Rose Hip Oil - Miranda Kerr’s Beauty Secret

I recently traveled to the South of Russia where women seem to be as obsessed as I am with all kinds of face oils such as olive oil, peach oil or my beloved almond oil. So before I left, my cousin’s wife handed me small bottles of these oils and another one that I never tried before: rose hip oil.  Because I decided to put as little as possible on my face, I promised myself to try the new oil out some time later, but weeks have passed and I forgot about it.

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As I stumbled across an online article where Miranda Kerr revealed her beauty secret of using rose hip oil every night, I suddenly remembered that I also own a bottle of this oil. I immediately tried this out, although I was very skeptical when I saw its strange orange colour. I was concerned that my face will have the same colour after using it, but I was surprised how quickly my skin absorbed it. No sign whatsoever of the oil on my face! It didn’t look oily, it only had a divine glow and looked very healthy. I have tested all kinds of oils and I have to say that this is especially great for Spring/Summer because it doesn’t leave an excessive oily residue on your skin.

But what is it about that oil that even Kate Middleton, Gwyneth Paltrow and Victoria Beckham are using it? It is proven that rose hip oil can reduce scars and the appearance of wrinkles because it can stimulate skin cells to produce more collagen. Thus it is a very good anti-aging product, yet it is also a great beauty product for people with sensitive skin or annoying skin conditions such as acne. You can also add a couple of drops to your moisturizer or to your bath to lift up your mood!

If you don’t like being a doormat then get off the floor.

Al Anon

Love,

Irina

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Peach Kernel Oil

Now my personally most hated season arrived: Winter! Being a person with a mild form of eczema, thus having fairly dry skin, this particular season is especially stressful to my skin with the cold outside and the “radiator air” inside. If you also suffer from eczema, other skin conditions that leave your skin dry or just generally suffer from dryness, you know what I am talking about. But even people with normal skin can experience unpleasant dry patches. No matter what you decide for, stay away from paraffinum liquidum

In order to combat this dryness caused by Winter, I prefer various kinds of oils. My personal favourite at the moment is peach oil (for more kinds of oil check out olive oil and almond oil). This oil made of peach kernels is an odourless, smoothly thin oil that very quickly soaks into your skin and therefore is ideal for sensitive skin, too. I particularly like this oil due to its non-greasy formula. It is widely said that peach oil makes your appearance looks supple and youthful. This is because this oil contains high amounts of Vitamin A and E, so peach oil is also great to be used as an anti-aging product. 

I particularly like to use it in the mornings, after I washed my face with sufficient cold water. Make sure your face is still mildly moist. This will help the oil to sink in even better! 

P. S. Peach oil is great as a lip balm, too!

Love,

Irina

The most beautiful make-up of a woman is passion. But cosmetics are easier to buy.

Yves Saint Laurent

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The Truth about Paraffinum Liquidum

Paraffinum liquidum or mineral oil is used as an active ingredient in cosmetics and is mostly seen on the second place of the ingredients list on the back of these products such as Nivea or common baby oil. The brands who try to market them try hard to make us belief that liquid paraffin makes our skin smoother and softer.Yet we are already daily bombarded by toxins in our environment, so why using additives that harm our natural protective functions in the long-term?

We have to keep in mind that companies use paraffin because it is a quick and more importantly a cheap method to moisturize skin. After using creams with this particular additive your skin will feel initially satisfyingly moisturized and soft because it creates an oily film to prevent moisture from disappearing. It may sound great but mark that this film prevents your skin from respiration and that in turn makes your skin sweat a lot only to finally result in drying the skin out completely and causing a dependence on the mineral oil. Especially people who suffer already from dry skin conditions like psoriasis or eczema should be very careful with products that have been added with this oil. 

Try as much as possible to stick to cosmetics that use shea butter, nurturing oils like olive oil or urea, the main substance in urine (don’t worry, it is odourless and very helpful for people with skin diseases).

To love yourself right now is to give yourself heaven. Don’t wait until you die. If you wait, you die now. If you love, you live now.

Alan Cohen

Love,

Irina

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Cleopatra’s Hair Tips (Goat’s Milk)

I hope you are all enjoying your summer so far! Although it is somehow wintry in Scotland and Germany I’ve heard, it is important that we keep preparing our skin and hair for the summer (hope springs eternal…). And who suspected that Siberia, my homeland and summer destination, the last region one would expect to be hot, in fact proves to be the hotspot for a good summer tan (29 degrees!).

The downside to it is that my hair got incredibly frizzy and dry. Additionally, I am currently running out of my beloved almond oil, so I decided to try something new to pamper my hair and I guess also because I am kind of addicted to trying out new hair products… So I went to one of the local cosmetics shops and found a 450ml Goat’s Milk Balsam for damaged and dry hair. The smell is incredibly summery, simply gorgeously tender! Reminds me of puffy white clouds in the blue sky!

Anyways…. the consistency of the balsam is almost like a good kefir and thus soaks in quite easily into the hair. I prefer applying the milk onto dry hair and the scalp in the evenings to leave it over night .This morning I washed it out with my regular shampoo. I was delighted to see that unlike olive oil, which is also incredible for your hair, Goat’s Milk Balsam is very easy to wash out. With the result I was very pleased: The balm left a light shine on my hair. It also became very easy to handle due to its incredible softness. No sign of dryness visible!

There are a lot of beauty brands on the market that now use goat’s milk as the main ingredient, so one can get a little confused about what brand is of the best quality. The thing is though that the particular fatty acids and proteins of the goat’s milk are very difficult to chemically reproduce. Thus we can conclude that almost any brand that offers goat’s milk products in any form is good enough.

I hope you enjoyed reading this article about how to keep your gorgeous hair gorgeous even in the summer heat (for more check out our facebook page). Wish you all an incredible summer time!

"People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer when they’re happy."

Anton Chekhov

Love,

Irina

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Beauty Secrets from an Italian Movie Goddess

I have always been a huge admirer of the amazing Sophia Loren. She is one of my favourite Italian movie stars of all time. In fact, I admire her so much that I completely changed (and thus simplified) my beauty rituals when I learned what exactly the movie star uses to make herself so incredibly gorgeous.

The answer is surprising because one is stunned how simple and cheap her daily skin routine is: instead of spending large sums of money on so-called miracle cures, she uses, not surprisingly, ordinary cooking olive oil. Italian olive oils belong to the best-known ones in the world due to their high quality. Read here about the exact unique consistency that makes this oil so special. Loren for instance applies pure olive oil onto her hair tips before taking a shower for an incredibly rich conditioning. Make sure you apply it on dry and not on damp hair because the oil won’t be able to penetrate deeply into your hair texture otherwise (oil is hydrophobic). For severely damaged hair, leave the olive oil soaked in over night, but make sure to wrap you hair in a plastic saran to avoid getting it all over your sheets and night gown.

Loren also uses pure olive oil as a heavy moisturiser to leave overnight on her face. I have tried it last night and I woke up with the divinely smoothest face ever. I felt like I was shining from within! This is also great as an anti-aging beauty therapy. Oh, and don’t be worried about clogged pores because the molecules of the oil are bigger than those of your facial skin. 

The movie goddess further uses the versatile oil as a make-up remover. She simply soaks a cotton ball in olive oil and then gently rubs the dirt off of her face. I personally prefer to mix Body Shop cucumber water with olive oil for a lighter make up remover at night, especially during hot summer nights where the unmixed oil can feel too heavy on your face.

Insider tip: Next time when you apply your body lotion, rub a bit of olive oil between your palms and then mix it with your lotion. Your skin will seem like it was made of silk!

Sex appeal is fifty percent what you’ve got and fifty percent what people think you’ve got.

Sophia Loren

Make sure you also check out our facebook page to find out what happens when an Eastern European beauty takes advantage of the Italian dolce vita!

Love,

Irina

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5 changes that are here to stay!

This year I decided to do 5 changes in my kitchen to make my cooking healthier and I am proud to say that I have kept my promise and all of these have made my food and life better. I think it’s very hard to make big changes and expect them to last, especially if they reduce the taste of your meals or make them too different. However, these are guaranteed to stay in your kitchen if you give them a go!

  1. Olive oil: Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats (particularly uleic acid) and it controls the levels of bad cholesterol and promotes increase in good cholesterol. It contains a high number of valuable, unique antioxidants, that are connected in many studies to a reduced risk of malignant tumors. It is also very mild to the stomach and helps prevent ulcers and stomach burn. When used in the oil cleansing method (combined with carrier oils and essential oils) it can moisturize the skin without building up in the pores.
  2. Balsamic vinegar:It has many benefits compared to regular vinegar. It contains more of the original nutrients and vitamins of the grapes. Balsamic vinegar contains iron, calcium, phosphorus, manganese, potassium, and magnesium, among other nutrients. Balsamic vinegar is also great for maintaining a healthy immune system. There is evidence it can also aid digestion and ph regulation.
  3. Sea salt: When it comes to the amount of sodium chloride, both sea salt and table salt have the same amount, and in large quantities both are equally dangerous. However, table salt is blasted with high heat, has anti-clumping agents, and in general has a lower amount of minerals than sea salt. Sea salt is also often much more impure so it may contain various clays high in minerals. Also, the texture and taste of sea salt is undoubtedly stronger, so in effect I use less salt than with table salt.
  4. Spices: With a kitchen cupboard full of dried spices, I now use drastically smaller amount of salt and my meals taste better, but also different every time depending onspices the spices I add. Spices are great for taste, but also highly beneficial for the immune system. Also rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, and tarragon are particularly high in antioxidants. Cloves have a significantly higher quantity of antioxidants per gram compared to blueberries or cranberries. Compared to fresh spices, dried spices lose their flavor over time, so they should be kept in well-sealed containers to ensure they last well. It is undoubtedly better to use fresh herbs, but those are less available and more expensive. Rosemary and sage work amazingly with chicken, while tarragon is particularly delicious with fish.  
  5. Frozen veggies:Compared to canned ones, frozen veggies have a higher number of the original nutrients retained. Compared to fresh veggies, it can be argued that fresh veggies are picked before they are ready, and go through a long process of transportation before they reach the supermarket. Frozen ones on the other hand (despite being steamed to remove bacteria) retain a high number of nutrients due to the freezing process. I personally prefer having a good stock of vegetables in my freezer because of their accessibility and variety. They are easier to store and can be used whenever needed, while regular veggies always tend to go bad. This means that on a weekly basis I will have roughly 3 times more often veggies as a side dish than before.  I have tried frozen fruit on several occasions but have been unsatisfied with their quality. But I’m still looking for other brands to test.

Love, Ina

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Homemade scrubs

Making your own facial scrubs at home is easier than you think. Because you use automatically only a few ingredients and leave out preserving agents, the scrub will be incredibly mild to your face, plus it is easy to tailor the scrub to the specific needs of your skin.

My personal favourite is the sugar-honey scrub. For that you need to mix one tablespoon of plain soft cheese or quark with one tablespoon of honey in a small bowl. Add sugar at the end because it quickly melts in the quark. Finally, apply the mixture gently with clean finger onto your skin in circular motion. Alternatively, you can simply take one tablespoon of olive oil and mix it with sugar. These two scrubs go very well with any type of skin. After having tried both of them, you will soon see what scrub suits your skin better. 

I like to use a scrub directly after I had a chamomile steam bath (I will write about it in my next post). Leave the scrub on the skin for a minute and then wash your face with cold water. The moisturising ingredients make your skin divinely smooth. The sugar removes dead cells and helps to unblock clogged pores, making you look like a new-born goddess. What’s not to like? 

  • Use fine-grained sugar to avoid irritating the skin surface
  • Use the sugar-honey scrub especially for sensitive skin
  • The sugar-olive oil scrub especially for dry skin
  • Do not store the scrubs for more than three days in the fridge

Anyway, what makes people look youthful is the quality of their skin and I don’t think you can change that. 

Nigella Lawson

Love, Irina

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