Beauty, skincare

Product Review – Super Fruit Exfoliating Cleanser with Blueberries, Grape Skin & Acai – Scout Cosmetics

By now, I think it’s fair to say that we are all aware of my cleanser addiction, and if you aren’t well you need to take a look over my previous product reviews!

When I was asked to provide a review on the very yummy Super Fruit Exfoliating Cleanser with Blueberries, Grape Skin & Acai – it’s safe to say I jumped at the chance!

If you weren’t aware I actually interview Sylvie, the founder of Scout Cosmetics a couple of months ago for Meet the Makers . You can find that interview here.

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Priced at $34.95 for 150ml and made with 86% certified organic ingredients, it is extremely good value.

Packing is on point, just like the rest of the Scout Cosmetics range. The cleanser is easily accessible with the handy pump, and I find that 2-3 pumps is all you need.

While packaging doesn’t make or break a product (it’s whats inside that counts), I really love the purple label against the purple in the product – it’s fun, quirky and adds a pop of colour to the bathroom!

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As the name suggests, hero ingredients in the Super Fruit Exfoliating Cleanser are;

  • Blueberries – assists with collagen productions
  • Grape Skin – antioxidant rich and works to repair skin cells
  • Acai – vitamin and mineral packed including omegas 3,6 and 9 plus vitamin B, E & C are just some of them

While the name suggests it is an exfoliator, I was interested to feel and see no environmentally-friendly exfoliating beads or ground nuts etc. The reason for this is the natural fruit extracts contain AHA’s (alpha hydroxy acid) and therefore act as the exfoliant.

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I found the cleanser removed my foundation easily, and didn’t leave behind any residue. It was also able to remove an oily based balm I used and left my skin feeling clean.

I enjoyed how easily it lathers, I simply rubbed the product between my palms to activate the lather before applying to my face. This ensured my skin didn’t pull while I rubbed the cleanser onto my face.

The fruity scent isn’t too over-powering and I pick up hints of Aloe Vera which is another key ingredient that helps the skin maintain its moisture and can also reduce redness in the skin.

I hope you all have an amazing week ahead! Kick those goals!

Renee
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skincare

Product Review – Qasil Powder, Qasil Organics

Roughly 3 months ago, I reviewed the Qasil Organics, Qasil Facial Mask. This was the first product from Qasil Organics and is a liquid based mask. You can find my full review of the Qasil Facial Mask here.

After reading about the Qasil Leaf and how it can benefit the skin I was quite excited to try the Qasil Facial Mask, even today, it is still a mask I reach for as part of my beauty routine.

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A quick overview of the Qasil Leaf – it makes for a great exfoliant and also acts as a cleanser. Qasil Leaf is from the Gob Tree which is found in East Africa.

At the same time I was reviewing the original mask, Qasil Organics launched a new product – Qasil Powder. This is a dry powder that you mix yourself as you need it. I was excited to try this too as I enjoy mixing my own masks. Generally there is less waste and they are more concentrated.

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The Qasil Organics, Qasil Powder retails for $30 however it comes in a large resealable pouch weighing in at 200g. This is a large amount of product and well worth the value, as you are mixing this yourself with water before applying to the face.

As I mentioned, all you need to do is mix 1/2 teaspoon with a little water and mix until you have a smooth consistency. Apply to the face and leave for 5 minutes, then rinse.
Just like the Qasil Facial Mask (and pretty much any mask!), I like to wash this off in the shower as it can be a little messy.

I’ve noticed since using the Qasil Facial Mask and Qasil Powder, my skin feels soft to touch, smoother and brighter.

You can purchase the two products from the Qasil Organics website.

Happy Masking!

Renee
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Beauty, skincare

Product Review – Botany Beauty (new items!), Malie Organics

Several months back, Malie Organics expanded on their Botany Beauty line (previously was just the Firming Cream) with the introduction of the following 3 products;

  • Cleansing Polish
  • Illuminating Moisturizer
  • Luxe Eye Cream

I shared my thoughts on the new products in a blog post, which I will share the link too however I will say this. I absolutely love the Cleansing Polish. It’s this perfect jelly like consistency that smells like heaven!

The Illuminating Moisturiser is perfect for under my makeup and provides a subtle glow and the Luxe Eye Cream is a thick cream perfect for the under eye area. You can find the full review of the above products here.

I was excited when they first launched the range, and after knowing how good these products are, I could hardly contain my excitement!

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The newest products to the range are;

  • Coffee Fruit Mask
  • Kaua’i Clay Mask
  • Hydrosol Facial Tonic
  • Illuminating Serum

The new products are packaged in the signature Botany Beauty packaging, with the gold and white, which looks so luxurious and sits beautifully on the make up shelf!

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Coffee Fruit Mask 15ml – $55USD
This is the most interesting product I have tried in such a long time. When you hear the word’s “mask” you expect something quite thick. Although this has the consistency more so of a serum but you apply it to cleansed skin and leave for up to 5 minutes.

The ingredients – just one! Hawaiian Coffee Fruit Extract which the Malie website states has more antioxidant power than any other fruit source.

Like most masks, I like to apply this just before popping in the shower as I have a tendency to get masks everywhere! Ha!

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Kaua’i Clay Mask 120ml – $45USD
The Kaua’i Clay Mask is not like any clay mask I’ve ever tried. With one of the ingredients being Kaua’i Bentonite Clay it dries quite firm. However once I add a little water to remove the mask it turns to this beautiful consistency, very smooth and easy to remove.

My skin generally goes quite red when I use clay masks, however I don’t find that with the Kaua’i Clay Mask as it’s quite gentle.

Other ingredients include Aloe and Blue Green Algae, so much super power in the jar!

Hydrosol Facial Tonic 50ml – $45USD
The Hydrosol Facial Tonic is made from pure Jasmine and Rose Hydrosols. Not sure what a hydrosol is? A hydrosol is produced by distilling flowers and leaves, to form a gentle alternative to pure essential oils.

The Hydrosol Facial Tonic can be used as a toner, but what I love using it for is to spritz as my face mask dries to add a little moisture and some added nutrients!

I love how light this is on the skin, plus it smells absolutely divine!

Illuminating Serum 30ml – $45USD
Attention! This is now my new favourite, although the Cleansing Polish is a strong contender. I love this serum with all my heart, it’s light, perfectly packaged, smells divine and has a bunch of amazing oils (9 in total) to provide you with all the antioxidant power you need!

I love to use this at night, after I’ve finished my shower. I find the serum the perfect end to my skincare routine as I settle into bed for the night.

This is on my “must have” shopping list for when I am in Hawaii, I may even need to bring back a few bottles!

While I love the Malie Organics brand a whole lot, these new products are amazing! Again, I can’t fault them at all. Everything has been thought through, they are perfect in every way.

You can find all of the Malie Organics products on their website.

Not only is Malie Organics creating these beautiful products, they also do amazing work for their community. The #givingbackisbeautiful campaign runs on different days through the year and 100% of profits for that given day is donated to a selected community charity. So special!

Thank you Malie for all that you do, and for creating such beauty!

Renee
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Beauty, skincare

Product Review – Kiss Ready Lips

On Saturday the lovely Louella from Kiss Ready Lips, sat down with us for Meet the Makers and to tell us a little more about herself. You can find her interview here..

A little recap, I met Louella at the Sydney Finders Keepers in December last year and fell in love with her positivity. Just watching her explain how her products worked and why she created them, made me so interested – I quickly snapped up one of the gift sets, a scrub and a lip balm!

Louella crafts all the products by hand. After being impressed with the nutritional and healing properties of the chia seed, this paved the way for Louella to learn more about the superfood and see how it could be incorporated into skincare and beauty.

I absolutely love the Rose Omega Face Balm, with its silky smooth texture and the gentle exfoliation from the oats…more about that soon!

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Louella also has Kiss Ready Baby and Mama under the umbrella which includes lighter versions of the oils specifically made for baby’s skin and nursing mums.

All products are vegan and cruelty free too!

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Omega Rose Face Balm – $58AUD
As I mentioned above, I absolutely LOVE the Rose Omega Face Balm. It is so dreamy. It has a creamy texture that melts when you apply it your face. It has finely milled oat flour which acts as an extremely gentle exfoliator.

It has a subtle scent of rose, which reminds me of some Turkish Delight.

I use this as my second cleanse, due to my use of waterproof make up, however I find it cleanses extremely well and could be used as a first cleanse.

You can also use this as a lip balm and on dry patches of skin such as elbows, knees and feet.

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Omega Rose Face Mist – $26.95AUD
I like to keep my bottle of Omega Rose Face Mist in the fridge, to use as a little facial treat when it’s warm or when my face starts to feel a little dry from the heating.

It’s nice to use as a little stress-reliever too as the scent of rose is quite calming.

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Light Chia Oil – $25.00AUD
The hero of the family, the Light Chia Oil is made up of 4 ingredients;
* Sweet Almond Oil
* Chia Oil, sourced within Australia
* Rose Geranium extract oil
* Rosemary extract oil

Another multi-purpose product, the Light Chia Oil can be used is multiple ways. Since my operation I’ve been using it on my scars (along with other oils I have) and also I like to use it on the ends of my hair.

It comes with a handy dropper, so easy to apply just the right amount.

Superfoods Antioxidant Face Mask – $50AUD
This mask lives up to its name with an antioxidant rich combination of green superfoods such as chia, spinach and kale – it smells very green, it reminds me a little of a vegetable soup.

Green in colour, it comes as a powder which when mixed with water becomes a paste which you then apply to your face. The benefits of this is the mask, when in powder form, is more potent and rich in vitamins. It’s also a great way to minimise waste.

I am a big fan of this mask, I find it leaves my skin feeling smooth, soft and plump.

Kiss Ready Lips is a great little Australian brand, created by someone who is extremely passionate about what they are doing. Although I am a big fan of Louella, she is also very supportive of myself and what I’m doing for small business’s. For this I’m incredibly grateful.

If you would like to check out the Kiss Ready range, simply click here.

You can also find Louella on Instagram – @ kissreadylips

As always, any questions please feel free to reach out – I love to chat!

Renee
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Beauty, skincare

Product Review – Elemental Renewal Serum, Five Elements

Several months back I was sent a bottle of the Elemental Renewal Serum by Five Elements to try out and review. Since then, this little bottle of goodness is my go-to for when I travel.

Created by Karen McKay, who spent years studying science and botany, Karen was able to formulate her first product – Five Elements Skin Tonic to assist a friend with severe eczema. Word spread amongst family and friends and before long Karen was encouraged to start her own brand. Five Elements was born!

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You may be thinking, why call it Five Elements. This is due to the unique 5 plant formula that has been researched and developed for each individual plants properties. This formula is then used alongside super oils, such as Avocado, Jojoba and Rosehip oil that is great for the skin.

Extracts used in the formulas are grown in Karen’s herb farm located in Marlborough, New Zealand.

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As I mentioned above, I love using it when I travel. Once I board, I do a quick cleanse before I apply the Elemental Renewal Serum. I do a quick roll with either my jade or quartz roller, then sit back and enjoy the flight.

When I arrive at my destination, my skin always feels so hydrated. There is so tightness, nor does it feel sticky. The serum also smells like heaven!

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Not only are Five Elements creating products that contain active ingredients, they are also doing some great work to protect our environment.

For the months of June and July, Five Elements are donating 15% of all profits to the Bat Recovery Project in the Pelorus Bridge Reserve. In New Zealand, bats are considered an endangered species. Funds donated go to supporting the preservation of the species.

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Five Elements ships to Australia, with shipping approximately $7.50 NZD, however do check on their website for your specific location pricing.

Below are all the social media deets for Five Elements;

  • Website: https://www.five-elements.co.nz
  • Instagram: @fiveelementsnz

Thank you to Five Elements for reaching out to me, I absolutely love the Elemental Renewal Serum! I also love what you doing for the environment and your contribution to New Zealand’s conservation efforts.

Happy humpday!

Renee
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Business in Focus

Meet the Makers – Ashleigh from Buddha Organics

Ashleigh from Buddha Organics specialises in organic powder blends, such as Cacao & Chocolate, Greens and Breakfast Boost which can be added to smoothies, cereals, puddings to give you an added nutritional boost. It’s an easy way to add some extra vitamins to your meal, especially if you are often on the go!

I previously shared my recipe for Cacao Chocolate Chia Puddings on the blog, you can locate that recipe here. I must say, the Cacao Chocolate Blend is one of my favourites and satisfy’s my chocolate cravings – yum!

This evening, we sit down with Ashleigh to learn a little more about this growing brand.

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R. Thank you for jumping on board and being so passionate about being part of the Meet the Makers & Shakers series! Tell me something, I don’t already know about you!

A. Hi I’m Ashleigh, im 27 years old and a mother of 7! (2 kids and 5 fur-babies). I am currently completing my Bachelor’s degree in Business. Outside of running my business I enjoy doing yoga and Pilates on a regular basis as well as spending time with the family.

R. I didn’t know you were currently studying your Bachelor’s of Business – that’s amazing! Especially with your little growing business. What lead you to starting Buddha Organics?

A. Recently my daughter was diagnosed with ADHD + ODD, I started looking into the food she was eating and came to a realisation of how much preservatives and additives are placed in to these products. I was wanting to share my knowledge and provide people with healthy alternatives.

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R. You recently launched a new logo for Buddha Organics (which I love!), are you currently working on anything new?

We have a few new products in the pipeline where we will be expanding on our superfood blend range. Make sure you sign up to our email list, located here to be the first to know when they launch!

R. Aside from the yummy superfood blends you currently stock, you also offer vegan lipsticks that look so creamy! Do you have any tip to those wanting to move away from mainstream beauty products and into green beauty – where should they start?

A. Start by reading the reading the labels and make sure you are aware of what ingredients are in the products you are using. It is very easy to be mistaken by companies that like to “greenwash” but the ingredients will never lie to you.

R. We definitely need to spread the word about “greenwashing” as unfortunately it is such common practice amongst some larger brands.

Tell me a little about how you practice gratitude?

A. I try and donate plasma as regularly as possible. This is only something I have started within the past 6 months but it has been an amazing feeling knowing that I am able to help so many people by taking 1hr out of my day every 2 weeks.

Thank you so much Ashleigh for taking the time to chat to us! I see big things on the horizon for Buddha Organics!

As a special thank you to readers, Ashleigh is offering 15% off using the code HAPPY at checkout.

You can locate the Buddha Organics website here.
Please let me know if you have any questions you would like asked in our next Meet the Maker!
Enjoy your Saturday night,
Renee
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Beauty, beauty community, cruelty free beauty, skincare

Product Review – Devine Oils

When writing a review, I love to read the “about us” section on the brand’s website to find out a little more about the maker and their why. I just love hearing about people’s passions and to see people living their dreams.

The founder, Louise Devine has quite an interesting bio. I was able to learn that Louise moved to Australia in 2006 with her daughter which coincided with her brand, Devine Oils being born.

Without even trying the products, I fell in love immediately with the use of glass to hold the products in rather than plastic – helping reduce their environmental footprint.

Scent is important to me, I really enjoy using products that are scented. Luckily I don’t suffer from irritable skin. I find the range, that uses essential oils gentle on my skin – and they smell great!

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All products are made the day before they are sent out, to ensure the products received are at their freshest and most potent. They are also vegan, palm oil free and do not contain parabens.

The below product photos are of the trial size products, however the price quoted is for the full size. Louise does have trial kits available on her website located here;

https://www.devineoils.com.au

Palm Oil Free Cream Cleanser – $49.50
As the name suggests the Palm Oil Free Cream Cleanser has a lovely creamy base, with one of the main ingredients noted being Aloe Vera. I like to use this cleanser for my 2nd cleanse, mainly to breathe in the beautiful essential oils of Frankincense and Sweet Fennel.

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Light Day Oil and Night Oil Treatment – Detox & Repair, both $44.50
I love, LOVE face oils (second to cleansers ha!) rather than using a moisturiser. I find my skin loves oils, and it especially loved the Night Oil Treatment, with its subtle scent. It is the perfect oil for sleeping, sending me off to the land of nod.

I found the Light Day Oil lived up to its name and was lighter in consistency. I found the scent slightly stronger than the Night Oil Treatment but still enjoyable. I love using this on the weekend when I don’t wear any make up and my skin can breathe.

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Soothing Eye Serum – $45.00
Easy to use and perfect in the little pump bottle, I found a lot went a long way. The Soothing Eye Serum has a mild scent and a creamy texture. I found subtle changes to the skin under eyes, it felt hydrated with visible elasticity.

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Pore Minimiser Nourish & Repair and Open Pore Serum Detox & Repair, $49.50
Like many, I do suffer from open pores especially on my nose. I was excited to try both of these serums in the hope they helped reduce the size of them. Both serums have a gel texture and like the eye serum you do only need a tiny amount.

The serums dry quickly and felt light weight on my skin.

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I really love this brand, the products are made with great natural ingredients. They are also doing great things for the environment, as I mentioned, by using glassware for the products rather than plastic.

Louise has extensive knowledge with what works best for the skin, including tried and tested formulations. I’m pleased to have been introduced to this brand as I will now be a regular, especially that cleanser!

Pop on over to check out the full range and drop Louise an email if you have any questions, I’m sure she would love to hear from you.

https://www.devineoils.com.au

Renee
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Business in Focus, Meet the Makers - Purpose Project

Meet the Makers – Monica from Natura Skincare

Happy long weekend all, I hope it’s been a killer day for you. I had so many goals for today, and I achieved only 1 before I had to have a nap – for the whole day! Since my operation, I have been focussing on listening to my body, rather than trying to push myself.

It’s been 2 weeks since my first Meet the Makers post with the lovely Sarah from Mermaid Cove Organics. I had such lovely feedback on it, with so many of my favourite brands wanting to be involved – this made me so happy!

The Meet the Makers interviews will be weekly going forward, and we have some awesome interviews in the works.

Tonight, we sit down with Monica from Natura Skincare and hear her thoughts on the why behind her brand!

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R. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us Monica! From the moment I announced the interviews series, I admired your passion for wanting to be part of the project! Natura Skincare’s Philosophy is built on 5 core values;

  • Carbon Neutral
  • Environmentally Sustainable
  • Cruelty Free
  • Education
  • Self Care 

So tell us, what lead you to starting your business?

M. I am a mamma of 3 and my children’s skin can be sensitive at times, reacting to different products over the years. My son and one of my daughters had eczema when they were younger and my son also has asthma. I always thought I was being quite conscious of the products I was using on their skin, but it wasn’t until I did a few workshops (and lots of research), that I realised some of the products I thought to be toxin free, unfortunately were not.

I started off making body butter and scrubs for family and friends to try and I received lots of positive feedback about the way the products made their skin feel and the way they smelt. I really loved experimenting and creating and so what started off as an interest, turned into a passion that led me to creating Natura Skincare!

Natura Skincare is pretty much a one woman show. I am the founder, maker, packager, labeller and all else that goes along with it (although I have had the help of family and friends when things have gotten a bit crazy!!) but when I refer to the business as ‘our’ rather than ‘my’, it’s in acknowledgement of my awesome husband and kids. Without their inspiration and support I may never have started this journey!

R. I would have to say that the above question is one of my favourites. I absolutely love hearing how an idea turns into a passion and then a dream!
I mentioned Natura Skincare’s 5 core values above, however can you tell us a little more about the Natura Skincare philosophy?

M. Natura Skincare is a cruelty free company, we do not test on animals and never will!

We are aware of the impact we have on the environment, so we only use packaging that can be recycled. We also proudly use Sendle to deliver our products to you, Sendle is Australia’s first 100% carbon neutral delivery service!

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R. You mentioned how it took a bunch of workshops and research to understand that some products didn’t hold up to their claims regarding being toxin free. It’s actually shocking how much “greenwashing” occurs. Since starting Natura Skincare, how important is the use of organic/natural ingredients to you and your brand?

M. This is fundamental to Natura Skincare! There is a huge focus in society on what we put into our body and eating healthily, what many don’t realise is that skin is the largest organ of your body and what you put onto your body, can penetrate into the deepest layers of the skin. All our ingredients are natural and our products are scented with essential oils not synthetic fragrances. Our products also contain numerous organic ingredients.

We have made a range that is affordable which is made possible by using a combination of natural and organic ingredients.

At the moment all of our products are anhydrous (do not contain water) so we are able to avoid the use of preservatives.

R. Oh wow! I love that! I also wasn’t aware that products that do not contain water can avoid the use of preservatives! I would assume that also makes the product more potent? Are you working on anything new or exciting?

M. Ha ha! I always feel like my mind is running 100 miles an hour. I am experimenting with cold pressed soap at the moment as well as a face moisturiser and cleanser.

Some products in the range have been fairly easy to formulate while others have taken a lot of trial and error.

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R. Oh Monica, you had me at cleanser! If you need a little guinea pig, consider me, cleansers are my all time favourite. The Green Beauty Movement is gaining momentum, any tips for those wanting to start a Green Beauty business?

M. I truly believe education is power, do your research, enrol in a course, talk to others in the industry. Do what suits your learning style to increase your knowledge. You will make mistakes along the way but it’s all part of the learning process.

If this (or anything else for that matter) is where your passion lies, then believe in yourself, know your worth and go for it.

R. It’s so true, I think it’s so easy for us to have so much self-doubt. Especially as women but if you truly believe in something then go out and do it. Life is too short to not be living our passions. You’ve spent some time speaking about Natura Skincare, tell me, between juggling 3 kids, a Husband, new formulas what are your go to self-care tips?

M. This is a hard one because self-care means something different to everyone.

When talking about self-care as a beauty regime I make the time to exfoliate 3 times a week. My fave scrub of the moment is Natura Skincare’s Coffee & Peppermint Scrub for a morning pick me up or Rose Petal Scrub if exfoliating before bed!

I give myself a facial a couple of times a week by detoxing and nourishing my dry skin with our Balancing & Exfoliating Clay Mask followed by our popular Rejuvenating Honey & Cacao Mask.

When I can, I soak in a detox bath using our Rose Petal Soak or Lavender Soak depending on what mood I’m in.

When looking at self-care on a mental and emotional level I try to be kind to myself and let go of the ‘mum guilt’. There will always be guilt and second guessing yourself… did I spend enough quality time with them today/listen to them/advice them well…the list goes on.

And a must do…Laugh. Laugh a lot, have a sense of humour, make others laugh, laugh at yourself and don’t take life too seriously!

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R. You are spot on, self care means something to everyone. Sometimes, for myself self-care is a Saturday afternoon nap! On the topic of self care, how do you practice gratitude?

At the start of the year I bought myself a pretty little book and I tried to make a habit of writing down 3 things I am grateful for at least once a week, but it just wasn’t me.

So gratitude has just become part of me and my daily practise. I truly believe everything happens for a reason and there is a lesson to be learnt in all lost opportunities, doors closed and endings.
I have faith in God and this has helped me through some really difficult times. I try to focus on all the things I have been blessed with… good health, family and friends just to name a few vital things.

My mum always used to tell me and still does at times, that there is always someone worse off than us, wishing that they were in our shoes. This is something I always tell my kids. Gratitude breeds positivity, optimism and happiness.

R. Thank you so much Monica for your time. I absolutely love your honesty and positivity! I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you, and your skincare plans!

I hope you all enjoyed this weeks, Meet the Makers interview! As always, please let me know any thoughts or feedback you have.

Have a safe long weekend,

Renee
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