Mapleblume Luxury Organic Beauty Box – Review

I am very excited to tell you about this lovely new Canadian subscription box! Mapleblume is a high-end luxury box containing only the highest-quality skincare and cosmetics. I love subscription boxes! There are so many products out there, it can be very confusing and difficult to choose what to try.

Mapleblume boxes contain at least 5 premium products, either full-size or deluxe sample-size. Boxes are delivered every 2 months. The products inside have been researched and thoroughly tested and are worth considerably more than the cost of the box. Maplebloom curates the boxes very well, so that they contain products that work well together. The packaging is top-notch and this box would make a great gift – I would love it if my family thought of this for Valentine’s day or Mother’s day, (individual boxes can be purchased as well).

Repair Face Oil from Linne

This oil is so luxurious! I have tried it on my hands, my face, and on dry patches of skin on my elbows and ankles. My skin is now as smooth as a baby’s bottom. Linne is an oil, but it’s very light and moisturizing, not greasy. The ingredient list is remarkable, containing things like Rose Hip Seed Oil, Green Tea Seed Oil, Argan Oils, Sacha Inchi Seed Oil, Sea Buckthorn Berry Oil, Frankincense Essential Oil and Sandalwood Essential Oil, just to name a few. I adore it and will replace when I run out (which won’t be for quite awhile, as this was a full-sized bottle). My hands look 5 years younger! I’ve had compliments on my glowing skin, and have experienced no breakouts. My skin is like silk, this after just one week of use!

Herbivore Botanicals Pink Clay Exfoliating Mask

This beautifying and skin-softening mask is lovely. It’s a botanical clay mask that you mix with water and apply, let dry and then remove. My skin feels amazingly soft after using this! This would be great to use before a special event or even just to keep your skin looking and feeling nice during these long winter months.

Organic Nation’s Hydrating Day Cream

This product is a deluxe sample size, perhaps enough to last a couple of weeks. I love the way it smells; it has a delicate herbal scent and it has a great texture. The main ingredient is Indian Gentian leaves. It also contains precious plant-based oils such as Camellia, Jojoba and Argan oil.

Trust Fund Beauty Nail Polish (I Love My #Selfie)

Trust fund is a green nail polish brand that is “7-free”, cruelty-free and vegan. It’s a nice red shade – I love reds – and it lasted about 4 days without chipping. Four days is a crazy long time for a nail polish to last on me! I always seem to have my hands in soapy water whether it’s dishes, laundry or bathing a child. Thumbs up!

Fitglow Beauty Mineral Blush (In Cheeky)

This is a long-lasting blush and blends beautifully. It is suitable for any skin type and I love this soft and pretty shade. I have very pale skin and have to be careful what shades I use on my face but I needn’t have worried – this blush is very natural-looking.

Pure Anada Petal Perfect Lipstick (Sugar Plum)

This is probably the most moisturizing lipstick I’ve tried yet! It’s made with plant oils, rich butters and waxes and contains Rosehip Seed Oil which is amazing for dry chapped skin. Rosehip is also known to promote cellular repair/regeneration. The shade is quite pretty and wearable in any season. It has a bit of a pearly sheen to it.


December’s box is valued at $223 in total, and the cost is $120 bi-monthly or $140 for a singular box. Shipping is free in Canada! It’s great to see a quality box like this that is Canadian made and features some Canadian products. The price point is a little high for some budgets, but I don’t think $60 per month is too costly when you look at the value of the luxurious treasures inside. Check it out for yourself here. I’m looking forward to seeing more from Maplebloom – have you tried it? If so – what do you think of it?


Kind regards and much love!

Julie Black xx

Natural skin care

Review of Oz Naturals Skin Care Products

I ordered these Oz Naturals products a few weeks ago because they were all-natural skin care and they seemed to have good anti-aging ingredients in them. Finding the right skin care can be very  difficult – there are so many companies claiming that they have the very best on the market!

Oz products are made in the U.S.A. in an FDA registered facility. They are:

  • Cruelty Free
  • Vegan
  • Gluten Free
  • Alcohol Free (ethyl alcohol)
  • Paraben Free
  • Sulfate Free

I really liked that they are budget-friendly as well. I ordered the Vitamin C Cleanser, the Super-Youth Retinol Moisturizer, The Vitamin C facial serum and the Ocean Mineral Tonic from  All items together were $100 with shipping.

After using this regimen for a few weeks, I must say that my skin looks and feels firmer, my pores look smaller, and that my skin is much brighter looking. I’m absolutely glowing! I’ve  had no issues with the retinol or breakouts (I have with other products). I plan to continue with this line and perhaps add one of the masks down the road!

You can find more information on these items at

vitaminc-product-img      super-youth-product-img    vitccleanser_tube_1024x1024 b00l4ex7xs-main_large



Hope you enjoy!

Julie Black



beauty routine

Changing Up Your Beauty Routine for Winter

Everyone talks about changing up their beauty routine for winter. Let’s take a look at how to do this effectively!

During the summer,  you likely had to deal with shine issues resulting from the heat and hot sun. Now that winter has (pretty much) arrived, the air will be less humid and the cold will start biting your skin. Soon, even the oiliest of skin will be dry and flaky if it’s not properly treated. You need to make some changes in your beauty routine to ensure that your skin remains well-nourished and supple during the winter season. Here are some simple routine changes.

Work those lips  

Don’t leave the house without lip balm! Your lips are likely to crack and feel dry a few hours after your last lip balm application. I personally prefer the natural beeswax products that you can find at your local health food store. Check the ingredients to ensure they are natural!

Do away with the long soaks and Long hot showers

This is a tough one for me! I love nothing more than a steaming hot bath in the winter to warm up after being out in the cold. I could relax there for hours and read a good book! Unfortunately, the extended exposure to hot water dries out the skin and causes a loss of essential oils that are needed during this season. If you’re going to bathe, use moisturizing products and or essential oils in the water. My favourite mix is lemon and balance from Doterra – they smell so soothing when they are mixed together!

Get a humidifier  

The winter air lacks humidity and can be very harsh on the skin. Your heating device will likely make matters even worse. A simple humidifier can add some much-needed moisture into the air. Your hair and skin will thank you, and increased humidity will make your sleep more comfortable as well!

gentle on the skin

Do away with harsh scrubs and deep cleansers. Even the oilier skin types will not require much scrubbing to open the pores. Consider using gentle cream cleansers to prevent dehydration of your skin. You can also use coconut oil or avocado oil to soothe your skin after the cleaning. I like to use coconut oil for pretty much everything!

Moisturize the skin

Apply a good moisturizer before applying your make up. The moisturizer acts as an anti-irritant and anti-flaking product. Moisturizer also helps to visibly reduce the size of the pores. Use again at the end of the end of the day after removing your makeup. I like to use organic, all-natural products suited to my skin type. For winter, I use a face oil and then a good moisturizing balm.

Organic face masks can be very helpful to help in more intense hydration of the skin, especially if you have very dry skin. Do not use a face mask on a daily basis. Try for 2-3 times per week. Don’t  forget to care for your hands and your body. Get some intense hydrating cream for the exposed parts of the body such as neck, hands, and the legs.

Go for the shine

The matte finish is common in the hotter seasons of the year. Get some glow this winter by going for a hydrating foundation. Luminous foundation keeps you looking and feeling fresh all the day long and helps your skin to retain some moisture.

Do not forget to treat your hair as well with hair serums and oils. A good hair oil will help to discourage static and will prevent your hair from drying out. I love the Rejeuvenique oil from Monat for both my skin and my hair – you can look into it here if you like.

I’m looking forward to frolicking with the kids in the snow, whenever we happen to get some of that lovely white stuff again! Guess I’d better get all the the leaves raked up soon…it’s just so much more fun to write 🙂

Much love!

Julie Black




How to deeep conditioning hair treatment

Dry hair? How to do Deep-Conditioning Hair Treatments at Home

Regular appointments for hair treatments are something many women would like to strike off their to-do lists. Knowing how to do deep conditioning hair treatments at home can save you money, time and will definitely keep your hair looking healthy, shiny and promote growth. You can promote healthier, longer hair by scheduling as many DIY deep conditionings as possible. The good news is that DIY hair conditioners are easy to do and the conditioning steps are easy to learn!

deep conditioning hair treatments

This is a turbie twist microfibre towel, great for keeping your hair damp and covering up the mask

My preferred deep-conditioning treatment is Monat Rejeuvenique oil – I apply to my hair 30 min before I shower, shampoo it, and then apply the Replenish Masque for 30-60 minutes. My hair is so soft and silky after a treatment and super-shiny! The Monat products are all-natural and they transform my dry curly hair unlike anything else I’ve tried. You can shop Monat here, or try out one or more of the following homemade hair masks. I have used them all, and they are great too! The ingredients are all easy to find at your local supermarket.

DIY hair conditioners

Working with homemade hair conditioners allows experimentation with different formulas for different results. You can vary your ingredients and formulas according to your hair’s needs.

  • Coconut oil and honey

This formula is the best for deep conditioning aimed at strengthening hair.  Coconut binds to the hair and prevents degradation of keratin, which is the protein in the hair while honey helps bind in the moisture.

  • Olive oil, Shea butter, avocado, and Apple cider

If you would like to do deep conditioning and disentangle your hair, this is the perfect mixture. Olive oil and Shea butter act as lubricants while the avocado and apple cider vinegar shrink and flatten the hair cuticles which make it easier to disentangle the hair. I have done this one several times, and some pointers are to make sure your avocado is ripe & use a nutribullet or blender to mix it all together.

  • Olive oil, glycerin, bananas, and honey

This is the formula for healthy hair that is easy to maintain. Glycerin and honey are humectants which make hair retain moisture. Bananas soften the hair and minimize shrinkage while olive oil penetrates the hair deeply.

Steps for deep conditioning Hair TreatmentS
  1. Wash your hair with shampoo and warm water. Do not use hot water as it weakens the hair leading to breakage. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry to remove excess moisture
  2. Apply your conditioner evenly throughout the hair taking care to ensure you get the whole length from the hairline to the ends. Use a wide toothed comb to pull it through and distribute it evenly.
  3. Massage the scalp 5 minutes to moisturize it and then work on the hair. Rub the conditioner in thoroughly. Put a shower cap or plastic bag on your head and then wrap it with a warm towel. If you have a heat pack or heated bonnet, even better. I have a microwaveable hair bonnet that will keep my head warm for up to 30 minutes, and I absolutely love it! Rest with the conditioner in for 20-30 minutes. The conditioner can be left on overnight for very dry hair – I just wrap mine in a scarf and use an old pillow to sleep on for the night.
  4. Rinse hair with cold water. It helps close the hair shafts and trap in moisture.
  5. Towel off gently.
Towel drying hair

Your hair will feel fabulous and so soft after the treatment. Enjoy your shiny locks!

To keep your hair silky and smooth, do this deep conditioning hair treatment at least once a week. I know it can seem like one more thing to add to the to-do list but it really does make a difference and you will enjoy the compliments when your hair looks fabulous! Treating your hair at home is so much more convenient (and more cost-effective) ensuring that you always have a head full of healthy & head-turning hair!

mineral makeup

Mineral Makeup – The Basics

Mineral makeup is a trending topic in the beauty and makeup circles and it’s also trending on social media sites. Mineral makeup products have long been a preference of the ‘crunchy mom’ types and health conscious consumers. However, with their entry in the mainstream beauty market, brands having been competing against each other to have their names on the mineral makeup shelves.

Mineral makeup shades

Mineral makeups come in tonnes of beautifully pigmented shades and have more staying power than traditional makeup.

What makes the mineral make up?

Mineral makeup is made of the four minerals discussed below:

Zinc Oxide This component protects the skin against ultraviolet rays naturally. Moreover, it is great for the healing of wounds and reduces tenderness comes from sunburns. When applied to chapped skin, it helps make it soft and supple.

Iron oxides

Iron oxides are used to give the makeup the right color to match your skin. You can choose the oxide that matches your face color to achieve a natural tone in line with the skin type.

Mica powders

Mica powders add some glow to your concealers and foundations. You can pick any tone that you want from rich golden tones to dazzling silver tones for a beautiful glowing skin.

 Titanium oxide

Titanium oxide is a natural sunscreen and an effective opacifier. It covers your skin imperfections from bumps, pores to spots, and gives the skin a luminous look. You can also use the titanium oxide to treat inflamed skin from an infection, sunburn, or allergic reaction.


What makes it different from the usual traditional makeup?

Traditional make up products also contain some amounts of minerals. However, they also contain filler ingredients such as artificial fragrances, talc, parabens, synthetic dyes, binders, and preservatives. Some skin types are allergic to some of these ingredients.

  • Mineral makeup does not contain any of the above ingredients as well as petroleum oil. Thus, it is not irritating to the skin. It also gives your skin a natural feel and look.
  • Mineral makeup has a longer staying power. You do not have to do touchups after a few hours.
  • The mineral make up gives your skin a lovely glow that is not replicated by traditional makeup and primers.
  • Mineral cosmetic products have a higher flexibility than the general makeup products. You can use the mineral makeup with lotions, water, and a variety of creams to make a fluid-like paste for application.

Using mineral cosmetics is easy as scooping a little of the product onto the face, working the brush and applying it to the skin! I use them quite often, and I’d have to say that my favourite brand is Vapour Cosmetics. Their products are amazing and of course organic, vegan and cruelty-free. If you’re wanting a new look, give them a try – I love the fact that you can order samples first to see what you like and what suits your skin!

Much love as always,

Julie Black, Xo!

Must read tips hair skin nails

Must-Read Tips for Healthy Hair, Skin, and Nails!

Just like your skin, your hair and nails are affected by the foods that you consume on a daily basis. A poor diet will result in fragile hair and nails, lackluster skin and even blemishes. Life stress, poor nutrition, pregnancy and post-partum can also take their toll on how we feel and look!! Undiagnosed health issues OR nutritional deficiencies will affect you as well. We’ll focus this blog post on nutrition!

Our skin, hair, nails and energy levels tend to tell us when we get run down. This is more severe than a grey hair or a hangnail! Skin can become very dry, and hair can begin to thin or fall out without the right nutrients in your diet.

“Both are a barometer of how well (or how poorly) you’re feeding the body,” says dermatologist Jessica Wu, M.D., author of “Feed Your Face” skin and beauty expert for Daily Glow, “as well as your overall health.”

Both hair and nails are made from the same protein, called keratin, so it makes sense that similar diet choices would affect them both, she explains. Of course, a number of other lifestyle choices play a role as well, including smoking, since it reduces circulation and may cut down on the amount of biotin in the blood. Biotin, often added to hair and nail products, seems to strengthen both.

Less research exists to document the impact of various foods on hair and nail health than to illustrate the role of diet in healthy skin. But there are still a few foods to consider avoiding if you’re concerned about brittle nails or thinning hair.

High-Mercury Fish

Wu says she spends a good amount of time discussing diet with patients who come to her with thinning hair or brittle nails. One of the main culprits in her Los Angeles office is too much fish. “Some fish contain high levels of mercury, and high levels of mercury can lead to hair loss,” she says. These patients are eating a lot of fish, she stresses, and particularly sushi, sometimes four or five times a week. While true mercury poisoning is rare, swordfish and mackerel do have high levels of mercury, as do certain varieties of tuna. Canned light tuna, salmon and shrimp are all low in mercury, according to the FDA.


“Just like sugar is bad for the skin in many ways, foods that are sugary are bad for your hair and nails,” says Wu. Eating sweets causes blood sugar to spike. As the body pumps out insulin in response to the rise in blood sugar, it also raises levels of androgen, a male hormone that can make the hair follicle shrink in both women and men, she says.

High-Glycemic Foods

It follows, then that foods that are quickly broken down into sugar pose similar hair and nail risks. Starchy white breads, pastas and cakes trigger a similar response in the body, says Wu, and can lead to hair thinning. Research has shown that a high-glycemic-index diet can increase androgen levels, while a low-glycemic-index diet can reduce them.

Too Much Vitamin A

In ultra-high doses, vitamin A can lead to hair loss. A typical multivitamin won’t usually contain a dangerous amount, according to, but an individual vitamin A supplement might. It’s also related to compounds found in some medications, says Wu, like Accutane, which could be why hair thinning is a side effect of some treatments, she says.

Too Little Protein

Since hair and nails are made of proteins, people who don’t get enough in their diet may experience brittle nails or hair loss, says Wu. Typically, this only occurs in people with severe diet limitations or eating disorders, she says. Vegetarians should keep in mind that protein doesn’t have to come from meat – beans, tofu, spinach, lentils and more are all beneficial. Foods with a particular amino acid that creates keratin, called cysteine, can also help, like pork, broccoli, wheat germ and red peppers, says Wu.

There’s a misconception that little white flecks in your nails may indicate a calcium deposit. According to Reader’s Digest, those spots might be a sign your diet is lacking in zinc. Both zinc and iron – found together naturally in red meats and some seafood – are essential to keratin formation, says Wu, so skimping on these can cause hair and nail problems. Getting enough can be challenging for vegetarians and vegans, she says. Luckily, both zinc and iron are found naturally in some beans.

If you are worried, I would suggest considering Monat S3, their IRT shampoo and the appropriate conditioner for your hair type. Monat’s products are plant-based and clinically proven to provide results.

I do follow a healthy diet… but I must admit that there are some days it just doesn’t seem to work. A good supplement helps to fill in any gaps.

You can shop/browse Monat here.

Warm regards always! Do you have tips you’d like to share, or did your find this information helpful? Please leave me comment, I’d love to hear from you!

Julie Black


fabulous woman in nature

Look and Feel Fabulous! With, or Without Makeup!

How to contour correctly,’ ‘Strobing – the professional way,’ ‘How to get flawless skin!’ We have all spent a countless amount of hours searching these subjects and watching endless tutorials to achieve the ‘ultimate perfection’ in our skin care and beauty regimes. Guilty! But have we really thought about internalizing our research to make us beautiful from the inside, first?!

Foundations, brushes, sponges and concealers are terrific but will only take us so far in terms of our beauty goals. Without ‘looking inside the box,’ we may be trying to mask a problem that doesn’t need to be  there in the first place! Want to look and feel fabulous?

What if I told you that we are all perfectly beautiful just the way we are, and that we can look great  without having to layer our skin with tonnes of beauty products? You heard me! It’s much simpler than what meets the eye.


flawless skin
                     Natural Beauty

Perfect skin comes from a good, clean, healthy diet, plenty of water and self-love and compassion for ourselves and the incredible bodies that we have been blessed with. Not to mention that giving our skin a break from our often extensive makeup regimes also gives our skin a chance to breathe; making it clearer, fresher, cleaner and thus – more rejuvenated. Just like our bodies need healthy food as well as the occasional bit of junk food, our faces need air, water and circulation to be at its very best.

If you are anything like me, you probably don’t really have the time or enthusiasm to style and beautify ourselves to the ‘professional standard’ that we see in magazines, Instagram and the media all too often. I am here today, to share with you my top tips for looking fabulous with or without any makeup whatsoever!

Some of these tips you may have heard before, and some of them may be new to you, but let me express that each and every one of them are all equally as important as one another and we must prevent ourselves from turning a blind eye to the basic knowledge that is handed to us. Do all of these things for one week, and let me know what impact they have on how you feel about yourself in the comments below.


1. Cleanse, tone & moisturize.

Yes you have heard it before, and you are going to hear it again. Too often we get fixated on the ‘how to’s of YouTube,’ ‘the Tutorials’ or the ‘New Trends’ like blemishing our pores with a wall paint roller or ‘using a spoon to contour,’ that we very easily forget the key information that is crucial to our flawless, healthy looking skin.

If you haven’t got a toner, moisturizer and cleansing set yet, then take it upon yourself this week to do some research into products that you feel would be best suited to your skin type. There is a world of information out there that can make such purchases very daunting, resulting in us ‘researching the problem,’ rather than actually going out there and purchasing the perfect product. Follow my blog or sign up for my newsletter as I am currently testing natural products and will post reviews in the coming weeks.

Top tip; ask yourself these questions; what skin type do I have? Is this product designed for my specific skin type? Do I want a water based, oil based or silicone based product? Do I want an animal cruelty free brand? Natural, organic? And, do I want high-end or drugstore?

Once you have answered these questions, you’ve narrowed down about 70% of the products on the market, making your next steps to purchasing the product that is right for you that much easier.

Important – I highly recommend limiting the amount of chemicals, sulphates, perfumes and additional derivatives that you put onto your skin. Over time these ingredients may dry your skin out, cause health issues and may have unknown, long-term side effects. I suggest only using organic products. Check the ingredients on the back of the label, and if you are unsure – Research the ingredients to see what they are.

If you already have your cleanser, toner and moisturizer set, then checking the back of your product for ingredients may be a good thing to do for your skin too. Then the next time you go to purchase you may find something a little less harsh.


2. Water, water, water!

Drinking water, not only does the obvious thing of hydrating our bodies, but it also makes our skin firmer and more plump – reducing fine lines and wrinkles, aids our bodies in a detox – thus slimmer waists and increased weight loss and it provides us with boosts of immunity, focus and energy.

Everybody’s definition of ‘fabulous,’ is slightly different but for me – if I am productive, energetic and vibrant; I feel at my best and so, makeup or no makeup, I will feel a little more fabulous than if I was dehydrated, low and lethargic.

Top tip; Try adding lemon, mint, lime or other fruits for an extra boost in vitamins and detox.

3. Want to feel fabulous? Do MORE of what you LOVE!

This to me is the most important of them all. Have you ever bumped into someone who was confident, happy and living the life that they have always dreamed of and thought to yourself that they were anything less than fabulous?

No? Neither have I!

Doing what we love produces active positive chemicals in our brains that stimulate us; making us feel more uplifted, fulfilled, energetic, creative and all round more at ease, peaceful and happy. These to me are key ingredients to looking fabulous and being fabulous.

Now, I get it. Everybody has jobs, and not all of them truly entail what we love doing, but we all have bills to pay, right? I am not advising to quit your day job and take up a full time career in the arts, painting, listening to music, running, site-seeing or travel. Although how great would that be, eh? I am advising to do a little more of those things that lift your spirits and make you feel like the super woman who you really are. Just a little bit of room every few weeks for an activity that you are passionate about does wonders for the soul; which will internally make you feel more relaxed, excited, proud and therefore – fabulous!

Feel Fabulous
Care MORE about what YOU think





4. Care less!

So, whilst I am telling you to care more about your passions, skin care and diet – I am telling you to care less about what other people are thinking, doing or saying. Too often we prevent ourselves from doing, saying or looking the way we truly want to, simply because of the vulnerable position it may put us into. It opens us up for criticism. But I say who cares! Wear what you want. Be who you want to be. Do what you want to do. Comparing ourselves will always play a small part in our lives, but the more you practice this, the more our comparing nature will dissolve. When you start to feel fabulous on the inside, you will most definitely look even more fabulous than you already do on the outside, makeup or no makeup.

I hope these tips give you all a little boost of inspiration. I’m off to practice what I preach and have a nice long glass of icy water to start my day. Let me know if you have any other tips! And don’t forget to like, share, and comment!

Warmest regards, and lots of love! Did you find this post helpful or would you like to add something? Please leave a comment below 🙂

Julie Black,