Vegan Glutenfree, Sugarfree Christmas Cookies

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I really wanted to bake with Faye this year for the fun and also start the tradition of Christmas baking with a rolling pin and cookie cutters.
I know so many great, healthy recipes but they don’t have the right consistency for cookie cutting.

It took a little trial and error and searching the internet until I found a realtively healthy-ish version that worked. I used Banana Flour and Date Syrup and also added some spice :)

Here it is:
(inspired by this recipe at Unconventional Baker)

INGREDIENTS

½ cup coconut oil, softened

½ cup date syrup

½ tsp pure vanilla extract

½ a vanilla bean pod scraped out

a dash of salt

1/2 teaspoon of Cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon allspice  

2¼ cups gluten-free flour blend you can buy a ready made blend or make your own.
I used: 1 cup Organic Rice Flour, 1 Cup Banana Flour, 1/4 cup corn flour

Instructions

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. 
Prepare a rolling area with two additional sheets of parchment paper
cookie cutter(s) .

  1. Place coconut oil in a large mixing bowl and whip it with a mixer until it’s creamy.
    Add sweetener, vanilla extract and bean, and salt and mix  once again to combine. Add in flour and use a wooden spoon to mix. Then get in there with your hands and mix everything together by working the  dough until you can shape it into a ball {note: the consistency of the dough should not be sticky but should press together  when pinched — be sure to knead it really well first for some time — if it’s a little sticky, add a little more flour (try 1-2 tbsp); if it’s a little dry add a little more sweetener (try 1 tbsp)
    Shape the dough into 2 balls and then flatten each into a disk.

  2. Roll out one of the dough balls between two sheets of parchment  paper to ¼” thickness {or thinner or thicker depending on how you want  your cookies to turn out}. Use a cookie cutter to cut out the cookies.  Carefully transfer to a prepared cookie sheets, spacing them ½” apart  {they won’t spread as they bake}. Gather up any dough scraps and repeat  until all dough is used up. Repeat the process with the second dough  ball.

  3. Bake in a pre-heated oven for approximately 11-13 minutes, until the edges just begin to become golden. Remove from oven and place on a  cooling rack. {Note: cookies will harden a little within minutes of cooling, so don’t overbake}.
    Allow the cookies to cool for 10 minutes  and enjoy!

Quinoa Water Foundation - Revolution in Natural Makeup

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Ere Perez just keeps launching new great products.

I am a fan of Quinoa as food, you know those delicious little grains packed with nutrients?
Faye loves them too and they are a staple in our kitchen. Until now I haven't thought about it as a skincare or beauty ingredient, but this new foundation has changed that.

As the name suggests, the Quinoa Water Foundation is as light as water.
It comes in a glass bottle with a dropper, which reminds me of serum foundations.
It's great for all skin-types and I find it very suitable even for warm and humid weather given its featherlight texture. I am trialling & testing it in the windy, cold Winter weather here right now and am still very impressed.  It certainly helps to lock in moisture and it's perfect for everyone that doesn't like the feel of makeup on their skin. You can not feel this product, it's so light and really blends into the skin

The finish is smooth and natural. It's not dewy or glossy nor mat. Just like healthy skin.
The coverage is light and buildable. You can layer it for more coverage. I would describe it as light coverage though. Perfect for your everyday wear. Really good for sensitive skin or skin prone to breakouts.

The application is easy peasy.
It's recommended to use the multipurpose brush, but fingers do also work well. Yay!

Thank you Ere, for bringing out another vegan, cruelty-free, toxin-free product that works!

Polished & Nude

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I selected my favourite nail colours for you!
All of them are vegan, toxin-free (-ish) and made by local awesome brands.

I love toxin-free nail polish and Sienna Byron Bay's colour selection has been a long favourite.
My colour for this Summer has been "MUSE" it seems to really suit my skin and is so pretty on toes. I really love the longevity & quality of these and also wore them on my wedding day.


I am a sucker for a good nude, especially in my pro-kit it's what I mainly use and I love a nice nude nail for myself as well, it's low maintenance and just chic. The newest kids on the block are the nail polishes by Ere Perez.
Ere Perez "Ballet" & "Soul" are just perfect. They also strengthen the nail. They have promising bright colours too, which I haven't tried yet, but I am smitten with the nudes for now and they are the latest addition to my kit.

Another really great Australian brand with a really cool selection of colours is Kester Black.
I have owned really quirky & stunning shades in the past and have always been happy with them.

If you get your nails done at a salon, look for a toxin-free & cruelty-free one, or simply bring your own products with you.

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Summer Skin Series: Remedies for Sundamage & Hyperpigmentation

max&me Purity&Grace Cleansing Oil

I LOVE summer, sun & the beach!
Vitamin D and sun exposure are good for our mood & important for your health!
But what if you have overdone it? The Australian sun is so strong and it’s easily done to get a sunburn or also hyper-pigmentation and Sun damage in the long term. 

HYPERPIGMENTATION

Sun-damage, sunspots & hyperpigmentation are some of the major concerns for women living down under. I get asked about this skin concern a lot!!! So I thought it's about time to do a little write up about it:
Prevention is key, so do not overexpose your skin to the sun, avoid hormonal contraceptives and be especially careful during pregnancy, as hormone changes are known to bring on the sunspots.
If you already have got some pigmentation, don't fret, there are also natural treatments which help to fade, balance and lighten already established pigmentation. 

Of course, first and foremost: Always protect the affected area carefully from sun exposure, to give your skin the chance to normalise it’s pigment naturally. Wear natural Zinc based SPF, hats and keep that face out of the sun whenever possible.
To speed up the process and help brighten and fade here are my top picks:  

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Max&MePurity&Grace
My All time favourite cleansing oil, which I have already shown you here.
With its Tamanu oil (a gem of the Polynesian Peoples medicine) and its seabuckthorn oil (One of the best-researched oils, which protects the skin from damage due to radiation as well as damage from too much sunlight. A magical oil with a beautiful orange tint and a delightful scent, which is said to have a wonderful effect thanks to its regenerative and rejuvenating properties.) is so good when there is much sun around. It heals protects and prevents damage with the help of the amazing talents its ingredients boast -  but also by oil-cleansing itself which is so good in keeping skins barrier happy and healthy and ready to take on any challenge.

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Max&Me Mask&Wash
This is the superstar in managing, fading and also preventing hyperpigmentation, sun spots, uneven skin tone and sun damage as does the whole „sweet serenity“ line.
(Mask&Wash contains sustainably sourced honey, if you are strictly vegan, please use the other products of the Sweet Serenity Line e.g. Beauty Balm and Purity&Grace as cleanser)
I have already told you about this miracle worker, here !
But did I mention how good it is for the prevention & treatment of pigmentation?
Here is why, for the skincare nerds:

Cacao and manuka honey paired together with „hyperpigmentation healing heroes“ 
helichrysum, sandalwood and rose-geranium
 of the essential oil’s bouquet.

Cacao
The cacao that is used is the finest, organic Balinese cacao powder. Brimming with vitamins and minerals this cacao powder is rich in super antioxidants and has such skin brightening talents.
 
manuka honey (not vegan)
The unique flower nectar of the manuka blossoms boasts methylglyoxal with incredibly potent antiseptic and antimicrobial properties which help to clear up the skin and to tame inflammation. Raw manuka honey is also said to brighten the complexion, evening out skin tone, lightening scars and age spots. Raw manuka honey is brimming with nutrients and minerals and also acts as a beautiful humectant, drawing moisture into the skin.
 
helichrysum
this extraordinary, exceptionally effective essential oil is unparalleled in its ability to heal hyperpigmentation supporting skin’s health and healing. Very few oils can match Helichrysum italicum for its affinity and effectiveness for use on skin prone to hyperpigmentation.
 
sandalwood
helps in healing scar tissue and fades away marks and discolouration caused due to skin damage.

rose-geranium
very effective in lightening scars, blemishes and dark spots. It is considered as one of the top essential oil used in treating hyperpigmentation.

HEALING HYPERPIGMENTATION FROM THE INSIDE

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Another great thing you can do is heal pigmentation from the inside out!
Edible Beauty Teas No.1, No.4 & No.8 all have powerful herbal ingredients that help you to detox, balance hormones (an important one for this issue!) and to boost antioxidant levels to protect your cells & skin from the sun.
The skincare range also has some powerful products that help with pigmentation.
They are all vegan!
Use Code "LIV15" at checkout for 15% off all Edible Beauty products for all my clients & readers!

I hope this was helpful! Enjoy Summer and the holidays!

Stay Matte, Natural Foundations For Oily Skin

With the humidity on the rise and the party season in full swing, I am getting asked about matte foundations and shine control.
Adjusting your skincare and diet in the Summer months is key for healthy, balanced skin liquid but here are my picks for oily skin:
 

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Nu Evolution
Fabulously matte finish unmatched in a natural, liquid foundation!
(you know I am a sucker for a dewy foundation but today it's all about matte)
Complete Coverage Foundation is completely vegan (YAY!) and toxin-free. Not a surprise that these have been used by many pro's backstage at NYC Fashion Week. Prime well and apply & blend with quick brush strokes. If you want a lighter finish, use a wet/damp brush.

 

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Gressa
Remeber this unique Serum Foundation?
Still a winner for oily skin as it dries matte. Read my full review from a while back here.

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PurePressed
A Jane Iredale staple in my makeup kit, PurePressed allows for super quick & easy application of a flawless finish.
With its buildable coverage, it can even act as a concealer. Complete with SPF a compact for your handbag this is a Summer go-to. I like this one to cover acne or troubled skin. But with a light application its also great to keep healthy combination skin matte & beautiful.
Also suitable for mature oily or combination skin.

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DreamTint
Another Jane Iredale base, that made it into my list! Dream Tint is a very lightweight tinted moisturizer that minimizes pores and smooths the skin instantly.
If you don't like foundation and are scared of coverage this will be your new friend.
Comes with SPF 15 which is great for a light daily protection. A rare find to have a tinted moisturizer that isn't overly dewy. This one gives a beautiful subtle glow, but no oily, dewy, glossiness on the skin.

Of course, if you are truly oily please use a primer and setting products in addition to pre-long the wear of your foundation! I also recommend powder blush, bronzer & highlighter as opposed to cream products, which will suit oily skin so much better!
I might do a post on just that soon if you are interested?