skincare

Product Review – Olive Oil Skincare Company

I love meeting new Australian brands and was introduced to Olive Oil Skincare Company  roughly a month ago when they were extremely kind and sent over 2 products for me to try and review for you all.

Olive Oil Skincare Company is located in Sydney, Australia and you can purchase their products via their website oliveoilskincare.com.au and in selected Priceline stores.

All products contain 100% Australian Extra Virgin Olive Oil and are free from additives, palm oil, sulphates, parabens and artificial fragrance. Where products are fragranced it is with 100% pure essential oils.

The Original Soothing Balm – $19.99 AUD

Generous in size, The Original Soothing Balm has just 2 ingredients – 100% Australian Olea Europea (olive) Fruit Oil and Sorbitan Olivate. Sorbitan Olivate is an emulsifying agent found in olive oil.

This multi-use balm is perfect for chapped lips, it’s been one of my main balms I’ve reached for since receiving it. I also use a generous amount on my cuticles and on my hands just before bed. This is extremely hydrating and provides a moisture boost to dry, chapped lips.

Other uses are chaffed skin such as nappy rash, dry elbows and heels.

Cleansing Oil – $24.99 AUD

Beautifully packaged with a handy dropper to provide just the right amount of oil, this Cleansing Oil is perfection! It is lightly scented with notes of Orange, Cedarwood and Bergamot essential oils.

The texture is a light oil which rubs easily into the skin and works to remove makeup effortlessly. When water is applied, it turns milky and easily washes off from the skin.
When using this to remove makeup, I like to cleanse twice with this to ensure all of my make up is removed.

My only feedback is I wish it was bigger! I really enjoy using it and will be repurchasing this!

I’ve enjoyed using both the Cleansing Oil and Soothing Balm so much. They are both two beautiful products made with pure Australian ingredients.

I’m looking forward to picking up the Face Wash next however right now I’m off to pop some of the Soothing Balm on my lips as they are a little chapped!

Enjoy!
Renee
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Beauty, skincare

Product Review – Enbacci Skincare

On Saturday I published my Meet the Makers interview with the lovely Yong-Li from Enbacci Skincare, you can find the interview here. I really enjoyed getting to know this Melbourne based brand a little more, and so did you! It was one of my most read interviews in a couple of months!

I mentioned I had been trialling a few of the products for a month or so also and thought it would be the perfect time to run through them with you.

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The three products I’ve been trialling are;

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The products are made here in Australia, and they even package everything themselves with recyclable packaging. They also seek to use fruit and plant stem cells which work actively on the skin to repair, moisturise and protect.

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Microdermabrasion Exfoliating Scrub – $45 AUD
Made with fine environmentally friendly micro-beads, this is extremely gentle on the skin and I find it easy to use without overworking it. I enjoy the smell, its light and not overpowering.

I love how it leaves my skin feeling fresh, clean and smooth. I notice my skin is brighter after using this also.

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Detoxifying Clay Mask – $44 AUD
Like all clay based masks, I don’t allow this to dry completely however the texture is more a creamy base than a traditional clay base mask. Kaolin Clay is a hero inclusion which works to draw out impurities in the skin yet is gentle on sensitive skin.

Once applied to my skin, I immediately feel my skin cooling and tingling which is refreshing. As I mentioned above, I love that the mask doesn’t dry down completely which makes it easy to remove and doesn’t leave my skin feeling dry.

My skin is left feeling smooth to touch and not tight at all.

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Pore Minimiser – $30 AUD
As the name suggests this is a light cream that works to reduce the appearance of pores. While I haven’t yet tried wearing this under make up, it is noted on the Enbacci website that this can be worn under it.

Tea tree oil is one of the hero ingredients, this acts as an anti-inflammatory also. I quite enjoy the smell of tea tree oil so the smell of the Pore Minimiser doesn’t bother me. It works well into the skin and leaves a beautiful matte finish with no sticky residue.

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The whole range of products can be purchased on the Enbacci website where AfterPay is available. There is also a retail store in Prahran, Melbourne which I have been desperate to visit! Nothing like a physical store where you can go and smell everything.

I’ve really enjoyed using this range, especially on my #selfcare days as it feels like a luxurious spa day at home!

Have you tried the range?

Renee
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Business in Focus

Meet the Makers – Yong-Li Zhou from Enbacci Skincare

Just like that, Meet the Makers is back after a 2 week break while I was in Hawaii. I met some amazing Makers while I was in Hawaii and I’m thrilled that some even said yes to taking part! Keep your eyes peeled over the next couple of weeks for various blog posts on where I visited, where I ate and where I stayed while in Hawaii. I can’t wait to show you all my adventures.

Tonight however, we are chatting with the beautiful Yong-Li from Australian made Enbacci Skincare. Nan, her mama and co-founder, and Yong-Li created the beautiful range right here in Melbourne with Nan wanting to create something that worked with her sensitive skin.

I have been trialling 3 Enbacci Skincare products and will have a full review for you published this week, keep your eyes peeled!

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Yong-Li Zhou

R. Welcome to Meet the Makers Yong-Li, I’m excited to learn more about Enbacci, especially since your line has some great concepts such as the use of fruit and plant stemcells. Tell us, how was Enbacci Skincare born?

Y. My mum had always suffered from sensitive skin, but as she got older, the severity of her allergic reactions worsened. It didn’t matter how luxurious the item was, if she had a reaction, she would end up with sores and open wounds. It was because of this that Mum and I sat down together and decided that we needed to create something that she could use.

R. Ouch! That sounds super painful. I like you pointed out it didn’t matter how luxurious a product was, your mum would still break out. Sometimes it’s easy to think that just because something is expensive it will work, when really it’s all about the ingredients and how they work together.

Walk us through an average day at Enbacci Skincare.

Y. A typical workday sees me sculling down my protein shake in the morning before heading off to the gym for a morning workout session. I am not really a morning person but I have found this to be an effective way to get me going for a day at my desk.

Between 8am and 8.30am, you can find me on my phone updating all our social media with a post for the day.

By the time 9am hits, I am at my desk writing down my to-do list for the day. Tasks can range from accounting, product development planning or just doing some product development, product designing and editing, ensuring our website is up to date and answering interview questions like these. I also like to be in the know when it comes to our clients, so you can often find me in our new store chatting away with them, getting to know them and developing some rapport. For me, the contact at a retail level is one of the most important for a business as this is where clients determine through their experience whether they will be returning or not.

R. I have been meaning to get into the retail store! I really wanted to attend your last event, I was sad when I couldn’t get there. 

What do you think you would be doing, if you weren’t running the business?

Y. I co-founded the business with my Mum when I was in my first year of Uni. I was so quick and eager to finish my degree (having graduated within less than three years) so that I could properly focus on the business. If I wasn’t running this particular business, I think I might have gone on to do more studying for a time being but I definitely would have found a way to start a business of my own, one form or another

R. What have you found to be the biggest challenge so far in business?

Y. There are so many challenges both from a business perspective and from a personal perspective that one may experience in business. I think for me, it is finding that balance between the two that is most challenging. It is easy for friends to say “you need to relax and take a break”, but what they don’t understand is that you relaxing and taking a break means time away from your business which ultimately provides for your livelihood and the ability for you to relax and take a break free from stress.

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R. Agree! It’s especially tough when you are running a business and have so many ideas and dreams – your mind is constantly on the go. 

I recently found out someone has started copying one of my ideas, it’s a bit rough but I’m trying to take it as a compliment. How do you deal with negativity on a business level?

Y. Not going to lie. It is hard, particularly when you get negativity about something you pour your heart and soul into creating. I recently watched a Youtube video that had someone review one of our products that they received in a Bellabox. The negative comments started to flow out just as she began to open our products. Firstly, she didn’t like the particular full size product that was in her box (there were four possibilities that month) just because it’s not something she needs. Her comments then followed on to suggest how wasteful our product packaging is and how unnecessary it all is and how she would never go on to purchase a product with so much packaging. Ok, valid comments, but that really hurt to hear given that my Mum and I do everything in-house from developing the product, designing the packaging, even selecting the packaging types and finishes so that we are as environmentally conscious as possible as a brand, to hand wrapping (yes, hand wrapping) each of the products in their recyclable plastic security sleeves. Needless to say, this kept me up a couple of nights thinking about how we could fix everything wrong with our packaging until my Mum stopped me in my tracks one day and said, “you can’t listen to every single negative comment out there. We just need to stay true to who we are”. And she was right. There are people out there who aren’t going to like us, but I know that there definitely people out there who love us and love what we do. So now, I listen and I consider the negativity and if it isn’t constructive feedback, then pfft…oh well and bye, not-a-potential-customer.

R. That’s intense, I really enjoyed seeing how you tackled it and got into a better head space, with the help of mum. If I am writing a review, I am always thinking about sticking to what’s relevant, ingredients and how I found it worked. 

Anything new happening in the world of Enbacci Skincare?

Y. We are always working on new and exciting things. The most exciting project at the moment is the development of sheet masks. Its taken us a very long time to develop a serum formula that we meet all of our criteria and more importantly, that we are able to combine them with the particular sheet masks we have designed. We are also working on a campaign for the sheet masks that I am really excited about because to me, it just highlights who Enbacci is and what we are all about.

R. YES! I am so excited to hear this, I absolutely love sheet masks. 

Tell me, how do you celebrate a win?

Y. With family, good food and good wine, then, a good sleep-in!

R. That sounds perfect! Who has influenced your personal and business journey?

Y. Definitely my parents. I wouldn’t be where I am today without their unconditional support. Growing up, I saw them start and end several businesses of their own. I believe I developed that drive I have for business from watching them working hard.

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R. Is the use of organic/natural ingredients important to you and your brand?

Y. Something I say to my clients all the time is that I don’t like using the words organic and natural in our industry. I feel like they are heavily conflated words. Something that a lot of consumers may not know is that organic and natural ingredients are often not a closely regulated, which could mean allergies or other side effects that have not been disclosed, or that they are more likely to have microbes

I prefer to say that we try to use ingredients that are naturally derived or organically sourced, but to me, to have a product that is actually natural or actually organic, the final product won’t last two weeks in your fridge. The exception to that are certain balm/wax products but that’s getting into more of the science and preserving ability of ingredients.

R. There is just so much to learn about terminology, and how much greenwashing plays into it all. I really love your honest and clear response.

Outside of Enbacci Skincare, what do you like to get up too?

Y. I love reading, particularly fantasy and sci-fi genres. When I’m not going through a text-book, you can find me sitting on the couch, rugged up in a blanket with a good book and a cup of tea.

I do also love cooking and baking. I love creating gluten-free decorated layered cakes and other sweet treats that can be enjoyed by family and friends. I have seriously considered turning this into another side-business!

R. I think you could be onto something, gluten-free layered cakes sound delicious!

What would you say is your purpose?

Y. Tricky question! I believe everyone definitely has a purpose but I don’t believe we all have to know what it is. I definitely haven’t figured mine out yet. My mum says to me that my purpose was to kick my parents up the butt so that they would get their act together when they were younger, but I would like to think that my purpose has changed a bit now. Perhaps it is just to be the best person I can be and a role model for others?

R. Well, I think your work ethos is incredibly inspiring! Purpose constantly changes, so don’t worry if you haven’t got anything set in stone.

Favourite part of the day?

Y. As much as I do love my work, there is nothing quite like the feeling of coming home to my husband and furbaby and enjoying a home-cooked meal.

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R. There is nothing like time on the lounge with the fur baby! I’m excited to see mine furbabies after 2 weeks away, and the husband – ha!

I love hearing about other’s beauty routines, walk us through yours.

Y. Morning: Cleansing with our Vitis Vinifera Rejuvenating Gel Cleanser, followed by our Age Revitalising Eye Defence and our Vitis Vinifera Rejuvenating Essential Creme. I usually just apply a little eye liner and fill in my brows and that is my make-up for the day.

The following is my full night regime that I do once-twice a week:

  1. Remove makeup with makeup remover.
  2. Scrub with our Microdermabrasion Exfoliating Scrub.
  3. Apply our Detoxifying Clay Mask and let that sit for about 20 minutes whilst I am watching something on TV.
  4. Rinse off the mask and apply our Creme.

On most nights, I forego the scrub and mask and just use out gel cleanser to get rid of the excess dirt and oils from the day.

R. I am loving the Microdermabrasion Exfoliating Scrub!

Favourite skincare and makeup product?

Y. My go-to skincare product is our Vitis Vinifera Rejuvenating Creme. I always tell clients how important it is to moisturise your skin no matter your skin type.

My go to makeup product is black waterproof liquid liner. My favourite is MAC liquidline because it is the only one that does not melt on me.

R. Agreed! The MAC Liquidline is amazing, and stays put on eyes too without transferring to my upper eyelid. 

How do you practice self-care?

Y. As basic as this may sound, getting a good night’s sleep and keeping yourself hydrated. There are so many studies out there that look at the negative effects of each of these can have on the body when we lack good sleep or adequate amounts of water. The only thing we are required to do is make a few habitual adjustments.

R. Sleep is so important, not only mentally but physically too. I always know if I’ve pushed myself too hard and not gotten enough sleep – you can tell on my skin!

If you could pick anywhere in the world to relax, where would you go?

Y. Definitely by the beach. Any beach is fine but if I really had to pick one, it would be Kua Bay in Hawaii.

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R. Oh Hawaii, take me back! There is so much beauty there, my favourite too!

Lastly, imagine money was no object. What would you do? 

Y. I’d hire more people to help me run my business so that I can go travelling the world more!

R. Oh that’s the dream isn’t it! Maybe you can launch Enbacci in different countries around the world and use that as an excuse to travel the world!

Thank you so much Yong-Li for your time and your open and honest answers. It was so refreshing to learn a little more about Enbacci Skincare. 

If you would like to see the full range of Enbacci products, you can do so here http://www.enbacci.com and also connect with Yong-Li on Instagram @enbacci

As I mentioned above, I will have my Enbacci product review live this week too, stay tuned!

Happy Saturday!

Renee
x

Business in Focus

Meet the Makers – Vanessa from v e e.p bath and body

Another week done and dusted and I am now in the final week before Hawaii! The countdown is well and truly happening – I am just so excited!

Today we are chatting with the fun and utterly fabulous Vanessa from  v e e.p bath and body, a quirky Melbourne based brand with a focus on bright and colourful vegan skincare.

You may have seen my posts about the “Sunday Blues” Mask from v e e.p bath and body. I picked that up on my recent visit to Finders Keepers in Melbourne. It is pure heaven, made to uplift your spirits, which let’s be honest we all need on a Sunday night. It also has ingredients that have been formulated to brighten the skin and also help balance the skins oil production.

Not only has Vanessa created a range of skincare to help women feel confident in their skin, she also supports Soap Aid. This organisation supports communities who do not have access to basic hygiene items, such as soap. In March, Vanessa introduced the one for one soap initiative. For every product sold, Vanessa donate’s a soap bar to a child living in poverty around Australia and across the globe. Since March, she has donated 600+ soap bars! What a beautiful initiative.

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R. Thanks for joining us Vanessa! I simply adore your Sunday Blues Mask, it’s such a treat to use on a Sunday evening as I mentally prepare for the week ahead!

Lets start with what led you yo starting v e e.p bath and body?

V. I’ve always wanted to run my own business and I knew it would be something creative, but I never pictured myself creating skincare. The business started by accident really. I wanted to learn something new so enrolled myself into a soap making class. I soon became addicted to soap making and it kind of went on from there!

R. Ha! That’s amazing. Well you can see the creative side in your products, the packaging is so colourful and fun!

Walk us through a day at v e e.p bath and body.

V. My days throughout the week a quite different to each other.. the day could be spent doing production, admin, photoshoots, designing, developing new products or studying! I do everything myself so no 2 days are ever the same really!

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R. What have you found to be the biggest challenge while you’ve been in business?

V. Comparing myself to other entrepreneurs/businesses and ‘fraudy feelings’ – feeling like I don’t know what I’m doing and eventually I’ll fail (#realtalk haha)

R. It’s so easy to do isn’t it. Second guess yourself and even compare yourself to others. I can tell you now, you are doing amazing things girl!

Have you had to deal with any negativity?

V. I haven’t had to deal with much negativity from others. The main negativity I deal with is from myself. I am quite an optimistic person so it’s not often that struggle with negativity but when I do it’s usually because I’m stuck in a rut or I haven’t had enough ‘me’ time. So I usually schedule in a night by myself (TV, mask, long shower etc) or I watch inspiration youtube vids, listen to like-minded business podcasts.

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R. I find if I’m stuck in a rut then it is super hard for me to pull myself out of it too.

What helpful advice would you give someone who is looking to start their own skincare business?

V. Take time developing products and testing them out before launching. I would get a few great products ready before launching. And have a brand story ready to launch with. I’ve redesigned packaging 3 times since being open for 4 years haha. In saying that though, don’t wait until everything is perfect or you’ll never start. Also, be aware of other brands out there but don’t be following them too closely or you’ll just end of comparing yourself and feeling down. Have a couple of brand role models but be ORIGINAL! There’s a lot of green beauty businesses with almost identical products – down to the labels and product names! That’s not cool.

R. I agree about not following anyone too closely, in any profession. Especially now with social media, what’s going on behind closed doors is often very different to what is happening publicly. I think it’s so important to keep in mind, just to always be yourself.

What’s next for v e e.p bath and body?

V. We recently released 3 new products! The Sunday Blues Brightening & Exfoliating Mask, Cop That! Brightening & Exfoliating toner, and the Anoint face oil.

I’m currently working on 2 face creams and have plans for a hand cream later on in the year!

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R. Wooo a hand cream, alongside cleansers they are my second favourite beauty product! I can’t wait to see the packaging for that.

I also love hearing about people’s skincare routines, let’s chat about yours – what does it look like?

V. I try to do my beauty routine morning and night, but usually it’s just once because I can be lazy. This is going to sound like a plug but I literally don’t use any other skincare products apart from vee.p bath and body haha

  • Cleanse with Mellow Yellow Cleansing Oil or Calming Charcoal Cleanser – depending on what my skin needs that day
  • Tone – ALWAYS TONE! With either of the vee.p toners but currently the go to is Cop That! Exfoliating toner as my skin needs some smoothing out
  • I use a jade roller to depuff my face and get circulation going
  • I sometimes use a face serum that I made up myself for fun 😝
  • Moisturise with the Rosy Posy face cream (coming soon!)
  • 4 drops of Anoint face oil. Massage it into my skin

People always think that’s a lot of steps but it takes me about 10 minutes.

R. Once you get the routine down pat then its super easy. My morning routine is normally just a quick cleanse and moisturise but I spend a little longer in the evenings as I find it nice way to relax.

Now we touched on the skincare routine, what would you say is your go-to skincare or makeup product?

V. My one go-to skincare product is our Anoint Face Oil. I’m obsessed. I put it on morning and night and sometimes just randomly throughout the day.

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R. I will have to pop that on the list of products to try next!

You mentioned above you always thought you would end up doing something creative and have ended up in skincare. How do you think your purposes evolved?

V. Purpose is something I think about a lot. I’m quite a ‘big dream’ sort of girl so when I picture my life and my business I aim to grow not just to have wealth or be known in the beauty industry. I want to grow so I can create jobs and a great work place. My vision is to employ people (mainly women) who struggle to find work – new mums, single mums, unemployed for long periods of time, previously homeless. And I want to grow in revenue so that I can give more back to the community through charities.

I think my purpose is something I’m always working on but currently I feel its to help other women (and men) feel they are beautiful, inside and out; that they are loved and they matter.

R. That’s so beautiful to hear, and what an opportunity to help those that need it. I have no doubt that this is something you can achieve!

Running a business can be chaotic, how do you practice self-care?

V. Self-care is not selfish! And it’s almost much more than a face mask or a bath with a glass of wine. It’ll be different for everyone. If you’re an introvert like me, it might be having the TV to yourself for a night. If you’re an extrovert it might be going out. Self care is knowing what you need and putting that before anything else. Schedule it if you need to.

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R. I agree 100%, sometimes it’s even scrolling mindlessly for an hour on Pinterest putting together your dream home! It really does mean something different for everyone.

I’ve really enjoyed writing this interview with you Vanessa, wishing you the best of luck with all your dreams and goals! 

If you would like to connect with Vanessa you can do so her website www.veepbathandbody.com or via Instagram @vee.pbathandbody

Happy Sunday all!

Renee
x

Beauty, skincare

Product Review – Biome Skin Care

Biome is a truly gorgeous business doing some amazing things for planet earth. They sell a range of products from reusable coffee cups and straws to lunch boxes, skincare products and books.

All products listed on their website and in store are inline with their core values which I have copied below directly from the Biome website, it includes hyperlinks back to the Biome website. The strict set of core values are;

Source – www.biome.com.au

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Biome also has their own skincare range, which is where I come in! I was invited to try a selection of their products which was very kind but also very exciting! I LOVE the less is more movement – reduce, reuse, recycle!

The products all come in environmentally friendly glass packaging, which you can reuse (I’ve already got flower ideas for the 3-in-1 Skin Trio bottle).

The products are as pure as can be, they are palm oil free, cruelty free and vegan. No additives or preservatives are added and they do not contain any synthetic fragrance.

I selected the following products to review;

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Biome 100% Jojoba Oil 100ml – $22.95 AUD

I choose the Jojoba Oil as the benefits, such as acting as an antibacterial plus it is very mild, makes it perfect for the face. I picked this with removing my makeup (surprise surprise) in mind and I love that it is 100% pure.

I start by massaging the oil into my skin and around my eye area. Although this is non-greasy, I find it easiest to remove the oil from my skin with a damp cloth.

It is light on my skin and leaves it feeling smooth.

The Jojoba Oil is multi-use, you can also use this in your hair as a treatment, in the bath and also as a massage oil.

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Biome 3-in-1 Skin Trio Face Clay Normal – Seaweed, Green Clay & Spirulina – $39.95 AUD

Not only can you use the 3-in-1 Skin Trio as a mask on #selfcaresunday (or any day!), it can also be used as a cleanser when mixed with castile soap or as an exfoliator when mixed with a hydrosol.

I enjoy using this as part of my weekly masking session. I am obsessed with the ingredients! Seaweed provides nourishment, the Green & Yellow Clay draws out impurities while the Spirulina acts to stimulate the skin. Gentle pumice stone powder acts as an exfoliant. Plus it smells like the ocean – delicious.

Never let a clay mask dry completely as it will pull on your skin when you remove it. This is where one of the Biome Hydrosol’s come in handy! I love to spritz around 3 minutes into the mask with the Biome 100% Pure Hydrosol Chamomile to provide moisture and added nutrients.

When the mask is removed with cool water (I prefer it), my skin is left feeling cool, refreshed and incredibly smooth. The ocean smell lingers but it is refreshing and not a bother.

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Biome 100% Pure Hydrosol Chamomile – $27.95 AUD

What’s a hydrosol you ask? I have written about it before, it’s a fairly new term being used in Australian skincare. A hydrosol is where plants/flowers are steam distilled to create an infused floral water.

Aside from using the Hydrosol mid-mask, as mentioned above you can use this with the 3-in-1 Skin Trio to exfoliate the skin or even just to freshen your skin during the day. I enjoy the calming properties of chamomile, especially if I am feeling stressed!

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Biome Scrub + Soak Citrus Burst – $29.95 AUD

My favourite time of the week, is when I get to take a soak in the tub. Usually on a Sunday! The Scrub + Soak in Citrus Burst has been such a delight to use.

I start by sprinkling a little into the tub before I jump in, to let the Epsom salt blend into the water while Calendula and Chamomile flowers swirl around. Once I am in the tub, I place a little into my palm and massage into my skin. The inclusion of coconut sugar and oatmeal work to exfoliate the skin.

A citrus blend of essential oils works to lift my mood and makes me feel energised. So much energy in one bottle – I absolutely love it!

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In conclusion, I absolutely love the Biome range. Not only are the ingredients pure, natural, vegan and cruelty free when I use them I know I am leaving a positive footprint in the world with the sustainable packaging and naked ingredients.

I love the bright packaging that sits beautifully in the bathroom too – the photos don’t do the bright packaging justice!

For the full range, head over to http://www.biome.com.au or via Instagram at @biomestores

Let me know your thoughts if you have also used anything from the range!

Renee
x

Beauty, skincare

Product Review – SEEH Skincare

Guys, you know I love an oil cleanser. They are my absolute favourite for removing my heavy makeup. Think waterproof eyeliner, mascara, lipstick. So when I saw the SEEH Skincare CLEANSE Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm in action on social media, I just knew I had to try it! I reached out to the very lovely Maker, Sophie to collaborate.

Sophie is a qualified Chemical Engineer with a passion for skin health, which is what led her on the path to creating SEEH Skincare. The range has been formulated with a bunch of Chemists in Sydney and are all natural, utilising Australian plants. SEEH Skincare also holds a PETA Certification.

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Sophie Emma Elizabeth Hanson, Maker. Photo credit – SEEH Skincare website

Currently there are two products in the range;

  • CLEANSE Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm
  • SMOOTH Exfoliating Facial Polish

The CLEANSE Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm can be used on its own as a daily cleanser with the addition of the SMOOTH Exfoliating Facial Polish to remove dead skin cells.

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 CLEANSE Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm – $63.95 AUD

The Cleansing Balm is a massive 110g of solid goodness, with a little going a long way. As you work the balm into your skin you can see that it will start dissolving your makeup immediately. I love that I don’t need to work the balm into my skin which allows me to be gentle, especially around the eye area.

Lots of yummy oils have gone into this such as apricot seed oil, rosehip and olive oil. It smells absolutely divine, with the use of mandarin, orange, bergamot and lavender essential oils. It is an extremely light smell, and not overpowering.

As I mentioned above, even with regular use I can see this lasting quite sometime making it great value. I enjoy using this in the evening to remove my makeup, however this can be used both morning and night.

The SEEH Skincare website states this is suitable for all skin types especially those with sensitive or dry skin.

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SMOOTH Exfoliating Facial Polish – $26.95 AUD

The Facial Polish is a combination of Apricot Seed & Rice powder and works in harmony to remove dead skin. The ingredients won’t harm the oceans and rivers as they are completely biodegradable.

The Exfoliating Facial Polish has been designed to be used with the Cleansing Balm. I placed a small amount of the Cleansing Balm into my palm then sprinkled the Facial Polish (only a little) over it. I then massage this into my skin in a circular motion.

The first time I used this, I was a tad too rough. I should have known better, I may have also sprinkled a little too much ha! So keep that in mind the first time you use this.

After using this, my skin feels clean and noticeably brighter. It doesn’t feel tight which I put down to the Cleansing Balm working it’s hydrating ways.

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I’ve enjoyed using both of these products, especially the Cleansing Balm as I struggle to find cleansers that are able to remove my makeup easily. I also love that this is a vegan, cruelty-free brand made in Australia.

SEEH Skincare is also involved in an amazing initiative where $1 from every purchase is donated to i=Change which provides services to assist with safe births, keeps girls in school, empowers migrants and more.

You can find the products here https://www.seehskincare.com and also via Instagram @seehskincare. Free shipping on orders over $75 and AfterPay available.

Have a wonderful week!
Renee
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Beauty, skincare

Product Review – Be Fraiche

I was so excited when Helen reached out to me, through mutual introduction by our dear friend Louella from Kiss Ready Lips, and asked me to trial her Starter Kit.

I had met Helen at the 2017 Sydney Finders Keepers Market, where I was introduced to her line. The Happy Organic Girl was only 6 months young and I was still nervous to say who I was and what I was doing with my blog!

Helen was passionate, engaged and I loved hearing a little about the products. The Bean Scrub quickly drew my attention, alongside The Flower Face Cream.

Helen started Be Fraiche with her skin type in mind. Sensitive Combination skin. Struggling to find anything that worked for her, Helen took it upon herself to create a skincare line that would work but also be fun. She didn’t take this lightly either, working hard with study to increase her knowledge on the matter.

In 2015, Helen completed her Diploma in Organic Skincare Formulation and Tutor Training (wow!). She also travelled to Grasse in France to learn perfumery.

What an inspiration!

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Helen has created the perfect sized Starter Kit for her Belle’s. Priced at $38 AUD, it includes everything you need to get a feel for the range.

The Starter Kit includes the following;

  • The Tea Cleanser, 50ml
  • Bean Face Scrub, 10ml
  • The Flower Face Cream, 10ml
  • Seed Face Oil, 5ml

Plus it comes in the cutest little bag that is perfect for travelling!

The Tea Cleanser
The Tea Cleanser comes in a handy pump bottle, and when pumped is a light weight foam. The Be Fraiche website mentions you can use this twice daily, I have enjoyed using it in the morning as I find it extremely refreshing.

The scent of citrus is welcoming (especially to help me wake up!).

I speak often that I require an oil based cleanser in the PM as I wear heavy make up but this would make a beautiful second cleanser.

The Bean Scrub
As I mentioned above, when I first met Helen, it was The Bean Scrub that drew me in. What was it? Was it actual beans – I was so intrigued!

Formulated with Japanese Adzuki beans which contain saponin, it works to remove dead skin cells and brighten the skin. This is a gentle exfoliator, which my skin loves.

I found that when I use this after The Tea Cleanser, my skin glows! My skin also doesn’t react due to the fineness of the scrub.

The Bean Scrub also uses Australian Pink Clay which works to draw out impurities.

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The Flower Face Cream
I am often too busy raving about my love of face oils (ha! never fear that will come after the next photo) that I often underestimate the power of a great face cream.

The Flower Face Cream isn’t mucking around either, it contains a bunch of ingredients  that work to soothe your skin such as rosehip and seabuckthorn (one of my faves).

Calendula is the perfect to addition that will help calm those with a little redness of the skin.

I found the Flower Face Cream light and that it easily melts into the skin. A little goes a long way, and while the Starter size is in a little pot, the full size is in a handy tube.

The Seed Face Oil
When I realised there was a face oil in the Starter pack, you should have seen my face light up! For the 100th time, yes I absolutely adore a good face oil.

Helen is onto something with the seabuckthorn fruit extract, this stuff is an absolute hero ingredient. This stuff will heal your skin, so perfect for those with sensitive skin or those with dry skin. Not only that, this has 8, yes 8 oils that work in harmony with your skin.

The scent isn’t strong, it smells very natural and earthy which I find pleasant. I use this in the evening alongside by Gua Sha tool as part of my facial massage routing – and I love it.

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I will note also, that all of the Be Fraiche products are made right here in Australia.

Our relationship has blossomed and I am so excited to meet Helen again in a couple of weeks, to talk more about her passion and goals for Be Fraiche. Thank you Helen for all of your support also!

Be sure to reach out to Helen via @befraicheskincare or via her website www.befraiche.com

Please let me know if you have any questions or who you would like to see next on the blog!

Renee
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Business in Focus

Meet the Makers – Marisa from Marisa Robinson Beauty

I am so so excited for today’s Meet the Makers! As Meet the Makers grows and develops it excites me to broaden the range of guests that I have on the series.

Today, we chat we a fellow Beauty Blogger, Marisa Robinson, who has been extremely supportive of not only myself but the wider Beauty Blogging community – gotta love that girl power!

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While I have (and will continue) building relationships in this industry, at times I have found it challenging to develop on those relationships. We are all moving through this life at an extremely fast pace so it is easy to get carried away in your own bubble.

Not with Marisa, she is always so engaging with myself and other followers and is even running a Beauty Blogging Challenge over on her website right now!

R. Good Morning and Happy Sunday! My favourite question first up, tell us, what lead you to starting your business?

M. I was always inspired by the bosses of the small businesses I worked for and the lives they were creating for themselves. My parents raised me with a really strong work ethic and I always gave 110%, but one day I started thinking ‘instead of making them (my bosses) rich, why couldn’t I work that hard for myself and live the amazing lives they were?‘.

It didn’t happen overnight, I was still working full-time when I launched my first business which was an online jewellery boutique selling collections from independent designers. I loved doing that and it was successful but unfortunately the timing in my life wasn’t right and I didn’t pursue it.

I continued to work full-time, all the while wishing I was doing my own thing, until about 4 years ago when I started freelancing as a Digital Marketing Specialist, studied makeup artistry and worked at a retail makeup counter just to be more hands on with makeup. I did wedding and occasion makeup for about 12-18 months before I realised that blogging was what was really filling up my cup and it made me feel so fulfilled that I was able to help other people by sharing my skills and knowledge.

Fast forward to today and I am still freelancing as a Digital Marketing Specialist while also being a Beauty Blogger and I wouldn’t have it any other way 🙂

R. As I mentioned above, I absolutely love your presence I the beauty world, your passion and the fact you are so supportive of others. 

What do you think you would be doing if you weren’t running your business?

M. Probably working for someone else and making their dreams a reality haha but I would like to say travelling the world or running an animal sanctuary.

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R. Running an animal sanctuary would be actual goals! We have an amazing one here in Melbourne called Edgars Mission, I will take you there when you visit Melbourne.
What does any given day look like for you?
M. I wake up (usually by my cat Bear) and check my emails and social media accounts. If I am seeing Digital Marketing clients I have breakfast get ready and head out to see them which may be all day or just for a few hours. I do a lot of my digital work remotely so I am lucky that I have the flexibility to work from anywhere, anytime!
But when I am blogging or creating content I usually set myself up on my laptop and try to write a few blog posts or set up my camera and film some videos for YouTube. I don’t have a strict schedule and mix it up so no two days are the same.


R. I’ve found the beauty industry (like most industry’s) has it’s fair share of drama – with some influencers willing to “spill the tea” at any moment

How do you deal with any negativity that comes your way?

M. I have been fairly lucky and not had to go through negativity in my blogging career but I have been faced with some difficult clients and strong personalities in my day jobs. It actually took a lot of internal work for me to realise that those people are generally more unhappy within themselves than they are with me but it can be hard to see that at the time.

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R. I completely agree, and while it can be challenging to make sense of, generally those that are making things difficult or causing trouble tend to be frustrated in themselves.
 

What’s next for Marisa Robinson Beauty?
M. I am excited to announce that I have launched a Beauty Blogging Bootcamp where I will teach budding bloggers how to successfully create a blog and turn their passion for beauty into profit.
R. When I heard you were launching the Beauty Blogging Bootcamp, I was so excited for you. What an absolute gift to those that are curious about the industry and want to learn how to make something from their social media!
Any specific tips for those wanting to start a business in beauty?
M. Find your niche. It is a very saturated market so you need to find a way to stand out and your unique point of view.
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R. Yes! Finding that niche is important, and also having a creative edge. I also think being your genuine self helps too!

I note that from January 2018, you ruled out using any products that were tested on animals and not cruelty free. How important is the use of organic/natural ingredients to you and your brand?

M. I have been using more natural products lately, especially skincare, and I think it is super important to recognise what we are applying to our bodies. Just because something is applied topically doesn’t mean your skin isn’t absorbing it. People are so conscious about the food they are digesting but I think caring about what products you’re applying to your skin is equally as important.

As a Cruelty Free Beauty Blogger I am also very conscious of using products which aren’t tested on animals or sold into Mainland China where animal testing is a legal requirement.

R. Who has been the most influential person to you and your business?

M. It would definitely have to be one of my clients who I met through a previous job. When I told her I was going rogue she believed in me 110% and lined up a lot of the clients who I still work with to this day. She will never know how truly grateful I am for the support and the opportunities she has given me.

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R. Sometimes we just need a little push, a little motivation and a bit of support to help us take that next leap of faith.

Time for some reflection questions! What’s your favourite part of the day?

M. It would have to be the mornings. I have been waking up early (mainly because our fur baby Bear wants me to feed him hehe) and the sun just streams in through our windows and it makes me feel happy to be enjoying another day! I can’t say I am a morning person but waking up like this certainly makes my day 🙂

R. I love seeing Bear in your stories, he is the absolute cutest!

I often speak about purpose (another favourite question of mine) and what it means to someone. Do you think you have figured out your purpose?

M. I feel like teaching is my purpose. As a blogger I get to teach people about beauty, makeup and share my gift of makeup artistry. I get a lot of self-satisfaction from helping others and love watching them flourish and succeed which is definitely what has inspired me to start my Beauty Blogging Bootcamp too.

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R. This leads me onto gratitude, how do you practice this?

M. I like to take time out and give thanks to the universe for all the amazing people and opportunities I have in my life. I am polite and kind to everyone I meet, I smile at strangers and I try to support the people I love as much as I can.

R. Yes! It costs nothing to be kind. I couldn’t agree with you more!

Ok, walk us through your beauty routine, I’m super keen to know this one!

M. In the morning I always start by washing my face and spritzing it with a facial mist. It is an instant pick me up and super refreshing.

If I am having an off duty day, I just apply a tinted moisturiser or SPF but if I am putting on a face I generally go with the products I have listed in question 8. They are my go-tos and can take me from zero to one hundred in minutes!

In the evening I ALWAYS remove my makeup – that is a non negotiable. I then cleanse my skin (I am currently using one from DermaEnergy) and then apply my night cream/mask and eye cream. I love the Murad Resurgence Retinol Youth Renewal Night Cream and Glow Lam Eye Serum.

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R. Haha! Make up off before bed is an absolute must! I admit, there are a few instances where I haven’t followed this rule and my skin has regretted it immensely in the morning.

What would you say are your go-to skincare or make up products?

M. I have so many! Here are my essentials:

– Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Rosewater
– First Aid Beauty Coconut Skin Smoothie Priming Moisturiser
– IT Cosmetics CC+ cream (I am currently trialing the matte and illuminating finish and I can’t quite pick which finish I love more!)
– Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara
– Kat Von D Beauty Signature Brow Precision Pencil
– Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb


R. Finally, where is your favourite place in the world where you would travel back to, time and time again?

M. Definitely Bali. Not only because it a stones throw away and there is a spa or beach club on every corner, but because I love nothing more than booking a private villa, chilling in the pool and watching the clouds float by.

R. Oh Bali! Take me back, I’ve been twice and couldn’t agree more. One of the best places for a little downtime and relaxation!

Thank you again for taking the time to chat with us! I wish you the best of luck with your Beauty Blogging Challenge! I have no doubt it will be a success!

If you wish to connect with Marisa you can do so here – @marisarobinsonbeauty on Instagram or via her website http://marisarobinsonbeauty.com/

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Renee
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Beauty, skincare

Product Review – The Face Oil Collection from Mermaid Cove Organics

Every now and then I meet these amazing Makers who I form this wonderful connection with. Sara from Mermaid Cove Organics is one of those Makers. I remember following her, even before her online store opened. I remember loving her username, Mermaid Cove Organics. It sounded so intriguing!

I was also lucky to feature Sara in my first ever Meet the Makers interview, which can be found here. It was all new to me, I was nervous if my interview series would work, would people like it but Sara was so kind and generous with her time – I’m extremely grateful for that!

Since then Sara and Mermaid Cove Organics has flourished, stocking some lovely small-batch products from brands such as Herbs and HeartWild Crafted Organics and now even her own line Mermaid Cove Organics.

The new range from Mermaid Cove Organics features 3 gorgeous face oils all blended & formulated by Sara herself. I was extremely lucky to sample the 3 oils before they went live and I was so impressed I wanted a full size right then and there!

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The 3 Blends are;

  • Ocean Glow Face Oil, beneficial for dry and sensitive skin- $51 AUD
  • Ocean Nectar Face Oil, beneficial for dry and mature skin – $57 AUD
  • Mermaid Face Oil, beneficial for combination, oily and acne-prone skin – $31 AUD

My absolute favourite is the Ocean Glow Face Oil, the beautiful Jasmine essential oil draws me in and transports me to a tropical island (mainly Hawaii, where I’ll be next month!). It also has German Chamomile Essential Oil which acts as an anti-inflammatory and also helps with dryness. Jojoba and Chamomile act to add moisture back into the skin while also healing.

Ocean Nectar is perfect for mature-aged skin as it contains Primrose Oil which not only hydrates but also has high levels of antioxidants. The use of Carrot Seed Essential Oil promotes cellular repair, while Camellia Oil assists with collagen production.

One of the key ingredients I was extremely excited about in the Mermaid Face Oil was the Tamanu Oil. Indigenous to the Pacific Islands, Tamanu Oil has been used for centuries to help with skin tone and even those with oily skin. The inclusion of Grapeseed Oil further assists those with oily skin by helping with sebum production. It is beautifully scented with Lavender Essential Oil.

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Packaging of the Face Oils is luxe, presented in an easy to use pump bottle with gold lid it sits beautifully on the beauty shelf in the bathroom.

Application is easy, I like to apply 2 pumps in the evening once I have cleansed however this can be used in the morning too. I prefer to use it at night as I find it extremely calming with the inclusion of the essential oils. Allow the oil to enter the skin for 3-5 minutes before applying any further skincare products.

A really cool fact about Mermaid Cove Organics is that they are living and breathing their core value of sustainability by using Sendle to post out your purchases. Sendle is Australia’s first carbon neutral shipping company! Amazing!

Sara has offered a wonderful treat for you also, if you wish to try the new Face Oil range use code “thehappygirl10” at checkout to receive 10% off your order.

Let me know how you like to incorporate face oils into your beauty routine!

Renee
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Business in Focus

Meet the Makers – Kailah from MG Naturals

Good afternoon friends, and happy Sunday! I hope everyone is enjoying their long weekend. Did you watch the AFL Grand Final yesterday? I didn’t but I thought there would be many who are so decided to delay the posting of this week’s Meet the Makers!

Today we are chatting with Kailah from MG Naturals. I met Kailah close to a year ago in a Facebook group for business women, aptly called “Like Minded Bitches Drinking Wine” which is a wonderful community of women supporting women!

MG Naturals is one of those brands I really love, creating wonderful make up & skincare products that are vegan, organic and 100% titanium dioxide free. Which is great news for your skin considering what we apply to our bodies is absorbed into it.

MG Naturals have a range of products from vegan brushes, foundation, bronzer to lipstick and mascara. Kailah also loves feedback and suggestions on future products, if you have a great idea you can contact her here.

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R. Welcome Kailah to Meet the Makers! It’s been wonderful watching the brand grow! Tell us, what made you decide to start MG Naturals?

K. Becoming a Mama led me to start my business, the MG actually stands for Mama Going Natural. Before my daughter was born I assumed that all products sold in stores must be safe, otherwise you wouldn’t be able to sell them, right?! Boy was I shocked to find all the chemicals & toxins that were in products that my family used every single day.

I couldn’t find any makeup brands that I was 100% happy with, so out of necessity MG Naturals was born to create safe, natural products for my family & friends, it actually took off quite by accident! There was such a demand for safe, honest makeup!

R. I always wondered what the MG stood for! That is very cool! It’s amazing the demand for safe, green make up and skincare and I believe as Australian Makers we are leading the way in producing great quality green products!

How & why are organic ingredients important to your brand?

K. Organic natural ingredients are the cornerstone of our brand. If I won’t put an ingredient on my sweet babies skin I wouldn’t include it in our products. If we can’t make a product to our exacting standards of purity & safety then we just don’t make it.

We want people to know they can trust us, the green beauty sector can be a mine field of mis-information & green washing so we like to think we stand as a beacon for people to trust & believe in, they can safely order our products & know we don’t use any nasties, ever!

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R. Argh green washing is so common and it drives me mad! It’s true, as consumers we don’t have massive amounts of time to be reading through ingredient lists so you think you can trust what the packaging says – unfortunately it’s not always the case.

Are you currently working on anything or any new products about to launch?

K. We have so many new & exciting products in the pipeline. We are constantly testing out new formulations & playing with makeup. Formulating green makeup can take a lot longer as we try to recreate the look, feel & function of big brand makeup just without all the nasties. We have so many products in various stages of testing & production: a fuller coverage solid foundation, lip n cheek colour pots, a full coverage colour-correcting concealer palette, liquid eyeliner & we want to get into pressed powder products later in the year.

R. Oh the lip n cheek colour pots sound exciting – well it all does! I can see how the formulation process can take a little longer than traditional methods.

Do you have any tips for those who are wanting to move away from mainstream make up brands and into safe and vegan alternatives?

K. It can be expensive (but very worthwhile for your health) moving into green beauty & tossing out all your non-green makeup.

To make it easier on your wallet I recommend starting with your foundation or BB cream as these products are often used every day & are being absorbed into your skin. Then I’d look at your lip products as we inadvertently consume a lot of lipstick & lip balm overtime. Those would be the products I would worry about first & then everything else can be swapped out as they start to run out. But just changing those products alone will reduce the amount of toxins & chemicals your exposed to each day.

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R. It’s amazing just how much lip balm/stick we consume without even knowing it. I seem to go through so much of it, so ensuring what I use is natural is extremely important to me.

Where do you draw inspiration from each day?

K. I am inspired by my children, they are my greatest teachers. My eldest Aleena is zen, nothing much rattles her, so she reminds me not to sweat the small stuff. My toddler Lexi is bolshy & fearless & does not accept No for an answer, she inspires me to be brave & go after what I want. And our latest addition Baby Aubree is never-ending happy, she wakes up smiling and smiles her way through the day, she reminds me of the pure delight of being alive even when your seriously sleep deprived!!

R. That is so beautiful! They say that kids really are our greatest teachers. I’ve actually been trying to include more child-like play into my life. Things we did as kids that brought so much delight, like rolling down this massive hill at work. People were asking why I did it and I thought why not? It was actually so much fun and left me grinning from ear-to-ear!

What is your favourite part of the day?

K. My absolute favourite part of the day is working at my desk & watching my girls play on the fort in the backyard. Sometimes being a Mama & running a business can be a bit of a hard gig. But when I look at my girls, I know it’s all worthwhile because one day they will be wearing makeup &I don’t want any nasties on those precious little faces.

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R. Finally, as the Maker of such wonderful products, tell us – what does your beauty routine look like?

K. Being a Mama of three (with two being under two) my beauty routine is very parred back at the moment. Alone time in the bathroom is a foregone conclusion in our house so I have to get ready to face the world in a matter of minutes. I always start with our BB Cream in luminous light because that’s my moisturiser, sunscreen & makeup all in one. I then like to apply a few coats of our Organic Volume Mascara because I love lashes & then a swipe of our Wild Rose lipstick and I’m ready for the school run. I used to wear foundation but now that I have no time for skincare I have swapped to the BB as its my moisturiser, serum, sunscreen & makeup in one easy 30 second application (leaving me more time to apply my mascara!).

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R. Oh the ever precious mascara! I don’t know what I would do without it, I love it. Something so simple, that can make you look and feel like you’ve slept for a solid 12 hours – ha!

Thank you again for joining us Kailah. I’m excited for what’s on the horizon for you and will be keeping close eye on the lip and cheek pots!

You can find Kailah’s bright and cheery website here and also reach out to her on Instagram via @mgnaturals.

I’d also love to know who you would like to see interviewed next, feel free to let me know!

Have a wonderful week!

Renee
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