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Ruby Red has been around for a short few years but since the launch they've been finalist in 4 beauty industry awards. Well then the company has to be good, right?

The products they sell are cruelty free and free from SLS, parabens, sulphates, petrochemicals, synthetic aromas and dyes. Both of these are quite ideal for this time of year the smell of lime, red mandarin, cedarwood and coriander. The citrus makes it nice for the weather we're getting at the moment, gives the morning a refreshing feel making you feel awake and not so sluggish.

My skin has got slightly sensitive as of late so I don't use many different body washes but the Revive & Gentle Cleanser one didn't give me any issues and with the zero SLS there is a little lather. It has a gel consistency, skin feels cool and with the aloe vera included it can give skin that might be a little sore from any sun previously some relief. The moisturiser is cooling to use after drying, it's light making it perfect for these days when you want to have lotion on but nothing heavy, unless you need heavy. The scent is full on when you use it, I would say more than the cleanser which with the water it's a bit more watered down while the moisturiser you really smell that lime and it's gorgeous. For about an hour you can still smell the scent on your body if you sniff for it. It's not left dried out but you get a nice smooth feel on the skin.

The products are priced quite high, I couldn't find these individually for the 100ml but I did see the in a set and £28 could be considered steep for 100ml for 2 products but it's the price to pay for products that are without the 'nasties' that other companies provide. These come in a 500ml bottle for £30 each, whoa! Their nice but due to the price it's probably not necessary for me as I get same benefits with another brand for cheaper but it's always nice to be introduced to something new.

Revive & Repair Body & Bath Set

Ruby Red Revive & Repair Duo.

Thursday, April 16, 2015
Being that skin is the base of everything it's important to take care of it, right? I'm really not trying to dabble into too much different skincare because I personally believe once something works for you, why fix it? That being said it's pretty hard when your skin wants to act a fool and change up, this could be due to weather and / or diet.

I noticed my skin start to become a little dry during the Autumn and Winter and I had a sample of the Weleda Skin Food and decided to give that a go and I couldn't believe how rich my skin felt. I was sent a tube of the Skin Food Savior and decided to use it as a face mask recommended, it had come with a face cloth. I soaked the cloth in warm water and lay it over your face to open pores and apply a thin layer of the skin food and left it on for about 10 minutes before using the same cloth again and wiping it off. It works well as a mask to relieve any signs of dryness and it even still works well as my face has started to get over the dry hump and back to it's normal / oily state. It's definitely one I'm keeping around.

I'm all for fruit enzymes that help the skin to turn over skin cells. Within the MyChella Creamy Pumpkin Cleanser it has exfoliating fruit enzymes as well as vitamins. It's aimed for dry skin and I used this for roughly a month when my skin was dry but I had an issue with my skin so I stopped using it. The scent I've read bothers some but it didn't phase my nose. It's more like a lotion, you'll notice this when it's squeezed on the tube a little running but creamy. This doesn't lather which is good. Where my skin was oily it didn't affect that part I noticed which is my nose and centre of my forehead. It's o.k. I use it here and there now when the skin feels like it's a little unhinged.

Oils I'm all for Oils. So when this was presented to me L'Occtaine Cleansing Oil, It was a yes. Especially as my face was moving more towards going back to it's normal / oil state. I live for oils, I'm a slave for oils but besides the DHC Cleansing Oil I've not used another brands. I like to use oil based products to remove my make-up. On a dry face I use one pump that I put into my palm and massage onto my face and of course I look like an oil slicked painting once the mascara, eyeliner joins the lipstick in the swirl masterpiece canvas of my face. Adding water to the hand and rubbing it through my face just to keep it moving the oil on the face before wiping off with a wash cloth. The face looks glowy shiny, not dry thanks to the Shea but obviously needs a bit more cleansing. The next step would be when I would use a cleanser device....

FOREO Luna - Combination Skin I've seen this little device for a couple of years now and when I was offered the chance to try it, it was a pleasure as I do like to thoroughly clean my skin. The fact there's no need to 'replace heads' and it just fits into the hand intrigued me. After charging you can get 450 uses before needing to recharge.

For the first week and a half it was an adjustment, the non abrasive silicone brush instead of bristles and then my skin started to change I was using it with the MyChelle cleanser (above) but I started getting small under the skin bumps, only visible when pointed out or while wearing foundation, the colour in the bump hadn't changed but it was only on one side of my face around my eye and also on my neck. I decided to stop using this and the cleanser and didn't wash my face for a couple days and just used Sudacream x Ultrabland daily which healed whatever the issue was. I decided maybe the cleanser wasn't helpful and went back to using Cetaphil and I've had no issue since with my skin while using the FOREO Luna. You can still see the dirt appear in the silicone bristles of this device. Easy to rinse clean which I like to do before putting it back onto my face so I'm not just moving the dirt around.

The settings are on the front a - & + for decrease and increase of the vibration speed. It also has an anti-ageing setting which I've not used yet but I think I might,  why not if it's available. What I like about this is it's suitable for daily use. I've used it daily since my skin had it's minor mishap I thought maybe I had an issue with the silicone, obviously not. Although no matter what I always ALWAYS keep my LUSH Ultrabland and Ocean Salt in the bathroom, what can I say once a love, always a love.

Have you tried the FOREO Luna? Or has your skin changed a lot between seasons? 

Some of these products may have been sent to me for review. For more information, see my disclaimer.

FOREO Luna & Others review.

Monday, April 13, 2015
The past week I decided to make my nails oval. Which I've never done with my natural nails but some of them started to snag a little and I was forced into an oval nail shape. I wasn't feeling the new shape, maybe the nails need to grow a bit more to get an equal shaped hand so I decided to make them happier by doing simple nail art. Negative Space nail art have been in for a while now, I suppose I took more notice when the half moon manicure came into play again some years back.

I was sent a polish from the new Cinderella collection by Morgan Taylor. I was sent Ella of a Girl, a baby pink creme. I had worn it as a full on manicure but decided with the reshape to try this Negative Space, following the nail white I just freehanded the colour and used a dotting tool to do a dot near the cuticle of my nail. Made me like my nail shape more now.
This was my first time using Morgan Taylor polish which are 5-Free (Formaldehyde, Toluene, DBP, Formaldehyde Resin, Camphor). The polish I found is very fluid but thick given the latter the first 2 coats can streaky so 3 coats are best.

What's on your nails this week?

Ella of a Girl - Negative Space Manicure

Saturday, April 11, 2015

I started this task in January and it continued into February and it's becoming a habit in March. A social media detox. Some people love social media and that's perfectly fine, since about 2013 I think I've started a love / hate relationship with it. Like any person I can over indulge and use it for a few days like a crazy cat lady but then I rarely bother with it. Social media is pretty essential when you're a blogger or generally in any business. It's the quickest way to spread the word, find new friends/clients/ideas but it can also be overwhelming and mentally abusing. I know for the next few weeks I'm going to be switching off, I'm in an emotional place and the balance isn't good, social media doesn't help the feeling of being spread too thin.

FOMO
Definition
"Anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website."

Social media can lead us to undervalue ourselves. The media has a way to reach us even more now, leading us to think we need things and have to look at certain way to uphold to an image. I feel it can make mental health harder to live with, you're watching things occur and it can conjure up all kinds of feelings. Never envy someone's path but don't envy your own just make it more comfortable and less anxious. Social media shows only the highlights of others’ lives, people put up their idea of the flawless image, perfect filter and ideal caption, don't feel misled. I feel it sometimes when I go on social media and anxiety can stem from any place.

Recently my phone was in the shop for a week and I was using my tablet as a phone replacement. Bad idea. Why do we feel the need to have to always share? I'm beginning to believe the research on social media, is it really validation? Probably! Every like and comment makes us feel like what we're doing is a positive thing. Sometimes it's good to just share with like minded people but I'd rather not become an over-sharer.

How do I perform my digital detox?

Turn off Notifications.
The thing about notifications are of course there a helpful feature but it also means we are controlled by the technology, not us being the ones who control the technology. As soon as a flash, sound or vibrate appears we attentively look at our phone. Decide when you'll have a time to look at these notifications, give a set time, if you're going to spend 30 minutes going through your apps notifications, stick to that.

I've set up a time on my phone when it goes on blocking mode, no notifications from a certain time to another, only notifications from priority contacts in case of an emergency. Otherwise no whatsapp, snapchat, twitter, facebook etc no notifications during this time. That means my mind has time to unwind and declutter from the day leading to a more restful night.


Unfollow Accounts.
I started with my Twitter and unfollowed a lot of accounts. Why? I don't interact with everyone, some people just spammed timelines, I followed people I had no interests with besides blogging. Maybe I'm getting to a time in life when I realise with people I interact with I want more than just a common interest, it's not enough to hold me. Thinking too deep? Maybe but if I'm not being inspired or taught anything, is it worthwhile? Yes I lost a lot of followers but that's how it goes in this social world, people follow you expecting a follow back, if not they unfollow, I'm not being valued as a number. The same went for my personal Facebook, I unliked a lot of pages, I keep my friends list quite minimal but I've always done that. Instagram was next, I did the same thing on there and yes lost followers but oh well. Do you regard yourself as someone or as another number to someone else?

Social media can either be a reflection of the person we truly are offline or the person we want to perceive to be online. However you play it, it's up to you.


Find Accounts That Matter.
Find and follow people that help your train of thought. Since I've began this transition I've started to look for more mindful / yoga / minimalism accounts and slowly unfollow those purely beauty. It's nice and all but it's just one part of me, it's not all of me. Find that balance that when you go through your social media feed there's a nice balance of interests.


Unsubscribe.
I still have emails from around 2005/2006 so in total I've got a very un- minimalistic email account amount. I've got newsletters that go between around 5 accounts. Going through these during a spare time and un-subscribing to emails slowly and steadily, you'll soon see a clearer inbox from companies you use on a regular basis that you want to keep up with. I've seen emails from companies I signed up to their newsletters in 2009 - 2010 and safe to say I didn't really care much then, so why care now?


Switch Off.
Could you spend a day without your phone? Like a Switch off Sunday? Could you switch off your technology and go back to basics and just spend time with virtual life? I notice when watching programmes even therapist suggest couples to have a no phone policy on dates. The distraction of social media can leave us looking unsocial when with people. I've done it several times, you're with someone and on your phone, looking at that, it's pretty rude and it's things that can likely wait until you're alone & free.


Be Prepared For Temptation.
It's bound to happen, when we begin something new, we tend to seek comfort back to what we are use too. Quite like a new diet, you feel tempted to eat something because you're use to it, it's a habit. Prepare yourself for this temptation with a distraction already set up. Are there tasks you've yet to do around the house, you've put off? Why not wash your hair, do your nails, read a couple of chapters of a book. How about even doing a jigsaw or play a board game! I've been wanting to do that for so long, even going on 27 I'm still encountering the only child syndrome of having no-one to play with lol! Go for a walk, take in nature, take a breather or even work out!

This post was fun to read through if you're considering if a social media detox is for you.

Social Media Detox

Sunday, March 22, 2015
I was recently only introduced to MDMflow through a friends, friend, who's girlfriends friend is the creator, that being Florence Adepoju. I was told about the company because he said he thought it would be something I'd love because of my lip colours. I looked through the website and ordered 3 straight away. MDMflow is inspired by the glamour of 90s Hip Hop & handmade in London.

The shades I decided on are (in order of image) Milkshake, Bossy & Di La La. Looking at the lipsticks in the casing the shades look promising. The pigmentation looks as if it'll be on top form. Of course one of the big factors are the fact they are cruelty free!! Save the bunnies :)
Bossy is a nearly nude soft shade that is an ode to Kelis
Milkshake a vibrant pink another ode to Kelis
Di La La a deep black colour formulated for Jendella, a fiery photographer, influencer & activist.

Packaging

They come in a gold cased bullet, with the logo on the side. The gold bullet makes it stand out amongst the rest of the lipstick collection. Gives it an edge, it's light weight and definitely early Hip-Hop.


Pigmentation

The first day I got these and I did a hand swatch, I was talking to Lima, and swatched Bossy and it immediately broke off, I didn't have it twisted high either, just enough to swatch and it fell out the bullet. It turns out the same happened to the other 2 also. So disappointing. One thing I had noticed is I had to kind of  'break through' the outer layer of the lipstick to get the pigmentation to it's potential. Once it's broken it's soft and there's a moisturising sheen to the colour. The swatch of Milkshake you can see pink and lilac's running through. The more that's applied it begins to turn into a vibrant lilac shade. I had such high hopes for Di La La, I wanted it to be my favourite but it ended up patchy on the lips, I wanted a uniform of colour. Bossy is a wearable daily nude for a lot of us if you want to wear something on the lips that's not so in your face & others.

Ingredients

Ricinus Communis seed oil (castor oil), Tricaprylin, Candelilla Cera, Paraffin Triisostearin, Dimer Dilinoleyl Dimer Dilinoleate (soybean) Punica Granatum (pomegranate), Cocos Nucifera (coconut extract), Cera Alba (beeswax)

Overall Thoughts

Considering these are £18 a pop! Which is £3.50 higher than MAC, on par with Illamasqua and £6 lower than Dior Lipsticks. It's on an established brand level. You want to feel you're getting the most for your money. When mine broke straight out of the bullet, I was disappointed and the fact I felt I had to work so hard to get pigmentation for the lipstick on my lips, felt like a pain but once I got it on, it was ok. I just had this thought that it reminded me of crayon lipstick, having to break through the formula and looking at the ingredients it's highly oil and waxed based so I can see where I drummed up that conclusion from. Unfortunately the one I had hopes for the most didn't work out as well. These are made using the latest colour technology, I don't have a clue what this technology is but it must be something the owner and creator has access to thanks to her time at the London College Of Fashion. I wouldn't rule out the brand, I will probably melt these down and depot them for convince in my lip palette to get the most out of these!

Have you tried or heard of MDMflow?

Visit MDMflow


ETA : The owner of MDMflow has commented on the post below but for those reading I will insert the comment here :
"Thank's for the honest review & amazing photos, so sorry to see they all broke. I am currently reformulating and would love to replace your broken sticks once my new formula is in place. I'll get in touch via email. They are wax based as a few customers requested an all natural formula. Flow - MDMflow Founder"

MDMflow Lipsticks

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

This isn't something that's easy and I've still not found life balance. Although there's sometimes certain practices that can be incorporated daily to help our mind and soon to be balance. In this post I'm going to discuss a morning routine which I believe helps find a daily balance..

Get Enough Sleep.
Can we really focus with little sleep? Some people can but for myself I find that if I get at least 8 hours sleep I feel more alert for the day ahead. My sleep pattern allows me to go to bed around the same time, it's a struggle to stay up beyond 11pm unless I've probably had a long nap during the day but I then get up around the same time without an alarm which I find more beneficial as I'm awake because my body is ready to wake not because I'm being forced to wake. To get a good nights sleep, it's finding the right temperature in the room, no distractions or lights. Saying that, sometimes I fall asleep to sounds and wake up to silence.



Avoid Looking At Your Phone.
Guilty. I do it all the time, I've now moved my defunct alarm clock nearer to my bed so if I need to know the time, that's what I see first thing. Instead of reaching for my phone or tablet to check what I've missed online socially. We already know we have a list of things to do today but do we need to be put into that mind frame first thing in the morning? It can put some of us on a downer, shifting through emails and added to the list. Our mind as soon as we wake up, is probably the clearest it will be throughout the entire day.



Make A Mindful Routine.
Once we've got up, we do our regular morning routine, whatever yours is once you've got up, mines things like going to pee, brush my teeth, wash my face lol, you get the idea, those 10 minutes in the bathroom, give me 10 minutes where I can just focus on the moment, nothing further.



Drink Warm Lemon Water
This is what I have first thing in the morning, a cup of warm water with either a slice of lemon or squeezed lemon juice. I notice I don't feel or look as bloated when this is within my regular morning routine this drink cleanses the digestive system and gets your metabolism started.




Meditate.
They say 5 minutes is better than nothing.
Find a quiet spot, sit or lay in a comfortable position. Uncross your arms and legs, rest your hands on the top of your legs or at the side of you. Close your eyes or just focus straight ahead of you. Inhale and exhale and listen to your body. Detach your mind from thinking about anything that's causing you stress, heartache and just focus on breathing.

Breathe in. Breathe Out.

Continue this until you've done 10 rounds of that. If your mind wonders and believe me it will or you lose count, patiently stop and restart.



Exercise.
You can go into exercising after a meditation. Some people find exercise in the morning, motivating. It's another time to be exercising your mind and body at the same time. For myself when the day starts to move onwards I can find more excuses why I shouldn't do anything. As the mind isn't distracted and clear in the morning, it's easier to get into the exercising before any doubts start to creep inwards. You could try doing the Sun Salutations in the morning for 20 minutes



Eat A Good Breakfast.
Yes! The most important meal of the day. You don't want to be the 'I'm sorry for what I said when I was hungry' monster. As you've slept the body has started to re-energise and use up most the fuel from the previous day so you need to feed back into your body and keep it fuelled with a nutrient breakfast, a lot of people love porridge with fruits or granola.



Prioritise The Day Ahead.
It's very easy to worry about the future but focusing on the one day ahead will be less overwhelming. Cultivate a to-do list, not a massive one just ones that you can get done on the day. Add things such as read emails & respond, allocate a blogging slot, it could help to do this the night before so it gives you more time the next day. Always add on this to do list give time for yourself, such as a relaxing bath, bed time yoga so forth.


Not everyone wants to live by a list, I know, but I find a routine in the morning can help a gradual balance.

Do you have a morning routine?

Finding a Morning Balance

Sunday, March 15, 2015