An Intricate Affair: The Quest’s Woven Paths

My quest report for April includes cultivating the sense of Wonder, an obsession with and a rant about healthy baked desserts, as well as a brand new adventure.

Cultivating the sense of Wonder

April is one of my favourite months. It’s getting warmer and sunnier, and when you go out for a walk after work, sunset time is a bit later every day. Exciting, too, if you follow how Nature herself transforms within some four weeks:first-april-week-2015-berlin-sky-over-tiergartentiergarten-berlin-mid-april-2015end-of-april-tiergarten-berlin-2015From the vein-like silhouettes of naked, black tree branches against the brightest blue sky to the warm budding in the golden rays of a late sunset to the astoundingly fragrant floral explosion! If that’s not a Wonder, then I don’t know.

And so this has been my main meditation theme in April: the power to transform things, the natural power of growth, and how just a little patience can go a long way. I might have been outdoors a lot and I might have a succulent kindergarten on my window sill 😉tiergarten-berlin-looking-like-skyrim-april-2015new-succulent

With all the blooms and leafage, let’s remember I had announced to review my rhinolight allergy therapy results end of March, but since the doctor had told me we had to watch for more middle-term results six weeks after the last treatment (and my last evaluation appointment is due now, in May), that review, dear fellow allergy sufferers, is still in the works. On a related note: avoiding food rich in histamine (hard cheese, red wine, dark chocolate, walnuts) is a good idea during times of high pollen count. I have tried to satisfy chocolatey cravings with carob-infused sweet potato brownies…vegan-carob-sweet-potato-brownies-low-in-histamine-vegan-gfWell, well. They looked better than they tasted! 😀

But don’t be fooled by all that fun and sunshine – April in Berlin has its freezing cold and rainy moments ideal for cuddling up inside, or for hiding in lovely bars:beautycalypse-april-2015-berlin-cold-weatherfavourite-places-berlin-going-out-with-friendsYou’re not likely to be putting away your gloves and scarves too soon! 😉

On one of those particularly cold and rainy days I had to pick up a birthday cake (not mine) from my favourite pâtissier’s in Berlin wholly living up to their name: Du Bonheur.du-bonheur-on-a-rainy-birthdayDu Bonheur are closed on Tuesdays, and it was a surreal moment of some short-lived urban magic: sipping on a freshly brewed, hot almond latte in a closed café, waiting for the cake to be packaged – and all the rain outside. What can I say, I was inclined to spot them little wonders everywhere this April! 🙂

Foundation Battle

April is the month when I usually realise that my winter foundation is not a good match anymore. Despite a crazy rich palette of wonderful pale shades offered by my favourite brands Inika, Lily Lolo, Hiro and Everyday Minerals, finding THE perfect match has proved to be complicated.mission-impossible-perfect-match-skin-foundation-quest-report lilylolo-inika-hiro-foundation-samplingHere you see me swatching Lily Lolo minis and two full-size foundations (Hiro ‘Blondie’, nearly a perfect match, and Inika ‘Strength’, waaaaaay too pink), and the problem I see is that I need a cold colour that’s more on the yellow side: olive.
However, most brands seem to believe that yellow equals warm, and pink equals cold… 😦 Also I’ve noticed that Everyday Minerals have changed their colour palette (I liked their Jojoba Base foundations in the past) and will try one of their lighter neutrals next.

I have also still been following up on my Vivaness finds. Right now I’m sampling Santaverde – a Hamburg-based German organic cosmetics line based on and all around organic Aloe Vera sourced from the company’s own plantation. Reviews and recommendations soon!quest-report-beautycalypse-santaverde-samplingI have been asked to share how the Suncoat Polish & Peel really works, and having bought three new colours (colours are, left to right: ‘Petal Blush’, ‘Pink Dahlia’, and ‘Mulberry’), I’ve made quick snapshots that capture just how smoothly it works:new-suncoat-packaging-sampling-colourssuncoat-peelable-nail-polish-how-toSee? Super easy!

Tox-Free Cooking:
In A Tox-Free Kitchen

Last year, we have started to detox our apartment on a larger scale.
Out with the latest bit of plastic and toxic, in with the tox-free in a new dimension – a huge transition spanning furniture for our bedroom, study, and kitchen.skeppshult-cast-iron-bye-teflonAnd I thought it was a big deal finding perfect cast iron frying pans. Little did I know!
Finding green, fair AND ergonomic desks and chairs (that are ideally affordable, right?) is the real nightmare… I plan to start sharing my finds with you next.

New Adventure: Greener Business

As you might know by now, I’m a freelance digital and editorial strategist and copywriter. It’s the first time in my life that I went from a longish corporate career in media and publishing (1999-2013!) to freelance. I truly love it, I genuinely love what I do – basically, finding words and ways for great brands and things to shine, and I consider it a glorious adventure that has been long due!

My dream however has been to infuse this work with my beautycalyptic topics and knowledge.
This doesn’t mean that I will start accepting ads 😀 No, BEAUTYCALYPSE will remain independent and{These are the designs of my new business cards that feature BEAUTYCALYPSE from now on. Yay!}

What it means though is that I’m making my green & ethical knowledge openly available.
Why I haven’t to this moment despite all I know and do? Perfectionism, probably.
I need to walk in the shoes for a while to really be open about it, to “spread my wings” and to feel fully genuine and authentic in all my doings. Many of you can relate, I’m sure 🙂

So, today I’m proudly announcing that brands can now request a media kit with relevant stats and find out how BEAUTYCALYPSE can make their product greener and better, and help them stand out with Ethical Excellence.

Still, let me repeat: brands can’t have sponsored posts or ads or whatever – this is very important for me.

Foodie Stuff: The Holy Grail Dessert

If you browse through the recipe section, you’ll realise that most of the recipes have been about sweets lately, which is a bit paradox because I am rather indifferent towards sweets.

The reason why I’m getting so obsessed with baked desserts, is because the raw-vegan-sugar-free ones taste exactly the way they sound: like meh. Like chewed dry fruit. Like potato pudding. They taste oh that’s healthy instead of OMG.

Vegan and health-obsessed foodies, you can hate me all you want, but hear my rant first please!
Let’s be honest, those vegan and added-sugar and gluten-free baked desserts that looked stunning on that fabbo foodie Instagram or blog almost never turn out that way. Second, vegan and “healthy” baked desserts taste all the same by design because they all feature the same cashews, dates, and marple or agave sirup!

Best classic desserts just happen to include flours, eggs, butter and sugar, and replacing them with healthy and vegan options unfortunately is not making them rock. Baking is chemistry. Example: egg replacers can replace several egg functions but never ALL of them.

Still, the burning desire to create amazing vegan and healthy desserts is strong over here. I’m drinking healthy teas and testing new plant-based beverages to try and make it happen: the Holy Grail Dessert, a perfect, healthy, vegan cake free from gluten and added sugar. Any ideas? Any recipes? Throw them at me please…my-favourite-chai-blends my-favourite-pukka-blends new-rice-coconut-milk-with-pineapple-provamelBut meanwhile, very good news on the chocolate front: with Booja Booja raw vegan truffles, Blyss chocolate covered raw beans, and Marou fantastic thin dark chocolate bars (that I newly discovered) I do have an SOS fix for a sudden chocolate craving 😉discovered-in-march-marou-chocolate

That’s been my spoiler-free Quest update on what went on in April, let’s see what May holds for us!
There are interviews and more eco-fair goodness coming next, so stay tuned and have a great week!


Geeking out about all things truly green, healthy and ethical over at (Avatar illustration by A. Goncharenko)

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