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Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Empties October 2014

At the end of September I was all set to continue with the #beautychallenge10. Then came the release of the A Beautiful World Autumn/Winter Sampler Box, and temptation got the better of me. I really enjoyed #beautychallenge10 and will come back to it again soon. Anyway, onto October's Empties.  
This enormous bottle of Biorganics Rebalancing Shampoo has lasted me the best part of 8 months of daily use. This is a lovely shampoo, nice gentle lavender fragrance. It left my hair soft, shiny and manageable. I will repurchase this again, but after 8 months I am ready for a change.
 
Travel sizes of Ren's Moroccan Rose Otto Body Wash and Body Lotion and Neroli and Grapefruit Body Wash. These are absolutely gorgeous. I am hard pressed to choose a favourite fragrance between them. They both have long lasting fragrances without being over powering. I will undoubtedly buy these again. Both the Rose Otto bath oil and body oil are firmly on my wish list.
 
Naked Shine Unveiled Hydrating Conditioner this took me foverever to use up, simply because I didn't like it very much. I didn't think it did anything for my hair at all, I found it dried my ends dreadfully. I won't be repurchasing.
Melvita Milky Cleansing Oil is another favourite cleanser. As the name suggests it turns from an oil to a milk. It tackles makeup with ease and leaves my skin super soft. I will buy the full size at some point, but I have so many cleansers stashed. I really need to use up more of these first.
 
Melvita Moisturizing Rose Nectar I have to say I wasn't blown away by this. It was nice enough, I just have other products I like better. I won't repurchase this.
 
Elemental Herbology Radiance Serum. I have been really impressed with this over Summer. It has helped my skin tone to even out and made my skin look brighter. This is a very light weight serum, so for me it is better over the Summer. I have been really impressed with the Elemental Herbology products I have tried so far. I have my eye on their new Tree of Life Balm
 
TEWC skincare Virgin Coconut & Lime Body Butter is quite simply fantastic. Love the cheerful, Summery fragrance. Deeply moisturising without being heavy or greasy. I am currently using their Lemon & Geranium Body Melt and love that too. These are high quality products at a very reasonable price. Another brand I want to explore further.
 
Nourish Skincare Radiance Refreshing Toning Mist is from another brand I really like. I used it before an oil or serum and it does a great job of preparing my skin. Again, this is a brand that make affordable products containing high quality ingredients. Will repurchase again.
 
Inner Soul Organics Scandinavian Decadence Shower Serum this is a rich and comforting oil, full of nourishing ingredients. This is a great pick me up if you are feeling low or under the weather. Will repurchase when I have used up a few of my other oils.
 
Weleda Almond Soothing Facial Cream is great for both sensitive and dry skin types. It is very gentle. I have loved pretty much everything I have tried from Weleda and this is no exception.
 Another brand I will buy time and time again from.

Monday, 27 October 2014

One Love Organics.

I was first introduced to One Love Organics when I received a sample of their Skin Saviour Waterless Beauty Balm in a Love Lula beauty box last year. When I saw that Naturismo were selling generous sample sizes of their Easy Does It Foaming Cleanser and Brand New Day Scrub & Masque I seized the opportunity to explore the brand further.
Foaming cleanser get a bad press for their reputation for stripping the skin. For quite a while I haven't used a foaming cleanser, because of the fear it would dry out my skin too much. I can honestly assure you that this is not the case with Easy Does It. This is incredibly gentle on the skin. It has a lovely delicate fruity fragrance and only a very small amount is needed. I haven't found it drying in the least and have been very pleased with how soft it leaves my skin. Much as I love a balm or an oil, there are times when I just want something a little quicker. Easy Does It steps up to the mark perfectly.
 
I have taken the ingredient list from the One Love Organics website.
Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Sodium Coco-Glucoside Tartrate, Sodium Hydroxypropylsulfonate Laurylglucoside Crosspolymer, Sodium Cocoyl Hydrolyzed Amaranth Protein, Sodium Cocoamphoacetate, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Lauryl Glucoside, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Oil, Quillaja Saponaria Bark Extract, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Sodium Hydroxypropylsulfonate Decylglucoside Crosspolymer, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Sodium Lauryl Glucose Carboxylate, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract   
 
Brand New Day is a multi purpose product that can either be used as a mask or a scrub, and can be used on both face and body. Given the price of this, I use it on my face as I want to make it last as long as possible. Having said that, this little sample has lasted me a couple of months of using twice a week as a scrub and once a week as a mask. I do think this is good value for money.
 
To use as a scrub add a little water o about a teaspoon of product to make a paste and gently massage into the skin. To use as a mask either mix with a little water, yoghurt, honey or such and apply for 10-15 minutes. Either way it works wonders.
 
Brand New Day is very finely milled, so there is none of that gritty or abrasive feeling. Again this is a very gentle product that is very effective. I am so impressed with how much brighter it makes my skin look. This will definitely be replaced when my sample runs out.
 
Organic Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Organic Pisum Sativum (Sweet Pea) Flour, Sodium Cocoyl Glycinate, Organic Ananas Comosus (pineapple) fruit extract, Sodium Myristoyl Glutamate, proprietary natural and organic fragrance compounds   
One Love Organics
Finally the product that started my love affair off. Skin Saviour Waterless Beauty Balm. This is absolutely divine and is one of my favourite cleansers. I adore it's sweet fruity fragrance and that it is multi-purpose. My favourite ways are to use it as a cleanser or face mask, but it can also be used as a moisturiser. It just melts into the skin, removing all traces of make up and grime. This is what I use when I want to indulge in some serious pampering. This is very much a product to take your time with and to savour the experience.
 
Organic Cocos nucifera (Virgin Coconut) Oil, Organic Glycine Soja (Sweet Soy) seed oil, Organic Beeswax, Mangifera indica (Mango) seed butter, Salvia Hispanica (Chia) Seed Extract, Avena sativa (Oat) Extract, Citrus aurantium dulcis (Orange) peel wax, Organic Vanilla planifolia fruit extract, Tocopherol (Vitamin E)
 
There are many other product I want to try. In particular I have my eye on their Morning Glory Serum and the Supercritical Chia oil. They sell a little tester kit with samples of the above and their Morning Glory and Love Springs Eternal Youth Preservation Serum which works out at £5.95 (including p+p). One just accidentally fell into my basket.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Souk Souk Beauty Box October 2014

This week has been the week when all my beauty boxes have been delivered. Yesterday was the turn of my Souk Souk  beauty box to arrive. After being a little underwhelmed by last months I am pleased to see that this month's box is a huge improvement on September's.
Sachets of Mico Serum by Hifas de Terra. The range is based on mushrooms. I have to say this is the product I am not convinced on, so probably won't use this.
Shea Butter Sliding Tin by Ville De Fleur. I haven't come across this brand before and have had a good snoop around their website. This is an unscented tin of shea butter, which is very useful for dry skin anywhere. There are so many products that have caught my eye on the website, from their candles, skin and body care ranges. I love their quirky packaging. 
AFYNA Daily Clarifying Cream Cleanser (30mls) is another brand I haven't come across before. I am not sure that this will be right for my dry skin as it sounds like it is formulated for break out prone skin. It is a generous sample size, the proof will be in the testing.
Lucy's Lotion Vitamin E & Grapefruit Lip Balm (30mls) this huge lip balm is absolutely gorgeous and is by far my favourite product from this month's box. It smells amazing and feels wonderful on the skin. I really want to try the body butter and rejuvenating night oil. 
Champagne & Spice Body Moisturising Cream (120mls) and The Secret Wonder Oil (sample size) by Betty Hula. I have heard of the brand but have never tried anything by them. The moisturiser is very sweet smelling. It is a bit strong for my liking, but my daughter loves it so it won't go unloved. The base of the moisturiser is Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Coconut Oil, Aloe Vera, Vitamin E but it doesn't state where the fragrance comes from online. The same applies the oil, although I do like the smell of it and would use it as a body oil. 
 
Overall I think this is a really good box. I have been introduced to a couple of new brands that I wouldn't have discovered otherwise. For me this is very much the attraction of a beauty box and I feel that I have really had my moneys worth.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

A Beautiful World Autumn/Winter 2014 Sampler.

If you use twitter you will more than likely have seen the buzz between green bloggers about the release of the Autumn/Winter Sampler box from A Beautiful World yesterday. I dutifully set my alarm to be ready for the 0700 release. These boxes always sell out really quickly! I was hoping it would come by the weekend but am thrilled to say it arrived today. I certainly can't fault their service.
 
As the name suggests the sampler box show cases some of the brands on sale at A Beautiful World, and although they teased us with a list of possible brands, contents were kept a surprise.
All of the contents were hidden underneath this cheerful bright pink cotton shopping bag. This is a great addition and will get plenty of use.
 
The first item is a Konjac Sponge which I have tried previously and been really pleased with results. This completely natural sponge is made form vegetable fibres. Mine also contains French pink clay.
Brad Biophotonic is a range which has been newly launched at A Beautiful World. I have been sent a 7.5ml sample of the Ultra Elastin Lift Serum. The whole range is incredibly luxurious (with matching price tag) so I will saviour every last bit of this serum. All the products use combine natural and organic ingredients and bio-technology, to nourish the skin and address anti-aging concerns. I am looking forward to seeing how this performs on some of my fine lines. 
Valia is another recent addition to the website. I have a 28g sample of their Purifying Wash. Valia combine the finest natural ingredients and traditional Japanese rituals in their range of skincare and supplements. The Purifying Wash encourages cell turnover to promote more radiant skin. It is a light cleanser that also hydrates the skin. Sounds perfect for my skin concerns. 
I am absolutely thrilled to receive a 10ml sample of The Body Deli Crème de la Rose moisturiser as this is one of their products I have had my eye on for a while. Again this improves cell turn over, and promises to be a very rich and nourishing moisturiser. I can't wait to try this.
A brand so new to the website that it isn't quite available yet. A full size Intensae 5 free nail polish. My shade is Obliteration, which is a gun metal shade with glitter. The photo doesn't do the pretty colour justice. This will be a great colour to wear for Christmas parties. 
A 60ml each sample of Josh Rosebrook Deep Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner. This luxury brand is available exclusively on the A Beautiful World website. Another brand that is new to me and I look forward to trying.
A full size S.W. Basics Cleanser, which contains only 3 ingredients. This super gentle cleanser is perfect for sensitive skins. Although I am familiar with S.W.Basics this is the first opportunity I have had to try them.
 
A 50ml sample of MU London Organic Rose Foaming Facial Wash. Packed full of Rose, Rosehip and Rosemary this aims to brighten and firm the skin. I have loved the MU London moisturisers I have tried previously so I am very much looking forward to trying this.
 
I am absolutely delighted with this box. For just £20 this box is such amazing value for money. I will use everything in it.
 

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Bodhi & Birch Lime Blossom Protecting Hand Serum.

Being a nurse, my hands always take a bit of a battering. I am most definitely obsessed with hand creams and hoard them for dear life. Bodhi & Birch were kind enough to send me one of their Lime Blossom Protecting Hand Serum to try and I have been using it for a good few months now.
 
Bodhi & Birch have become one of my favourite brands. Each product feels like it has used the finest ingredients, and feels like a labour of love. The active botanicals in this very special hand serum are olive squalane, rosehip oil, plum kernel oil, safflower seed oil, vitamin E, lime and green mandarin. The lime and the mandarin form the bright and uplifting fragrance. I have a huge weakness for citrus fragrances and in particular Lime, so this is absolutely perfect for me. I love smelling my hands after I have used this. This luxurious hand serum is not only exceptionally moisturising, but also has antiseptic, antiviral and antibacterial properties.
 
This serum itself is exceptionally light and has a lovely silky texture. It absorbs much quicker than a hand cream, making it ideal for anyone who works with their hands. For instance I can apply after washing my hands and not worry about it transfering on to my paperwork. The vast majority of the time just one pump is enough, two pumps is ample if I have had a particularly taxing day for my hands. It always soothes my dry and sore hands, and makes them feel so much softer. When I am working it feels like the serum gives my hands an extra barrier of protection. Even when my hands are chapped and the skin is broken it never stings when I apply it. I can't tell you how much I appreciate the combination of antibacterial and moisturising qualities. Believe you me, having to apply an alcohol gel onto broken skin is not a pleasant experience at all Whilst I obviously have to use an alcohol hand gel at work, I feel that the Lime Blossom Protecting Hand Serum counteracts the damage this does to my skin.
 
At the beginning of the year I had a really bad flare up of dermatitis on my hands, and this really took it's toll on my nails in such a state. It left them weak and peeling, and lots of horrid unsightly pit marks on them. Lime Blossom Hand Protecting Hand Serum has made an enormous difference to the health and appearance of my nails in the last few months. The peeling has long gone, they feel so much stronger and the vast majority of the pit marks have now grown out. I have been very pleasantly surprised by how much a difference it has made.
 
Bodhi & Birch are undoubtedly a luxury brand. I have always found their products to be very fairly priced, given the high quality of the ingredients they use. I have used this on a daily basis for several months and probably have 3/4 of my bottle left. I think it is worth spending a little more on products like this, because ultimately I will get an awful lot of use out of it. In my opinion the Lime blossom Protecting Hand Serum is a fantastic product and one that I will undoubtedly buy myself when I have finished the one I was sent.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Love Lula Beauty Box October 2014

It's been a little while since I stopped my subscription to Love Lula but after seeing a few boxes I liked the look of I decided to renew my subscription. When I got my box yesterday I was very glad I did. 
There are four samples by Green People. There is a 25ml sample of their Gentle Clease & Make-Up Remover. This is one of my favourite cleansers. I have a full sized version of this already, but this is a good size to take away.
 
A 10ml sample of Age Defy Soft Skin Exfoliator. I like the results this gives but am not keen on the scent of it. I will use this, but probably wouldn't repurchase the full size.
 
A sachet of Purify & Hydrate Cream Cleanser and Line Eraser Lip and Eye. I haven't tried either of these products from the Age Defy range so am looking forward to sampling them
A 50ml sample of Mint The Bath & Shower Therapy by Bodhi & Birch. This lovely, refreshing shower therapy is a firm favourite, so I am very pleased to receive a travel size version. 
A mini Dr Lipp Nipple Balm which in addition to being a very moisturising lip balm, is really good for bumps and grazes. 
Yes To Carrots Gentle Cleansing Wipes (10). I haven't tried the Yes to range so am quite curious to try these. I don't use wipes regularly but they are handy to have in your handbag. Full size of these contains 25 wipes, so I think this is a pretty decent sample. 
Inika Eye Liner in Black Caviar. I have had a couple of these eyeliners from different beauty boxes and really like them. Black eyeliner is a staple product for me so am pleased to have another one for my collection. 
A sachet of John Masters Organics Rose & Apricot Hair Milk. I have liked pretty much everything I have tried from John Masters so look forward to trying this leave in conditioner.
 
I am very impressed with this month's box and feel like I have really had my moneys worth. It's a nice mixture of familiar and favourite brands and get a lot of use from the products.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

#TVK12

My TheVeganKind came earlier in the week, although I have to confess there isn't an awful lot left of it. A sure sign of a very enjoyable box.
Angelic Gluten Free Double Chocolate Cookies 125g were the first to disappear. These gluten, wheat and dairy free biscuits were pounced upon by the kids, and were devoured in no time at all. I managed to salvage one with my cup of tea and really enjoyed it myself. A rich chocolatey biscuit without being sickly sweet. 
Howdah Onion Bhajis (100g) were also thoroughly enjoyable and had quite a kick to them. I haven't come across this brand before, but certainly fancy trying more of their Indian style snacks.
 Nom Organic Oat Bar (52g) hasn't been opened just yet. This is something I would eat after a long run, but look forward to trying it.
Landgarten Organic Chocolate Covered Raspberries (90g)  were my favourite products of the box. These were a treat for mummy and were hidden so that I didn't have to share. Cholcolate and raspberries what's not to like.
Premae Skincare Triumph Creme Balm (15mls). This is the only product in the box I am sad to say I won't use. Although based on the cost of the full size product this is a very generous product, it contains mineral oil and so isn't for me. Having said that I am sure that plenty of other people will enjoy using this.

Monday, 6 October 2014

JoggBox October 2014

It really doesn't seem two minutes since my last Joggbox came, so I was pleasantly surprised to find October's waiting for me when at the end of last week.
The first item is Joggbox's own brand iphone arm band. This isn't quite big enough to fit my Samsung S5 in, but my old iphone I use for running does fit nicely. The strap on fits me well. I have found some arm bands have way too big a strap for me, that I can't get to fasten because the Velcro is in the wrong place. I like that it also has a slot to secure a key into. For me this is a good addition to the box and will certainly be used. 

Body Glide (12.8g) I am pleased to see that this ant-chaffing cream is free from petroleum and parabans. It comes in a handy roll on stick applicator. I like that it is fragrance free and doesn't feel heavy or greasy. I have already tried this out and am pleased at how well it works. It leaves a film on the skin, so doesn't feel like you have any product on your skin.

KT Tape FastPack contains 3 pre cut tapes, which can be applied to treat common sports injuries. This is another really useful product to try and will be a great standby to keep in my running first aid kit.
A sample of Elivar Endure. I really liked the samples of Hydrate we received in last month's box so am pleased to be able to try more of their products. This is specifically designed for the over 35s and contain slow burning carbohydrates, high in protein and lower glycaemic index sugars. Whilst this isn't a cheap product to buy it is very good, so look forward to trying this.

2 Push Passionfruit Energy Gels. So far I haven't had much success with Energy gels. I have found them a bit messy and they gave me stomach cramps. Maybe I haven't found the right ones for me. Will give them a go.
 Clearspring Miso Soup. I am really pleased to see that this is an organic product. Nice to have a savoury product included in the box, and something which is quick and easy to cook.

2 Frank Food Snack Bars I have tried this a few times before and really like them. They are high in fibre and gave slow release carbohydrates. Most importantly they taste pretty good. I like that you can buy single bars from Asda.

Pulsin Vanilla Choc Chip Bar is another product I have tried before and liked. I also really like Pulsin's protein powders.

A new addition to the box this month is a card with a recipe for a black bean salad and some running tips. There is a chance of winning a double box by sending in a recipe or tip. I think it's great to see Joggbox becoming more interactive with it's subscribers and look forward to seeing it's community grow.

Friday, 3 October 2014

#BuyBritishDay

Today apparently is Buy British Day. A celebration of all things British. I think it is important to support things that are locally produced, so I thought I would share 10 of my favourite British brands.
I couldn't do a British post without including Bodhi & Birch, so it only feel right to start with one of their products. Desert Rose Rejuvenating Face Oil is one of my favourite products for dry skin when the cooler months start rolling in. I couldn't imagine not having one of these in my collection.
 
I am a huge fan of Aromatherapy Associates, and in particular their bath and shower oils. Inner strength is perhaps one of my favourites. The fragrance is just heavenly and it just melts stress and tension away.
 
Bee Good are a relatively new brand. I have been very impressed with their products and their commitment to supporting British Bees. I look forward to seeing how this brand develops.
 
Odylique or Essential Care as it was is the proud maker of one of the UK's largest range of certified organic skincare and makeup. This family run company caters for sensitive skin and makes their products by hand. The Superfruit Concentrate is especially good.
 
Chain Bridge Honey Farm are another beekeeping family run company. They use their own honey and beeswax in their products. The lip balms are lovely and are very affordable too.
 
Bathing Beauty is a wonderful range of handmade skincare. Each and every item has been lovingly made with attention to detail and high quality ingredients. I love that George grows many of the ingredients she uses. Her Gauntlet hand salve does wonders for hardworking hands. 
The Earth Works Cosmetics is a brand I have only recently discovered. I have very quickly fallen in love with the quality of their products, and their commitment to producing products which are kind to the skin and to animals. The Lemon and Geranium Body Melt is perfect for my dry skin and has a wonderful uplifting fragrance. This is another very affordable brand.
 
Botanicals is a brand who's aim is to produce products as close to nature as possible, and they do this very well indeed. I have been wowed by their cleansing melt, facial oils and serums, but there are so many products I want to try from them.
 
Mu London is probably most famous for their delicious White Chocolate Elbow Knee and Heel Cream. Another of my favourites is the Organic Rose, Rosehip and Rosemary Face Moisturiser. This is perfect for my dry skin.
 
Last and by no means least is Herbfarmacy who again use herbs that they have grown in their products. The Mallow Beauty Balm is a firm favourite, with Meadowsweet Muscle Balm being a close second.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Empties September 2014.

Here are my Empties for September. These are all the miniatures and travel sizes I have used up in the last month. I have kept all my full sized products to one side as I am still carrying on with the #beautychallenge10. I was a bit worried I wouldn't have much to post, but there is more here than I thought.
Balance Me Cleanse and Smooth Face Balm (40mls) was a freebie from a magazine. I am a big fan of Balance Me products and this cleansing balm is no exception. I love how soft my skin feels after using this. I have a mountain of cleansers to use, but this is definitely on my wish list.
 
Weleda Iris Hydrating Facial Sample (5mls) Weleda is another tried and trusted brand. This is a very light moisturiser that was fine for Summer, but I don't think I would get away with it over Winter. I have their Almond Soothing Facial Cream lined up to try next.
 
Odylique Superfruit Concentrate (5mls) I really feel like I have had my money's worth from this sample. It has lasted me ages. I absolutely love this serum, and already have the full size to use. Will review in full soon.
 
Aromatherapy Associates Hydrating Rose Face Mask (15mls) this is a lovely mask to use. I have another of the sample sets that this was part of. Not sure if I will buy the full size as I have a few masks I need to use.
 
Melvita Apicosma Baume Fondant Corps (15mls) this is one of the few Melvita products I am not that fussed on. It was OK, just not blown away by it.
 
Pure Thoughts Tangerine & Jojoba Whipped Shea Body Butter (10g) is utterly divine. I love the fragrance and a little goes a long way. Will purchase the full size in the future. 
Balance Me Super Toning Body Wash (100mls) I love the fragrance of this, and always associate the Bergamot fragrance with Summer. I find it a very refreshing scent. I have to say I haven't noticed any toning effect from the shower gel, but I do find it very gentle on my skin. I have another sample to use, but will buy this again. I also really want to try the body oil at some point.
 
Balance Me Rose Otto Body Cream (30mls) again this is another really good product. Lovely rose fragrance and feels rich and luxurious without being heavy. I liked this a lot, but prefer the scent of the Toning range.
 
Bodhi & Birch Jasmine Falls Relaxing Body Moisturiser (40mls). I was very sad to finish this sample off. Jasmine Falls is one of my favourite fragrances from Bodhi & Birch. I have a few more samples of their moisturisers to tide me over for now.
 
Living Nature Balancing Shampoo (10mls). I have very mixed feelings about this. The shampoo is non foaming which I don't mind, but it was hard to wash out of my hair. I did find it left my hair very soft and shiny, but I think there are other equally effective shampoos. It reminds me of Odylique's shampoo (which is just as effective and cheaper)
 
Living Nature Balancing Conditioner (10mls) again not convinced by this, It did make my hair really soft and tangle free, but I don't want to spend £18 on a conditioner.