Tag Archives: gentle skincare

50ml

If you’ve been following a long, you’ll know about my love for the New Zealand beauty brand, Living Nature. If you’ve tried them yourself, you’ll know exactly why I love them so much because, not only are the ingredients upheld to the highest standards, but the products themselves are also quite effective in doing what they claim to.

This past December, I was lucky enough to receive this Nourishing Night Cream along with their Nourishing Hand & Body Cream
( see that review – here ) and Vitalising Cleanser ( see that review – here ) and have been testing it out since then ( for almost 2 months ). It has a similar texture to their Vitalising Cleanser, though obviously without being a cleanser. The cream is super hydrating and nourishing without feeling heavy or greasy at all. There’s no reside left behind on your skin as it totally absorbs within 5 minutes. I love the smell which is pleasant, yet not overwhelming. It carries the same scent that seem to be signature of most Living Nature products and which I’ve come to identify many of their products with which I really like. Their products certainly work synergistically, but will also be just as well when used with other brands. I love that this cream is hydrates so well without being overly greasy or leaving an oily residue behind because I have oily to combination skin so sometimes that kind of texture in a cream will make my skin breakout. Thankfully, this one is super gentle and effective. It hasn’t done much by way of wrinkles or maybe I just don’t have enough for it to show the difference notably, but it certainly helps heal broken capillaries around the eyes and nose and hydrates really well so it effectively calms redness, inflammation and dullness all in one go. The ingredients are effective, yet natural at the highest standard, and they really work to improve the skin noticeably. I highly recommend this for anyone who combats dryness, dullness, irritation, redness, inflammation, fine lines, and broken capillaries or scarring as I think these are the areas it’s been most effective in improving.

You can check out this Living Nature Nourishing Night Cream – here.

Related Articles:

Living Nature Skin Essentials Kit Review 

Living Nature Nourishing Hand & Body Cream Review

Living Nature Liquid Foundation Review

Living Nature Vitalising Cleanser Review

Over the winter break, I was sent some Living Nature products for review, including this lovely Nourishing Hand and Body Cream. I didn’t really think much of it, but after I ran out of the body lotion I was using in December, I quickly began using this one daily and I’ve really loved it!

It’s formulation includes various plant oils including macadamia and avocado as well as active manuka honey to lock moisture into the skin and nourish it from the inside out. What I really love about this lotion is that it’s super hydrating without being greasy or oily. I love using body oils and more intensive body treatments during the night, but this is the perfect thing to use during the day. It soaks into the skin immediately and so there’s no waiting around for everything to dry before getting dressed. The scent is really pleasant, but not overwhelming or too strong, just refreshing. I actually ran out of face moisturizer for a few days and was so desperate for hydration that I did (GASP!) use this once or twice on my face and ‘lo and behold – no breakouts! That being said, it might be a bit too hydrating in summer for oily to combination skin types, but dry skin types might like this as an all around useful cream and men may enjoy it for it’s multi-function as well, though the scent isn’t particularly masculine. I highly recommend this cream to anyone and everyone who needs hydration and balance for their skin as it will hydrate you, quite literally, all over.

You can check out this Living Nature Nourishing Hand and Body Cream – here.

Related Articles:

Living Nature Skincare Essentials Kit Review 

Living Nature Liquid Foundation Review 

If you’ve been following for awhile, you’ll know all about my love for Living Nature products. I had first done a review on their Skin Essentials Kit which you can see here, if you care to, and loved their Vitalising Cleanser as much as the Summer as I have done now using it again in Winter time. This time, with a slightly larger bottle, I’ve been using the lovely Vitalising Cleanser for over a month and a half and really loving it all the more!

As with all Living Nature products, the Vitalising Cleanser is made with all natural, skin nourishing, and exotic ingredients native to New Zealand (where the brand comes from) and leaves out all the nasties such as parabens, preservatives, and other harmful ingredients. Instead, this cleanser features avocado oil, macadamia oil, active manuka honey, and various plant essential oils and extracts to nourish, calm and cleanse the skin without stripping it of its natural oils.

It is recommended for normal to dry skin, but I think if you have combination skin, it may do you some good, especially in the winter, as this cleanser has really helped keep the chapped redness at bay for me. Especially in those typical spots where dry, chapped skin tends to show up like around the nose, this cleanser works wonders. Aside from it’s ability to calm and moisturize, it is great at cleansing the skin without that tight, dry feeling and brilliantly removes makeup without irritating. I can massage this right over my eyes, lips and entire face to remove my makeup and it does a great job at getting rid of every bit of it. If I really want a more intense clean, I find that using this cleanser with a clarisonic or a muslin cloth ( remove cleanser with cloth in warm to hand hot water ) really helps the benefits of this cleanser to be absorbed by the skin and helps the skin feel and look smoother and softer!

I highly recommend this cleanser as a perfect staple for those who deal with dryness and/or irritation and redness either during the Winter or at any time. It is just the thing to bring skin back to a calm, revitalized state.

 You can check out the Living Nature Vitalising Cleanser – here.

Related Articles: 

Living Nature Foundation Review

12 Days of Christmas Giveaways - Liz Earle - StorybookApothecary.Com

Hello lovelies!

I’m back again with another day of giveaway goodies in my 12 Days of Christmas Giveaways event and today’s giveaway item is the much-raved-about Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser by Liz Earle!

You may remember my review of this cleanser in late summer ( if not, you can see it here ) and how fantastic this cleanser was for my skin. It’s literally like an updated, more all-natural Noxzema type cleansing creme that softens, detoxes, and rejuvenates the skin. It has a nice minty feel about it, though it’s likely from the eucalyptus in the formula. It has loads of natural essential oils and extracts in the formulation so it will certainly benefit your skin over time, especially if you have issues with acne and the like.

A very special thanks to Liz Earle for donating this product for today’s giveaway and working with me and my blog – it means a lot to me.

Remember to Hurry & Sign Up Right Away!

This Giveaway Will Close in 48 Hours!

Click Here to Sign Up Now!

12 Days of Christmas Giveaways - Living Nature - StorybookApothecary.com

It’s that lovely time again!

Today’s giveaway is a big one as there are 3, count them, THREE Full Sized products up for grabs from the much-loved New Zealand beauty brand, Living Nature!

You may remember me reviewing their travel essentials kit and night face oil in the past summer both of which were amazing to use. If not, you can see my original review on some of their products here. The kit included the Vitalising Cleanser which is up for giveaway today and it’s just a brilliant cleanser. Super gentle, extremely softening and great for any skin type, even the most sensitive types. I’ll be doing a review on these 3 in more depth when I have time so stay tuned for that, but so far, they are all incredible! The Nourishing Hand Cream is super hydrating and softening and the bottle is actually quite large – nearly 7 ounces – which is HUGE for a hand cream. I’ve actually been testing it as a body cream as well because it’s so huge. The Nourishing Night Cream is also brilliant thus far – super moisturizing and it is quite thick, but not heavy and absorbs instantly.

After celebrating their 25 years anniversary offering these lovely natural products, they’ve updated their packaging to a “True Colours” range of colors that look super classy, but really stand out as natural, eco and body friendly. Plus, the new packaging is out just in time for the holidays!

This is what the new packaging looks like : 

So these are exactly what’s up for grabs and you can see they’re quite large sizes!

Have a Great Saturday & Good Luck!

Remember to Hurry & Sign Up Right Away!

This Giveaway Will Close in 48 Hours!

Click Here to Sign Up Now!

A Glowing Complexion Made Easy: Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser!

It may interest you to know that my very first face wash EVER was Noxzema’s Deep Cleansing Cream…and a quick search tells me they actually still exist with now updated packaging. If you’re not familiar, Noxzema is a cream cleanser (circa 1997) that comes in a blue jar and smells strongly of Eucalyptus I was pretty religious about using it, too, because I was like 8 and it felt all minty and cooling and grown up. Little did I know, Noxzema didn’t have the most natural formula then ( no idea what it’s like now, maybe I should do a retro review?) and so I’ve since moved on to more natural formulas.

That being said, there’s always been a super special place in my heart for Noxzema because it was the first cleanser I ever used that felt adult like and so when I had the chance to try the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser, imagine my absolute surprise and joy when I discovered, holy double crap (cheesy expression compliments of 50 shades of crap), this cleanser is EXACTLY like a natural version of Noxzema!!

Okay, yeah I got excited. Like, I had to run and tell my boyfriend who had little to no reaction, but the point is, this cleanser is AMAZING. It’s SO creamy and smells medicinally therapeutic, similar to the eucalyptus scent I know from my early super naive and “ignorant of beauty” years, only with much more natural ingredients such as rosemary, eucalyptus (!), chamomile and cocoa butter.

To use this, you apply one pump’s worth of cream to a dry face, all over, including over your lips and eyes, though please don’t eat it, inhale it, and yes, close your eyes. Although, my super clumsy self did get it in my eye once and it actually wasn’t that bad. Anyhow, so you massage this cream over your entire face and neck and it takes EVERYTHING off. All your makeup, dirt, debris, that little bit of ketchup (or catsup?) you had sticking to your cheek that nobody bothered to tell you was there. Then, once you’ve slathered this on, you soak the muslin cloth (which comes with the cleanser) in hand hot water and lightly wring it out and use small sections of it to gently polish the cleanser off your skin. Using circular motions works best and once you’ve done your entire face, simply rinse the cloth and hang dry, splash some cold water on your face, pat dry and you’re done! It’s so super easy and I really like that it combines 2 steps – cleansing + exfoliating – in one. I used this pretty much every evening for about 3 weeks with really great effects – little to no break outs, smoother and softer skin, a seriously natural glow, less visible pores, and more hydrated skin because it was able to absorb more after a proper cleansing. That aside, the scent of this cleanser is so soothing and relaxing, very gentle and calming that it’s perfect for right before bed.

I highly recommend this to anyone and everyone. It’s such a simple way to cleanse that is not only easy, but also really effective and gentle. For those of you that can’t afford a clarisonic or one of the fancy cleansing brushes, this is a nice alternative that, in my honest opinion, works just as well. In some instances, especially for those like myself who have sensitive or acne prone skin, I would say this even works better because there’s really no irritation involved. Since you control the muslin cloth, it’s up to you the amount of pressure you want to put on your skin so be gentle and you will be rewarded with a clearer, softer and more youthful glowing complexion. For those of you in the UK, you should be able to find this at Fenwick stores, John Lewis stores, a number of Boutiques in or around London, or on QVC UK. For those in the USA and elsewhere, please see the links below to purchase online.

To purchase this cleanser in UK – Click Here!

To See All Liz Earle products in UK – Click Here!

To purchase this cleanser in USA – Click Here!

To See All Liz Earle products in USA – Click Here!

Living Nature Radiance Night Oil Giveaway Winner Announcement!

If you’re following along, you may have read my original post on Living Nature products – here – and hopefully you entered the giveaway! If not, don’t worry there’s plenty more giveaways coming soon so be sure to subscribe so you can enter them all!

Without further delay, congratulations to Your Beauty Junkie!

I have notified you through email so please reply back asap with your mailing information. If there is no reply within 48 hours, you forfeit your winnings and an alternative winner will be selected.

Thanks so much to everyone who entered, tweeted, followed and what have you, I really appreciate it very much and stay tuned for your chance to win more prizes!

If you didn’t win, cheer up, there’s many more giveaways on their way out.

If you had your heart set on the Radiance Night Oil, check it out – here – on the Living Nature website!

Heal Your Skin with Living Nature Skincare Skin Essentials Kit + GIVEAWAY!


I am so excited to tell you about this awesome Skin Essentials Kit I was sent by the incredible Living Nature Skincare! 

Hailing from New Zealand, their products are all 100% natural, including many unique ingredients that are found exclusively in New Zealand such as Active Manuka Honey, Manuka Oil, Harakeke Flax Gel, and Kumerahou.

To find out more about Living Nature, click here.

To find out more about their unique ingredients, click here.


 Anyway, so I was sent a Skin Essentials Kit for Normal to Combination Skin and the Radiance Face Oil about a month or so ago and I’ve been using it every day since to see the effects and I have to say, I am pretty impressed by this line!

First off, all the products in this kit are incredibly gentle, softening and nourishing. They also smell really pleasant in a calming, subtle sort of way! They come in a very handy travel case that rolls up and secures everything for travel. The products are nicely sized as far as travel sizes go and ergonomically shaped, making them very easy to pack away in a purse, carry on or suitcase.

The Vitalising Cleanser is an extremely gentle cleanser. It’s very creamy and I initially thought that it would make me break out because    of how moisturizing it is, but it didn’t, it just felt extremely softening, hydrating and gentle. If you’ve read my past reviews, you’ll know I have acne prone combination skin. I actually have very sensitive skin as well and I expected this to be really heavy, but it’s quite the opposite, much to my delight! It would work well for any skin type and those with sensitive skin or who suffer from acne, rosacea or another skin irritation would really benefit from this.

The Extra Hydrating Toning Gel is very light and soaks in immediately. The scent is something so subtle, yet lovely and I can’t quite place it though it’s incredibly nice to enjoy before bedtime. It’s a great moisturizer before bed that I used on nights when my skin was on the oilier side of things. When it needed a bit of extra hydration, I would layer the Radiance Night Oil over the top.

Which brings me to the Radiance Night Oil! This is extremely light, sinks in pretty instantly without clogging pores. It really softened my skin up a lot, including the appearance of fine lines. It has also helped to even out my complexion, fading small discolorations on my face and hands.

During the day I used the Nourishing Day Cream, sometimes over the Extra Hydrating Toning Gel, depending on how much moisture my skin needed. This day cream includes ingredients that are specifically meant to help defend the skin against free radical damage. It’s also really light, but still hydrating without making my skin look oily, even in this 100 degree weather we’ve been having which is certainly a feat in and of itself.

Lastly, I got a chance to try small samples of the Nourishing Night Cream and the Firming Flax Serum. Before getting into it too much, let me just say their samples are seriously brilliant! They look like ketchup packets, but snap in half at the center and squeeze out incredibly easily! The genius of this packaging impressed the hell out of me..just saying!

Anyway, the Nourishing Night Cream was incredibly thick and hydrating, but not heavy like I expected it to be. I’m sure it would be really great for extra dry skin types.The Firming Flax Serum worked incredible in only 3 uses! I was so amazed by this one, considering I only got a small sample of it, because I really feel it helped firm my skin up a bit, though I don’t know how temporary or permanent the effects are. It was very light, hydrating, firming and nicely scented as well.

My overall thoughts on this line are that it rocks!

All of these products are extremely gentle and nourishing and will work for any skin type in my opinion. If you have oily skin, you can still use this, but I recommend adding in another cleanser for a deeper clean, if you need it. This certainly cleanses, but it may not be enough for your skin.

I love that all of these products hydrate the skin, but are not oily at all. They sink in right away and truly help the skin heal. I didn’t break out at all while using this; on the contrary, my skin looks great – soft, supple and smooth! I also love the convenience of this kit because it’s heaven to travel with! Their is a nice amount of product for travel sizes and it would also work well for someone who wants to try a whole regimen of products from Living Nature without spending a whole lot. The kit does cost $79, but you get quite a bit for that price so I think it’s  definitely worth it. If you want to try a single product from this, they are decently priced as well.

Living Nature also carries a line of cosmetics, hair care, body care and even a line specifically for men! I think I would love to try out their body care and cosmetics next because I am in love with this line at the moment! I’m especially intrigued by the fact that they include the same skincare ingredients in their cosmetics so they are certainly worth checking out!

Check out the Skin Essentials Kit – here! 

Check out the Radiance Night Oil – here! 

GIVEAWAY ALERT! 

Yep, it’s that time again!

Living Nature has been so generous as to send me a full size Radiance Night Oil to give away to one lucky reader!

So hurry up and sign up now for your chance to win it!

Giveaway Ends Friday 7/20/12!

THIS GIVEAWAY HAS CLOSED.

Click Here to Sign Up for Your Chance to Win Your Very Own Radiance Night Oil from Living Nature Skincare!

Disclaimer: I was NOT given compensation to write this blog post in any way other than the samples that were sent to me from Living Nature Cosmetics for review. My opinions, thoughts and experiences with this product are my own.

Sequoia Beauty Samples Review UPDATED!

UPDATE!– I recently spoke to owner Laurel about her items and she said that she does not dilute any of her products with water. Since they are all concentrated, they are meant to be mixed with water when you are ready to use them so when you read this review, I think it’s safe to say that any of them would now be safe to use on ANY skin type as long as you dilute them (if you’re a bit more on the oily/combination side). Otherwise, you could probably use them as is as well and that won’t hurt you either unless otherwise noted.

Good Luck!

Recently, I was sent some small samples from Sequoia Beauty to try out. If you’re unfamiliar, Sequoia Beauty is an organic natural skincare company based in California, USA, that focuses on utilizing organic flowers and herbs in their skin care products in order to heal and nourish your skin in the most natural and body-friendly way possible. With an emphasis on buying local ingredients to support the community and green living, Sequoia Beauty offers products that are free of chemicals, parabens, artificial fragrances and anything of synthetic nature.

Hydrate and Renew Cream Cleanser

This cleanser is seriously super gentle! It doesn’t foam at all; instead, it feels like a really super light cleansing lotion or even serum that you massage into the skin and then rinse off. It leaves your skin really soft and calm. My only qualm with this one is that it may be too moisturizing for oily skin and might make someone feel too oily if they have combination skin and use this in the summertime. I was okay using this on a cold day, but when we had a hot day I noticed I got oilier quicker. My advice if you want to benefit from the awesome ingredients in this without the oiliness : double cleanse with a gel cleanser or something beforehand and then use this cleanser. If you have super oily skin, you might be able to skip using a moisturizer. Otherwise, anyone can use this year round as a very gentle makeup remover; it is amazing for that!

Check this cleanser out – here!

Honey Berry Enzyme Mask

This face mask was just okay for me. As a young woman in my 20’s, I just don’t think my combination – oily skin will benefit from this kind of mask. I did see that it somewhat brightened my compexion, but other than that, I prefer clay and gel masks to this type. Plus, it was very sticky and messy to use. It literally felt like putting pure honey on my face, but I suppose if you’re into that or willing to suffer through it for the nice effects, it may be worth your pain! Also, it really does smell amazing. Just like berries and honey and I was pretty tempted to eat it at some point using this. If you have a drier skin type or even a more sensitive skin type that can’t handle regular type exfoliants, this may benefit you. It does feature some great ingredients for brightening and moisture including honey (obviously) as well as organic strawberries and blueberries.

Check out this mask – here!

Sun Damage UV Repair Serum

This was my favorite sample of the three. It feels really nice and smooth going on the skin, but it’s not heavy at all. It just feels like a nice light facial oil that the skin absorbs immediately. It actually feels a little bit like the Elemeni Face Oil I recently reviewed from Max Green Alchemy (see that review – here!) except the scent is a bit different.  I think any and all skin types would benefit from using this serum, especially if they have spots from sun damage or any kind of hyper-pigmentation or discoloration on their skin. Even someone who experiences blotchiness on the skin may benefit from this serum because it really seems to help even out the skin tone overall.

Check this serum out – here!

Overall, I really like what Sequoia Beauty stands for in terms of sourcing locally harvested ingredients, nourishing and healing the skin through nature, and promoting sustainable living through eco friendly practices and green packaging.

Check out the entire Sequoia Beauty line – here!

Have you tried Sequoia Beauty products?

What are your thoughts on skincare made with organic locally sourced ingredients?

Related Articles:

Awesome Facial Oil for Oily and Acne Prone Complexions!

Affordable and Organic: Rainwater Botanicals!

Ultimate Cure for Body Skin Dryness: Max Green Alchemy Skin Rescue Cream Review!

Amazing Olive Oil All-In-One Nourishing Treatment for Hair, Skin and Nails!

Disclaimer: I was NOT given compensation to write this blog post in any way other than the samples that were sent to me from Sequoia Beauty for review. My opinions, thoughts and experiences with this product are my own.

My Crazy Weekend + Lovely Duchess Marden Mini Sample Reviews

I just wanted to apologize again for having an absolute repeat of the silence and crickets of last weekend. I know, I know, I can’t believe I managed to completely ignore blogging all weekend, but the thing is that I just moved and it’s just been ridiculous having to clean and move everything in and I’ve been exhausted, for lack of a better word.

So my apologies for another quiet weekend!

I actually have quite a bit of reviews and things lined up to share with you all, but I’ve had little time to tally up the goodness and add photos and things so I can publish so instead I’ve a million and one drafts sitting in queue waiting to be shown some proper attention before being pushed out into the world!

So, anyhow, once I have a chance (hopefully in the next day or so), I will certainly update and publish the many many awesome posts so please stay tuned!

 I was recently sent these lovely samples from Duchess Marden and I really quite enjoyed them. If you’re unfamiliar with Duchess Marden skincare, it began with one woman’s trip to Southeast Asia and her discovery of pure rose water there. From then, she decided to harness the healing and regenerating powers of rose in her skincare line and thus was beginning in the creation of the very luxurious Duchess Marden products. To read more about it, check here.

I don’t know that this line is really aimed at my age group or my skin type, but the products are certainly gentle enough to be used on any type regardless. The Face Creme Cleanser and Face Creme both have a jasmine/rose type antique smell which, if you’ve been following along for a bit, you all know I’m not immensely overjoyed by. I suspect this is due in part to the rose water they include in the majority of their products which is great for the skin, but not a scent I’m particularly fond of.

Aside from that, this cleanser + face creme duo is quite nice. They both are very gentle, clearly aimed at those with dry or sensitive skin and yet, even with my acne prone combination skin, they were still very pleasant to use. Gentle, effective at cleansing without drying out the skin, and very nourishing and hydrating, I would certainly recommend these two for anyone with a lot of skin irritation, especially rosacea types, or anyone with dry to mature or otherwise sensitive skin. They are both very gentle and calming and work well together.

Check out the Creme Cleanser – here!

Check out the Face Creme – here!

Second on the list is the Neck and Decollete Serum which was one of my favorite items from the lot!

I really love the consistency of this serum! It’s very nourishing, it looks a bit like a runny creme, but it feels like a serum and hydrates the neck and decollete very well. I really enjoyed this one quite a bit and I like that they offer a product like this. Too often, we forget about our neck and decollete areas and think to treat everything else, but then the signs of aging tend to show up on the neck, decollete and hands when neglected so I think this is a really great product and it works well for this area. It’s not too heavy, but just right and very lovely to use!

Check it out  – here!

This line would be incomplete without their 100% Pure Rose Water! I think it’s important to mention that, although I am not a fan of the rose scent, I love this rose water. Derived from steam-distilled fresh pink Damask rose petals, it’s really refreshing and the scent is not overwhelming at all. Instead, the scent is pretty subtle, but it feels very nourishing and calming. It really helps to calm redness and breakouts and I love it even more so now because it is really refreshing in this hot-as-hell Southern California weather! Add to that the pH balancing, antibacterial and pore tightening abilities and I am pretty sold on this one!

Check out it out – here!

The Body Serum in this line is really great because it’s oil based, but it isn’t oily. It’s not heavy, it has a nice subtle scent that isn’t rose (thank you! LOL), and it is actually very hydrating to the skin. I really enjoyed this serum. I don’t think it’s nourishing enough for someone with severely dry skin, but mildly dry to normal skin would really benefit from this serum.

Check it out – here!

The last in the line of samples that I received is the Damascena Anti-Wrinkle Serum. I really like the lightness of this serum. I don’t know that I really experienced any anti-wrinkle effects, but then I don’t have many wrinkles yet. Aside from that, I did feel like it helped firm my skin a bit and it was very hydrating, calming, and toning to the skin.

 Check it out – here!

Other Features to Love About Duchess Marden Products:

  • Hydrating and Calming Ingredients
  • Naturally scented
  • Utilizes 100% Pure Rose Water
  • NO fillers, artificial fragrances, petrochemicals, parabens or chemical preservatives
  • Luxurious and Relaxing Vibe to all products and lovely presentation
 Check out the entire Duchess Marden line of products – here!

Has anyone ever tried the Duchess Marden line before?

Disclaimer: I was NOT given compensation to write this blog post in any way other than the samples that were sent to me from Duchess Marden Skincare for review. My opinions, thoughts and experiences with this product are my own.