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Thursday, 28 August 2014

Current Skincare.

 
 I thought I would do a little post about the items of skincare I am currently using. Since starting the #beautychallenge10 I have been a little more mindful of condensing my routine, and trying not to have too many things open at once. I have split them into day and night, but as you can see, a couple of items overlap.
 
 My current cleanser is this Lime & Coconut Cleansing Water by White Rabbit Skincare. This is somewhere between a cleansing oil and milk, rather than a cleansing water. I am not going to say too much about this lovely little cleanser as I do plan to review it in full shortly, but it is very good.
 
Over the Summer I have really been enjoying my Nourish Skincare Radiance Refreshing Toning Mist. It's lovely and light, and feels really cooling. It does a great job of closing my pores and preparing my skin for the next step. I love the quality of ingredients in Nourish Skincare and think they are such good value for money.
 
My serum is Cell Food by Elemental Herbology. This serum is extremely light weight and has a lovely rose fragrance. It is packed full of proteins, vitamins and anti-oxidants and gives my skin a lovely boost.
 
For my day time moisturiser I have been using Bloom Remedies Daily Revive Cream which is suited to dry and mature skins. It contains a lot of ingredients that just work for my skin. It's formula is enriched with Frankincense, Rosehip oil, Seabuckthorn, Shea butter and Sweet Almond oil to name a few. I love that the products are made with certified organic ingredients and in small batches by hand.
 
 
As you can see I use the cleansing water and toning mist at night too. I like to use Bee Good Honey & Wild Water Mint 3 in 1 Cleansing Water to take off my making up, before massaging the Lime & Coconut Cleansing Water into my skin. Although I would prefer not to see the PEG's in the formula, this is very good at taking off my eye make up. It feels very gentle and doesn't irritate my eyes either.
 
I have come back to a bottle of Pai Rosehip Biogenerate Oil which I have (shamefully) been neglecting. This is by far the lightest form of Rosehip oil I have tried, my skin really does drink it up. This is another product that I think is exceptional value for money, considering the quality of the ingredients and how well it works. I simply love this little oil.
 
My night time moisturiser is Argan Skin Renew by Nourish Skincare . This was kindly sent to me after I reviewed the Protect Starter Collection.  I won't say too much about it here as I have a full review planned, but I am happy to say it suits my skin much better.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Lulu and Boo Samples.

 One of the many things that Annie sent me in our swap was the cute little tester set from Lulu & Boo. I do love a brand that sells samples. It's such a great way of getting a feel for a brand and deciding whether something will work for your skin. I took this away with me last week and managed to get between 4 days and a weeks use out of them.
 
 
Lulu and Boo was founded by Claire Edmunds when her own ill health prompted a career change and to follow a more holistic lifestyle. The result is an award winning skin care range, which is certified by the Soil Association and registered as being vegan with the Vegan Society. All the products have a full ingredients list on the website, and samples of their cleansers, moisturisers, masks, scrubs and serums are available to buy. The ones Annie chose for me are all suited to dry skins.
 
 
The Multi-Vitamin Face Cream is a rich and nourishing moisturiser, which has a decadent fragrance and texture. It is full of anti-oxidants and fatty acids, and has a base of borage, avocado, macadamia nut oil and rosehip oil. Patchouli, Frankincense, Rosemary and Lavender essential oils have also been blended into this moisturiser. I found that it was absorbed very quickly by my skin and left no greasy residue, and was very moisturising. It coped very well with the sea air which usually reeks havoc with my skin.
 
I used the Frankincense Regenerating Serum at night time and have fallen head over heels in love with this. All of the samples are lovely, but the serum and the moisturiser are my favourites. This rich serum contains amongst others Frankincense essential oil, macadamia nut oil, rosehip oil, borage and pomegranate extract. The serum has a lovely silky texture, and even after just a few uses of this I could see a difference in my skin.
 
The Fruits & Vitamins Brightening Mask is a lovely pick me up and definitely brightens the skin. As the name suggests it is bursting with fruit extracts (kiwi, strawberry, raspberry and blueberry to name a few). It also contains white and pink clay, seabuckthorn, macadamia and avocado oil. This feels very gentle when applied to the skin, it is not drying in the slightest. I loved how soft my skin felt afterwards.
 
The Chamomile Cleansing Balm is a rich and luxurious cleansing balm. It has a soft and buttery texture which just melts into the skin. Again it uses macadamia, jojoba and hemp oil, with chamomile and calendula extract. It felt very soothing, especially on the days we had spent a lot of time out in the sun. I imagine this would be very good for people with sensitive skin too.
 
All of these samples have been an absolute pleasure to use and I can't thank Annie enough for introducing me to them. I know I will be repurchasing from Lulu and Boo in the future.
 

Friday, 22 August 2014

SoukSouk August 2014

 
Whilst we have been away on holiday my SoukSouk box has been patiently waiting for me to collect from the post office. I had seen other bloggers post the contents of this month's box and have been really looking forward to getting my hands on it.
 
SoukSouk August 2014
The bonus item this month are 3 samples of Linwoods Milled Seed blends. The ones I received are the Flaxseed, Flaxseed Almond Brazil nuts Walnut & Co-Enzyme Q10 and Flaxseed Sunflower and Pumpkin seeds. I look forward to trying these, as I have looked at them a few times in Holland and Barrett. There is also a coupon for 10 % discount too.
 
 The soap I received is by Hifas Da Terra and is made with Reishi, Propolis and Vanilla. Although the concept is interesting (it uses reishi mushroom to protect against free radicals and regulate oil production), this is the one item I am not sure about. I find it's vanilla fragrance overpowering and I think it would give me a headache to use. This is one I will pass on to someone else.
 
The next two items are 10ml samples of shampoo and conditioner by Living Nature. I loved the samples of cleanser we received in a previous SoukSouk box, so I look forward to finding out how the hair products compare. I am particularly interested in the shampoo as it is designed to restore a healthy balance of oils and moisture. As my hair is very fine, I find that it gets greasy very quickly, but the ends are always so dry.
 
The final two products are the ones I am most excited about. I am so pleased to see Bodhi and Birch making an appearance in my SoukSouk box. The Siam Ginger Bath & Shower Therapy is a reformulation of Galangal Spice. It feels in keeping with the spirit of the original fragrance, but is a lighter, crisper version. The Chamomile Sky is of course the new addition to the family, and beautifully combines camomile, neroli, geranium and bergamot. This is a lovely calming, summery fragrance. It goes without saying that I can't wait to try both of these. Featured in August's Little Green Magazine is an interview with Elijah, the founder of Bodhi and Birch, which makes for very interesting reading. Very generously, there is also a discount for 15% off which is valid until the end of September. I plan to do the #BeautyChallenge10 and this can be my reward at the end of it.
 
First impressions of this month's box are very good indeed. I will use everything apart from the soap.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Bee Good Honey & Propolis Cream Cleanser.

Bee Good are a British Company who's products have been featured on quite a few blogs recently.
Drawn in by their quirky packaging and the good reviews they have been given, I knew I wanted to try their products for myself.
 
Bee Good are very proud that their products contain British honey, propolis and beeswax. They are hugely committed to supporting the countryside and bee farmers alike. They are passionate about animal and bee welfare and do not use parabens, synthetic colour, or mineral oil. Indeed they donate a percentage of their profits back into beekeeping causes. My cleanser also arrived with a paper label with seeds to be planted. I think this is a lovely touch, as it reminds us of the importance of providing a bee friendly environment in our own homes.
 
Bee Good Honey & Propolis Cream Cleanser.
 
Honey & Propolis Cream Cleanser sells for £11.50 for 100mls or you can now buy a twin pack for £19.50. I think this makes it a very reasonably priced cleanser considering the ingredients used and the high ethical standards of the brand. Personally I can live without the cloth, as I would rather use a flannel and have a bigger tube. This is the only criticism I have of this cleanser. As you can see, the ingredients are listed below.
 
 
This cleanser really has been a joy to use. It is a rich, thick cream, which massages beautifully into the skin. It leaves no oily residue, and does not feel greasy in the slightest. As I mentioned earlier I prefer to use a flannel to remove it. I am very impressed with how thoroughly yet gently it  removes makeup, and how soft and bright it makes my skin look. I will be buying this again, I just need to use a few other cleansers first. I have their cleansing water on the go at the moment, and also want to try the hand cream. I think this will be a brand I come back to time and time again.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

July 2014 Books

July and August seem to have been very busy months for me. I don't seem to have had much time to read lately and am late posting last month's books. Still, onwards and upwards ....
 
The Neighbors

 The Neighbors by Ania Ahlborn. Drew finally moves out of his alcoholic mother's home and goes to live with an old school friend. The house is in a state, and his room mate is a mess. Drew can't help but being drawn to the older couple next door, with their pristine house. However, the couple are not what they seem and Drew has bitten off more than he can chew. I really enjoyed this book and actually read very quickly. The author's first book Seed is on my kindle list to read.

Yours is Mine
 
Yours is Mine by Amy Bird. Kate is at an all time low. Her husband is away on duty with the Navy, and she is struggling to cope with the loss of her father. A seemingly out of the blue email from Anna offers her the chance to escape and swap lives for 3 months. A no strings attached deal, what could possibly go wrong. Of course it goes wrong, and of course Kate ends up fighting to get her life back. I enjoyed reading this, some will think the story a little far fetched, but this is fiction. I thought it took a little while do get going, but liked the way the character built. There were some nice twists in this, and it is very different from most of the books I have read recently.
 
The Husband's Secret
 
The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty. I read this after seeing it on Sandra's blog and really enjoyed it. Whilst Cecelia's husband is away, she stumble upon a letter to be opened after his death. The contents have the potential to turn so many people's lives upside down. Can Cecelia forgive her husband? Can she live with keeping his secret? This story juggled many characters, who to begin with seem unconnected to each other. I thought it was actually quite clever, as ultimately it shows how the secret has impacted on the lives of all them.
 
What have you been reading lately? What are your recommendations?
 
 

Friday, 8 August 2014

#TVK10

 
 
This week seems to have been very long one. I was very pleased to find my The Vegan Kind box waiting for me when I got home. I am very pleased with this month's box. It's a nice mixture of tasty treats and useful products, and will make use of everything in the box.
  
 
The first item is Living Naturally Soapnut Tabs (20 washes). I have used soap nuts in the past and been impressed with their cleaning power. They coped really well when my twins were weaning, so I am looking forward to trying these. This is enough for a couple of weeks use (there are 5 of us).
 
 
An 8g packet of Nothing But These are freeze dried vegetables. There are 3 variety to choose from, mine being Mange tout and red pepper. It's nice to have a savoury snack included.
 
 
A 75g pack of strawberry Freedom Mallows. I know these have been feautured in a previous box, but what's not to love about marshmallows. These certainly won't be hanging around for long.
 
 
A 30g bag of  Sweet and Salty Propercorn. I love this pocorn. Unfortunately so do the kids, so this will have to be shared. Again this won't survive the night.
 
 
A Pulsin Protein bar. I had one of these recently in my running box and they are pretty tasty. Since my JoggBox came I have also tried some of the protein powder by Pulsin and really like it. I am happy to have another bar, they are a good size to carry for after my run.
 
The bonus item is a Fuelled by Compassion wrist band, which is a nice talking point to raise awareness of cruelty free.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Empties July 2014

 I think this is going to be my quickest Empties post ever. I don't feel that I haven't used much up at all this month. Moving swiftly on ....
 
Empties July 2014
 
 I was lucky enough to win this Sea Buckthorn Hand Cream (50mls) by Weleda in a giveaway on twitter earlier in the year. I absolutely love this. Not quite as heavy as the Skin food, but still very moisturising. I love the smell of this. It is such a bright and cheerful fragrance. I was always asked what it is (and to try a bit). I will definitely be buying this again.
 
I wrote about the Protect Mini Kit by Nourish Skincare here which the lovely people at Liv sent me to try. Although the moisturiser wasn't quite right for me, I was very impressed with the price point and the quality of ingredients used. I will buy the cleanser in the future and will buy other products from the range. Further to the review, I was sent the Argan Skin Renew to try and will be reviewing that shortly.
 
 
I seem to have used up quite a lot of shower gels this month!  I am a bid fan of Dr Hauschka products and the Lavender Sandalwood Calming Body Wash (200mls) didn't disappoint me. This has a lovely soft lavender fragrance. I really want to try the Rose and the Almond body washes.
 
I love using Balance Me Super Toning Body Wash (100mls). I think it is such a refreshing Summery fragrance. I have another of these sample bottles stashed but will certainly buy again.
 
Dr Bronner's Magic Soaps crop up regularly in my Empties posts, so it is no surprise how much I love them. The Citrus is one of my favourite fragrances. I currently have the Almond one on the go.
 
My last empty is this gorgeous Mint The Bath & Shower Therapy by Bodhi & Birch (50mls). This is wonderfully cooling, especially in the heat we have been having recently. I bought a full size of this whilst it was on sale. The newly packaged ones are now on the website and I am very pleased to see they now come with a handy pump.