Green Beauty: LoveLula Beauty Box - June 2020 review

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Green Beauty: LoveLula Beauty Box - June 2020 review
If you love discovering new green beauty products and brands, the LoveLula Beauty Box is the perfect cruelty-free subscription box for you! June's edit features some fantastic products that you can easily incorporate into your everyday routine, and with the contents being worth £63, it's an absolute bargain!

Here's what I found inside, and don't forget that you can read my reviews of previous LoveLula Beauty Boxes here.

Kathleen Natural Citrus Cheer Bubble Bath & Shower Gel
 Kathleen Natural Citrus Cheer Bubble Bath & Shower Gel (RRP £18)
I think it's safe to say that most of us could use some cheering up right about now, given the state of the world's current situation with COVID-19, so I was very happy to find this luxury Bubble Bath & Shower Gel from Kathleen Natural when I opened up the box. I've used the Tranquil Fields scent before which is great for winding down before bedtime, and this Citrus Cheer fragrance is the exact opposite as it's warming, zesty and very uplifting - perfect to use first thing in the morning if you're a night owl like I am! Suitable for all skin types, it can be used in both the bath and the shower so that everyone can enjoy its cheery goodness.

Humble By Nature Sweet Pea & Verbena Hand Cream
 Humble By Nature Sweet Pea & Verbena Hand Cream (RRP £8)
A good quality hand cream is a must-have and I love the Sweet Pea & Verbena fragrance of this particular one from Humble By Nature, which is a brand that's been created by TV presenter Kate Humble. The main concept behind her brand is to create products that you can use to spoil yourself, without spoiling the environment which is something that I can definitely get behind!

Ooh! Oils Of Heaven Plum Face Oil
Ooh! Oils Of Heaven Plum Face Oil (RRP £19)
One of the fun things about a subscription to the LoveLula Beauty Box is that every now and again, they include a brand new product and subscribers are often among the very first people to try them out. This Plum Face Oil is the latest release from Ooh! Oils Of Heaven who are a brand that I've had the pleasure of using many of their amazing products from in the past. Described as a multi-tasker, this oil is rich in Omega 9 and leaves the skin feeling silky soft so it's particularly great for dry skin types.

Elsa's Organic Skinfoods Detox Natural Deodorant
Elsa's Organic Skinfoods Detox Natural Deodorant (RRP £18)
The final product in this month's LoveLula Beauty Box is another luxury natural treat and although it's a somewhat mundane everyday product, I'm actually really excited to try it! I'm a huge fan of Elsa's Organic Skinfoods deodorants and have been recommending them to friends and family ever since I reviewed them two years ago (read my review of Elsa's here), so it's great to see the brand back with a new product.

This Detox Natural Deodorant is a super-concentrated formula that contains Activated Charcoal and Bentonite Clay to deliver all-day protection which is much more powerful than any other natural deodorant. I must admit that I do struggle to find a natural deodorant that works for me during a heatwave summer, so keep your eyes peeled on my Instagram Stories to see how I get on with this as the weather continues to warm up!

LoveLula Beauty Box* is a monthly subscription box priced at £13.95 with free postage in the UK. Visit lovelula.com to find out more.

Have you subscribed to LoveLula's Beauty Box?

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The Weekend Post: Emotional Wellness Activities for College Students #AD

Saturday, 20 June 2020

At first, we all watched movies and series about students' lives where students did nothing but have fun, drink, sometimes travel, and fall in love. Now, we see very different styles of movies and series about students' lives. Previous year Euphoria became the top series in this field, and it is rather dark, if not depressive. Of course, not every student lives through such troubles as Zendaya's character, but many of them have enough problems in college. 

Emotional wellness is something that hasn't been widely discussed previously, but now it is a raging topic. It has been proven that emotional intelligence is not less critical than cognitive intellect, and is even more important in terms of success in life. That is why, being a college student, you should prioritize your emotional wellness. Here are some actions and activities which may help with it. 

Defining what well-being looks like for you

People are different, and it is normal that well-being looks differently for them. It is related both to emotional well-being and any other kind of well-being. It would be strange to expect all the people to have the same understanding of happiness and fulfillment. People tend to look at others and think about what others have achieved. It can be very challenging to adjust your life to someone else's expectations and successes. And the main idea is that you should not do it. You should Define what well-being in many aspects looks like for you and for you only. It is not a simple task, but once you deal with that, you will be ready to move forward without getting distracted by other people's understanding of life. We don't mean that someone else's understanding is bad or wrong; we just mean that you should be first of all on your own vision.

Screening your psychological state

Once you define what emotional well-being is for you, you can move to the next stop. We don't mean this article to be a step-by-step manual, and most of the activities we offer are not interconnected rigidly. However, their first two ones are connected, and it is better to do them one by one. There are many systems that help to screen your psychological state. We cannot recommend a particular one if you are currently communicating with a specialist, ask him for an individual recommendation. However, we can recommend a PERMA model to assess your life situation. P is for positive emotion, E is for engagement, R is for relationships, M is for a meaningful existence, and A is for achievement. 

Analyzing available resources

When you watch motivational speeches on YouTube or read them in books or articles, you may stumble upon sentences Telling you that you have all the resources to achieve whatever you want. It sounds so nurturing, so reassuring, but the fact is it is not valid. Unfortunately, it is not true. We all have limited resources, and mostly they are not enough to achieve everything we want, so we need to choose wisely. But before you choose, you need to make our goal, to understand the task for which you need those resources. Later you list all those resources available and choose from them the most suitable ones for the situation. For example, you may not have resources to address a psychologist right away, but you can't talk to a college counselor or join a support group on campus. You may not have enough energy for dealing with your essays, so you can address SmartWritingService, for example, which provides students with legitimate essay writing services for professional help from time to time. Not all our resources are interchangeable, but many of them are. Don't get discouraged from the very beginning, keep digging, and you will find the resources you need to achieve the goal and make your emotional well-being more stable.

Asking for help

This part is one of the most difficult ones because, from our childhood, we are taught that we should help others, and we are not taught how to ask for help without losing self-confidence. We know how to provide help to our friends, but we are often too shy to ask directly for this help ourselves. It is an important flaw in our minds that should be overcome. Think of three major problems that influence your emotional well-being and decide on people, which theoretically can help you with them. Of course, you won't make them responsible for those changes, you're the responsible one, but you can share your struggle and ask for some help, which will make the journey easier for you. 

Adjusting your diet

It might sound surprising, but it is very difficult to guarantee emotional well-being without adjusting your diet. We are not speaking about self-esteem related to body weight or appearance, though those conceptions are still very strong in our society. We talked about the influence that food we eat has on our brain, on our emotions, on our ability to deal with daily tasks and to stay confident in our abilities. Food that is full of sugar and preservatives has a strong effect on our emotional stability. You need to cut on sugar and junk food if you want to balance your emotional well being. Excessive sugar sends you to an emotional roller coaster, and no matter how long you meditate or how good your self-awareness is, you will have mood swings, which will make you miserable sometimes. Tracking your diet, connecting it with your emotional state, and changing the diet accordingly, will hugely enhance your emotional well-being.

Emotional wellness requires an investment of time and effort. You cannot expect that the moment you start tracking your mood, everything will become significantly better in a blink. You need to build a system that will help you to maintain emotional balance. At first, it may even seem like things are going worse. It is just the same as when you want to tidy your wardrobe and start taking everything from the shelves, sorting it, and your whole room immediately looks like a mess. Not a very tidy picture, right? For the moment, it may even seem that you did all wrong, you made things worse, and it will never get tidy back again. The same feeling can hunt you on your way to emotional wellness. Just know that if you feel this way, you require just a little bit more effort before things get better.

[This is a sponsored post]

Health & Lifestyle: 5 Products To Help You Fall Asleep Faster #BestSleepEver

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Following on from last month's sleep-focussed post (read here) where three wellness experts shared their top tips for getting a better night's sleep, I've decided to round up some of my go-to bedside products that I use when I'm struggling to count those elusive sheep.

Disclaimer: Please see a GP if you're having sleep problems - below are just the products that I have been using to help my own sleep issues, but they may not all work for you.

 Neal's Yard Remedies Goodnight Pillow Mist
 Spritz On Bedlinen - Neal's Yard Remedies Goodnight Pillow Mist* (45ml, £15, link)
Pillow mists are something that used to be quite obscure many years ago but thankfully they are readily available these days thanks to growing consumer demand for natural sleep aids. I've tried a lot of different brands and one of my favourites that I frequently go back to when I'm having sleep problems is Neal's Yard Remedies Goodnight Pillow Mist. Packaged in their signature dark blue glass bottle, the mist is composed of a relaxing blend of Organic Lavender, Vetiver and Mandarin essential oils - all well known for their soothing properties. Simply spritz over pillows and bedlinen before you want to sleep and let the tranquil fragrance work its magic as you nod off.

MOA Fortifying Green Bath Potion
Take A Bath - MOA Fortifying Green Bath Potion* (100ml, £25, link)
Taking a warm bath is often mentioned in many sleep hygiene routines, and I have personally always found baths to be wonderfully relaxing, especially if you've had a particularly busy or stressful day. Baths can significantly help you to unwind and they're great for relieving aches and pains such as sore muscles from exercise. Try MOA Fortifying Green Bath Potion which is a bath oil that I often recommend to anyone who isn't keen on the traditional lavender scents. Instead, this Bath Potion is more of a herbal blend with Peppermint, Fennel, Sweet Birch and Yarrow that's both invigorating (it helps to clear and refresh the mind) and calming at the same time thanks to the physical benefits that it brings to the body. It's also ideal to use when you're feeling run down as it clears up blocked sinuses a treat - just make sure to not use too much - it's strong stuff!

Balm Balm Lavender Hand Balm
Treat Your Hands - Balm Balm Lavender Hand Balm* (60ml, £12.50, link)
Hands feeling dry due to frequent washing and using hand sanitiser all day? Give them some TLC with this ultra-rich Balm Balm Lavender Hand Balm. The perfect pot of hydrating goodness to keep on your bedside table, it has a seriously nourishing formula thanks to a blend of Shea Butter, Sunflower, Beeswax, Jojoba and Calendula oils. With added Lavender essential oil, it fits in neatly as an extra pampering step that you can do before bedtime to get you in the right frame of mind for sleep.

Try A Rollerball - Seascape Island Apothecary Soothe Oil* (8ml, £10, link)
Temple balms and oils are another handy product to have nearby when you're struggling to sleep and I sometimes re-apply them to my pulse points if I wake up in the middle of the night to help me to get back to sleep. Lots of different brands offer them and Seascape Island Apothecary Soothe Oil is definitely one to try if you want something that's instantly comforting and relaxing as it has Lavender, Bitter Orange and Mandarin Orange essential oils in a convenient rollerball. Swipe it on, breathe it in and relax.

Naturopathica CBD+ Unwind
Unwind With CBD - Naturopathica CBD+ Unwind* (30 capsules, £39.99, link)

CBD is fast becoming the go-to supplement for those who are feeling stressed and anxious, and I've written about my personal experiences with the positive benefits of taking CBD Oil in previous features on this blog. If you're not a fan of the taste of pure CBD Oil, there are lots of other ways to try it including teas, lozenges and more traditional capsules. The CBD+ Unwind capsules from wellness brand Naturopathica have been particularly useful to me, and I've been taking them for the past month to help with the heightened sense of anxiety I've been having due to the current pandemic situation. This range has been formulated to work with the body's endocannabinoid system so it contains 5mg of full-spectrum CBD to be the most effective, and the Unwind blend also includes B1, Magnesium, L-Theanine and Chamomile to further support healthy sleeping patterns.

Do you have problems sleeping?

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Introducing: Typology - Vegan, Ethical & Natural Skincare - My Personalised AM & PM Routine for Oily/Combination Skin

Sunday, 14 June 2020

Introducing: Typology - Vegan, Ethical & Natural Skincare
Launched in the UK just last month, I was very honoured to be part of a lucky few green beauty bloggers, who were sent packages from Typology to test out some of their natural skincare ahead of its release date. This is definitely a brand for serious skincare fans and I couldn't wait to try a whole new routine!

Typology describe themselves as a 'clean, genderless and 100% digital' natural skincare brand who are based in Paris, and they certainly have their eye on the prize with their current plans to expand further afield. Their mission is to promote critical thinking within the personal care spectrum whilst demystifying the skincare industry and breaking a couple of rules along the way, so you can see why they grabbed my attention as soon as I received an email introducing me to the brand.

Created by Ning Li, founder of MADE.com, Typography has 'future cult status' written all over it. From their ethical and vegan-friendly credentials, effective and active natural ingredients, to a strong commitment to sustainability and of course, that super sleek and chic aesthetic, Typography is a brand that's easy to fall in love with from the get-go.

Introducing: Typology - Vegan, Ethical & Natural Skincare
My Personal Prescription with Typography
After answering a couple of questions about my skin, highlighting any specific concerns that I currently have, a personal prescription was quickly drawn up and this involves all of the products that I was very kindly sent to test out. The prescription card went into detail about my skin diagnosis to help me understand why the products had been chosen and I feel this was an excellent introduction to the way that the brand works overall, and would be most helpful to consumers to better educate them about their skin. 

My main skin concerns at the moment are balancing my oily/combination type, reducing breakouts, blemishes, redness and inflammation, and protecting the natural skin barrier against oxidative stressors such as pollution. 

AM Routine
My AM routine prescription consisted of just three products; a cleansing bar, hydrolate toner and a specific serum based on my menstrual cycle.

Typology Solid Purifying Cleansing Bar* (100g, £11.80, link)
It's been a while since I've used a solid cleansing bar to wash my face as I automatically gravitate towards gel and cream cleansers, so trying a bar was a pleasant change from the norm. This Purifying Cleansing Bar is made from 100% natural ingredients and features cold-saponified plant-based oils and fats to create the soap. These include a blend of Organic Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, Sunflower Oil and Shea Butter (great for soothing, repairing, softening and nourishing the skin), plus purifying actives of Organic Eucalyptus and Spearmint Essential Oils and Organic Nettle Powder which reduce the size of the sebaceous glands, regulates sebum production, heals damaged skin and helps to balance it overall. It's easy to use - just wet and lather by the sink or in the shower and rinse off. My skin felt thoroughly refreshed and clean without the usual tightness or dryness that sometimes occurs from using purifying cleansers.

Typology Organic Peppermint Hydrolate* (100ml, £8.80, link)
I followed up with a reusable cotton pad that had been soaked in the Organic Peppermint Hydrolate and this is one of the most invigorating and refreshing products I've ever used on my face! Distilled from Organic Peppermint Leaves (derived from the Lamiaceae family that's native to France), the Hydrolate is a wonderfully simplistic but effective toner which has natural purifying and astringent properties to help tighten pores and keep sebum in check. It also helps to soothe any inflammation or redness, but as always, do remember to do a patch test first if you have sensitive skin.

Typology Woman Serums
The third and final step of my prescribed AM routine was to use a serum from Typology's Periodic Woman Serums* (4 x 15ml, £44.90) - a clever pack of four serums which have been designed to be used during different weeks of your menstrual cycle like so:-
  • Week 1: Hydrating and Soothing Serum
  • Main active ingredients: hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, bisabolol and cornflower floral water. 89% naturally-derived.

  • Week 2: Suppleness and Radiance Serum
  • Main active ingredients: vitamin C and fruit acids (blueberry, lemon and orange). 88% naturally-derived.

  • Week 3: Hydrating and Astringent Serum
  • Main active ingredients: sugar extracted from wheat and ginger extract. 91% naturally-derived.

  • Week 4: Mattifying and Anti-Blemish Serum
  • Main active ingredients: seaweed extract and zinc. 89% naturally-derived.

I've been particularly interested in these serums as my skin definitely goes through noticeable changes during my cycle, so it makes a lot of sense to use a specific product to address these differences. I tried them out for a full month and found that they did work incredibly well - especially during weeks 3 & 4 when my skin tends to start having a tantrum and breaking out. Each serum absorbs quickly and produced the results from what they say on the label - perfect! I would highly recommend these to all menstruating women and it's certainly made me consider how I should change up my skincare routine throughout my cycle to better support my complexion. It's worth mentioning that you only need one drop per application so these bottles will last a good while.


Typology Skincare routine review
PM Routine
Moving onto my evening skincare routine, Typology prescribed a micellar water and three different types of serums to address my skin's concerns. I could then finish up with my regular moisturiser.

Typology 7 Ingredient Micellar Water* (200ml, £12.80, link)
I've always liked micellar waters, ever since they became hugely popular, but I've mainly used them to just remove waterproof makeup or as a quick first cleanse before using a cream or balm cleanser. So the thought of only using a micellar water in the evenings was a little strange to me as I'm so used to my double cleanses! That said, this 7 Ingredient Micellar Water worked a charm and removed all traces of daily grime and makeup, and it didn't sting my eyes or dry out my skin. It's fragrance-free and suitable for sensitive skin.  

Typology Hyaluronic Acid 3% + 2% B5 Serum* (15ml, £11.80, link)
On evenings where my skin was craving some extra moisture, I applied the Hyaluronic Acid 3% + 2% B5 Serum, which is suitable for all skin types and has a fresh gel-like texture. I always get on with anything that has Hyaluronic Acid in as it's amazing for locking in moisture for longer and this married well with the B5 in the formula helps the skin to stay perfectly hydrated until the next day.

Typology Bakuchiol 1% Serum* (15ml, £14.80, link)
Ideal for oily skin that's prone to acne and breakouts, the Bakuchiol 1% Serum is a must-have for controlling fussy skin. Rich in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, Bakuchiol is a popular anti-blemish ingredient and has been regularly used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. It works by targeting the bacteria that gets lodged in the sebum of the pores, helping to prevent the blemish from developing further. It's also useful for repairing skin damage and reducing the appearance of scars. I really love this serum and it's something that I'll definitely continue to use more of in the future.

Typology Salicyclic Acid 2% + Zinc 1% Serum* (15ml, £19.80, link)
Finally, I applied a little of the Salicyclic Acid 2% + Zinc 1% Serum to any blemishes that were already gracing my complexion and I was very pleased to see a huge reduction after just the first use. This serum is fantastic as a localised spot treatment to use as and when blemishes pop up, and it's another product that I highly recommend to have in your skincare stash if you have oily/combination skin. 

Extras
The more I looked into Typology, the more I discovered and realised how vast their product range is, and I was thrilled to find these extras in my skincare package. There were two Perfume Discovery Sets* (£8.80 each, link) with some gorgeous fresh floral and citrusy scents (the Pamplemousse Petit Grain and Yuzu are new faves), and their popular 9 Ingredient Lip Balm* (15ml, £9.80, link) which is packed full of nourishing plant-based actives with nothing unnecessary or artificial added.

Overall Thoughts
Typology is obviously a brand for ardent skincare lovers and savvy consumers who want natural and effective products. But it's also a brand that can be embraced by those new to skincare as their informative website is full of advice about how to build a routine that suits your skin type and the online shop makes it easy to find products to address your skin concerns. It reminds me of a more streamlined and simplified luxury version of The Ordinary, but with better ingredients, more ethics and none of the drama.

Discover the full range at uk.typology.com

What would you like to try from Typology?

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Foodie Friday: Ombar Organic Raw Chocolate - Super Choc Bundle review

Friday, 12 June 2020

Ombar Organic Raw Chocolate - Super Choc Bundle review
Getting a treat delivered through the post has been one of the few highlights of being in lockdown and a great way to lift your mood when everything seems so overwhelming. Like many, I've used this time to support some of my favourite ethical and independent businesses and this month, I decided to treat myself to Ombar's Super Choc Bundle

If you haven't tried Ombar before, please read this review as fast as humanly possible and put in your order online for one of their Super Choc Bundles - you won't regret it!

Ombar Organic Raw Chocolate - Super Choc Bundle review
Ombar are the crème de la crème of dairy-free chocolate. From the first moment that you savour their impossibly rich and creamy creation, you'll instantly fall in love. Not only is their chocolate vegan-friendly, gluten-free and organic, it's also fair trade (purchasing direct from farmer's co-ops in Ecuador) and made with raw cacao with zero refined sugar. But Ombar doesn't taste like a regular 'healthy' chocolate at all, neither does it taste like a typical dairy-free one. How do they do it then?

Firstly, the use of raw cacao means that there are more polyphenols (the super healthy compounds found in cacao and other plant-based ingredients) in each bar which you won't find in cacao that's been heated at high temperatures or roasted. Secondly, as there's no refined sugar present, the sweetness of the chocolate comes from a little added Coconut Sugar, whilst Creamed Coconut replaces traditional milk solids for a smooth and silky texture. Finally, each Ombar is packed with billions of live cultures (Lactobacillus Acidophilus) for a tasty dose of gut-friendly bacteria.

Ombar is a 'superfood chocolate' and each bar provides a source of Maganese which helps to protect your cells from oxidative stress.

And it's utterly delicious! With 14 flavours to choose from, I knew I had to treat myself to a Super Choc Bundle where you can build your own box of Ombars and choose 8 flavours to try.

Ombar Organic Raw Chocolate - Super Choc Bundle review
What's In My Box?

Ombar Coco Mylk
Coco Mylk is Ombar's lightest and creamiest mylk chocolate - perfect for those who want dairy-free chocolate but aren't a fan of the dark stuff. With 55% raw Cacao, it has a delectable melt-in-the-mouth texture and the natural coconut flavouring comes through the strongest with this one.

Ombar Strawberry Mylk
Coco Mylk's fruity little sister Strawberry Mylk has all the coconutty goodness with a zingy Strawberry flavour blended throughout. It's literally like your favourite childhood strawberry milkshake in bar form - absolute summer heaven.

Ombar Coco 60% 
Coco 60% takes the raw Cacao count up to 60% so that you get a deeper chocolatey flavour than Coco Mylk. I really enjoy a piece of this to satisfy my sweet tooth after dinner and with such a rich taste, it's a good one to properly savour.

Ombar Mandarin
Orange chocolate is a classic flavour combination and it doesn't get better than Ombar Mandarin. Smooth and dark with tangy Mandarin and a pinch of tart Cranberry to help zing it up further, this is the one to try if you think you don't like dark chocolate.

Ombar Organic Raw Chocolate - Super Choc Bundle review
Ombar Centres Pistachio
The Ombar Centres bars are a truly special creation and each one has a smooth filling sandwiched between two layers of 60% dark chocolate. As you can see, I chose two of the Pistachio flavour as it's my current favourite and one was just not enough! I could actually eat a whole box of these as that subtle nutty Pistachio centre is to die-for.

Ombar Centres Raspberry & Coconut
Raspberry & Coconut is another fruity and creamy flavour that reminds me of Wimbledon and lazy summer days. The balance of the slightly tangy Raspberry is spot on with the creamy Coconut for a match made in summertime heaven (or all year round, it's that good).

Ombar Centres Coconut & Vanilla
Finally, my last choice was Coconut & Vanilla from the Centres range. I find that it's one of the more sweeter offerings from Ombar and it really hits the spot when I want a really indulgent and creamy bar of chocolate.

Ombar Super Choc Bundle is £12.74 (8 x 35g bars of your choice) with free UK P&P - ombar.co.uk

Have you tried Ombar?

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Natural Skincare: 6 Great Oils for Rejuvenating Tired Skin #AD

Tuesday, 9 June 2020

Taking care of our skin is essential for it to remain fresh, clear, and young for as long as possible. There are many skin products available to us. Trying to find the right products to rejuvenate tired skin can be overwhelming due to the sheer volume of choice out there. Understanding your skin type will help condense down the options to products that would work well for you. One product you should consider using is skin oil. Many people get worried about trying skin oils, as they think it will lead to breakouts and that they are unnecessary. However, skin oils could actually reduce the number of skin products you use and your skin will look and feel better, which will lessen your need for makeup. If you are interested in using skin oils, then here are 6 great oils for rejuvenating tired skin. 

Squalane Oil

Squalane oil is derived from olives. This product helps to restore the skin’s natural moisture barrier and refine its texture. The nutrients within the oil help to boost elasticity and diminish discolorations, making your skin look fresher and rejuvenated in return. To get the most out of this product, be sure to use a pure Squalane oil, as this will be gentle on your skin and most effective. 

Marula Oil

The South African Marula fruit is where Marula oil comes from. Marula oil contains a high amount of Vitamin C, which means it is packed full of antioxidants. These can help fight free radicals that cause harm to our skin and trigger the visible signs of aging. This product is particularly good for people who are interested in fighting the signs of aging, like discoloration, fine lines, sun damage and spots. 

Coconut Oil

If you buy beauty products for your hair or skin, then you will be familiar with coconut oil. This oil is rich in fatty acids, which have antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Coconut oil makes your skin feel instantly soft when applied directly to it and it can prevent your skin from losing any moisture. Keeping your skin well moisturized is key for maintaining a healthy and fresh appearance. 

Jojoba Oil

Technically jojoba oil is a wax ester, but its molecular consistency is similar to that of sebum, which is the oil that is produced from your skin. This can trick your skin into thinking it is oilier than it is, which reduces excess oil production. Excess oil production can lead to blemishes and unhealthy-looking skin. Jojoba oil retains its nourishing properties for a longer amount of time compared to other oils. 

Maracuja Oil

Not many people are familiar with maracuja oil, but it is a great product that people should be aware of. This oil comes from the passionflower plant or the seed of the passion fruit. It is lightweight and non-greasy, making it suitable for all skin types. It absorbs quickly and is a brilliant moisturizer. This oil naturally fights against stress, anxiety, and insomnia, which can have damaging effects on our skin

Grape-Seed Oil

Grape-seed oil is extracted from the grape plant. The seeds are rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, which end up in the oil, making it a great product for fighting against acne. When this product is applied to your skin on a daily basis, after a few weeks, you will notice a reduced appearance of dark circles underneath the eyes, which will make you look fresh-faced and healthy.

Skin oils are extremely effective and versatile. They may confuse your skin and increase blemishes to start off with, but over time, once your skin has settled, you will see that using skin oils was the best decision you ever made.

[This is a guest post]

New In Beauty: Lavera Gloss & Shine Shampoo and Conditioner review

Saturday, 6 June 2020

Lavera Gloss & Shine Shampoo and Conditioner review
It's not always easy to find cruelty-free natural haircare that contains certified organic ingredients, is suitable for vegans and is affordable, but Lavera has managed to tick a lot of boxes with their new and innovative haircare formulas.

I often get asked about affordable natural haircare brands and usually struggle to recommend products which have good 'green' credentials, are effective and don't cost an arm and a leg to buy, so I was thrilled to discover the new ranges that Lavera have recently brought out which are priced at a very reasonable £6.95 per bottle.

The new ranges available cover all of the main haircare concerns such as dull and lifeless hair, greasy roots, dry and damaged hair, as well as a duo specially formulated to protect colour treated hair, and there's even one for all hair types that the whole family can use.

My hair is quite fussy as it can get greasy and dry at the same time, however, thanks to the lockdown, I've had the extra time to be able to give it some TLC with more at-home treatments and masks, so for the first time in a long time, it's been feeling in pretty good shape (but it could use a cut like everyone else right now!). One area that my hair does struggle with is dullness though, which is where the new Lavera Gloss & Shine Shampoo and Conditioner comes in to lend a helping hand.

A note on the plastic bottles: these are made from 100% recycled milk, juice and water bottles, which can then be recycled again.

Lavera Gloss & Shine Shampoo and Conditioner review
Lavera Gloss & Shine Shampoo* (250ml, £6.95, link)
The Gloss & Shine range aims to bring back a healthy shine to dull hair with a mild and biodegradable 100% natural formula. Free from a whole host of 'nasties' such as silicones, SLS, SLES, parabens, mineral oil, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, preservatives and GMO ingredients, I was pleasently surprised by how well this Shampoo was able to remove product build-up and thoroughly cleanse my scalp, without leaving it feeling stripped or dry. It creates a gentle lather and thanks to key ingredients like Organic Quinoa and Organic Avocado Oil, I found it helped to make my unruly hair much more manageable as it was easier to comb through afterwards and felt a lot softer overall. Fellow fine hair owners will also appreciate the light formula which doesn't weigh your delicate hair down. Plus the slightly larger 250ml bottle is ideal for those who have shorter hair or regularly use treatments and masks after shampooing.

Lavera Gloss & Shine Conditioner* (200ml, £6.95, link)
The matching 100% natural Gloss & Shine Conditioner is the perfect partner to the shampoo, making this a worthy duo to try out together. Like the shampoo, it has a pleasant fresh scent with a good consistency - it's neither too thin or too thick to keep fussy Goldilocks hair happy. I left it on as instructed for a couple of minutes before rinsing and then left my hair to air dry naturally to see how it felt. Whilst I wasn't blown away by mega glossy results (I feel you can only really achieve that look with lots of silicones), I can say it definitely helped to add a nice shine to my usually dull looking dark brown hair, and my hair felt silky soft and more manageable with less frizz, which is always a bonus in my book! 

Shop the full range of new haircare from Lavera at pravera.co.uk

Have you tried anything from Lavera before?

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May Empties: Products I've Used Up

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

May Empties: Products I've Used Up
Ready for another Empties round-up? Here's a basketful of products that I've used up recently, plus my thoughts on the ones that I'll be repurchasing again and which ones will be staying permanently in the recycling bin.

This Works Light Time Cleanse & Glow (travel size)
Given the current lockdown situation, I've been going through my minis stash and unearthing some forgotten gems such as this gorgeous Vitamin C infused treatment from This Works. Ideal for to use whenever your skin needs a brightening pick me up, Light Time Cleanse & Glow gets to work in just one minute to deliver an instant result. Repurchase? I have a few more of these minis to use but will definitely purchase the full-size when they're all gone!

REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask (travel size)
If you're looking for another active ingredient to include in your skincare routine to bring more radiance and glow to your skin, definitely try Glycolic Acid. It's easy to find as the superstar ingredient in REN's Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask and I've been using this for years (check out one of my reviews from back in 2015 here). Repurchase? Absolutely.

Trilogy Pure Plant Body Oil
Whenever my eczema flares up, I swap over whichever body moisturiser I'm using to a fragrance-free one and I love this Trilogy Pure Plant Body Oil which has a simple blend of beneficial natural ingredients such as Rosehip, Sweet Almond and Apricot Oils. Absorbs quickly and is great for massage. Repurchase? Yes.

PHB Lavender Natural Soap*
Lovely 100% natural soap bar that's made without Palm Oil. Creates a gentle and soothing lather without any SLS so I've been using this in the shower. If you like Lavender scents, this is the soap for you! Repurchase? I have some other soaps to use up first but I'll happily buy from PHB again.

Merci Handy Hand Cleansing Gel in Coco Rico
Pretty self-explanatory right? I'm a big fan of these Merci Handy Hand Gels because they don't dry out my hands as much as other hand sanitisers do and they smell incredible. Coco Rico is basically summer in a bottle! Repurchase? I bought a multi-pack so I have a few other scents to try out.

May Empties: Products I've Used Up
Odacité BI + C Serum Concentrate
My skin has been a little fussy during the lockdown but this serum treatment from Odacité has managed to keep blemishes and breakouts under control. You can either add a few drops to your day or night moisturiser or apply it directly onto spots and problem areas for a more intensive treatment which is generally how I prefer to use it. Repurchase? Yes.

CHOBS Aloe Face Mask*
I don't tend to use a lot of sheet masks these days, however, I did thoroughly enjoy the soothing benefits of this CHOBS Aloe Face Mask which felt amazing on my skin after a long day in the sun. I kept it in the fridge beforehand and it was literally heaven when I applied it! Repurchase? Tempted.

Organii Facial Sun Cream SPF 15*
This is a bit of a weird one as I used it mainly over the Winter months (I feel that SPF 15 isn't enough during Summer) and although I initially liked it, I've found the texture to be much too thick and greasy to use in the warmer weather so I'm glad it's been used up. Repurchase? I've since found other sunscreens that I prefer over this so I wouldn't buy it again.

A'kin Organic Rosehip Oil*
One of the best Rosehip Oils out there, I've gone through so many bottles of these over the years and always have one on the go somewhere! I tend to use it once or twice a week in the evenings and find that it works particularly well when rotated with other facial oils and treatments. Repurchase? Yes.

Origins VitaZing SPF 15
My last Empty for this round-up is another long-time favourite of mine - the much loved and hyped Origins VitaZing SPF 15. It's a brilliant tinted moisturiser which I use all-year-round when I don't fancy wearing a full face of foundation and the coverage is actually much better than what you might think from a typical tinted moisturiser. Repurchase? I'm using one from Tropic at the moment so we'll see if that's better or not!


P.S - How To Recycle Your Beauty Empties!
All of the glass and easy-to-recycle plastic PET empties will be put into my council's blue bin kerbside recycling scheme, but for the harder-to-recycle stuff, I will be:-
  • Recycling the pumps, atomisers and face mask sachets with Neal's Yard Remedies - more info at the bottom of their website here.
  • Recycling any other products that my local council doesn't accept, such as flexible plastic tubes at The Body Shop, L'Occitane or with Garnier's Terracycle partnership - more info here.

What have you used up recently?

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