Au Naturel Essence

All natural treats for body and soul


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My bkr

A few weeks ago, I entered a giveaway contest by Eco Diva Beauty.  (If you haven’t heard of them, PLEASE click on the link and check out their site.  They’ve got all kinds of great skin products)

The giveaway was for a 1 Liter size bkr water bottle.

I hadn’t heard of bkr before, but I loved the look of the bottles right away.  More importantly, I loved that it was a glass bottle, free of any unnecessary chemicals that we sometimes find in plastic water bottles.

So, I entered the context and lo and behold, I won!!  Yahoo! THANK YOU Eco Diva Beauty!

My black bkr

My black bkr

I’ve been using this as my main water bottle at work for the past two weeks.  I wasn’t quite sure how I’d feel about carrying a 1L bottle around with me.  To my surprise, it hasn’t even been an issue.  Here’s what I love:

  • The bkr is made of glass.  No need to get a paraben-free one…they are all paraben free!
  • The silicone sleeve is so easy to slip on and off for cleaning.
  • The silicone sleeve dresses up the bottle, makes it easy to grip, and protects it from breaking.
  • The cap/handle — it’s genius!  The cap is a simple screw top that makes a great seal.  The handle is perfect for carrying a full bottle around by a few fingers. I love it.
bkr

My bkr – This is the funky cap/handle that functions perfectly

There’s just one more thing that I love about this water bottle.  It holds a full liter of water and I have found myself drinking way more water than before.  Staying hydrated by drinking lots of water is the best thing you can do for your skin!

Here’s one last shot of my beautiful bkr.  (And yes, that’s my son in the background!)

My 1L bkr

My 1L bkr

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Evande Facial Care – A Product Review

For the month of January, I have been using a whole new set of skin care products.  It’s the Evande Skin Care Set.  This set was sent to me free of charge.  In return, I’ve been using it religiously so that I could provide you all with my personal review of the set.

Evande

Scent

The scent of any skin care product is really important to me.  I have to like it or I simply won’t use it.

The scent of the Evande set reminds me of a light baby powder.  It’s a very feminine and delicate scent.  I love the way it smells when I put it on.  I also love that I catch a whiff of it every once in a while throughout the day.

Each of the products in the set has the same scent, so they work really well together.

Evande Cleanser and Make-Up Remover

The soap-free cleanser is light and creamy all at the same time.  It works well as a makeup remover.  The hardest makeup I had to remove was some lipstick that had lasted beyond its best before date.  It was very sticky on my lips and felt horrible.  A dab of the cleanser/makeup remover allowed me to wipe it off in one swipe.  So yes, it works as a makeup remover.

As a cleanser, it is gentle on my skin.  After I’m done using it, my skin feels clean without that dreaded squeaky clean feeling.  My skin doesn’t feel dry afterwards, either.

Evande Cleanser

Evande Cleanser

Evande Alcohol-Free Pore Minimizing Toner

This is the only toner I’ve ever been able to use without breaking out.  In fact, I had all but given up on toners until I received this set to try.  I figured I had to give it a try in order to do a complete review.  To my surprise, my skin didn’t react poorly at all.  I love spraying this toner on my face and neck after cleansing.  It seems like such a lovely way to ensure my skin stays moist.  I am totally hooked.

Evande Face and Neck Moisturizer

The moisturizer is light.  I just need a little bit for my face and neck, especially after the toner.  It leaves my skin well-balanced and hydrated, but not greasy or feeling heavy.

Evande Face and Neck Moisturizer

Evande Face and Neck Moisturizer

Effectiveness

This skin care set has served me well for a whole month.  It’s been cold and dry for most of the month and my skin has been well hydrated throughout.  The cleanser is gentle and the moisturizer is nourishing.  It’s exactly the right combination I need to keep my skin clean and moisturized.

Packaging

The packaging is simple.  The pumps for the cleanser and moisturizer and the spray nozzle for the toner make each product really easy to dispense.  I personally like the clean look of the white bottles and the touch of gold classes it up a little bit.

Evande

Ingredients

The Evande brand uses the tag line, “Feel the Natural Elegance”.  Evande prides itself on creating products that are great for your skin without using harsh unnecessary chemicals.  On their website, they have listed the chemicals that are prohibited from use in their product line:

  •    DEA (Diethanolamine)
  •     Dyes
  •     Mineral Oil
  •     PABA
  •     Parabens
  •     Paraffin
  •     phthlates
  •     Sulfates

I love that Evande uses more natural substances to create their products.  They also clearly list all their ingredients right on the back of each bottle.  I’ve also reproduced the ingredient list below, in case you’re interested.

Evande Ingredient Listings

Evande Ingredient Listings

Cleanser and Make-Up Remover:

Water, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Cetyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Stearic Acid, Cocomidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Vaccinium Myrtillus (Bilberry) Fruit Extract, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Acer Saccharum (Sugar Maple) Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Citrus Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Aloe Barbedensis Leaf Juice, passiflora Edulis (Passion Fruit) Extract, Phyllanthus Emblica (Amla) Fruit Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Glycol Distearate, Carbomer, Sodium Hydroxide, Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance

Pore-Minimizing Toner

Extracts of (Marigold, Chamomile, Rosemary, Cucumber, Elder, Arnica, Linden, Cornflower, Matricaria, St. John’s Wort, Hops, Horsetail, Pine Cone, Mallow, Ivy, Pellitory, Burdock, Sage and Soapwort) in Water, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel), Glycerin, Propylene Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Acer Saccharum (Sugar Maple) Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Aloe Barbedensis Leaf Juice, Laureth-23, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Tetrasodium EDTA, Fragrance

Face and Neck Moisturizer

Water, Glycerin, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Cetyl Alcohol, Petrolatum, Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Aloe Barbedensis Leaf Juice, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Almond Butter), Silk Amino Acid, Ficus Carica (Fig) Extract, Kigelia Africana Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Niacinamide, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Glycol Distearate, Coco-Glucoside, Glyceryl Oleate, Propylene Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol,  Carbomer, Sodium Hydroxide, Tetrasodium EDTA, Fragrance

I looked up this brand on the Good Guide and on Skin Deep.  Unfortunately, it was not listed on either site, most likely because it’s such a new brand.  I’d love to know how these products rate on either of those sites.

Affordability

Is this magic skin care set affordable?  In short, YES!

Each bottle contains 200 mL of product.  My best guess is that, after one month, at most, I’ve used about one-quarter of each bottle.

You can buy the whole set of three for $24.99!

Honestly, I didn’t even look at the price until it was time to write my review.  I was floored when I saw how well priced the set is.

Evande

Would I Recommend Evande?

Yes – I most definitely would.  I’ve had a great experience using this set for the past month.  My skin feels great and I’ve finally found a toner that works for my skin!  I also love the clean packaging and the great price.


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Gift Box of Goodies

A few weeks ago, we spent a long weekend visiting some friends.  We don’t get to see them very often, so it was a very special weekend.

I wanted to give them some treats as a gift.  I decided to make a bunch of different skin care products and then let them divide them up among themselves.

Their gift box included:

  • 1 jar of peppermint foot cream
  • 2 bottles of lotion
  • 3 jars of hand balm
  • 6 tubes of lip lube
  • And a whole bunch of soap!

I had so much fun putting everything together.  Here are some photos of the final product.

Gift Box!

Gift Box!

Gift Box of Goodies

Gift Box of Goodies

Skin Care Treats!

Skin Care Treats!

Lip Lube and Hand Balm

Lip Lube and Hand Balm

Hans Solo Soap

Hans Solo Soap

Fish Soap

Fish Soap

As you can see, I made some specialty soaps for this gift box.  The blue and purple fish and starfish soaps were specially made for our friends’ daughter.  Her favorite colours are blue and purple, so I thought these would be perfect.   And one of our friends is a Star Wars fan.  I thought he might appreciate the Hans Solo soap!


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Soap and Smoothing Serum Gift Boxes

With the arrival of our son, we’ve been busy visiting a lot of family.  One of our trips was to Argentina.  We saw lots of family and friends while there.  Even though they all said it was a treat enough to meet our son, I also wanted to bring a little something for them to enjoy.

I put together some gift boxes that had a bar of soap and some Smoothing Serum.

Soap

I made the soap with Goat’s Milk Melt and Pour and Extra Fine French Red Clay.  I scented it with the essential oils of vanilla and grapefruit.  The bars turned out a dark red colour.

DSC_0239

Smoothing Serum

I also made some Smoothing Serum.  I put it into 10 mL bottles with a dropper cap, so it’s easy to dispense a drop or two at a time.  I like to dab this under my eyes before bed at night.

Smoothing Serum

Labelling

Whenever I give a product to someone else, I ensure that it has a complete label.  That way, it’s really clear what ingredients I chose to use when making it.

Smoothing Serum and Soap

Packaging

I packed each gift in a clear top gift box.  I bound each box with a silver elastic.  Here’s the finished product.  What do you think?

Red Soap and Smoothing Serum Gift Soap and Smoothing Serum Gift Boxes


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Guest Post: A Switch to Natural Living

Please welcome Katie Moore to my blog!  Katie and I have a few things in common these days.  We’re both mommies and we’re both Buttonvery interested in clean living.  Katie graciously agreed to write a guest post for my blog!  Thank you, Katie!!  

Please keep reading to learn more about Katie’s switch to natural living.  If you like what you see, (and I’m sure that you will!) check out Katie’s blog at Moore From Katie. 

I Switched to a Natural Lifestyle During Pregnancy

Although most women strive to live a healthy lifestyle, there is just something about pregnancy that gives natural living added importance. It was during my first pregnancy that I realized the choices I made had a significant impact upon the health of my unborn child. Suddenly, how I ate and lived was no longer just about me; I knew that my baby depended upon me to maintain a healthy body that would stimulate his development. While I knew that I had to make some changes, I also knew that they would have to be easy to incorporate and inexpensive enough to make them a regular part of my fast-paced life. Here, are a few of the changes I made to live a more natural lifestyle throughout my pregnancy.

Relaxation and Exercise
When I first became pregnant, I had no idea how hard it would be to get exercise. Morning sickness took its toll and made me feel less like doing my daily workout. When I mentioned this to a friend, she suggested that I change my normal workout to one that is geared toward promoting both relaxation and physical health. In response to her advice, I visited a prenatal yoga class. Not only was this form of exercise easier on my changing body, but it also provided me with an exercise option that can be done anywhere. Even now that my son is born, I still enjoy practicing yoga outdoors for the natural relaxation benefits it provides.

Personal Hygiene and Skin Care
As I began to explore the benefits of natural living, I was surprised to discover that many of my skin care products were no longer safe during my pregnancy. As a devotee to anti-aging products, I knew I would have to find a healthier alternative to my current personal hygiene regime. After exploring the various products that were available, I was surprised to discover that skin care products with natural ingredients were just as effective as the expensive creams I already owned. Since I made the switch to natural beauty products, I have never looked back as my skin now glows just as bright as it did throughout my pregnancy!

Switching to a natural lifestyle during my pregnancy was one of the best things I have ever done for myself as well as my family. In addition to health eating and exercise, I am now more aware of the chemicals that I once used in everyday products. Now, my family and I enjoy living a life that is based upon natural living that helps ensure both our physical and mental well-being.  As with anything, double check with your doctor before making any changes.  My doctor was able to help me with many baby related topics, including cord blood banking, burping, delivery options and more!

Katie Moore has written and submitted this article. Katie is an active blogger who discusses the topics of, motherhood, children, fitness, health and all other things Mommy. She enjoys writing, blogging, and meeting new people! To connect with Katie contact her via her blog, Moore From Katie or her twitter, @moorekm26


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Skincare Tips for the Spring

Spring is almost here!

hydrangeasA few weeks ago, we started to have double-digit temperatures!  It was such a treat to be given a sneak peek into Spring.  I celebrated by going for a long walk with my son in the baby carrier.  Sadly, the high temps did not last and we’ve had more snow since then.  In fact, as I write this, I’m looking out the window at a snow shower.  Nevertheless, I know that Spring is close and it’s time to get ready for sunshine and outdoor fun!

Spring also means that my skin will have different needs. Here’s how I’m planning on taking care of my skin.

Spring Soap

DSC_0017

I just whipped up two small batches of Goat’s Milk Melt and Pour Soap.  I made a few bars of soap using green clay and scented them with Patchouli.  In the past, I’ve sometimes overdone it with the Patchouli scent.  Fortunately, I’ve learned from that and these bars are nicely scented.

I also made some bars of soap with pink clay.  I use these on my face.  They are gentle and are able to clean my skin without removing all of the natural oils. I scented these bars with Grapefruit essential oil.  I like to call these bars Pink Grapefruits!

Light Moisturizers

I’ve been using the Emollient Wheatgerm cream this winter.  It’s been great.  Now that the weather is turning, I’ll be using face oils only.  I love the Suti face oils.  They have a delicious scent and are light on the skin.  I also make my own face oils and have experimented with all kinds of oils.  Once I finish the batch that I have in my cabinet, I’ll be making some more to try!

It’s also time to switch to a light lotion.  I always need to help my skin with moisture.  However, I can get away with a light lotion during the warmer months, rather than a thicker lotion or cream.

Coconut on BeachHair Care

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll already know that I’m a big fan of reverse hair washing.  I just love the results and I continue to wash my hair this way.  With the added humidity that comes with Spring, my hair can get a bit frizzy. I find that a weekly hair mask is just what it needs to stay under control.  My favorite mask right now is plain coconut oil.

How do you pamper your skin during the spring months?

This post is part of the GiG Spotlight #5: Spring Fever.  Thanks to Caity of Moi Contre La Vie and Mari of I Love Green Inspiration for hosting this wonderful event.  Are you wondering what GiG is?  It’s the Girls Inspired Group.  Click on the image below to check out their blog and join!

gigspotlight1


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Scented Baby Balm

I have really enjoyed making my own skincare products for my son.  I feel so much better knowing exactly what I’m putting on his skin.  Now that he’s older than three months, I decided to make him some new baby balm, using an essential oil.

Safe Essential Oils for Babies

It’s best to use essential oils in moderation at all times.  Ideally, they should be diluted and when used directly, they should be used sparingly.  The same applies to babies, especially since they tend to have such sensitive skin.

The two essential oils that seem to be considered safe, in moderation, for babies are lavender and chamomile.  My main source of information has been Colleen Dodt’s book,  Natural Baby Care.

Even with these oils being considered safe, I chose to use a very limited amount in his new batch of baby balm, just to be on the safe side.

Lavender

I chose to go with the Lavender essential oil.  It has such a soothing scent.  That’s exactly what I need during those midnight diaper changes!

Lavender Baby Balm

Lavender Baby Balm