Green Beauty in NYC...

23 Mar 2017

In January I flew out to New York City for a few days with my younger sister, Leila. This was my fourth time visiting NYC, so it wasn't your average sight-seeing, tourist-y, shop-til-you-drop type trip that you'd normally think of for someone going on holiday to the Big Apple.

I'm getting married there in 2018 and since the £ isn't doing very well and it was January, the flights were pretty darn cheap so we thought why not take a trip out there to narrow down my venue search (and visit a few green beauty places of course...).
Whilst the majority of my trip was spent looking at restaurants to host our post-wedding ceremony dinner, we did manage to visit a couple of green beauty stores. The first was Credo Beauty which has an amazing range of natural & organic skincare, make-up, haircare and perfumes. I did a little bit of shopping and picked up the brow gel from Eco Brow in Penelope which I've been loving so far, and I stocked up on Indie Lee's C0-Q10 Toner which is a lovely, refreshing product that's perfect for using in the mornings to wake you up!

The Follain store is a few blocks away but unfortunately we were so tired from walking all morning in the snow, that we couldn't bare to walk any further and headed back to our hotel. I will definitely try and make the trip next time though, along with CAP Beauty which is on West 10th Street. Follain stock over 60 brands that are all made in the USA so if you're visiting from abroad, it's definitely a place to pop by if you want to try brands that aren't as easily available in other countries.

There's also Yarok who have a Beauty Kitchen where they do hair masks, scalp treatments, cuts, colours & up-dos using their amazing natural range of products...I think a pre-wedding treatment will be on the cards! 

There's a new Wholefoods in Bryant Park which we stopped by and they had a good range of natural skincare, bodycare and make-up on the slightly more affordable side than most green beauty stores, but there was still a good range of brands from Acure to W3ll People and Trilogy. 

If you're looking to visit New York & want to see some "green" spots I'd recommend Central Park for starters. In the Spring & Summer it's a lovely place to enjoy a picnic or simply have a nice walk around. There's the boating lake near the Bethesda fountain and the Conservatory Gardens are beautiful to look round.
The High Line is also worth a visit. It is a 1.45 mile long linear park, built on an elevated section of a disused NYC Railroad called the West Side Line. It runs from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street, between 10th and 12th Avenues.

1 Hotel Central Park is an amazing building with living green walls outside, and is decked out inside with recycled, reclaimed swoods and materials to create the most amazing natural spaces in such a fast-paced city that is New York. This is definitely a hotel I'm considering staying at when we go back for the wedding! 

We've now booked the restaurant for our private lunch after the ceremony which is so, so exciting! We've also booked the florist and the photographer...next stop, wedding dress shopping!

Amber

My Current Natural Haircare Routine

16 Mar 2017

I've tried a lot of different natural hair products over the last few years however not many of them have made it onto my blog as they've not all been successful. In fact, shampoos/conditioners have been the hardest thing for me to switch since I went green over four years ago.

However, now that I've tried a lot of products (from Trilogy, Intelligent Nutrients and Green People to Faith in Nature, Tabitha James Kraan and Odylique) I've finally worked out what works well for my hair...for the most part!
Natural & organic haircare routine | Amber's Beauty Talk
My hair tends to get greasy quite quickly. It's not particularly dry, just a little frizzy at times but my main issue is greasy roots. I've been using and loving for the last year or so the Rosemary Shampoo from Faith in Nature. Rosemary has astringent properties and I find this works really well at keeping my hair free from product build up, and I can also go up to three days without needing to wash my hair again. I simply do a double-shampoo and my hair is left feeling clean.
Natural & organic haircare routine | Amber's Beauty Talk
I tend not to use conditioner every time I wash my hair as I was finding that it was weighing down my hair too much and meaning I could only go 1-2 days before needing another wash. I do need a little bit of a treatment every week or so to keep it tamed and free from dry ends so I've been using the MILK treatment by GM Reverie as a leave-in conditioner before I blow-dry my hair. I find this is just enough to de-frizz, tame my hair and add a little shine, without weighing it down or feeling greasy. It smells amazing too! I just use a couple of pumps, run through my hair then blow-dry using my EcoTools Smoothing Detangler Brush. Voila...smooth, frizz-free clean hair!
Natural & organic haircare routine | Amber's Beauty Talk
For in-between washes, I use dry shampoo to keep my hair looking fresh & clean at the roots. I use the Tabitha James Kraan Dry Shampoo in Dark. This is the travel friendly spritzer, however it also comes in a larger size that you can pour out. I like both but this one sometimes doesn't like to disperse the product & I have to shake it around a bit to get it to spray out! It's still a good product though and freshens up my roots.

And last but certainly not least is my hair dye routine. I unfortunately get quite a lot of greys which isn't fun at 24 years old but dyeing my hair every 4-6 weeks keeps them covered, most of the time. I've tried a couple of natural dyes but recently I've just been sticking to a standard hair dye box from Boots because the natural ones weren't covering all my greys.

However, I've been sent a Hair Dye from Saach Organics. These do not contain peroxides, ammonia or PPD and they're made from henna. I didn't really know what to expect as I've never used henna dyes before so I was in for a bit of a shock. It stinks, you have to leave it on for about two hours and you can only wash it out with water...so my hair smelt the next day, it wasn't smooth or soft and my hairbrush turned green when I was blow-drying it as I mustn't have washed all the dye out. I was so happy when I was able to wash my hair again, and I did use the shampoo that comes with the dye which didn't wow me but the colour came out really nice. I'm not sure I'd try it again but if I did, I'd definitely do it on a Saturday night so my hair could be messy on the Sunday, rather than having to go through the hassle of blow-drying and straightening it for work!

For now, I think I'll have to stick to the non-green hair dyes unfortunately but I know that they work and I do only use them once every six weeks.
Natural & organic haircare routine | Amber's Beauty Talk

Amber

Disclaimer: Products in this post have been sent to me for review. There may also be affiliate links. For my full disclaimer click here. This in no way affects my opinions or thoughts on the products/brands, I am always 100% honest.

Empties

14 Mar 2017

I've got through quite a few products recently as I've been making more of an effort to use up products before opening new ones.
Green Beauty Empties
Vedani Botanicals Facial Oil & Cleanser
I absolutely love both of these products & I would definitely repurchase as they work so well with my combination skin. I use No21 for the Cleanser and No 32 for the facial oil as I sometimes need that little bit more moisture.

Weleda Almond Body Wash
I love the scent of the almond range from Weleda and this is a really nice, gentle body wash and would be perfect if you have sensitive skin. I love their body washes as they're so reasonably priced too. 

Nathalie Bond Peppermint & Eucalyptus Hand Wash
This is my second bottle of this hand wash and I love it. The scent is amazing but we do get through it quite quickly so it's definitely more of a treat purchase for hand wash!

Beatitude Skin Salvation Oil
I've been through quite a lot of facial oils recently and whilst this is a lovely oil, I wouldn't say it the most ideal for my skin type but if you have normal/dry/mature skin, I'd definitely consider this as it's lovely quality and you can try a smaller bottle for just £13.50.

Ooh! Cacay Oil
Another facial oil but again, this one isn't perfect for my skin type. I prefer oils that are blends of others oils as I find they work better with my skin than single oils. This is pretty pricey at £39.00 for 30ml too so I wouldn't buy again.

Skin & Tonic Steam Clean
One of my favourite balms for when my skin is having a bad time and might be spotty or clogged.

Lulu & Boo Chocolate Orange Cleansing Oil
I've been loving this oil. It takes off my makeup easily but it has red clover and burdock oils that are cleansing on the skin and work well with my combination skin.

Amber

Live in the Light

9 Mar 2017

There are more & more natural skincare and beauty shops popping up online and one of my favourite discoveries of 2016 was Live in the Light. They stock a select few brands; Annmarie Gianni, Orgaid, Carina Organics and Pure Anada however the range of products from each offers a wonderful selection to choose from.
Live in the Light was founded in August 2014 by Sue, who had personally struggled with chronic fatigue for many years. She decided that all non-natural products needed to be eliminated from her life and whilst moving to organic food & natural products around the home was quite simple to achieve, she found it harder to find skincare products that worked and were truly as natural as the brands claimed. Sue discovered Annmarie Gianni, a natural brand from the USA and she knew these products would be perfect for her online boutique. After trying the products with her colleagues, they were hooked and are now the exclusive distributor for the UK and Europe.

"Live In The Light have a very holistic approach and firmly believe that what we do and use in our daily regime has a huge impact on everyone and everything around us. There appears to be many like minded people out there who don’t want to carry on using harmful products but exceptional, beautiful and effective ones while at the same time are helping to preserve and respect our environment."

I've tried a lovely selection of make-up products from Pure Anada and skincare products from Annmarie Gianni and Orgaid that are all available on their store. Having not tried anything from any of the brands before, I wasn't sure what to expect however I am pleasantly surprised by the quality of everything I tried.

The Annmarie Gianni range consists of skincare and body products, from masks and cleansers to scrubs and body wash. A couple of my personal favourites include the Neroli Toning mist which just smells divine, the Herbal Facial Oil which also smells incredible and the Dead Sea Facial Scrub which contains dead sea mud to gently exfoliate skin. (This is temporarily unavailable whilst Annmarie Gianni reformulate the product and will be back in a few months!)
My favourite products from the store have to be the makeup from Pure Anada. I have two pressed eyeshadows in the shades Clouded and Pewter which are both so pretty. The eyeshadows come in the refill pans which are magnetic so you can create your own palette which is much more eco-friendly as there's no excess packaging. 

I wear Clouded all over the lid with Pewter on the outer corner along with the Liquid Liner in the shade Ink. I haven't worn liquid eyeliner in quite a few years and it took a few tries to get used to the brush, however I'm now getting to grips with it and love how pigmented & dark the liner is. I finish off my eyes with their Black Mascara which adds length to my lashes. I prefer a more volumising mascara however if you have quite short lashes, this is definitely one I'd recommend.
I also have the pressed Sweet Pea Blush which is a beautiful light pink shade; my favourite for blush. It's quite light and almost like a highlighter when swatched but when applied to my cheeks it deepens and adds a lovely hint of colour.

I also have one of the Petal Perfect Lipsticks in the shade Strawberry Cream which is a bright, shimmery pink. I personally prefer matte lipsticks so this isn't one I've been reaching for that often, however it has a nice texture and isn't drying on the lips.

In the photo above I'm wearing all of the products I have mentioned; Pressed Eyeshadows in Clouded & Pewter, Liquid Eyeliner in Ink, Black Mascara, Sweet Pea Blush and Strawberry Cream lipstick.

And last but certainly not least is the Orgaid Vitamin C Revitalizing Sheet Mask. The mask is covered in a serum that your skin soaks up whilst the mask is applied. When you take the mask out of the packet, the serum is soaked on the mask which is great as some other sheet masks I've tried have so much product inside that it's so messy & most of it is left in the packet. You apply the mask to cleansed skin and leave on for 20-30 minutes. I found this mask super hydrating for my skin and it was a lovely treat, although you have to stay quite still and not move your face too much! I'd definitely consider buying more of these for events or even for before my wedding to give my skin that extra glow.

Shop Annmarie Gianni, Pure Anada, Orgaid and Carina Organics at Live in the Light and get 5% off your first order with code WELCOME5.

Amber

*This post is sponsored by Live in the Light. All opinions and thoughts are my own and are 100% honest.
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