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Monday, 22 December 2014

Skin & Tonic Christmas Gift Set.

 A little while ago I (like many others) received a sample of Steam Clean by Skin & Tonic in a You Beauty Box. To say I was impressed with this little cleansing balm is somewhat of an understatement. With this in mind I made the most of the discount code from You Beauty and ordered the Christmas Gift Set.

If you haven't come across this brand, they are well worth looking up. Their Mantra is simple;- People, Planet and then Profit. Products contain a maximum of 7 ingredients, hand made, organic and cruelty free. Ingredients come from small British and French Farms or have been sourced from Fair Trade Cooperatives in Ghana and Sri Lanka. As if that wasn't enough Skin & Tonic also donate 10% of their profits to www.charitywater.com

The price of the Christmas Set includes very generous sample sizes of 4 products as well as a full size lip balm, an organic cotton face cloth and bag. 
Brit Beauty Oil (10mls) is what I would describe as a dry oil. It has a feather light texture and sinks into the skin almost immediately. The fragrance is subtle yet spicy due to the Neroli. Brit Beauty Oil would benefit both oily and dry skin types, as it reduces fine lines and large pores. I can't comment on the long term anti-aging benefits, but this lovely oil certainly perks my skin up. 

 Carthamus Tinctorius (Thistle Oil), Salvia Hispanica (Chia Seed Oil), Borage Officinalis (Borage Oil), Althaea Officinalis (Marshmallow Root Oil), Helianthus Annus (Sunflower Oil), Citrus Aurantium Var Amara (Neroli Essential Oil), Tocopherol (Vitamin E)

Gentle Scrub (30g) can either be used as a mask or a scrub. True to it's name, it is indeed a very gentle product. There are no irritating scratchy bits to be found here. The French Pink Clay makes it a baby pink colour. I absolutely love this. It is quite simply one of the best scrubs/masks I have tried and much more purse friendly too. 

Zea Mays (Corn Starch), Avena Sativa (Oatmeal), French Pink Clay, Probiotic Yogurt Powder, Rosa Mosqueta (Dried Rosehip Seeds), Pelagonium Gravolens (Geranium Essential Oil).
Steam Clean is where my journey with Skin & Tonic began and it will come as no surprise when I say I love it. Again this is one of the best cleansing balms I have ever used. To begin with the fresh spearmint fragrance is gorgeous. It is both refreshing and uplifting at the same time. It dissolves all traces of makeup, and leaves my skin soft and fresh looking. I have amassed quite a stash of this in a very short period of time, but will undoubtedly buy the full size.

Cera Alba (Beeswax),Vitis Vinifera (Grapeseed Oil), Carthamus Tinctorius (Thistle Oil), Borago Officinalis (Borage Oil), Eucalyptus Globulus (Eucalyptus Essential Oil), Mentha Spicata (Spearmint Essential Oil).

Calm Balm (15ml) is another product that lives up to it's name. The fragrance is a nice balance of the Lavender, Calendula and Roman Chamomile oils (I usually find chamomile a bit over powering by itself). This however, I like. The balm itself is deeply moisturising and nourishing on the skin. A little on the wrists or temples is indeed calming, and would make a good aid to meditation. Skin & Tonic suggest massaging a little into muscles before and after yoga to practice, making this a truly multi-purpose balm.

Butyrospermum Parkii (Fair Trade Shea Butter), Coco Nucifera (Coconut Oil), Calendula Officinalis (Welsh Calendula Oil), Lavendula Augustifolia (English Lavender Essential Oil), Anthemis Nobilis (Roman Chamomile Essential Oil), Tocopherol (Vitamin E).
The final product is the Naked Lip Balm which is made with just 3 ingredients. This is a wonderfully nourishing lip balm and is testament to less being more. No frills, no fuss just an exceptionally good product.

Butyrospermum Parkii (Fair Trade Shea Butter), Cera Alba (Beeswax), Coco Nucifera (Raw Coconut Oil).

I think that Skin & Tonic have created a range of wonderfully effective products. Their packaging, fragrances and most importantly the quality of their products will make it appealing to both ladies and gents.

As a side note I hope that the Gift set becomes a permanent fixture as I am sure I am not the only one who loves a good tester kit. I also think that these products would also be lovely as rollerballs. It would be great to harness the aromatherapy benefits of them whilst out and about.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Souksouk Box December 2014

I collected my SoukSouk box from the post office today. I am really pleased with everything in it. I think it is perfect for this time of year. 
When I opened my box, the scent of this soap greeted me. Winter Wonderland by Pure Thoughts really is lovely. It is made with essential oils of cedarwood and pine, and really captures the scent of walking through woods on a crisp Winter morning. I can't wait to try this.
A full size eyeliner by Inika in Black Caviar. I have had a couple of these eyeliners recently and I really like them. They have a lovely creamy texture and last really well. I am happy to have a back up.
I always get a little excited when there is a brand I haven't tried before. In this month's box there are two brands that are new to me. There is a very generous 30ml sample of Evening Relax body oil by The Naked Skincare Company. This contains essential oils of Ylang-Ylang and Sandalwood in a base of Sweet Almond and Apricot Kernel oil. It has a lovely silky texture and smells divine. I know I am going to enjoy this.  
The other brand I haven't come across is Fairfield Gardens. My lip balm is made with spearmint and fennel, which is a nice twist. I will certainly use this.
The final item is a second product by The Naked Skincare Company. This is a 30ml sample of their Hydrting Balm. It contains sweet orange oil and frankincense and smells utterly delicious. I love this and will buy the full size.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Lyonsleaf Calendula Cream

Lyonsleaf Calendula Cream
Lyonsleaf is a brand I have been admiring from afar for the best part of a year. Their range of waterless balms consistently attract glowing review from bloggers whose opinion I trust and respect. Needless to say I was very pleased to get my hands on this 15ml tin in November's SoukSouk box.
 
One of the things that has drawn me to Lyonsleaf is that Ben and Vicky grow many of their ingredients on their small holding in the Mendip Hills. Their skincare products that were initially a hobby, quickly gained popularity and have become a very successful range. In terms of skincare, Lyonsleaf favour a waterless balm, allowing them to produce a concentrated formula without having to use artificial preservatives.
 
Calendula Cream is a fantastic product for anyone whose skin is dry, sore, inflamed or simply in need of a little extra care. It is naturally high in fatty acids, natural anti-inflammatories and antioxidants, as well as anti-microbial and anti-septic properties. This soothes and helps to heal sore skin.
 
A little of this rich and nourishing balm goes a long way. I have had this little pot nearly a month and used it most days, either on my own skin or my children's. I still have half of it left. For me, I use it on patches of eczema/dermatitis. It helps breaks that cycle of scratching that itch and the further damage that it causes. The Calendula Cream does a wonderful job of calming and soothing my skin, and helps to restore the skin's natural barrier. Speaking of calming, my daughter's skin is fairly sensitive, and easily flares up in a rash. Some of the creams I would use on myself, I would worry that the concentration of essential oils is a little too high for her. I have none of these concerns with the Calendula Cream and can happily report that a little of this has quickly dealt with the angry rashes she gets.
 
My boys are forever racing around, falling over and generally getting into all manner of bumps and scrapes. Again, a little of this when the skin has scabbed over seems to help them heal a little quicker and with less scarring than I would have expected. The Calendula Cream is very much a multipurpose balm, as useful in both the first aid box as it is in the bathroom cabinet.
 
I don't know how to describe the fragrance, other than to tell you that all four of us like it. I would say that it smells cool and fresh, and has a very likeable unisex fragrance. My boys in particular are very fussy and quick to vocalise their dislike of anything. A simple "it's alright" is high praise indeed from them.
 
I have been very impressed with this product, in terms of how incredibly effective it is and what good value for money it is. I am happy to use it on my own skin and that of my children and will certainly be buying a replacement when this runs out. ,
 
prunus amygdalus dulcis [cold pressed almond oil] butyrospermum parkii [organic shea butter] • prunus americana [cold pressed apricot kernel oil] • calendula officinalis • [calendula flower extract] borogo officinalis [cold pressed borage oil] tocopherol [vitamin E oil]juniperus communis [juniper essential oil] • boswellia serrata [frankincense essential oil] • lavendula angustifiolia [lavender essential oil] • pelargonium graveolens [geranium essential oil] note: the essential oils naturally contain: citral, citronellol, eugenol, geraniol, limonene, linolool
 
 

Friday, 12 December 2014

Love Lula Beauty Box December 2014.

Love Lula Beauty Box December 2014.
I have had my Love Lula Beauty Box for a day or two, but haven't had a chance to put it online. Here are my initial thoughts on this month's box.
Love Lula Beauty Box December 2014.
I am always pleased to find hand cream in my boxes. I have heard of Salcura but hadn't tried any of their products. The Hand Hydrator is a full size (75mls). This is a really good hand cream. It has a lovely spicy fragrance thanks to the essential oil of clove. I like this a lot.
A full size Dr Bronners Liquid Soap in Almond. I always have one of these on the go and Almond is one of my favourite fragrances so I am happy to receive this. 
Two lip balms by Fair Squared. I hadn't come across this brand before. Made with simple ingredients and also suitable for vegans. These are really good lip balms and are fantastic value for money. I am really impressed with these. Since there are two in our boxes one has been claimed by my daughter.
The final items are all by Estonian brand Joik. There are sachets of their Silky Facial Serum with Cranberry & Wheat germ oils and also of their Shimmering Raspberry Body Lotion. What I am most excited about is this gorgeous Citrus Bath Truffle. For me, it is the star of this month's box. It looks and smells beautiful, it's almost too pretty to use.
 
I have to confess that when I first opened my box I wasn't completely blown away by it. However, having had a few days to play with the contents I think it is a good solid box. All the products are of very good quality and are very affordable, so I am likely to repurchase in the future.
 

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Rosa Rosa Mini Trio

As many of you will know, Bodhi & Birch released their Rosa Rosa collection in Summer. Ever since I have been swooning over them, waiting until I had used up some of my stash before buying them for myself. A few weeks ago, Bodhi & Birch were running a very generous gift with purchase. One of the items included was their Rosa Rosa Mini Trio. I couldn't resist this fantastic offer and used the opportunity to stock up on the divine Flora Paridiso.
 
The Rosa Rosa collection contains a Clarifying Cleanser, a Hydrating Toner and a Daily Moisturiser. All of which can be bought individually, as a mini set or indeed as a full set.
 
Let me start by saying that the Clarifying Cleanser isn't quite like any other cleanser of this type I have tried. When I think of a clarifying cleanser I tend to associate it with oilier skins, as something to balance and regulate oil production. As someone with dry skin, this isn't usually something I would look for in my skin care products. If I am honest, I would usually avoid this type of product.
 
This is not your typical Clarifying Cleanser. Made with Rosehip oil and essential oils of Damask Rose, Orange Blossom and Camomile. It is very light and gentle on the skin. I was very impressed with how well it removed my make up and how soft my skin felt after using it. Make no mistake this is a very luxurious product. I loved how soothing this felt. I especially enjoyed taking my make up off with this after being out in the cold and the wind. The fragrance is light and floral. Like every product I have tried by Bodhi & Birch, it envelops the senses and makes it a pleasure to use. 
 
Aqua (Purified Water), Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate (from Coconut Oil), Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate (from Coconut Oil), Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate (from Coconut Oil), Lauryl Betaine, Ethylhexylglycerin, Glyceryl Caprylate, Rosa Canina (Rosehip) Fruit Oil, Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Nut) Butter, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Flower Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium) Flower Oil, Cymbopogon Martinii (Palmarosa) Oil, Anthemis Nobilis (Camomile) Flower Oil, Boswellia Carterii (Frankincense) Oil, Cananga Odorata (Ylang-Ylang) Flower Oil, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Petitgrain) Leaf Oil, Rosa Damascena (Rose) Flower Oil, Citric Acid, Geraniol*, Linalool*, Citronellol*, Limonene* * natural component of essential oils
The Hydrating Toner is exactly that. It contains Damask Rose, Orange Blossom and camomile floral waters. The fragrance of this is lighter than the other two products. This is wonderfully refreshing and does a fantastic job of preparing the skin for the next step. A gentle spritz of this aids the application of a serum, oil, or moisturiser. I think the Hydrating Toner will really come into it's own in warmer months.
 
Rosa Damascena (Rose) Floral Water*, Citrus Aurantium (Orange Blossom) Floral Water*, Glycerin, Anthemis Nobilis (Camomile) Floral Water*, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Water, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Floral Water*, Glucose, Lactoperoxidase, Glucose Oxidase * organic ingredient 
 The Daily Moisturiser has a lighter texture than I was expecting, given that it has such a nourishing formula. Made with Meadowfoam and Rosehip oil as well as Rose Otto and Neroli making it high in fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamins. From using these samples I can't comment on the long term benefit of them, but in the short term my skin looked plumper and brighter. The moisturiser absorbs quickly and gave a good base for make up during the day. It also worked well over the top of the Desert Rose Rejuvenating Face Oil at night.
 
Aqua (Purified Water), Sorbitan Stearate, Glycerin, Oleyl Erucate, Sucrose Cocoate, Rosa Canina (Rosehip) Fruit Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Nut) Butter, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Xanthan Gum, Sorbityl Laurate, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Inulin Lauryl Carbamate, Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan), Ethylhexylglycerin, Glyceryl Caprylate, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Flower Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium) Flower Oil, Cymbopogon Martinii (Palmarosa) Oil, Anthemis Nobilis (Camomile) Flower Oil, Boswellia Carterii (Frankincense) Oil, Cananga Odorata (Ylang-Ylang) Flower Oil, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Petitgrain) Leaf Oil, Rosa Damascena (Rose) Flower Oil, Citric Acid, Glucose Oxidase, Lactoperoxidase, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Benzyl Alcohol*, Citral*, Farnesol*, Benzyl Benzoate*, Citronellol*, * natural component of essential
 
The Rosa Rosa Mini Trio has lasted me just under 10 days of daily use. I think this makes them good value for money and has given me a good feel for the products and has certainly whetted my appetite for the full sized products
 
 

Monday, 8 December 2014

FOM Revitalising Hair Serum

I received this sample of Revitalising Hair Serum in a SoukSouk beauty box a good few months ago and haven't got around to reviewing it. For me, finding cleaner hair care alternatives has been one of the hardest things to get right. My hair has two issues, oily roots and dry ends, both are equally troublesome. My hair is very fine and very fussy. I am prone to dry and split ends because of the length of it. Whilst the ends cry out for moisture, most hair oils and serums have simply been to heavy. I have learned the hard way that things like coconut or argan oil just don't work for me.
 
Revitalising Hair Serum is a very light serum. It has a subtle chamomile fragrance, which although isn't my favourite, isn't strong enough to put me off. It is made with jojoba, rosehip, buritti, manketti, and passionflower oils as well as olive squaline. It delivers a big injection of moisture, without any heaviness. Most of the natural hair oils I have tried, just sit on my hair, weighing it down and leaving it greasy. I can't tell you how pleased to find something that works as well as this.
 
I have had this sample for several months and it is surprising just how far it goes. I have had chance to have a good play with it, and have been impressed with how versatile it is. I have been able to use it as a pre wash treatment. This is unheard of for me - most oils need numerous washes to get it all out. A couple of drops added to my conditioner works well, as does a few drops neat to damp hair. Revitalising Hair Serum smoothes and softens my hair, but leaves it shiny and much more manageable. Would I buy this again? I already have. 
 
Sesamum Indicum, Cocos Nucifera, Prunus Dulcis, Prunus Armeniaca, Arcum Lappa, Simmondsia Chinensis, Rosa Rubiginosa, Squalane, Sclerocarya Birrea, Mauritia flexuosa, Passiflora edulis, Ricinodendron rautanenii, Parfum (100% pure essential oils) Tocopherol, Limonene, Linalool, Graniol, Citronellol, Citral, Benzyl Benzoate, Farnesol, Eugenol, Benzyl Salicylate, Benzyl Alcohol, Iso Eugenol, naturally occurring in essential oils
 

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Living Nature Nourishing Hand Cream.

Living Nature are a company who are commited to using 100% natural ingredients, preservatives and fragrances. Founded in New Zealand in 1987 by Suzanne Hall, the complete range of products is certified natural by BDIH Germany. They are committed to producing products which are safe for the individual as well as the environment. They are very proud to say that their brand has one of the best scores on the Skin Deep Cosmetics Safety Database
 
I have been lucky enough to sample a few of their products through various beauty box subscriptions and have been impressed by the quality of their skin care products in particular. Today I thought I would share my thoughts on their Nourishing Hand Cream which I received in a recent Love Lula beauty box.
 
This hand cream is made with Jojoba oil, Macademia oil, Active Manuka honey and Larch Tree Extract. Living Nature say that their hand cream helps repair chapped hands and protects against moisture loss.
 
Nourishing Hand Cream comes in a plastic bottle and has a push cap dispenser, making the packaging pretty robust. It has survived being thrown about in my work bag, which is something metal tubes don't always manage. I love the fragrance of this. It has a sweet, almost sherbet like smell. It reminds me of the Love Heart sweets.
 
 When I looked at the ingredients list I was expecting a rich and thick cream, this couldn't be further from the truth. I was pleasantly surprised at how light Nourishing Hand Cream actually is. The light texture allows it to sink into my hands very quickly and it does leave them very soft. At the moment I have patches of contact dermatitis on my hands, and I have to say this cream isn't quite moisturising enough to tackle those areas. Those areas still feel a little tight and dry. For me, this is a hand cream which would be perfect for warmer months as I tend to need a heavy duty hand cream in Winter.
 
Nourishing Hand Cream contains very high quality ingredients and the price reflects that. Given the vast amount of hand cream I get through £16 for 50mls is more than I want to pay, so I can't see myself repurchasing it. That however is the benefit of a subscription, I get to be able to try products
I am too tight to pay full price for I would not otherwise have the opportunity to try.
 
Aqua (water), Cetearyl olivate, Sorbitan olivate, Glycerin (vegetable glycerin), Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil**, Cetyl palmitate, Sorbitan palmitate, Macadamia ternifolia seed oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glucose, Mel (manuka honey), Caryocar brasiliense (pequi) fruit oil, Galactoarabinan (larch tree gum), Parfum (fragrance)*, Glucose oxidase, Lactoperoxidase, Tocopherol (vitamin E), Leptospermum scoparium (manuka) oil. *From natural essential oils: Citral, Citronellol, Eugenol, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool. **Certified organic.
 
 
 

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Empties November 2014

I don't feel as though I have used a huge amount of products up this month, but a couple of these have been on the go for quite some time. 
Dr Bronners Liquid Soap feature fairly regularly in my empties post. This is the first time I have tried the lavender. It's nice and gentle on my skin and smells nice too. I always have a supply of Dr Bronners in the house.
 
I reviewed Josh Rosebrook Deep Nourishing Conditioner earlier in the month here and still have another sample size to use up.
 
Bodhi & Birch Jasmine Falls bath and shower therapy is one of my favourite fragrances. It's nice and gentle on the skin, gives plenty of bubbles in the bath. What's not to love. Will repurchase this again.
 
Neals Yard Remedies Geranium & Orange Hand Cream. This was a magazine freebie and was a lovely hand cream to use. Very moisturising without being heavy. I really liked the fragrance too. I think I would buy the Bee Lovely hand cream instead of this as I like that one better.
 
Aromatherapy Associates Inner Strength Bath & Shower Oil. This has featured on quite a few empties posts too. It is my favourite fragrance by Aromatherapy Associates. I have another two samples stashed and a full size too.
Argan Skin Renew by Nourish Skincare Range was sent to me to review. You can read my full thoughts here. I think this moisturiser is really good value for money. The full size has lasted me nearly 6 months, and has worked well over summer and the beginning of Winter. I do plan to buy this again when I have used up a few other products.
 
BalmBalm Rose Geranium Face Balm I used this as a cleansing balm and really liked it. It has a very subtle fragrance. This is another product that is very affordable. I have another of these to use up.
 
I absolutely loved this sample of Suti Facial Cleansing Balm and was very sad to finish it. It has a gorgeous citrus fragrance, and left my skin feeling very soft. The full size is on my wish list.
 
Odylique Avacado Replenishing Cream was great for my dry skin. It absorbed well without being too heavy or greasy. This is a really nice moisturiser and I would happily buy this again,
 
Pai Rosehip Bigenerate Oil is another product I have had on the go for months and am very sad to have finished. This is one of my favourite facial oils. It is very light. More recently I have been using it on the ends of my hair with great success. I will buy this again, but do need to use some of my other oils first.
Empties November 2014
Organic Surge Sugared Almond Shower gel. This is the first Organic Surge product I have tried and liked it. Nice and gentle on my skin and also very kind on the purse strings. I would like to try some of the other fragrances.
 
My final empties is Therapie Roques ONeil Himalayan Detox Salts is another favourite product. These are great to add to the bath at the end of a busy and stressful day. I have another couple of these mini bags to use.