Trying out the Good Green Box

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Good Green Box Toxin Free Makeup Artist Sydney Liv Lundelius.JPG
Good Green Box Toxin Free Makeup Artist Sydney Liv Lundelius Organic Makeup

Back on the topic of how to find and discover green beauty products, there are some services that send out little bits and pieces of beautiful clean cosmetics.

One of them is Good Green Box, who was recently kind enough to gift me one of their boxes to review. I really like the idea, especially if you are someone that loves trying new things or just testing out samples before you buy.

The box consists of some full-size products and a selection of little samples.
There will always be a saving in getting the box versus buying the products separately. You can see what is in current boxes or has been in previous ones to give you a good idea.

The Good Green Box also has an online shop, so if you fall in love with any of the samples or products you can buy them via their website, often they offer special discounts and promotions for these as well.

Pretty sweet idea, no?

So the way it works is that you sign up for a subscription and you get a box delivered every monthly. Of course, this is a nice company, so there are no sneaky lock-in contracts, you can cancel anytime.

Here is what was in my box:

Full Size:
Pure Deo Co Natural Deodorant

I had never tried this brand. I received the Orange & Cedar fragrance, which is super pleasant.
I also like the simple and practical packaging, it comes as a stick and is super easy to apply.
However, it does contain Sodium Bicarb, which can irritate super sensitive skins.
Although my skin is sensitive, I haven't had a reaction to it. THe ingredients are super pure and clean. This product does contain Beeswax, so it's not entirely vegan. Aluminium free, Cruelty-Free!

Karen Murrell Lipstick
You already know that I am quite a fan of her lipsticks. And I have received a colour I haven't tried yet, whoop!This product does contain Beeswax, so it's not entirely vegan. 100% cruelty-free, non-toxic

Samples of the following:
Fresh Therapies Natural Polish Remover

It's my favourite, it's the best natural remover I have tried. It just simply works and it doesn't have that toxic strong smell of regular removers. It is the best alternative. I am using this on a regular basis in full size.

The others samples were:
The Devine Company Certified Organic Gradual Tan Natural Bronzer,

which looked and smelled like a great product, yet it's tricky to review from just a sample.
It has great ingredients, though, so I am sure it would work a treat. 100% organic, non-toxic

Be Genki Body Oil
Delicious smelling and pure oil, 100% vegan and organic! Love.

Baimeni Sweet Australian Almond Oil Cleanser

It doesn't get more gentle than this. Perfect for even the most sensitive skin and great for oil cleansing and removing makeup. 100% vegan, organic, cruelty-free.


Possibly The Best Body Scrub! Ever.

Eco Tan Pink Himalayan Scrub Review Vegan Beauty Review Sydney
Eco Tan Cacao Firming Mousse Review Vegan Beauty Sydney

My favourite Body Scrub, which I kinda forgot to include into my fav body products video is the Pink Himalayan Salt Scrub by Eco Tan.

(Do you know how much I love their Face Tan Water? I wrote about it here.)

The scrub is recommended to be used on dry skin prior to stepping into the shower.
I LOVE it. Makes me feel as if I am having a Spa treatment. It gets rid of any dryness and nourishes the skin instantly. Once you shower it off you come out of the shower smooth and supple, no body lotion needed. That's why they recommend using it 48h before using a self-tan, as otherwise, I can imagine the tan not sticking as well. I use this as my regular scrub not matter if I choose to use any self-tan or not. Living in Sydney and loving the outdoors I hardly ever use a fake tan. There have been exceptions lately, as this Summer was just full of either heat wave days or rain, not many opportunities to get some sun :( Plus being pregnant I haven't been able to tolerate heat very well. So I became used to helping my bronze along with some natural, bottled options. I think I am not the only one smitten by this products, as it's won quite a few awards already.

I am also a fan of the Cacao Firming Body Mousse, which I have been applying before our maternity shoot and also before my baby shower. It's so easy to apply and gives a nice even glow.
I have always left it on for 4hours to get a bit more colour out of it. As I am naturally quite tanned I just want it to even out my skin and make it glow, it doesn't really make it any darker, which would be different if you are very fair, to begin with. The most amazing thing is that the product is all organic, no nasties here! That's why I was happy to even use it now during pregnancy.

I am looking forward to using it in Winter postpartum, to make myself feel in good shape!
Now in pregnancy, it really helps to conceal all the little spider veins over my legs. (I am crossing my fingers they will disappear after pregnancy...I have just been on my feet working way too much during this pregnancy and have quite bad veins showing) 

The best thing is that it's non-smelly and super quick and easy to use.

Check out all my other favourite hair& body products here.

Why I Threw Out Thousands Of Dollars Worth Of Makeup

toxic makeup chanel laura mercier nars tested on animals

Have I lost my mind? No, I have done some research and learned some shocking truths about the ingredients in makeup & cosmetics a few years back!

Yes, this is not a recent event, as many of you know: I am a natural, organic & cruelty-free makeup artist, owning a huge selection of only the best green beauty brands from across the globe and love working with these beautiful products. Supporting boutique businesses with quality cosmetics has been so rewarding. But it's not always been this way. (see picture above, my kit many years ago)

I know first hand how the so-called "high-end", "luxury" brands use their marketing and packaging to make you believe you are buying something good!

I too had a professional makeup kit boasting with Chanel, Nars, MAC, Dior, Laura Mercier, Stila, Make Up Forever etc... but not only DO THEY ALL TEST ON ANIMALS!!!! The ingredients are also very cheap and nasty, nothing luxurious is found inside those formulas once you do your homework!

So into the bin, it all went. Thousands of dollars of makeup & cosmetics. Well, to be totally honest I did pass a lot of it on to other artists, who are still happy to use these conventional products.
As it wouldn't really be green to just throw them out...

I thought it was important to mention that I do know all these products too well myself and have worked with them for many years in my career. It was a conscious choice to get rid of them and to find products that perform, yet are truly luxurious! Products that actually are benefitting your skin, as well as the environment and also don't harm any animals. It wasn't the easiest journey to find replacements for all the trusted products I used to own, but time, lot's of trial and error and determination got me there!

Are you ready to change to healthier, better makeup?

If you are curious and want to make the change to healthier & better beauty products, follow my steps & tips on How To Become A Green Queen here! (Of course, you don't need to throw everything out at once...)

And please feel free to comment and engage and ask for advice! I am more than happy to help :)
I thought of working on a little blog post series about my best natural beauty swaps if you are interested...?!


Discovering Mádara Organic Skincare

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It makes me so happy how there is an abundance of natural and organic skincare popping up everywhere, so much choice and beautiful products, something for everyone yet all toxin free.
Have you tried Mádara yet?

On our trip to Europe, I discovered Mádara skincare for the first time. It was stocked in most pharmacies in Stockholm & Copenhagen and I learned to love their PEEL mask, which quickly sorted out my skin which was breaking out from all the travels & changes. As the brand is a nordic company from Latvia, it makes sense that it was so widely available over there.

Back in Australia I didn't see it anywhere for a while and almost forgot about it.
BUT there are stockists here now, which got me to dive into the brand and try out a little more variety from their brand.
The range is actually huge, from Skincare to Haircare, Babycare and body products...
Everything is certified organic and the formulations are certainly very premium.
The packaging doesn't give away that the products are natural, which is a plus, they look like any other upmarket cosmetics, so if you are not into hippy-dippy bottles you probably love how simple, sleek and "normal" the products look.

As a makeup artist I am mostly interested in skincare, so that's what I have started with but I am still excited to try the other ranges.

So here is what I have tried & tested:


Micellar Water
Micellar Water is a staple in my makeup kit this one is possibly my new favourite. I wish I could buy huge bottles of it! They should make a pro-size (hint-hint!) If you haven't heard of this type of cleanser yet, it is a makeup removing water, super easy to use and therefore used by all makeup artists, but it's also great to have on hand for a super quick and gentle cleanse at home.
It removes makeup with ease, smells wonderful and is gentle yet hydrating.
Natural oil micelles dispersed in a soothing aloe vera juice remove makeup whilst providing a toning effect. Antioxidant-rich Northern peony root extract and hyaluronic acid soften, protect and hydrate the skin.

Lip Perfection Balm

(not vegan/contains beeswax & propolis)
A luxurious lip treatment & primer that leaves a slight sheen. Feels very nice on the lips and reminds of the expensive department store balms, yet this one is toxin free and filled with organic goodness. If they could work out how to make it vegan it would become another makeup kit staple.

Superseed Soothing Hydration
As the name suggests this is a very soothing oil perfect for dry and irritated skin. Isn't the simple bottle just so beautiful? Like with any face oils, a few drops are enough to quench the skin. Perfect for Winter.

SOS HYDRA mask Moisture+Radiance
Instant Moisture for dehydrated skin. Perfect as an in-flight mask too ( I always wear hydrating masks on planes, I know, it might sound weird and I sure get some looks of fellow passengers, BUT I get off fresh as a daisy) Your skin will really drink this one up. You can wipe any excess after 15-min with a warm cloth or cotton pad!

Exfoliating Oil-To-Milk scrub
(not vegan/contains beeswax)
It's a gentle hydrating scrub suitable for all skin types. This product is not vegan.

Ultra purifying mud mask
This mask is a deep cleanse, that decongests the skin. Really great for blemishes, clogged pores, oily and dull skin. I will keep mine for troublesome times, everyone needs a good mud mask in their skincare regime. If you have dry skin they are different and better options, though. This is a winner for oily skins.

Third trimester Survival Tips & Essentials

liv lundelius pregnancy maternity shoot belly shot

Photo by Gabriela Fearn from our Maternity Session

The third trimester will get uncomfortable everyone warned me.

Mine was pretty fine.
No major symptoms. A few sleepless nights here and there, a few leg cramps but overall I have felt energised and was able to exercise and enjoy my days. Now in my final days, I do feel the weight and pressure of our baby girl and definitely feel some discomfort, but nothing so major that it would keep me from walking.

I do feel that my vegan plant-based diet has contributed to this a lot! When you eat well, you feel well, your body does have energy naturally and you feel emotionally more balanced too.

I made a big commitment to myself to really look after myself during this special time, no matter how busy life and work got, I made my health and wellbeing a priority. And trust me, I know it's not always easy, but at the same time, there is nothing more important to do.

I am by no means an expert and this is my first pregnancy, yet all the things below have made my life so much easier and helped me feeling great during this final trimester:

Body Products / Cosmetics For The Third Trimester

Magnesium Spray & Bath Salts
Read my review about them here. If I ever got sore after too much exercise or just from too much standing or baby pressing on my lower back and pelvis a bath in these sorted me out real quick.
It also really helps with sleep, which is another common problem for many in the third trimester, as it can get a little harder to get comfy with this big belly. A warm bath in these at the end of the day really helped to knock me out and get the best sleep.

Face Tan Water
I have been raving about it before. It just helps my skin look more even and glowing without using makeup, which I kinda got too lazy for lately.
Read my review here

Perineum Massage Oil
I got myself a bottle of the Weleda Perineum Massage Oil. I will keep you updated after birth if it helped at all.
I thought it won't hurt to try it. It's developed by midwives and absolutely safe.
The idea is to keep the area well hydrated and elastic to help stretch the skin and prevent any tearing during birth.

Favourite Exercises During The Third Trimester

Gurmukhs Prenatal Kundalini Yoga
I did a class I found on Youtube over and over, as I missed out to get myself the official DVD's earlier. So: My hot tip is on getting your hands on these in time at the beginning of pregnancy. She is such an amazing teacher and I always feel great after this class.

It's probably not really news to you, but I still wanted to mention that walking has been great. Not comfortable at all days, but always worth it. Walking lots during pregnancy is recommended everywhere, helps the baby into a good position and has countless other benefits.

I envisioned myself being able to swim every day in this third trimester, but the weather in March this year was rather horrendous and lead to too much pollution in the harbour beaches around my house on most days. I still managed to swim as much as possible and it always made me SO happy. I just doing normal breaststroke laps, nothing that looks like an olympic sport. ( I am not that sporty!) But even these simple movements and the water supporting the weight, just felt magical every time.

Favourite Meditations During The Third Trimester

I also thought I would meditate every morning during the last trimester since being off work for the last weeks. I am usually quite committed to my practice, but I also wanted to enjoy my sleep. So I did do regular meditations, but not every morning.

Kundalini Meditations from Gurmukhs book Bountiful Beautiful Blissful
Meditations from the Calmbirth Course
(If your partner is up for it, it's really great doing meditations together, Dave and I have been doing some of the partner meditations in Gurmukhs book and also listened to the Calmbirth meditations together)

My fit ball, or also called labour ball by the midwives. I just got myself a cheapy one from Kmart and used it to sit on when working on my desk. It really helps with posture. And posture is kind of a big deal when the growing belly & boobs are pulling you forward. Exercise, of course, helps to open up the chest and to stretch out the shoulders, but I still catch myself in the mirror slouching a lot. The ball is also great for little labour prep exercises and apparently an amazing tool in labour too. We will see...

My Favourite Foods & Superfoods During the Third Trimester

Raw Protein Powder
Dave always tells me I don't need it, but since you DO need more protein during pregnancy and it fills me up, stops cravings and also helps me with exercise plus makes my smoothie bowls taste extra creamy and tasty I have been loving it! It's true though that you won't NEED isolated proteins to your diet. This one , which I have also used in my Bliss Ball recipe, is a very healthy, balanced, organic, wholefoods one though and again, I have been loving it!

Everything that is fermented and probiotic!
As baby inherits your gut flora, which is the base for all good health and a healthy immune system, it's important to load up on these foods during pregnancy. Besides that it helps to keep you regular and keeps you overall happy and healthy.
I incorporated the following:

Organic Apple Cider Vinegar with the mother
I use it in salad dressings, but also like to drink a tablespoon mixed in a glass of water.
It also helps to stabilise blood sugar and to avoid sweet cravings.

Kimchi (which also has garlic and spices that work as prebiotics!)
I am addicted to the one that About Life makes, they have it in their fresh food bar and also sell their own jars of it, although it's often sold out. If you live in Sydney, you have to try this one! Husband is a fan as well.

Coconut Water Kefir, I really love the taste. It reminds me of Champagne. (Yeah, I am weird!)
This is a watery sparkling drink, I am NOT talking about Coconut Kefir, which is a rich yoghurt like food, which is made from Coconut Milk. It's healthy too, but I much prefer just taking a sip of the Water Kefir and found the other one too creamy tasting.

Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
It's an old natural herbal remedy to tone the uterus and prepare it for birth. There are so many different recommendations on when to start and how much to drink. I checked with our doula and recommend you ask your providers for approval and do your own research. I really enjoy the taste, but I know many don't and mixes it with other herbs, drink it as iced tea etc.

Lots of fresh food and veggies!
Duh... You have heard this one before, I bet!
Starting every day with a smoothie bowl gives me a portion of greens already right when I wake up. I will share my favourite recipe on the blog soon! I have had salads for lunch and steamed, grilled or baked veggies for dinner...Veggies, veggies, veggies. And fruit snacks ofcourse! If I really wanted something sweet I had a Bliss Ball or made myself a Dandelion Chai Latte with Soy Milk. Sometimes also a Tumeric Latte, yum....

That's it! I hope you enjoyed it. Again, these are just things that have worked for me. Everyone is different and so is every pregnancy, always check with your providers about exercise, foods and supplements that are suitable for you.