choosing cleaner beauty
I seem to be blogging less about gardening and cooking and more about every day Mum life lately. I hope you don’t mind if you’re a long time reader. If you’re new here, welcome to my little corner of the internet where I write about growing veg, small boys, hope and contentment. I have stories about allotment growing, infertility, parenting and finding gratitude in the ordinary moments. More recently I’ve been writing about health and wellbeing, why it’s important to me to use natural products on my skin and becoming a Weleda Wellbeing Advisor. Today’s story is about taking the next step on from natural skin care to using natural cosmetics. I’ve chosen to switch to Lavera, who like Weleda are NATRUE certificated (the gold standard when it comes to certifying organic cosmetic ingredients) and here’s why …
I rarely wear make-up like mascara, eyeliner, lipstick etc. My daily facial routine amounts to cleansing and moisturising before applying a light foundation, dusting shiny areas with a loose powder and giving my lips a swipe of lip balm. Having seen the benefits of using natural Weleda products on my skin for the last couple of months I wanted to clean up my make up bag too. I sought out Lavera after Jayn Sterland, Weleda’s Director, mentioned the brand in an interview about NATRUE certified companies. I checked out Lavera’s on-line shop and figured if i was going to the effort of finding a new foundation and powder I might as well look into some special occasion cosmetics too. I pondered to myself whether Lavera might send me some samples in exchange for a thoughtful and honest review. I often ask myself this question but rarely turn that thought into a request as my blog doesn’t get the thousands of views companies prefer for raising their profile. I decided to brave the rejection and was so chuffed when Lavera’s Marketing Manager replied saying ”Yes, what are you interested in’. I described my brief morning make-up routine and a particular concern about increasing eye bags from swimming goggles. Lavera recommended a tinted moisturiser and concealer to suit my fair colouring (diagnosed from this funny little ‘Hello’ shot!) and an eyebrow definer in response to my jest about needing to discover my eyebrows. I eagerly awaited my Lavera goodies and started to use them as soon as they arrived. Below is a breakdown product by product (I was so impressed with my 3 samples that I bought some other products which I’ve also reviewed below).
Using natural cosmetics from Lavera
Lavera have been making 100% natural and organic skincare and cosmetics for over 25 years. Founded in Germany, they share Weleda’s natural and organic principles when sourcing their ingredients (free from synthetic/man made ingredients, pesticides, antibiotics or growth hormones). A NaTRUE certified company Lavera cosmetics are the perfect fit with my Weleda skincare routine.
Natural concealer with Q10 (Ivory)
Lavera recommended their Natural Concealer to lighten and brighten the shadows under my eyes. The active ingredient Q10 is said to reduce the signs of skin ageing and provide natural coverage whilst moisturising and caring for the delicate skin around the eye area. It has a lovely faint sweet like smell and has a really silky feel to it. I’ve never rated concealer before as it usually makes my skin drier and draws more attention to the creases under my lower eye lids where make up can collect. Lavera’s concealer doesn’t do that at all and blends so well it doesn’t even look like I’ve applied any make-up. This concealer would be especially suited to sensitive skin, reducing redness and is dermatologically tested and does seem to have helped reduce the grey shadowing under my eyes.
Tinted moisturising cream 3 in 1 with Q10 (Ivory)
Lavera recommended this tinted moisturiser as a lighter option than a foundation. It provides less coverage giving a less made-up look and working well with the natural glow of your skin (boosted by my use of Weleda’s Skin Food light first). This moisturiser comes in a pump bottle meaning you get the exact amount you need (too often have I over squirted a tube). Q10 is an anti-ageing ingredient and said to strengthen and nourish the skin. This cream smells fab like the concealer and feels so smooth you’d hardly know there was any colouring in it (some foundations can feel a little chalky in my experience). It feels velvety soft when you apply it and leaves a natural ‘barely there’ finish. Lavera recommend it for yellow-pinky skin tones (I don’t really know what that means but my pink areas and freckles are less noticeable in the final photo).
Eyebrow styling gel (Hazel Blonde)
This is a new product from Lavera for creating ”beautifully defined brows, drawing attention to the eyes and framing the face”. This innovative gel comes in a natural hazel brown shade and will style, colour and care for your brows. ‘It will give colour and definition as well as keeping any stray hairs in place for perfectly groomed brows” says Lavera. When you open this styling gel it has a wand like a mascara brush. The hazel colour is subtle and natural but didn’t really work for me with my untamed brows. If you already maintain your eyebrows and want a natural look this is the perfect product for you. As my fair eyebrows have never been tweezed or tamed I found it added to much colour in places where I like my eyebrows to be faint. It left me with a bushy look and with less control over the shaping than just using an eyebrow pencil. I asked my friend Gina to try it and she agreed it’s a really good product if you’ve already done some taming of your brows!
Fine loose mineral powder (Ivory)
Lavera’s loose mineral powder has a mattifying effect over a tinted moisturiser or foundation. It won’t block your pores and is perfect for keeping your foundation in place. This lightweight silky smooth talc-free powder contains organic ingredients and high quality light reflecting minerals. I’ve always used a powder on my face to reduce shine on my nose and brow. This comes with a small pad but I prefer to use a large make up brush for dusting. For this reason I tend to keep it at home and ordered a powder compact for popping in my bag if I’m going swimming or for a long day out where I might want to freshen up. Lavera also suggest using this powder as a lipstick base to increase the staying power of your lipstick.
Compact mineral powder (Ivory)
I bought a Lavera Mineral Compact Powder in Ivory for dusting on the go. The light reflecting minerals together with natural colours complement your complexion for a natural look whilst eliminating shine. Lavera recommend you ‘swirl a powder brush around the compact powder, tap the brush to remove excess powder and apply to your face’. I prefer a pad so use the one that came in my loose powder. The mineral compact powder is perfect for hectic mornings when you don’t have the time for a full make-up application. After cleansing, toning and moisturising you simply apply the compact powder to your face. The mineral compact powder will give sufficient coverage for a fresh, radiant matt finish.
Illuminating eyeshadow quattro pallette
I chose the Indian Dream eyeshadow pallette (it’s also available in smokey grey and lavender couture). I’ve never really worn eyeshadow (having been a teenager in the 80s when it was all about blue eyes and bright lips). I’ve grown fond of subtle sparkle in my old age and found myself leaning towards this colour pallette with it’s gentle tones that sort of match my hair colour! I like the fact I’m not adding anything vibrant just a light dusting of shade to my upper lids. It barely feels like make up at all. I hesitated at the thought of having to invest in make up brushes or wands to apply the eye shadow. But the wonderful Katie Jane Hughes Make up artist often says in her Instagram stories that using your finger to apply make up is perfectly fine if that’s the way you roll! Obviously if I ever upgrade to a pink or purple party look I’ll be editing this post with a recommendation to get the proper tools (I really would look like an 80s throwback otherwise). Lavera eye shadows contain shea butter and fruit extracts so don’t feel drying and leave a lovely soft finish. If you prefer single shades for a more dramatic party look Lavera have 8 to choose from. Each eye shadow case has its own mirror and brush – perfect for touch ups when you’re dancing until the early hours.
Eyebrow pencil (brown)
I’ve been using this eyebrow pencil every day since it arrived. I find it works well for highlighting the hairs I want to define and drawing attention away from the ones I don’t (I’m fair so can get away with stragglers without having to remove them). It’s really soft and I chose brown despite being fair as a blonde colour on me can look a bit too tan and oddly less natural. I figure if you’re going to the effort of working your eyebrows you may as well go for the darkest shade you can carry off. I’m still pretty inexperienced regarding make-up but learning a lot by following make up artists on Instagram.
Butterfly effect mascara (Black)
I recently had a lash lift and tint done by my friend Gina at Tabitha’s Talons. The effect was amazing for someone with such short and fair lashes. It confirmed why mascara is such a fail for me as I’ve never yet found one that doesn’t leave smudges on both my upper lid when I’m applying it and my lower lids a few hours later when it flakes off. I despise the smudged mascara look so generally steer clear. Lavera have a range of 7 mascaras and I decided to see if a mineral mascara would give me a better result. I chose the butterfly effect one which claims to volumise, lengthen and add a sweeping curl to lashes. It still smudged on my upper lid when putting it on but a quick swipe of a cotton bud removed the excess easily enough. The effect isn’t dramatic but I put that down to my short fine lashes rather than any failure in the product. Proof of that is Violet Rose’s mention of this particular Lavera mascara in her IGTV tutorial recently. Violet Rose describes it as ”just amazing. I didn’t expect a natural mascara to be so good. It’s called Butterfly effect and has a nice chunky brush. You want to get right into your lashes, wiggle it in to coat them” (see video below and fast forward to 34 minutes in)
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Scottish makeup artist Jen Beattie @violetrosemua is a long time fan of Weleda Skin Food, using this natural multitasker to prep nearly all her clients. Such was Jen’s love of Weleda Skin Food that she embarked on an exploration of the wider Weleda range, finding many other products including cleansers and moisturisers that really suited her own skin and her clients. This has recently prompted Jen to discover other certified natural and organic colour cosmetics so she can incorporate an increasing number of authentically natural products in her work. Loving Jen's signature glowy looks, we decided to team up to produce a short makeup tutorial showing how Jen uses her Weleda skincare, sharing some useful tips and tricks and creating a simple ‘barely there’ springtime makeup look for everyday. Jen then added an elegant but understated smokey-eye for a little day-into-night glamour whilst retaining the simplicity and naturalness of the look. A big thanks to Jen @violetroseMUA for sharing her time and know-how with this collaboration. All products were gifted to Jen for the tutorial, but Jen’s enthusiasm for Weleda skincare is genuine. List of products in the order used: Weleda Almond Soothing Cleansing Lotion One Step Cleanser & Toner Almond Soothing Facial Oil Skin Food Light Skin Food Original Skin Food Lip Balm Dr Hauschka Foundation in Almond 02 Inika Concealer Light Dr Hauschka Bronzing Powder 01 Dr Hauschka Blush Duo in Dewy Peach 02 Inika Brow Liner in Brunette Beauty Weleda Tinted Lip Balm in Berry Red Dr Hauschka Eye Shadow Trio 04 Inika Eye Pencil in Coco Lavera Butterfly Effect Mascara Inika Lip Liner Nude Delight Weleda Tinted Lip Balm in Nude Skin Food Original #makeuptutorial #organicskincare #naturalbeauty #greenbeauty #smokeyeye #mua #certifiednatural #glowingskin #radiantskin #skinisin
The finished result …
When you’re using mineral make up to create a natural look it can be hard to determine just how successful you are. I hope this little collage goes some way to illustrating the difference a light use of natural cosmetics makes without dulling the natural glow of your skin.
Pictures from left to right:
1/ fresh from the shower and post swim. Skin prepped with Weleda’s Skin Food light and sporting natural, barely there eyebrows and a crease across my nose from my swimming goggles!
2/ applying Lavera’s natural concealer under the eye. Gently blended in and then tinted moisturiser applied.
3/ face lightly dusted with the loose mineral powder. Eyebrow gel tried and bemused by the bushy right eyebrow it produced (by doing such a good job of highlighting a brow that’s not maintained).
4/ The finished result using the eyebrow pencil to define eyebrow shape, adding a coat of mascara and a sweep of Weleda’s Nude lip balm over the lips.
If you’re interested in any of these Lavera products delivery is free on orders over £15. Follow Lavera on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to be kept up to date with all the lastest news and offers.
Disclosure: Lavera sent me the natural concealer, tinted moisturiser and eyebrow styling gel for the purposes of this review. I was so impressed with the quality and finish of the products I bought the other products featured myself.