Thursday, January 8, 2015

New year, new skin.....

Scraping back a layer and renewing sounds more like a surgical procedure, conjuring thoughts of Harley street and going under the knife. Yikes. But today there are many products which will give you a chance to banish dead skin cells and enjoy a new skin glow. Naturally.

As a regular reviewer for the top natural beauty company Mypure, I was interested to see they were exclusively stocking Sophyto, and keen to try some of this brand out.

Who are Sophyto?

Founder Karen Sinclair Drake is a skin health expert who pioneered the concept of using functional medical principles in skincare to optimise natural skin functions. SOPHYTO skincare actively transforms the skin with pH optimised, nutrient dense formulations for a more even, youthful appearance. It reduces sensitivity and bacterial overgrowth, regulates moisture, tightens follicles, reduces pore size and wrinkle depth and firms skin.

Browsing the options available, I chose the Revitalising Duo Treatment, retailing at £25.00 - a lot cheaper than a salon trip!

Why? Well, I was keen to sluice off the dead skin cells, and see what difference a treatment with this product would make. The blurb sounded spot-on:

Helps to effectively dissolve dead skin cells with a mildly acidic combination of precious amethyst powder, acerola cherry and pineapple enzymes.
Key actives - Pineapple & acerola cherry, Amethyst powder, Chlorella extract.
88% Organic
Gluten Free

So, I gave it a go, following the instructions carefully. I thought it might be a bit abrasive, given the nature of the product, but found it quite kind. To be honest I had to repeat the procedure 3 times over 2 weeks to see the effect, and it did make a difference, sluicing away dead cells and resulting in a far brighter complexion, and a more even skintone. My skin feels firmer, pore size in problem areas reduced visibly.

The product suggests using as part of the collection, of course, but I found it worked fine with my regular Mádara cleanser and moisturiser - neither of which I'm ready to swap! I always finish the day with some organic A'kin rosehip oil too, which has reduced the visibility of a facial scar.  Would I buy this product? Yes, I think so, as a bi monthly treatment I think, to counteract seasonal change and as a renewal treatment. Have you tried any of the Sophyto range? What do you think?

Monday, December 1, 2014

Making up...

To win the heart of a teenage girl is not difficult - it's simply called bribery.

Isobel is not easily bribed though - it has to be something special that she really, really wants.

Thank you Mypure :)

At almost 16 (tomorrow!) she loves 1D, Ed Sheeran, cake, her friends - and make-up. She's getting pretty artful with the eye liner and likes a light coverage of a base foundation that's not too heavy, she only likes to have her cake and eat it, not have it covering her face.

So, in order to ensure those Instagram selfies are camera ready, it's got to be good stuff.
As her mother, I want her to use natural and organic make-up, and especially when it comes to the question of Kohl or Kajal, if it's going inside her eye line, I like to know it's not something pumped full of chemicals and nasties.

So, I handed her my review parcel this month. Here's what she got, and what she thought, over to Isobel:
Alva baked foundation in Light as I am quite pale.
Alva Kajal in Black of course!

I was excited when Mum said she would order me the make-up and eyeliner, I was already out of foundation and wanted some for the weekend :) When the box came, I loved the packaging of the make-up, a little black box perfect for my pocket or bag.It has a little silver elastic to keep it closed and stop it going all over your bag. It's kind of like between a liquid and a powder, it says baked powder foundation and goes on really easy. It covers well, and has a nice sheen, great for parties, but not heavy at all, I couldn't feel it on my face. The liner was great too, flowed easily on, I don't have to press it or go over it, it lasts really well. It doesn't make my eyes sting like some of the  other ones I have used. Better than the London look ;)
One thing I would have liked better, would be a thicker sponge applicator in the make-up box, I used my own instead of the one that came with it.
Overall, I loved both of the products and think they would make really nice presents for Christmas or stocking fillers for someone my age especially, you can never have too much makeup in your stash.  :)
Issey. Follow me on :)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Rummaging at the Rastro

There's an element of the Irish tinker about me, for sure. I love a rummage at a boot-fair, rastro, market, or charity shop. Nothing fills me with excitement more than a skip - and I have been known to dive into one whilst dressed to go out for the evening. Heels off - head first.

I embarrass the kids on many an occasion, but indeed have turned up the odd treasure or ten.

And then sometimes, okay mostly, I just buy junk. But it's always something I like the look of, and from first admiring glance I can picture where it will live in the house, and be loved.

We look out for books, old maps, lamps, music, interesting objet d'art, china, porcelain, ethnic finds.

We regularly visit Almunecar and Nerja (Sunday mornings) but this week strayed off course to Adra, where there's a rastro on the 3rd Sunday of each month.

So, yesterday's haul. What do you think? Trash or treasure?

1. A mirror cobbled together from woven esparto, wood, glass and leather. The seller recognised Stan from his season ticket seat at UD ALMERIA, and wished him good luck for the match last night. That didn't work very well! Love this though.

2. What the heck are these? Giant Mussel shells (?!) The mug is there to give some idea of size. Love these - they had to come home. Bargained so hard the seller asked me to go away and not look at anything else. He said of course they were Spanish, as everything in Spain is bigger. He was about 5' 2". :)

3. 50 classical CD's for a bargain price, all in excellent condition.

4. A pair of German silver antique earrings with screw backs. A gift for my mother, so she can close her eyes and be  reminded of her of her glamorous past and nights out....I doubt whether she will wear them, but she will enjoy owning them. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Balmy days have disappeared

Here, life up-mountain has undergone that seasonal change again. The God of Spanish Mountain Weather has flicked the switch and balmy days and warm evenings are banished in a puff of fog and a breath of cold air, made to whistle around corners and through gaps in old chestnut doors.

Mats and rugs will be unfurled and aired next weekend, curtains hung, wood stacked.
The slow cooker is looking once again attractive, and salad shopping is firmly stopped.

Beauty too. Skin is looking different. Sun kissed blush replaced by drier areas around the nose, cracked lips and rough knees are all delights to look forward to.
But, Granny said prevention is better than cure so with that in mind I ordered some preventative measures in the form of Mypure Natural Beauty to blog about this month.

For Stan, a daytime moisturiser (which, yes, I'll have to keep nagging him to remember to use) Pacific Daily Moisturiser was the right choice, a light and easily absorbed burst of moisturiser to keep from looking like some of the weathered locals around here :) It's also suitable post-shave for less beardy blokes and a big plus is that it's fragrance free. It's on special offer too at the moment, just £7.19 for 89ml and free UK delivery - remember that a little goes a long way. Stocking filler idea??

Trilogy Everything Balm seemed to have a name to cover it all - so when the pretty little tin arrived we (as Isobel is at the age where 'what's mine is hers' ) opened it up to find a solid balm encased, with a pleasant smell too. It's fab, lips, heels, knees, elbows, it works a treat. It melts upon contact with a warm hand. Night-time slathering of heels results in feet less trotter-like and more human by morning. Wish I had discovered this in time for sandal season - there's always next year....if I can find it - I have a feeling Girl Teen's room is the pace to look!

Price: Just £20.50 with free UK delivery and it lasts and lasts.

The blurb says:

Use me everywhere.........nourishing and protecting for face and body........soothing dry, chapped skin..........softening, smoothing and moisturising.........lip conditioning........cuticle care.........melting massage oil..........ideal for the whole family.........perfect for travel...........the possibilities are endless!!!

Skin loving rosehip, marula, coconut and jojoba oils nourish. Manuka honey, pawpaw and echinacea promote healing while antioxidant vitamin E helps to protect.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Roses are red...

No, you haven't stumbled across an out of date Valentine's post, and I'm not about to tell you of a grand love affair - well, actually...maybe I am.

I'm extremely privileged to receive a pack of natural and organic beauty each month to review and tell you all about it, and this month I'm shouting about the power of Rosehip oil - even though I am really late in doing so!

A busy time

Mad month here, with No 1 son off to University tomorrow - the whole thing has been arranged in less than 1 week. Months of research squeezed into yet another Byrne Johnston deadline: it seems to be the way we handle most things best. So, whilst he is off on the next and best stage of his future - I have quietly and with no dignity aged at least another 10 years.

So, my rescue remedy is 5 minutes morning and night for 'me' time. Or, to be exact, me and a little brown bottle - no, banish that thought - containing a magic ingredient.

It has taken me  years to discover the benefits of Rosehip Oil - and I won't be letting it go anytime soon.

What did I order?

The Rosehip Collection

Well, to be truthful,the sample I received is out of stock, but the good news is it has since been returned to the Mypure shelves, and the contents added to. So today you can purchase The Rosehip Collection I tested - but with the added advantage of their Hydrating Mist Toner.

What they say

Here's the blurb that tempted me in:

Experience Trilogy. The Rosehip Collection contains natural skincare for beautiful, healthy skin.The perfect size for travel, the perfect set to try and the perfect gift for someone you treasure.
This pack contains
  • Cream cleanser 30ml
  • Rosehip oil antioxidant + 5ml
  • Vital moisturising cream 20ml
  • Hydrating mist toner 20ml

I tried the cream cleanser and moisturiser first on their own, and they were everything you'd expect from Trilogy as  a natural beauty brand. A soft an fluffy, almost whipped, texture, delicately scented and easily absorbed - I found them to most advantageous at night time , when they had a chance to do their work overnight.


The big bonus in the pack for me, was the oil. Do you use an oil?
I say, if not, then do. If your skin is anyway dry, tired, or just needs a boost - it's the answer.
You can purchase Trilogy Rosehip Oil on it's own if you wish.

Certified Organic, and 100% natural. Apply it directly, massaging gently to cleansed skin at night. Or use the handy dropper to dispense 2 or 3 drops to a blob of moisturiser in the morning, under make-up or, as I do, alone.

Skin is visibly brightened, refreshed, and the power of Rosehip delivers a firm kick to oxidants and tired skin.
**Psst - grab a bonus lip gloss if you order the oil on it's own through this link...

Want proof?

Independent clinical studies show Trilogy Rosehip Oil Antioxidant + improves -
~ Brightening and skin tone by 75%
~ Fine lines and wrinkles by 33%
~ Elasticity and firmness by 25%

Give it a go. Tell me what you think.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

August - walkin' on sunshine...with Lovea

August in Andalucia. If you plan to get anything done, or see to any official business, forget it. If you plan to have fun and party like there's no tomorrow - you're in the right place!

Everything stops for August  -  and the postie was extra late with my review package too, normally received with lightening speed from the good folk over at Mypure Natural Beauty.

Between the events of cultural week, and the extra guests floating in and out of our house (thinking of a revolving door to make things easier) there was a lot of clearing up and cooking ahead to be done.

The kids did what kids do - and folded up their towels, then duly took off up the village hill to the pool to spend long summer days splashing and swimming, playing cards and taking endless selfie shots...a hard life, eh?

Luckily for them, my review package included Lovea sunscreen, in factors 30 and 15. They are already deeply tanned, but never go out without their sunscreen - prevention now to help ensure a safe future for their skin. Natural and no chemicals too - standard procedure from Mypure. My only regret is not going natural years ago, particularly with sun protection.

Here's what we tried out:

Lovea Organic SPF 15 Spray

Lovea Organic Sun Care Spray SPF 15 is an Ecocert  certified organic sunscreen. This SPF 15 cream is lightly scented with natural essential oils and provides MEDIUM UVA & UVB protection. The formula is water resistant, non greasy and applies without white traces. 

Lovea Organic SPF 30 Spray

This SPF 30 cream is lightly scented with natural essential oils and provides HIGH UVA & UVB protection. The formula is water resistant, non greasy and applies without white traces. 

Worth noting, if you plan to swim in the sea this year, is that  Lovea is coral safe and contains natural mineral sun blocks combined with certified organic, bio-degradable plant extracts. It does not contain any chemicals which can damage coral reefs...

There's a higher SPF of 50 for kids too...for younger skin or first days under a foreign sun.

The kids loved the handy sprays, which never clogged and were light and easy on their skin, and judging by the amount left in the bottles their friends loved them too :) 

Price? The Lovea suncare range starts at under £10 and goes up to £17.99 - a small price to pay for protecting your family skin - naturally. Buy your sun protection at Mypure Natural Beauty - don't leave home without it!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Flaming June

Choosing words carefully

Well, flaming wasn't the first adjective that came to mind, but it did begin and end with the same amount of letters.

You make your own luck, that's my mantra. Smile, look on the bright side, you'll be happy. Look for work, you'll find it. Get a streak of good luck, then pay it forward. Karma, yup, it's there, watch out. But by God I must have been bad in a previous life. At least so June tried to tell me....

An official signed for letter at the beginning of the month meant a depletion of the coffers, another one from the delightful office of Hacienda came to one of my employers, so any plans of hooting it up for my birthday were washed away.

Just a number?

Ah yes, the big 5-0. Actually, it really is just a number, I'm sure I'm only 23, and I figured that as long as the people who really knew me didn't send me cards with that half century red flag all over them, I'd be grand.

Cue the entire stock of Hallmark 50-emblazoned cards, delivered directly to me. I'll just sit and wait for the Saga offers.


Then Anklegate. A small  - sober - sprain, a mere twist of my Father's inherited double joint, not even a decent  fall, and I was immobilised - for FOUR weeks. An X- Ray, a malicious manipulation of my cankle by a mincing medic at the health centre that doubles as an interrogation centre, and no bones broken...the fecker still crippled me yanking and twisting the foot around.

Go and get plastered he instructed.

 Following his advice to the letter, I bought a bottle of Beefeater and went home. We postponed the longed-for coastal weekend away.

My MIL arrived for a week. To be honest, she was no trouble - and she reads this. :P


Then the saddest part of all - our Trixie, rescued and spoiled madly for the past 6 lovely years, died after an operation. She was old I know, but of all the things that June brought, I really wasn't ready for that. I know, I know, there are worse things, but sometimes it really doesn't feel that way. In her few golden years here, she gave us more pleasure and loyalty than any 2 legged or 4 legged creature I have ever known. Undershot, crooked legs, yellow hair the same shade as mine (!) and a heavy snore - all missed so badly. Thanks to permission from Cliff, she now lies under the shade of an orange tree on his land, buried with mingled snot and tears, but with the best views on the Contraviesa, and I can still have a chat as I weed and water the Huerto.

Do you know the way...?

We had the postponed San José weekend, and now July is here: deep breath, tear away the last month with relish from the calender  - moving on up...and wishing you all luck and love for the hot Spanish summer ahead. <3 br="" nbsp=""> Glossary:
Huerto - market garden
Hacienda - robbing feckers

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Deep cleaning with Mypure

Cleaning up

No, no, I haven't turned over a new leaf and decided to become housewife of the year, come on, is that really likely?!

This time of year, with lazy days on the beach looming around that lovely corner, I decided to order up a deep cleansing masque from Living Nature via Mypure Natural Beauty.

Ordering is fuss-free, with a confirmation email in minutes, and an easy to negotiate website, which looks great on any device as it does on your home PC.

Living Nature

I chose Living Nature Deep Cleansing Mask, and always one for a bulk buy, this one has 10 individual sachets for just £27.50, so 10 times the treatment should last 2-3 months.

Application is easy, just smooth onto clean skin, the blurb on the site is just about spot on. When dry rub it off with an upwards sweep of the hands and rinse of with clean water.

  Living Nature Deep Cleansing Mask combines Halloysite Clay with Manuka essential oils and Totara Extract to deeply cleanse and refine pores, leaving skin balanced and wonderfully soft.


Did I mention spots? This is perfect for anyone with acne prone skin too. so Issy tried it out on her back and shoulders, which suffer in the winter and spring with outbreaks.  It cleared things up nicely.  Friends Lynne (Dry skin) and Lester (Oily to Combo skin)  each took home a sachet, so I'll let you know at a later date what they thought of the mask and the results! A multi use packet - robbed yet again!

Free gift 

If you buy it now, there's a special offer of a Gift with Purchase, I received a Living Nature Manuka Honey Lip Balm as a welcome and lovely gift, just right for packing onto my pocket for the beach, and will help to allay the drying effects of the sea breeze and salty air. Up in the mountains where we live too - dry mountain air is great for Jamón Serrano but not so good on the lips! The balm retails for £11.00.

Coming up..

Next month I'll be reviewing sun creams - natural and organic ones from Mypure of course, have you looked at what is in yours? Sometimes a lot of chemicals as well as SPF - look again, you're better off with organic and natural from Mypure Natural Beauty.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Madara Magic at Mypure

May madness

Whew, that last month flew in! Literally for me, with a quick break to Ireland and a surprise visit from the grandchildren for my newly octogenarian mother. We had a lovely time and squeezed as much as possible from the short days.

Packing is always light, we rarely travel with any more than hand baggage (but dress like onions, layered up against the Ryanair levies and regulations :)

Making up

I'm not one for make up - so that little clear plastic bag going through x ray will instead be loaded up with cleansers, moisturisers, balms, a lipstick and a mascara, that's it for me. But approaching a horribly large birthday myself, and under the critical eye of mother, sometimes I need a little extra help! So a tinting fluid was the my choice to review from Mypure this month, and I wisely chose from their extensive and award winning Madara range.

The product:

Madara Tinting Fluid in Sunflower Golden Beige. Moonflower is the other shade, they're currently reduced for a short period, so be quick.

50ml pump bottle.

Tints, illuminates and evens out your skin tone. Northern Rose Hip extract and natural pigments instantly hydrate and perfect the skin’s appearance. Masks imperfections and fine lines, leaving skin fresh and radiant with the look of a summer tan. A lighter alternative to foundation.

Review time

What did I think? Hmmm. That should read 'we'.

I was lucky to get away with any of it - my cousins, decades apart that they are -  all loved it. My Mum tried to steal it. My daughter aged 15 sported it. I'm currently squeezing out the remainder, so addicted am I to the coverage, which is light yet even and feels like nothing on the skin. It's more like a tinted moisturiser, a sun kissed coverage of a soft veil in a bottle. And organic, natural, kind. I say buy it. It contains magic - well, put it this way - my mother didn't criticise me :) But on the downside, I have had to purchase another one for her...!! Luckily, Mypure deliver internationally.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Mypure saving sanity

Teenagers. I have two. Issey is 15...there, with just 7 words I have struck fear into your hearts.

So I have a normal teenage daughter then!

All smiles

Last week, she came in smiling - a rare treat - and excitedly asked if she could open 'the box'.

The Box...our Mypure Natural Beauty Box, a monthly treat to rate and review.

What did we order?

Old tricks

If there's one thing we should all teach our daughters, it's the age old tip to moisturise. Isobel has tried the Yes To range before, the Tomato one and loved it, but at her age every day seems to bring a change in her skin, so we tried the Yes To Cucumbers for her, and Yes to Blueberries for me.

Spot the difference

Yes to Blueberries is for older skin, so perfect for me. Living in our place in the sun requires buckets of moisturiser, and organic and natural is the only choice I'm happy with. 
Soft and creamy, with a heady fruity scent and easy glide on and absorption. Light enough for under the eyes, dense enough to last all day. My skin is feeling fresh and smooth after a week's trial of Yes To Blueberries. I think I'll re-order and use it for the whole summer.

Yes to Cucumbers was the real revelation, though. Spots are the current teenage plague, flaring up at all the wrong moments for poor Issey - and ruining her day, which ruins our get the picture! We live in the sun, and while summer rays clear up her skin problems, spring is a curse, when everything seems more antagonised.

So what did she think?

She LOVED it. Besides Yes to Cucumbers being kind, leaving her with soft and moisturised skin and smelling light and fresh - a miracle happened. The spots cleared up. Gone. Even the nastiest ones were calmed and soothed...and it took only a week of regular use. She has even started to use it on her back and shoulder - with the same miraculous results. We - did you hear that? - WE are happy. And smiley. And peace has been restored.

How long will it last?

Where's that Mypure website....