Petit Vour October ’14 Review…and Purple-ish Hair!

Hi friends!

First off (and, of course, most importantly!) what do you think of my new hair color? I don’t think the bright coral cardigan really does it any favors, but you get the idea. I was just tired of my regular brown and wanted something more cold-weather appropriate. The dye is Aveda brand…not chemical-free, but better than most. And if you’re interested to know, I’m wearing Red Apple lipstick in Boys ‘N Berry (though it doesn’t really show up here).

purple hairNow onto other more important matters. Finally, my Petit Vour review!! I know it’s now November and this is shockingly late, but a) I’m lazy and b) I’m lazy. Honestly, I was just lazy about taking the photo! But here we go:

petit vour octoberThe theme for October was “Beauty Thrillers,” but, as we all know, the theme is just an excuse for a pretty insert card 🙂

The main disappointment in this box for me was the Pacifica Devocean Natural Lipstick (top left). The formula seemed nice, and I’m a big Pacifica fan, but the color was atrocious on me. It was called “Tenderheart,” and was a kind of nude-brown color that made me look like a plague victim. It’d probably look quite nice on people with darker skin tones than mine though. (full-size $14.00)

I really liked the Flo and Theo Body Butter (top right) It was a gorgeous lemony scent, made with cocoa and shea butter. Very thick – a little goes a long way, but I appreciated the whipped texture which made it paradoxically light as well, and fun to use. (full-size $28.00)

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the S.W. Basics makeup remover (bottom right). I’ve been struggling to find a decent makeup remover, and for a while I tried using my pure jojoba oil. However, it made my eyes go all blurry! This doesn’t, even though it’s only made with three oils: olive, jojoba, and sweet almond. Perhaps it’s the formulation, or the types of oils used, but it works a lot better than my pure oil experiment. (full-size $14-28.00)

Finally, another dud: the Forager Botanicals Eau de Parfum in the scent “Nectar” (bottom left). The scent just didn’t appeal to me, as it seemed kind of alcohol smelling. (full-size: a whopping $98.00). I’ll be sticking to my Pacifica Island Vanilla Solid Perfume thank you very much!
Well, folks, that’s it from me. I’ll be back soon with a Red Apple lipsticks review, and my Liebster award acceptance blurb!

Thanks for following, commenting etc! And now you can follow me on Twitter as well!

Liv 🙂


Pacifica Solid Perfume – Island Vanilla – Review!

I recently tried Pacifica’s Island Vanilla Solid Perfume, which is currently on sale at Sprouts (and some online stores it seems) for $6.99, down from $9.00. I have to say, I LOVE it. It is vanilla-based, but has floral and honey notes as well, and an underlying spicy scent – sort of like Ylang Ylang. Not too cloying and sweet, and it strikes the right balance between sensual and bright tones.

Despite my personal ‘smell-analysis,’ this is what is ACTUALLY in it: “vanilla absolute, with honey-jasmine notes and a touch of fruitiness, against a deep and beautiful base of tea.”

Sorry, but I had to play the wine-tasting game…you know where you try and impress your other half with your amazingly sensitive and refined palate, declaring the wine to taste like ‘blackberry and licorice,’ only to read the tasting notes that proclaim it’s actually ‘peach and wet dog,’ or some such…? Yeah, that’s me.

Anyway, all of Pacifica’s perfumes are made with essential oils and naturally derived fragrances in a coconut wax and organic soy base. The staying power seems pretty good to me, but it’s so handy and portable you could easily touch-up during the day. I will be popping this in my purse and using it at work, for sure.

Have you tried any of the other scents? In the store I tried Guava (too sweet) and a few others, but the vanilla one seemed like the best ‘every-day’ scent.

BONUS: If you sign up for email at Pacifica’s website you will be sent a coupon for a free ‘lip quench’ when you spend $25.00. Just click here to get to the website.

Stay tuned! I have a lot of cool reviews to come this weekend, with my Petit Vour September review and a Fall Favorites (thus far) post!


only goodness inside deodorant – holy moly, it works!

Hey All!

Today, as promised, I tried out the Only Goodness Inside brand all-natural deodorant from my Vegan Cuts box. I spent a difficult day at work trying not to surreptitiously sniff my armpits. One of my students walked into my room and declared it to be “stinky.” Cue huge bout of paranoia! Turns out it was my half-eaten hummus dip sitting on the desk, thank the lord.

Finally, I got home and could sniff in peace. And, you know what? It worked! This is the first time I’ve had success with a non-aluminum deodorant, and I couldn’t be happier. I wore my regular “Secret” brand deodorant the next day, to compare, and I think I was fresher with the all-natural one. Happy days! This is a switch I’m particularly keen to make given the studies coming out that suggest links between aluminum deodorant and breast cancer. Read more here.

Another big hit from my Vegan Cuts box, which I said I would update you about, was the Derma E microdermabrasion scrub. First off, I apparently have to apologize. I told you it smelled of lemons. I told my hubby it smelled of lemons. To which he promptly replied, “you’re an idiot; that’s smells of limes.” Lemons, limes, what ‘evs. Anyway, it smells yummy, and it works great.

My favorite product is still the Lunatick eyeshadow though!

Climate change is a global emergency. Stop waiting for politicians to sound the alarm

Climate change is a global emergency. Stop waiting for politicians to sound the alarm

I feel very strongly about this, and am kind of sad I couldn’t go on the climate change march. For a while now I’ve been considering going vegetarian, as I was two years ago, not only because I love animals, but because of the strain the meat industry puts on the environment. I think I’ll be taking that plunge!! I’ll keep you posted 🙂

substitutions #1 – what worked, what didn’t?

Slowly, over the past two weeks, I’ve been making changes to my skincare and make-up routine. I’ve weeded out the bad (toxic, unpronounceable chemical-laden products) and begun to replace them with more natural (often vegan) products. It’s not been a perfect transition, by any means, and there have been some hiccups along the way…

OK, surely a first world problem, but giving up some of my most beloved skincare products has definitely been tough. For years, since I was about 13, I’ve used Johnson and Johnson’s baby lotion as a cleanser. Why? Well, my mum always used it. Plus, it smells nice, and seemed to agree with my skin, and removes make-up without stinging my eyes. And as it was ‘safe for babies’ not once did I stop to think there might be anything harmful in it. Now I discover that it’s loaded with parabens and other nasties, it’s been trashed (luckily, I’d nearly finished the bottle anyway).

The search for a replacement cleanser is ongoing. I’m from England, and the odd thing about American cleansers is that they all involve water. I much prefer a lotion that I can just wipe the make-up off with. What’s the deal with this, Americans? Anyway, my first attempt to replace my beloved Johnson’s has failed miserably. Yes to Carrots nourishing wipes burn my skin. Looking at the ingredients list I see they contain alcohol, so…not surprising really. Then I turned to a gift my mom had bought me a few months back and I’d not opened: The Body Shop’s chamomile cleansing butter. It works fairly well, but it’s kind of greasy and definitely not chemical-free. So now I’m experimenting with a sample of Liz Earle’s 2-step cleanse and polish system (NOT chemical free, I believe, but almost there…) which has rave reviews from everyone. My skin has broken out with a weird red rash on my chin (and my skin never breaks out) so this one may be a dud too.

On the plus side, replacing my much-loved Clinique 7-day facial scrub has been a breeze. Yes To Carrots grapefruit scrub does the job just as well and smells about ten times better. Not to mention, it’s cheaper. Yay!

The second product I’ve been loathe to replace is my incredible, wonderfully wonderful Olay night regeneration cream. I’ve used this religiously for about five years, and, guys, IT WORKS. It’s also chock-full of nasties, so what’s a girl to do? I finished up the tub whilst the tiniest of tiny violins played in the background. Then I looked in my cupboards for a substitute.

So far, pure jojoba oil is working pretty well. It’s suitable for oily skins (mine is dry, but too much oil makes me break out, just as it would anyone I expect) and helps cleanse pores. I have to say, I don’t wake up with quite the same ‘glow’ as Olay gave me, but nor do I look like Cruella De Ville, so I’m happy. If anyone has any recommendations for a great all-natural night-cream, let me know in the comments!

Enough grumbling – another positive! Body lotion! I’ve found the BEST body lotion I think I’ve ever used, and it’s completely natural. Nubian Heritage’s Coconut & Papaya Body Lotion ‘nourishing, exfoliating, and renewing,’ smells tropical and gorgeous, absorbs nicely into my skin, and keeps my legs soft and dewy all day long. The first ingredient listed is NOT water (always a good sign) but coconut oil. It also contains shea butter, aloe vera, vitamin E, papaya extract, coconut milk, vanilla bean, olive oil, and essential oils instead of the dreaded ‘fragrance,’ (which often contains a cocktail of nasties that the company does not have to divulge). I bought a 13 fl oz bottle on sale at Sprouts for $8.95, but I believe it generally retails for around $11.00. You can find it at Amazon, amongst other online retailers.

Another coconutty body butter (as you can probably tell, I’m a big fan of coconut anything) you might want to try is from a little-known vegan, all-natural brand called Rosemira Organics. It’s pricey, though: a full tub is $22.00. The one I sampled was the Sweet Coconut Body Butter, and it basically contains coconut, coconut oil and something else (I lost the label!). It smells delicious, but it’s VERY oily. The instructions say to pat into skin after a shower, which you kind of have to because it’s so greasy. However, it does the job. If your skin is really dry, or you want something for winter, this might be a good bet. You can buy it at

A final note: lip balm replacement has also proved easy-peasy. See my review below for the amazing Mi-Me lip balm review (the lip balm being amazing that is, not the review, which I’d say is average at best, ha ha) and at night I’m using an already-owned tin of Lush’s Honey-Trap lip balm, which is delumptious.

As I continue on this adventure, I’m thinking of compiling a list of the all-natural or vegan brands I come across on a separate page, with links to websites. Let me know if this would be helpful!

Have you made any substitutions recently? If so, what worked, and what didn’t?

lovely thing #1

Mi-Me Tangerine Lip Butter ($5.00)

If I told you I’d discovered the best lip balm ever, with these ingredients…

Virgin Organic Coconut Oil, Shea Butter, Mango Butter, Avocado Butter, Tucuma Butter, Murumuru Butter, Cupuacu Butter, Candelilla Wax, Vitamin E, Tangerine Essential Oil

…would you believe me?

Believe it! I received this lip balm in my first ever Petit Vour subscription box, and it is by far the best lip balm I’ve ever used (and I’ve used a ton). Here’s why:

1) First, and most importantly, it contains no harmful chemicals, and it is 100% vegan.

2) It smells divine.

3) It makes my lips soft and glossy. Yes, glossy. Not ‘waxy’ or ‘slick’ but glossy. Kind of like Vaseline, but thicker.

4) It doesn’t dry out my lips at all.

Enough said! It’s also available in lemon-ginger. You can buy this at Mi-Me’s website:

mi me lip stuff