Archive for the ‘Beauty’ Category

Look no more, we’ve found the best mascara on the market and its 98% natural!

Couleur Caramel’s mineral and plant-based mascara is paraben-free, phenoxyethanol free, coal free, and PEG free. Better yet, it will stays put all day, without flaking or smudging (yes, it’s true).

Two separate applicators are available: “cils courts,” which deposits more color on the lashes to both lengthen and thicken, and “cils longs,” which uses furrows that separate, structure and thicken the eyelashes.

The nourishing water based formula allows you to apply several coats without damaging the eyelashes.

Available in 4 colours: black, brown, plum and blue

Active ingredients:

  • Sucrose: moisturising, revitalising and regenerating.
  • Cera alba (Beeswax): nourishing, protecting and repairing, it forms a protective film.
  • Acacia resin (Acacia senegal): softening, soothing and repairing for fragile mucous membranes.
  • Carnauba wax (Copernicia cerifera): protects from dehydration.
  • Candelilla wax (Euphorbia cerifera): forms a protective film, nourishing, repairing and moisturising.
  • Vitamin E from plants (Tocopheryl acetate): natural antioxidant, prevents skin ageing.
  • Shea butter (Butyrospermum parkii): moisturising, revitalising, and regenerating, rich in natural vitamins A, E and F.

With a price tag of £13.30 you can totally justify treating yourself.


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Fabulous Melvita products giveaway

We’ve been raving about them. Marion Cotillard loves them. Now you can bag some for yourself.

Melvita (meaning honey and life in French) have just launched in the UK and to celebrate we have 10 fabulous Melvita products to giveaway.

To be in with a chance of winning all you need to do is to answer the following question:

Is Melvita?

A) – a German brand

B) – a French brand

C) – a British brand

Email your answer to us now at michele@mumzine.com and be in with a chance of winning either an Eye contour gel (worth £18) or a Naturalift cream (worth £32).

Don’t miss out.  Deadline for entries is 9th Feb ’10.

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Skin looking dry, flaky and parched from the constant central heating and bracing the elements this winter? Fret no more (it will only increase those lines), nourishing natural skin relief arrives in the UK today, with the launch of the largest beauty brand en France, Melvita.

This family run business founded in 1983, by biologist Bernard Chevilliat provides products using only the finest ingredients from organically farmed and responsibly harvested sources. Their packaging is all completely recyclable. They strive to promote ethical, humane, and fair-trade partnerships and consider themselves pro-active in their approach to sustainable development.

We have been loving their Ecocert organic products for some time, and so we have learnt has french actress Marion Cotillard. There are over 300 products in their head to toe beauty range including everything from skin care and bath care to supplements like bee pollen. Melvita offers affordable organic skin care with price tags ranging from £10- £32.

Their Eye contour gel, Hydrastim moisturising gel and Nautralift anti age cream have all been on trial here at Mumzine and we’re really impressed. You can actually feel the skin tightening with the eye contour gel and the consistency and absorption of their face creams is incredible. The Naturalift cream has been clinically proven to smooth over fine lines and wrinkles. Products have subtle scents too due to their use of plant extracts over essential oils.

With researchers constantly looking at the development of new ingredients, Melvita are set to lead a skin care revolution and we’ll be right behind them.

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What do Paris Hilton, Sandra Bullock, Julia Roberts, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Madonna have in common?  They are all on record as saying they swear by mineral make-up.

Made from finely milled natural minerals such as titanium dioxide and zinc, mineral makeup is being hailed as healthier and better than chemical-based products.  Its mineral content acts as a built-in waterproof SPF, is anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, non-bacterial and won’t clog pores.  This is useful for those who have sensitive skin, are acne-prone or are just concerned about chemicals in makeup.

Unlike traditional cosmetics, mineral makeup is free of fragrances, binders, synthetic dyes and preservatives so are purer and gentler on the skin.

Here are some of our favourites…

Bare Minerals: i.d. BareMinerals all over face colour, £21.  This brand is the one that first got us raving about mineral makeup.  It is the only brand that’s 100% micronised minerals – apparently ‘so pure you can sleep in it’.

Rituals:Sundance Bronzer £22.90 is a natural shimmer powder for a radiant blush or dazzling accent to eyes.

Jane Iredale PureBrow Colours £10.40 – are great for tinting brow hairs naturally. Formulated with a blend of high tech sea minerals that condition and protect your brow hairs, their gels will make your brows smoother and more manageable. They also hide grey and will even double duty as a light mascara.

L’Oreal Colour Minerals Eyeshadow -£7.99
Contains 95% from minerals. No Perfume, no preservatives.
Natural, dual purpose and stays in place all day!

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In the late 80’s the media were keen on exposing brands that supported animal testing and we became aware of the cruelty animals experience in labs so we could look beautiful. Now, most of us try to avoid makeup and skin care products that are tested on animals. However, did you ever think about how that animal hair got to be in your make up brush?

Although some manufacturers claim the hair in their brushes comes from a natural moulting process and animals are not harmed or killed to gather the fur, true vegans or those wishing to live an animal free lifestyle will prefer a synthetic brush.

Toray and Taklon are modern, man made alternatives to hair, which can be used to fashion make up brushes. They are very fine nylon hairs which many make up artists swear by for giving clean lines when applying make up.

Dermaquest have done just that and produced a range of 100% vegan makeup brushes where the handles used are also part of a reforestation project. Unfortunately dermaquest brushes are not currently available in the UK.

However Ecotools are!  These are expertly crafted (yet budget friendly ) beauty tools made from sustainable materials such as bamboo. Their range of professional quality vegan makeup brushes use soft synthetic bristles as an alternative to the animal derived bristles that are used in most brands of makeup brushes.

Ecotools were voted Best Cruelty-Free makeup Brushes in the 6th Annual PETA ‘Proggy’ Awards and one of the Best Beauty Buys of 2009 by Instyle magazine.

They also donate 1% of their annual sales to 1% For The Planet, an alliance of businesses committed to leveraging their resources to create a healthier planet.

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Most of us use many beauty products on a daily basis, often containing toxic chemicals.  Although the chemicals in any one product are unlikely to cause harm, think about how many products you use in a day, year, and over a lifetime. Small amounts of toxic chemicals add up and accumulate in our bodies through cosmetics and through other chemical exposures in food, water and air.

If you want to side-step some of this and/or save money, here are some natural toxin-free products you can make yourself.  There are no preservatives in these recipes so use within two weeks, and store in your fridge.  If you fancy giving it a go Baldwins (UK’s leading supplier of natural remedies, essential oils and other natural products) is a good place to get some of the ingredients.

Frozen egg & honey mask: Recommended for dry skin, this is particularly soothing on sunburned skin.


  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted (but not hot)
  • 1 tablespoon honey (manuka if you can stretch to it)
  • 1 cardboard loo roll

Instructions: Beat the egg until frothy. Slowly add the liquid coconut oil and honey, beating until your mask is the consistency of mayonnaise. Take the loo roll and strand it up in a clean bowl. Spoon mixture into the loo roll. Place tube, in the bowl, in the freezer overnight. To use, peel away just the top of the cardboard roll and smooth the frozen stick over your face (think of it as a push-up lolly). Leave on for 5-10 mins, then rinse off with warm water. Return the cream stick covered with plastic wrap and freeze between uses. Keeps indefinitely.

Silky Clay Mask for all skin types


  • 1½ teaspoons green clay (French is preferred)
  • ½ teaspoon kaolin clay
  • 1½ tablespoons aloe vera gel
  • 1 tablespoon rosewater
  • 2 drops rose essential oil

Instructions: Mix clays together. Add aloe vera gel, rosewater and oils. Leave your mask on for 5-10 mns, then rinse off with warm water. Refrigerate mixture for up to four weeks.

Baking Soda Mask to fight acne: This is easy to make and can work wonders.


  • 1 tablespoon baking soda (NOT baking powder)
  • 1-2 tablespoon water

Instructions: Mix a little together in your hands after washing your face and apply gently to your skin. Once you’ve coated your face with the baking soda/water mix, leave for 10 minutes. Rinse the mask off your face and feel how soft and clear it feels.

Banana Mask for oily skin


  • 1 banana, preferably ripe (You can keep ripe bananas in the freezer. Let it thaw before using.)
  • 1 tablespoon honey (manuka if you can stretch)
  • 1 orange or a lemon

Instructions: Mix the banana and honey together. Add a few drops of juice from an orange or a lemon. Apply to face for 15 mins before rinsing with a flannel.

Orange Ginger Warming Foot Scrub

This warming foot scrub is great for the winter, and leaves your feet feeling soft and relaxed.


  • 1/4 cup sugar (white or brown)
  • 1/4 cup sweet almond oil
  • 6 drops orange essential oil
  • 2 drops ginger essential oil
  • 1 level teaspoon powdered cayenne pepper

Instructions: In a plastic bowl, mix together the sugar and almond oil. Add the essential oils and stir. Add the cayenne pepper last and stir well to mix. This is a scrub to do over the bath rather than in it – you don’t want a soak in cayenne pepper! Scoop up a handful of the scrub for each foot and massage vigorously.

Grapefruit Sugar Scrub


  • 1-1/2 cups white table sugar
  • 8 drops grapefruit essential oil
  • 1/4 cup jojoba oil
  • 1/4 cup liquid castile soap

Instructions: Place sugar into a large bowl and stir to break up any clumps. Add the essential oil. Add the jojoba oil and castile soap next, a little at a time stirring each time. Mix well and pour into clean container. To use, stand in the bath or shower and massage the sugar scrub onto your body.

Softening Body Oil

Before taking a shower, brush your skin gently. This will stimulate blood circulation and aid absorption. For best results, apply oil while your skin is still moist after a shower.


  • 1 cup (237 ml) sweet almond oil
  • 1/2 cup (118 ml) jojoba or hazelnut oil (or combination of the two)
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) apricot kernel oil
  • Essential oil (optional) For an uplifting experience, try 3 drops of ylang ylang, 2 drops geranium and 3 drops orange or bergamot. For an exotic experience, try 3 drops ylang ylang, 2 drops rose, 1 drop patchouli and 1 drop geranium.

Instructions: Combine the oils in a sealed bottle and gently turn it several times to mix. Apply as needed.

Bath Biscuits


  • 2 cups finely ground sea salt
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 cup corn flour
  • 2 tablespoons light oil
  • 1 teaspoon vitamin E oil
  • 2 eggs 5-6 drops essential oil of your choice

Preheat your oven to 350 F. Combine all the listed ingredients and form into a dough. Roll it gently in the palm of your hand until it forms a ball (one-teaspoon ball size) and put them on grease proof paper. You can sprinkle the balls with herbs, flower petals, cloves, citrus zest and similar aromatic ingredients. Bake your bath cookies for 10 minutes, until they are lightly browned. Do not over-bake. Allow the bath biscuits to cool completely. To use, drop 1 or 2 into a warm bath and allow to dissolve.

Source – Campaign for Safe CosmeticsThe Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is working to protect your health by eliminating the use of chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects and other health problems.

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My ‘loved up new relationship’ girlfriend recently commented on a bra I was wearing whilst in a changing room. I think it went something like this “Darling, what is that? It does nothing for you. When did you last buy some lovely underwear?”

Frankly, It’s been so long I can’t even remember. Since having children, underwear has been a utility item of clothing from nursing bras to comfortable knickers.  That night I looked in my underwear draw and saw the situation was dire. It was time for me to invest in myself and maybe if I bought some sexy underwear I just might start feeling like the confident, sassy woman I was pre motherhood.

Girls, if you’re like me, put a sparkle back into your partner’s eyes and a little colour in your cheeks. Chuck out those old baggy pants and supportless bras and invest in some sexy but eco undies.

Lingerie we think you’ll love…

Enamore – Playful, sexy lingerie from vintage and ecologically sound fabrics. The brand was born out of a love for vintage clothing, sewing patterns, home decor, books and fabrics combined to create an exciting range of lingerie; a new twist on the modern Pin Up. They support local manufacturing and all current ranges are designed and produced in Bath and Wales.

UK made Crystalla lingerie comes with a difference. Their USP is a woman’s sense of well being will not only increase by just wearing their beautiful lingerie but because of the secret pockets of crystals cleverly nestled within the underlines.

Try Running In Heels for their five favourite ethical lingerie lines. I loved Ciel’s boy shorts and Camille Constance’s serious bedroom lingerie

French G=9.8 have a great new line of sexy, cheeky and comfortable lingerie. Some gorgeous colours here and fab thigh highs.

For beautiful blow the budget lingerie it’s all about eco-friendly, ethical, vegan Stella McCartney. Stella launched her first lingerie line in Spring 2008. Her collections feature pieces made from silk, organic cotton and georgette silk chiffons.

On the High St La Senza are trying to make the world a better place with their new social responsibility policy. You can get underwear here to suit your budget and your ethical values.

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