. Remove any last trace of cleanser.

2. Exfoliate

Apply the exfoliator gently in circular motions, avoiding her eye area. I recommend a fruit acid exfoliator that doesn't have grainy bits as it’s a lot more pleasant to work with and comfortable for Mum.

Put a small amount of exfoliator onto a cotton round and gently wipe over her face. Again, avoid the eye area.

After 1 minute wash off all traces of exfoliant with a damp cloth or round. 

3. Face Mask

Now Mum’s skin is clean and ready for the next stage - a Face Mask.

Depending on your Mum’s skin type she might need a clay based mask (to remove impurities and give a deep clean) or a cream based mask (to plump and smooth the skin by putting vital nutrients in)

You can apply the mask you’ve chosen with your fingers or with a flat brush. Apply a generous layer all over the face (you guessed it, avoiding the eyes). Leave on for 10 minutes. This can be a good time to paint Mum’s nails or let her rest with a good magazine. Despite what you’ve seen in movies, cucumbers are optional!

After 10 minutes gently remove the face mask by using a cotton cloth to wash is off with warm water. (Refill your water bowl at each stage with fresh warm water.)

4. Activating Lotion

This stage puts even more nutrients into Mum’s skin and prepares it to receive the benefits of the moisturiser. Choose the best Activating Lotion for Mum’s skin (Softening or Balancing) and dampen a cotton pad and gently wipe over Mum’s face.

5. Serum or Concentrate

At this stage Mum’s skin is ready to soak up all the goodness we can give her. A serum or concentrate is a great way to give a super boost of nutrients. Think of it like a vitamin table for the skin. A serum or concentrate usually focusses on improving a specific problems, so choose one based on her main area of concern - fine lines 7 wrinles, sagging or dull skin.

One small drop is usually enough. Gently spread it over her face and let is absorb.

6. Moisturise

Use Mum’s favourite moisturiser and apply a thin layer all over her face. If she doesn’t have a favourite (or she’s still using a supermarket brand) get her a high quality, organic moisturiser. My favourite at the moment is Naturalmente’s Lifting Cream. Great for anyone over 30.

7. And finally, Eye Cream

Now you can finally apply something to Mum’s eye area!

Gently use your ring finger to dab a tiny amount of eye cream all around Mum’s eye area. Something like the Breathe Timeless Eye Mask is great because you can use it as an eye mask as well as a daily eye cream.

You’re finished. But don’t forget to tell Mum how much you appreciate her!

If your Mum isn’t the sort who’d appreciate a facial what about these ideas:

  • Paint her nails
  • Help her finish a project
  • Go for a walk and chat
  • Window shopping (or real shopping) in her favourite boutique shopping area

What about if you’re the Mum?

If you’re a Mum and you’d like to experience a facial on Mother’s Day why not get your kids on board? Lexie & I had a great time and she a did a fantastic job. My skin felt amazing afterwards!

If your kids are too young (or you don’t think it would be very relaxing😏) try taking turns with your best friend or sister to give each other a facial. Who knows, it might become more than a once a year Mother’s Day treat!

And if all else fails you can absolutely use this guide to give yourself a facial…because all Mum’s know that sometimes we just want a little peace and quiet for Mother’s Day.

Happy Mother’s Day!

If you’d like to know more about any of the organic skincare products we used visit our online boutique 

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March 14, 2017

How to make the most of your beauty time

How to make the most of your beauty time

I’m standing next to a couple of girls in their 20s who are talking about how they use coconut oil for everything – to moisturise their faces, as a mask for their hair, to moisturise their lips. They love how it’s cheap and easy to get and it’s awesome in every way.

And I smile and nod.

Then, in the same week three more people ask me if it’s ok to use coconut or rosehip oil as their total skincare routine.

 And of course it is, but there’s more to the story than that. You can do better. 

More is More

This is one situation when more is definitely more. 

Single ingredient skincare is convenient because you only have to apply one product, and it’s usually cheaper then more complicated skincare formulas... but you are missing out!

If the 20-somethings had asked my opinion this is what I would have said: When you buy skincare products such as moisturiser or cleanser there have usually been hundreds if not thousands of hours devoted to developing the best product for the job. 

Now, some companies are happy to use petroleum derived, chemically souped up wonder products because the immediate results are noticeable and the cost of the ingredients are low. 

Others, like Naturalmente, prefer to use plant based ingredients that have been sourced from biodynamic or organic farms. Either way they have invested a lot in developing products that that work, and use a longer list of ingredients than just one single oil.

When Coconut oil does more harm than good

Coconut oil is not enough

Extra Virgin Coconut oil is one of today’s super foods. With essential fatty acids, vitamins, moisture-giving oil and limited processing the white, solid coconut oil you buy at the health food shop or supermarket is as close to the the natural stuff as you'll probably get. But certain skin types will have problems with this type of oil.

If you have oily skin you still need moisture, and there's often a very fine balance between your skin being too oily and and being dehydrated. Oily skin still needs its own moisturiser to maintain a good balance, and a carefully crafted product will avoid the causes of excess oil production.

Solid coconut oil can also be too heavy for oily skin, causing the pores to block which might lead to acne or blackhead breakouts.

And even if you don’t have oily skin, there are plenty reasons to use a moisturiser that's suited to your skin type.

Extra benefits for zero extra effort

If you’re going to put something on your skin, why not take the opportunity to add nutrients and goodness? It takes no long than putting a basic oil on. 

Let’s look at Breathe Skin Therapy’s Purifying Cream. This moisturising cream has been specially developed for anyone with oily or combination skin. (It’s light aniseed and citron scent is not too girly either, so it’s great for the guys too.) 

Argan Oil is one of the base ingredients but there’s also Olive Oil, Avocado Oil, Shea Butter and Sunflower Seed Oil. So, you’re already getting the benefits of five different oils in one application, and it doesn’t stop there. 

You may have heard recently about hyaluronate being a new wonder ingredient. Well, that’s in there as well – in its more bioavailable form of Sodium hyaluronate. 

Honey, Squalene (an extract from olives, wheatgerm or rice bran that helps to firm and protect the skin), Dandelion Root Extract, Fennel Seed Extract, Echinacea Extract, Horsetail Leaf Extract, Yellow Sweet Clover Extract and Citron Peel Extract are all included in this little bottle of goodness too. 

So you can add all that to your skincare routine in the same amount of time that it takes to just apply good old coconut oil.

Try for yourself and see the difference

Ok, so if you’re in your 20s and have great skin, using a bit of coconut oil to trap the moisture that’s already in there might be all it takes to make you feel good. But if you’re any older or have problem skin, you might need to rethink your skincare options.

By choosing a  product that uses botanical and therapeutic ingredients you can build a skincare routine that includes some amazing benefits for your skin and health, without any extra steps. Once you notice the benefits of using one amazing product you might find you want to add an extra step or two.

Before you know it you’ll even be using a serum!

 

I challenge you to try upgrading your skincare products for a month and see the benefits to your skin.

 

Shop our skincare range here.

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January 26, 2017

Five beautiful ways to mark Australia Day

Five beautiful ways to mark Australia Day

No matter where you stand on the history of Australia Day, enjoying the natural beauty of this land we all love seems like a healthy and unifying way to mark the day. We share some of the most diverse natural environments on Earth and, wherever you live, you won’t be far from some gorgeous inspiration for living a beautiful life.


So here our our favourite suggestions to celebrate Australia this Australia Day.

1. Take a walk

Start the day by connecting with your local environment. A walk in some bushland, the beach or even the streets near your home will help you appreciate what’s on your doorstep. You don’t need any fancy equipment or clothing, just wear your everyday clothes, lace up your shoes and get out the door. Walking with a friend can be a good way to feel accountable (if you need that extra nudge) or listening to music or podcasts can add another dimension to your walk. But don’t forget to take in everything Mother Nature has provided as well.

2. Touch the ground

Connecting with the earth is a powerful part of feeling well. How it happens can be different for everyone, but since most people’s everyday environment is separated from the ground it’s a great thing to do on your day off. It can be as simple as spreading a rug on the ground for a picnic, reading in the shade of a tree, or walking barefoot on the lawn. Perhaps you’d like to take your yoga outside today? Or just dig your toes into the sand at the beach? Touching the ground reminds you that you’re part of the environment, and we’re all connected.

3. Plant something

We’re so lucky to have the space and the weather to grow a garden almost year round. While mastering the details of your local environment take a lifetime, growing your own fragrant herbs or juicy strawberries only takes a self watering pot and a little attention. And it’s a great way to tap into the seasons as they flow around you.

4. Cook real food

Do you know what – the obligatory Australia Day BBQ is actually quite a healthy option. You might like to switch to organic meat, but if you manage the portion sizes and include plenty of vegetarian choices you can’t go far wrong. Just use the internet to be inspired by veggie kababs, beanie burgers and countless fresh, colourful salads. Finish with an airy pavlova (everything in moderation) and you’ll be the host with the most. Thanks to all the rich cultures that now call Australia home, your barbie can be just as beautiful, diverse, and delicious.

 

5. Bring it home

Whether your family history includes migrants, convicts, or the people who’ve walked here for millennia, you’ve helped us all share the best the world has to offer. So take a moment to remind yourselves what you brought to the party. It’s a great way to feel valued, valuable, and at home.

 

Australia is beautiful. You’re beautiful. Live beautifully.

 

 

Celebrate Australia's natural beauty

We’re celebrating Australia Day over four days by offering a huge 30% off our entire range for all of the Australia Day long weekend. Just use the code 'AUSTDAY30'

PLUS, if you’re on our mailing list you’ll get a special bonus. So make sure you’re signed up.

Offer available 26 January to 29 January 2017 or while stocks last.

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December 04, 2016

My Ecoluxe Christmas Wishlist

My Ecoluxe Christmas Wishlist

 

Running an ecoluxe beauty company means I have access to some fabulous products year round. But there are always going to be some items that we don’t stock that I lust after.

This year I thought I’d share with you some of my conscious-living favourites.

1. Suncoat water-based peelable nail polish, $10

We came across this Canadian brand who specialise in making water-based, non-toxic, odourless nail polish that is safe for everybody including children. Made in two formulas – traditional and peelable, they avoid the hormone-disrupting chemicals in both the polish and the remover. Bringing back the fun to nail colours without the worry. And $10 for a natural nail polish is a bargain so stuff that stocking!

 2. One Seed Natural Perfumes, from $15

This Adelaide-based company has been on our radar for a while. In fact they blended a perfume for my Mother’s birthday a few years ago! Using only the best natural oils and scents they create each blend with love and talent. Choose from their wardrobe of scents or have them blend your own special perfume from the Scent Bar option. Just select up to five natural extracts and they will blend them into a one of a kind perfume for you. Imagine walking into Christmas lunch wearing your own signature scent!

 3. Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer, $599

Ok, so this might be more at the luxurious end of the scale. But I know a few people with this amazing hair dryer and their hair is always super shiny and healthy looking. And they tell me it’s the hair dryer!

Dyson are fantastic at looking at what is and how it can be done better. Not content with improving on what has always been, they strip the idea back to the core and rebuild it to do the job faster and better. With sensors that monitor the heat of the air, no grill for the dust and hair to be trapped and fewer moving parts to break down this is probably going to be the last hair dryer you ever need to buy. Eco friendly and investment buying at its best.

4. Cross Classic Century Fountain Pen, $79.95

Another investment gift is this Fountain Pen made by Cross. I’ve been working on improving my handwriting this year, which means I’ve gone back to basics and been writing like a primary school child! While I may never have the stunning script I dream of, my writing is evolving into something I feel really reflects me – flaws and all. And a fountain pen might just be the tool that takes it to the next level.

This pen has a Lifetime Guarantee so you may never need to buy another disposable pen! Given that every plastic disposable pen that has ever been made is still existing in landfill somewhere it seems that the most environmentally responsible choice is something that is going to last – and you might as well enjoy using it at the same time.

5. Wildfire Organic Tea, $14.50

With a beautiful range of hand blended organic tea, Wildfire Organic Tea can make any day a bit more special. Created on South Australia’s beautiful Fleurieu Peninsula they use the best ingredients to make something special.

As an Earl Grey lover I particularly like the look of Earl Grey’s Garden – so pretty to look at that it must be delicious to drink. Or perhaps the Ginger Ninja would be the perfect post-Christmas lunch digestive aid. Filled with lemongrass, ginger, lemon peel and hops flowers it sounds like it would soothe and calm if you’ve over done it.

6. Fede Baby Toys & cushions, from $18

While there are no babies at our house any more, there are still plenty of little ones around us. This Christmas we’ll welcome two new baby girls into our extended family and these toys from Fede would be a lovely gift. Handmade from vintage fabrics these unique baby rattles and cushions embrace the ecoluxe aesthetic for your little one, right from the start.

That’s what I’m wishing for. How about you? If you have any ecoluxe wishes share them so we all know what to add to our list for next year.

 

 

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November 09, 2016

6 tips to maintain great hair colour, naturally

6 tips to maintain great hair colour, naturally

Whether you colour your hair at home or have it done professionally, most Australian and New Zealand women have their hair dyed regularly.

In fact, over 75% of us like to change the colour of our hair. And with a professional treatment costing between $100 and $200 it’s no small investment.

So what’s the best way to maintain your hair, so you can enjoy beautiful colour that last for longer? We’ve come up with some tips that will help you and your hair look and feel great between treatments.

Firstly, changing your hair colour is never a completely natural process. To make sure your new colour doesn’t just wash away, the cuticle of each hair has to be opened using strong chemicals – usually a solution of ammonia and/or peroxide. In fact traditional hair colouring isn’t recommended for certain people – including pregnant women and teenagers – because of those dangerous chemicals! There are some alternatives though, and many hairdressers are now using safer options. Just do a search for organic hairdressers to find one in your area.

But still, if any colouring process isn’t handled carefully it can damage your hair, leaving it dry and brittle.

Here’s what we recommend

1. Prepare your hair

In the two weeks before your colour treatment, use a moisturising treatment to deeply hydrate your hair. Jojoba Oil or Sweet Almond Oil can be applied to dry hair, wrapped with a warm towel and left for 30 minutes (or overnight). Or try our Deep Hydrating Treatment Conditioner that uses Fennel and Geranium for maximum hair health. This will increase your hair’s moisture levels, which will help it take up the colour more easily – and give you healthier hair after the dying process.

2. Clean your hair

Wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo in the 24 hours before your treatment, to remove any impurities and coatings your hair might have. If you’ve been using conventional shampoos your hair may be coated with silicone and this needs to be removed so your colour treatment can penetrate properly. We recommended our Rosemary and Lavender Shampoo which has a very low pH and will help the colour penetrate.

3. Protect your scalp

Your hair and scalp are intrinsically linked. So if you have a very sensitive or problematic scalp, it’s a good idea to protect it before you start putting any dyes on your hair. You can do this by applying a small amount of Jojoba or Sweet Almond Oil to your scalp to create a barrier. Part the hair and aim directly for the scalp, so you’re not coating your hair in oil and making it harder for the dye to work. The let the oil rest for a few minutes so it can be absorbed.

4. Apply the colour

If you’re visiting your hairdresser they will take care of this part. If you’re applying a home colour follow the instructions carefully – no need for surprises at this stage!

5. Wash it out

This is even more important than it sounds, and we recommend an anti oxidant shampoo like our Anti-oxidant After-dye Shampoo. You want to use this type of shampoo for its repairing qualities as much as its cleansing ability – it will repair the damage that’s an inevitable part of the colouring process. Following this shampoo with a repairing conditioner will help close the cuticles and seal your new colour in for longer. Our Anti-oxidant Conditioner, Intensive Revitalizing Yoghurt and Millet Conditioner or Aloe and Sandalwood Protein Rebuilder Pac Solution are all great choices.

6. Look after it

Coloured hair is very different to untreated hair and needs some special love and attention. Apart from the antioxidant wash above, we recommend not washing your hair for the first 48 hours, to let the colour sit on the hair for longer.

Once you’re ready to wash, the best (some might say ‘the only’) shampoo to choose is one specifically designed for coloured hair. Make sure its sulfate free, to avoid stripping your new colour away, and look for lots of nourishing ingredients to feed and moisturise your hair. And it may seem obvious, but make sure your shampoo is the right colour for your hair.

Caring for your colour

We love our Flower Shampoo range because it’s been designed by organic hairdressers to care fore your coloured hair without any chemical nasties. These natural shampoos are 100% vegetable-based and cover the five colour groups to keep your hair looking great.

Cool blonde and silver

Worried about brassy colour coming through your blonde treatment, or want to keep your silver looking stylish? Our Lavender shampoo is the best purple shampoo we’ve found. Full of botantical extracts and essential oils, it can be used on all hair types daily, as a toner to reduce brassiness in blonde hair and to maintain a beautiful healthy shine on silver hair.

Warm blonde

If you’ve gone for gorgeous honey blonde hair, the best daily shampoo for you is our Chamomile. It’s so gentle you can use it every day, to maintain a brilliant healthy shine with rich gold tones.

Red

From strawberry blonde through to copper and auburn, red hair colour has its own special spectrum. A red hair shampoo like our Rose Shampoo is designed to keep your red colour looking good for as long as possible. Packed with nourishing botanical extracts and free from nasties, daily washing with it will enrich your red tones instead of stripping them away.

Brown

Healthy brown hair has an unmatched brilliance, depth and shine. Our natural Clove Shampoo is designed to bring out the best in brown coloured hair, especially darker tones. It’s specially coloured to enrich those beautiful rich tones and glossy highlights, and daily use will help improve the condition of your hair.

Black

Keeping your black hair really black can be hard, because as the pigment gets washed away the intensity of the colour fades. By using our natural Orchid Shampoo you can add colour back every time you wash to keep your shiny black colour looking beautiful and maximise the time between treatments.

Follow any of our Flower shampoos with a rich, nourishing conditioner for maximum moisture and shine, and you’ll be loving your hair in whatever colour makes you feel beautiful.

The Flower Colour Care Shampoo range will be released 20th November 2016. Preorder online and save 20%

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