Thursday 12 June 2014

Yours Truly Organics – Skincare Designed to Cleanse, Tone, Repair and Moisturise

At the end of June last year I had an email from Kelita from Yours Truly Organics introducing her brand and asking whether I would be interested in reviewing her skincare range once launched. After watching her video explaining her journey with her skin, I knew I wanted to try her products.

This is one committed and passionate young lady. Often good things come from not so good situations, and Kelita’s journey with her skin has been one where she battled mild acne as a teenager which developed and caused scarring of the skin into adulthood. This experience made her learn more about the skin and skincare and what has resulted is a new natural skincare range targeted at those with problem skin.

As someone who suffered acne herself as a teenager and still has some scarring on the jaw line which has never completely gone, I can relate to Kelita’s journey. If you watch her video you will understand that this is a lady who tried everything to get clear skin, including harsh products which literally shed the skin on her face.

I remember going to see a dermatologist as a teenager and being prescribed Quinoderm cream. You can now get this without prescription but back then it was prescription only. This stuff stung on application and although it tackled a lot of the acne spots and the infection, it stripped my skin of all its natural oils and I was left looking just as bad but this time with dry scaly skin in places as well as spots. It makes me shudder looking back. It’s not a time I look back on with fondness.

Kelita has produced a skincare range with 4 key products; gel face wash cleanser, toner, serum and moisturiser. I was sent 3 of the 4 products to review. I was unfortunately not sent the serum so cannot review this part of the range. However all the other reviews I have read were sent this item so you can get a good idea of how this part of the range performs by searching on Your Truly Organics’ Twitter feed for further reviews.

All Kelita’s products are cruelty free and Ecocert meaning they do no contain:

GMO, parabens, phenoxyethanol, nanoparticles, silicon, PEG, synthetic perfumes and dyes, animal-derived ingredients (unless naturally produced by them: milk, honey, etc). The packaging also has to be biodegradable or recyclable.

Take it Away Gel Cleanser, 150ml, £22.00

This is a lovely citrus smelling gel cleanser and I enjoyed using this in the morning for a refreshing start to my day. It lathers up well and after over 4 weeks of use I’ve only used a third of the bottle, so a little goes a long way. It cleansed my skin well and didn’t strip my skin of all moisture.

This cleanser has Vitamin C and Sandalwood Oil, which help remove impurities from the skin’s surface whilst maintaining its natural elasticity. 

Balancing Toner, 150ml. RRP: £19.00

This again has a citrusy smell and the witch hazel in the toner actually gives it a slight burnt orange scent. It is a refreshing toner and as before a little goes a long way. This toner has aloe vera and witch hazel to help return your skin to its optimal pH level and improve its ability to absorb moisture. The witch hazel and aloe vera also soothe and repair the skin.

Face Base Face Balm, 100ml, RRP: £25.00

Kelita calls this a balm but I have to disagree. I feel the term balm is a touch misleading with this product, as in my opinion it is definitely a cream. When most natural brands talk of a balm it is normally a firmer consistency which melts onto the skin. However, if you search the term on the internet you get this description: “a fragrant cream or liquid used to heal or soothe the skin”, so I suppose this cream can be described as a balm using this description.

This wasn’t my favourite product from the range. It was quite hard to work into the skin after using the toner. The dampness on the skin seemed to inhibit the cream’s ability to be fully absorbed. I therefore had to use less of the product, but didn’t always feel I had enough cream on the skin to fully hydrate it. Personally I feel the texture and consistency of this cream could be tweaked and made better.
This moisturiser is formulated with pea extract to improve elasticity and regulate the skin’s sebum production and daisy flower extract to help brighten the skin.

It’s a shame that I never had the chance to test out the serum as I’m sure this is a key player in this product range.

I do have a couple of criticisms about the range, which are given as constructive. I feel that given the price point of these products that the packaging could be improved. For products which are between £20 - £25 I had a much higher expectation and was surprised they were plastic. I would have preferred the range in glass bottles instead. I believe this would give the range a classier edge. Also, the labelling is not great. I have a friend who works for a labelling company and we were discussing how a label can really affect the overall feel and image of a brand. Apart from the moisturiser it is almost impossible to see the Your Truly Organics logo on the cleanser and toner bottles. I feel this needs addressing so that the brand identity Kelita has spent so long creating is not lost in the lack of detail on the packaging. It also felt as if the labels had been put on by hand.

That said, Kelita should be exceptionally proud of the skincare range she has created. For a young entrepreneur launching your own natural skincare range in an already saturated market, you need to be brave, committed and believe in your products. From my chats with Kelita, I believe she has what it takes to make her range a success.

Yours Truly Organics have a sample box you can buy at £5.00 for 5ml trial sizes of the range. If you’re interested in trying the range out, then this would be a great place to start.

Check out their website for more information and you can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Have any of you had the chance to try out Kelita’s natural skincare range? If so, do leave me a comment below. I’d love to hear your views.

Until next time xx


Disclaimer: I was sent a 150ml cleanser, toner and a 100ml moisturiser to try out for review. All opinions given are my own honest feelings on the products I tested.


Non-Toxic Nail Varnish for Children – Introducing Snails and Little Bu

When you have 2 girls, whether you like it or not there comes a time when they become interested in make-up and nail varnish.

You can’t avoid it forever and I find it’s becoming increasingly hard to stop it from popping up on the agenda particularly for Sophia who is almost 8. Her friends play with it and I cringe at the children’s play sets that are sold in shops. Full of toxic ingredients and innocently bought by well meaning family for children to play with at dress up. I’ve ended up having awkward conversations with them about how lovely they are, however in this house we prefer safer cosmetics ! And I keep having conversations with Sophia about it too and have promised to get her some items which are safe for her to use. The word expensive springs to mind !

Personally, I am not one to wear lots of make-up or nail varnish. I used to wear nail varnish for work before having the girls but these days I’m lucky if I get a chance to go to the loo in peace let alone paint my nails ! I seriously envy anyone who has time for that indulgence. However, when we go on holiday I put my foot down and insist my toes nails are painted. If I’m lucky I get to paint my nails (hands) too in between applying sun screen to my little lovelies!

So, when Sophia started to express a more frequent interest in having her nails painted I looked into whether there were any safe alternatives for her to try. I found Little Bu last year and purchased some of their range to try. This year I was approached by another company Snails who offer a similar product range, so I’ve decided to combine this post and share them both with you. 

I am in the process of transitioning a lot of my make-up to natural options but one thing that I’ve yet to get to is my nail varnish stash. Up until recently the girls would have had their nails painted with regular mainstream nail varnish and a few years ago when Sophia was about 6, she shared with me that her nails tingled when it was applied. I wasn’t happy with this so set about seriously looking for something else.

Both Little Bu and Snails offer an alternative in the shape of water based, toxic-free nail varnish made specifically for children. Both brands are made in France and wash off with soap and water. Both are cruelty free and Little Bu market themselves as Vegan too.

Both ranges have a good selection of colours on offer and both supply a top coat within their range, which in my experience is well worth investing in to prolong the life of the nail varnish.

 The great thing about both these ranges is that if they are spilled on carpet or clothes, you just wash it off. No mass panic trying to get it off the carpet because your little lovely has just knocked the whole contents on the floor ! It also allows them independence to learn how to paint their own nails safely without fear of getting it everywhere and ruining everything in sight.

Both ranges offer additions to their ranges; Little Bu have a range of nail stickers, manicure sets and little bags to keep your nail varnish in. Snails also offer a range of different nail stickers, a specific nail wipe which you can used to remove the nail varnish and also a nail art pen. It’s worth noting however, that this pen does contain parabens unlike the rest of the range. Snails also offer a range of nail varnishes for Mums-to-be too. 

It’s worth popping over to both websites for a browse and to read more about them individually. They have their differences and I think a lot is down to which colours and stickers etc you connect with. It’s lovely to see companies offering a safe alternative for children.

For best results use your water based nail varnish as follows:
  • Prepare hands by washing them with soap and water. Dry thoroughly.
  • Apply two coats of base coat and allow each one to dry.
  • For extended wear, apply one coat of top coat and allow to dry.
  • To remove nail polish, wash hands with soap and water. If using a top coat you will require a longer soak.
Whilst we loved both ranges and enjoyed using the nail varnishes the one downfall is that they don’t last that long. Without the top coat you will find that just general washing of hands will make some of the nail varnish come off. On Little Bu’s site they recommend you wait 3 hours for the colour to fully set before having a bath or going swimming. Not sure this is really practical with young children with frequent trips to the loo.

It’s been great for toes though and definitely lasts longer here. Jess seems happier with these nail varnishes than Sophia. Sophia is at the age where she wants a guarantee that her nail varnish is going to stay on for several days if she puts it on, so with her it’s great for a bit of fun and learning to put it on herself, but I think we’ll be looking at the more natural alternatives for adults that are on offer for both her and I in the long term.

Would I recommend Snails and Little Bu? Yes, I would. I think there is certainly a market for this and being safe and non-toxic is a real plus. Just remember to get yourself a top coat.

Have any of you used or come across Little Bu or Snails Nail Toxic-free Nail Varnish for children? Do let me know if you have. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Until next time xx


Disclaimer: In addition to purchasing myself the Little Bu range of non-toxic nail varnish I was sent a selection of items from Snails to try out and review. All view and opinions are my own honest thoughts and feelings on their products.


REN Clean Skincare Rosa Centifolia™ Hot Cloth Cleanser

I was recently given the opportunity to try out REN Clean Skincare’s Rosa Centifolia™ Hot Cloth Cleanser, 150ml, RRP: £16.00. This is the first time I have used REN Clean Skincare products, so I was interested to see how they performed.

REN’s products are free from parabens, sulphates, mineral oil, petroleum, synthetic fragrance, synthetic colour, TEA, DEA, glycols, silicones, PEGs.  I was disappointed not to find an “About us” section on their website to read more about them. As a newbie user this would have been nice.

When it comes to cleansing, I definitely have my likes and dislikes. In the morning I love the fresh, clean feeling a face wash gives me. As I have combination / oily skin I prefer this to cream cleansers on waking. When it comes to the end of a day, I now opt for either an oil cleanser or a cream cleanser which you wash / wipe off.

I have recently had a couple of cream cleansers on the go and this new addition from REN has been a good find. 

Hot Cloth Cleansers seem to be the in thing at the moment. I keep seeing them popping up on blogs, twitter and newsletters I subscribe to. I love the fact that they are a cream cleanser but with the added bonus of using warm water too to remove with the cloth. You get a fresh clean feeling from this type of cleansing routine.

The cloth supplied with this cleanser says it is a stay-warm cloth but if I’m honest it is really just a small flannel. Great for doing the job but nothing fancy !

I love the smell of this cleanser. It is gently fragrant of roses; nothing overpowering, just subtle yet distinct all at once. It is a rich cream cleanser in a pump bottle, for all skin types and a little goes a long way. I ended up putting far too much on my face on the first couple of applications, so be aware, you really do not need masses of this cleanser. 

You massage it into dry skin. Massage into face, neck and over closed eyes. I had no stinging to my eyes; it is very gentle. Then immerse the cloth in warm water, place over face for a few seconds and then gently wipe away cleanser from face. Once all make-up and dirt is removed, splash face with cooler water to tighten pores. You are left with clean, refreshed skin which is ready for your toner and moisturiser.

This cleanser has Vitamin P from Rosa Centifolia which protects the capillary venous system helping it to decongest, Triglycerides from Cocoa Seed Butter which improves the skin barrier functions against moisture loss, and Rosa Damascena from Damask Rose Petals which relieves and soothes the skin.

I have enjoyed using this cleanser and would like to try out a few more of their products in time.

Rosa Damascena Flower Water, Capric/Caprylic Triglyceride, Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Stearyl Olivate, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Glycerin, Cetearyl Glucoside, Phenoxyethanol, Oryzanol, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, Tocopherol, Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil, Parfum (Fragrance), Rosa Centifolia Flower Extract, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower oil, Cymbopogon Martini Oil, Geraniol, Citronellol.

In addition to this cleanser I was sent 2 sachets of their soon to be released ‘V-Cense Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial’. Oh wow, this stuff is fabulous ! I used it once and was blown away by how soft and clean my skin felt afterwards. I am a busy Mum and if I’m honest, with a young family in tow, I don’t have the time to pamper myself with facials etc, so this sort of product is ideal for me.

It uses activated Vitamin C to revitalise and rejuvenate skin helping to remove dead skin cells from the face. I excitedly asked when it would be released and was told September ! I’m gutted that it’s not coming out sooner. I want some now ! I have eeked out my 2 sample sachets but alas have no more. Come on REN, can’t you release this sooner please?

All in all my first experience of REN Clean Skincare has been a good one. If like me you haven’t used any of their products, then you can check out their website, they are on Facebook and also Twitter.

Do let me know if you have used this cleanser and how you got on. I love to hear your thoughts. Thanks for reading.

Until next time xx

Additional Note: I forgot to mention in this post that 'In Style' magazine have a free sample of this hot cloth cleanser in their July issue if you fancy trying it out 


Disclaimer: I was sent a 150ml bottle of REN Clean Skincare’s Rosa Centifolia™ Hot Cloth Cleanser and 2 of their sample sachets of the V-Cense flash Rinse 1 Minute facial to try out for review. All opinions expressed are my own honest thoughts and feelings on these products.

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