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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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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Business in Focus

Meet the Makers – Kaishan from Libertea, Prahran Market

Happy Saturday! I actually can’t believe we are in September? Where is the year going, for real!

Tonights guest, Kaishan from Libertea, is simply wonderful. I met her a few months ago at an event for My Blue Tea at Prahran Market. Kaishan gave a wonderful talk about tea and her blend of Butterfly Blue Flowers and Lemon (which is such a beautiful blend!) and was so lovely to speak with – we just clicked.

Fast forward a few weeks and I popped into her shop at Prahran Market and enjoyed a lovely tea tasting, where I learnt a bunch of fun facts. Did you know tea bags can contain bleach and therefore it’s better to use loose leaf tea – no either did I!

I love the little about us section on the Libertea website, where one of the concerns for the shop is the fact it’s situated in a coffee city – Melbourne. While we do love our coffee here, I love how passionate Kaishan is at explaining the different teas and how to drink them. I bet she could turn any coffee drinker into a tea drinker!

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R. Welcome Kaishan to Meet the Makers, it’s wonderful to have you join us. I’m sipping on the Purple Lemon Tea as I write this! 

Let’s start with the all important, what lead you to starting Libertea?

K. A simple wish to do something meaningful, rather than going to work everyday mindlessly just to earn a living. I treat this as a learning experience, and am still finding my way through it!

R. I love that, a learning experience – it gives me goosebumps! I think it’s such a powerful acknowledgement and really we are all still learning as we travel this journey called life!

What would you say is the biggest challenge when running your own business?

K. To prioritize my to do list, and to prioritize my personal life and work. Your passion very easily keeps you up 2am in the morning planning and replying emails. Then your body will tell you the next day at 8am to hit the snooze button because you need rest as a human!!

R. I agree, I can easily write lists and lists far into the night with plans and ideas but my body isn’t very thankful for that the next morning. 

With that being said, how do you balance living in such a digital world?

K. I try to turn off notifications and set out a fixed time when I can check my social media. I also won’t check my phone on my days off.

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R. It can be tempting to think “I’ll just reply to this one email” and next minute an hour has passed and you are still working away. 

Walk us through what any given day looks like for you.

K. I am most likely running late to open the shop, spend the first 30 minutes setting up, brew myself a tea, decide what has to be done and what I feel like doing, and dedicate my time according to my interests and my energy levels.

Some days I will just rearrange shelves because I need a break from my computer and from stock ordering.

R. Running a business comes with a few challenges here and there, how do you take time out to rest the mind?

K. Chatting with my friends, playing with my son, breathing exercises. I find that being at the present moment is very important. So I will harass whoever happens to be close to me when I am feeling overwhelmed, and as soon as you voice your concerns, they don’t seem as daunting as they were in your head.

 R. It’s wonderful you can surround yourself with a support network especially when facing hurdles. 

How do you deal with negativity?

R. I try to focus on the bigger picture. I will try to picture 3 months from now where I will be. Trusting and believing your potentials facing all odds is very important and a lesson I need to learn.

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R. Your business is in consumables, how important is the use of organic/natural ingredients to you and your brand?

K. It’s not important, it’s essential! We are very trusting when we buy.
When we pick up a packet of tea from a shop, we most likely expect it to be 100% natural loose leaf however often than not, if you read the labels, you will find flavorings, coloring, even added sugar in them. Why?

For a tea that takes months to grow, and days to harvest; some even need to be handpicked, oxidized, rolled, then roasted into dried leaves; then we take consideration of the costs of packaging, marketing and distributing, and it’s still priced at $3.99 a packet! The price speaks loudly on the quality. It’s like paying $10 for 4 litres of boxed wine, that’s why additives are needed to make it taste more decent. At Libertea, we focus on letting the natural ingredients shine through. We will tell you where we source the teas, when they were picked, what else is added, and how to brew them!

Nothing artificial needed for our tea experience!

R. Outside of Libertea and juggling being a mama, how do you like to have fun!

K. I am a foodie, and a casual yogi, love reading about spiritual growth, as I had a major life crisis and awakening a few years ago.

R. I feel if you live in Melbourne and are not a foodie, are you even a real Melbournian ha!

You mentioned you had an awakening a few years ago, with that have you figured out your purpose?

K. My purpose is just to pass on positive energy to everyone and anyone I meet. I met some very generous and amazing people who helped me get though my crisis. I am trying to do the same for others.

R. It’s a those times of need when we build extremely strong relationships. I’m grateful you had that support network by your side.

What’s your favourite part of the day?

K. Doing silly dancing and singing with my 3 year old.

R. Ha! I bet it’s a real hoot, it would also be a stress reliever!

Where do you draw inspiration from each day?

K. Knowing that I will be learning something new or meeting someone new. One of the advantages of having your own shop is you are guaranteed to meet new people every day.

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R. Biggest self-care tip?

K. Remember to breath….

R. As Chief Tea Officer at Libertea, do you have anything further you would like to add?

Say no to teabags!!! They are not biodegradable and full of chemicals!

R. Thank you again Kaishan for your time, I’m so grateful to have met you – you are wonderful!

Libertea is celebrating their 1st birthday par-tea on Sunday the 16th of September from 10 to 2.30pm at Prahran Market where you can pop in a taste any tea your heart desires, there will be cake (yes, Kaishan had me at cake!), party hats and bags plus random giveaways. If you would be keen to attend let me know, I’d love to join you!

Have a wonderful evening,

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

June Empties

A short blog to talk about the June empties. Not too much to report, I finished 4 products. Those 4 products are as follows;

  • Mario Badescu A.H.A Botanical Soap
  • The Ordinary Foundation
  • Tarte Lights Camera Lashes
  • Drunk Elephant Beste No.9 Jelly Cleanser

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Drunk Elephant Beste No.9 Jelly Cleanser – Mecca Maxima
Out of the 4, I would most likely repurchase 3 of the 4 products. Unfortunately I have used other cleansers that I prefer over the Beste No.9 Jelly Cleanser. I have mentioned previously, I do wear quite heavy eye make up and when looking for a cleanser I am looking for something that can generally remove it.

I also found the texture too jelly like and not very oily, again something I look for to remove my eye makeup.

I do love Drunk Elephants packaging though, easy to use and the screw top lid makes it easy to not be wasteful. Plus how cute is the bright packaging!

Verdict – I will not be repurchasing

Mario Bedescu A.H.A Botanical Soap – Mecca Maxima
I absolutely LOVE the Mario Bedescu A.H.A Botanical Soap, it smells lovely and doesn’t bubble too much.

It has such a pleasant scent also, and after using my body feels refreshed and clean.

It is quite pricey for the size, I think from memory it was $12-$14? However it’s reasonable if this was a splurge item you were picking up.

Verdict – I will repurchase (when I can splurge)

Lights, Cameras, Lashes by Tarte – Sephora
Even with all the Tarte drama of previous months, this is still one of my favourite mascaras. It is a great formula that is hard to smudge, doesn’t drop onto the under eyes as the day progresses and is also easy enough to remove.

This packaging was from the Limited Edition Christmas Mascara.

Verdict – I will repurchase

The Ordinary Coverage Foundation – Deciem, South Yarra
This little bottle packs a real punch and definitely one of my favourite foundations. It has quickly replaced NARS on my love list, especially since NARS decided to sell in China for a quick buck.

I do find the coverage quite light though, and don’t agree its full coverage. In saying that, I like to wear this foundation during the day for that reason.

Verdict – I will repurchase

I hope you enjoyed this quick little blog on my June empties! Let me know your thoughts.

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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