Foodie Friday: Fresh Lemon, Ginger Root & Star Anise Tea #WinterWellness

Friday, 7 December 2018

Fresh Lemon, Ginger & Star Anise Tea #WinterWellness
Christmas is perhaps one of the worst times to be struck down with a cold or flu bug, so give your immune system a boost with this antioxidant-rich drink. A great way to energize your morning and a lovely little Winter Warmer at the same time!

Have you ever noticed the abundance of Vitamin C-rich fruits that appear during Winter? Whilst I miss all of the juicy berries of Summer, there are plenty of fruits that are seasonal at this time of the year, and all of them will help to ensure that you're getting your daily dose of Vitamin C from a natural source. From fresh Oranges and stocking-stuffer Clementines, to crisp Apples and zingy Lemons, Mother Nature has got your back when it comes to fighting off those cold and flu bugs.

In addition to Vitamin C, other antioxidants can play an important role in keeping you healthy and on top form this Christmas, and one of the original superfoods is Ginger Root. Ginger has been used for centuries as a natural remedy to improve digestion and keep the common cold at bay, thanks to the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that are found in its main bioactive compound, Gingerol. Best of all, fresh Ginger Root is easy to find at most mainstream supermarkets and even cheaper to buy from a local Asian / world food store. 

Another beneficial spice to look out for is the antioxidant-rich Star Anise which has compounds of Thymol, Terpineol and Anethole, all of which help to ward off the flu and keeps your digestion system working properly.

Fresh Lemon, Ginger & Star Anise Tea #WinterWellness
As Christmas is a time of indulgence, this Fresh Lemon, Ginger Root & Star Anise Tea can soothe an upset stomach, reduce any minor feelings of nausea, prevent constipation as it gets your digestive system going, and it gives your immune system a boost, all at the same time. See why I like it so much?!

Ingredients: (for 1)
  • 2 Slices of Fresh Lemon (unwaxed and organic if possible)
  • 1 Slice of Fresh Ginger Root
  • 1 Star Anise

Method:
  • Boil water in a kettle and allow to cool for about 30 seconds.
  • Place the ingredients into a heatproof mug or glass, pour over the water and allow to infuse for 5 minutes.
  • Drink immediately - enjoy!

What's your favourite Winter Wellness drink?

Christmas Gift Guide: Organiqua Hemper For Her Set review

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Organiqua Hemper For Her Set review
If you want to support more independent businesses this Christmas, why not pick up one of these Hemper sets from Organiqua? Perfect for anyone who is a fan of organic and natural skincare!

You probably won't have heard of Organiqua yet, as they are a brand new cruelty-free, British skincare company. Based in West Sussex, they specialise in organic hemp-based skincare which I've always found to be beneficial for my dry and eczema prone skin, especially at this time of the year when the weather gets colder.

All of Organiqua's products are 100% vegan, organic and natural, and all of their packaging is also 100% recyclable and/or biodegradable which is great to see. They have a small range of products available at the moment, and you can discover everything that they have to offer in one of their super convenient Hemper Sets (there's one for Her which contains a Hair Oil, and one for Him that features a Beard Oil instead).

I was kindly sent the ladies Hemper set below which is a lovely introduction to the brand and packed full of pampering treats to see you through the Winter months!

Here's a run-through of what's inside:-

Organiqua Hemper For Her Set review
Organiqua Bath Bomb Set

Indulge in a bath (or two!) over the festive season with this SLS-free Bath Bomb Set which comprises of two different bathing experiences. The Hemp, Lemon & Lime Bath Bomb is an uplifting and zesty little number that's perfect for an awakening morning bath, whilst the Hemp & Ylang Ylang is on the opposite side of the spectrum as it's more relaxing and floral which is ideal for an evening soak in the tub. I love both of these!

Organiqua Hemper For Her Set review
Organiqua Body Butter Bar & Lip Balm

After your bath, you can treat your skin further by applying the Body Butter Bar all over. This solid slab of moisturising heaven gently melts into your skin when you massage it in thanks to a hydrating formula of Organic Shea Nut Butter, Cocoa Butter, Candelilla Wax, Hemp Oil, Coconut Oil, Vitamin E Oil, Sweet Almond Oil and Rosehip Oil. Vanilla and Sweet Orange essential oils have also been added to the bar to give it a fresh and delicious natural scent which I adore.

For lips, there's the Lip Balm which comes in a handy pocket-sized tin that's easily recyclable after use. Slide it open and you'll find a smooth balm that's made with several natural organic ingredients that include Organic Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter, Hemp Oil and Coconut Oil, as well as Peppermint essential oil for a minty fresh flavour.

Organiqua Hemper For Her Set review
Organiqua Hair Oil & Face Cream

To complete your pampering routine, you can give yourself a full head and scalp massage with Organiqua's Hair Oil. Packed full of nourishing plant-based oils such as Organic Hemp Oil, Argan Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Frankincense, Lavender and Vitamin E, this product can be used to help strengthen damaged hair, whilst giving dry hair all the essential moisture that it needs to look glossy and healthy again. A brilliant overnight treatment for parched lengths and ends, you only need a few drops per application so this bottle should last you a long time!

The last product in the set is a Face Cream and it's the only item that I didn't personally get on with because it's a very rich moisturiser that would be better suited for dry or mature skin types. If that sounds like you, you'll love this pot of hydrating goodness, and if it isn't, perhaps gift it to your mum or gran?

Organiqua Hemper For Her set is £40 and available from organiqua.com

Do you use any hemp-based skincare?

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Luxury Mid-Week Pamper Treats: Laboratoire du Haut-Ségala - Neck & Shoulders Oil, Anti-Stretch Marks Oil and Muscle Recovery Oil review

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Laboratoire du Haut-Ségala - Neck & Shoulders Oil, Anti-Stretch Marks Oil and Muscle Recovery Oil review
Neck feeling tense? Shoulders stiff and tight? Whether you've been hunched over at your desk for too long or you've been hitting that Hot Yoga class a little too hard recently, it's time to give your body some much needed TLC with the help of Laboratoire du Haut-Ségala.

Laboratoire du Haut-Ségala is a cruelty-free, French natural and organic skincare brand which mainly specialises in pure, cold-pressed plant oil-based products (although they do a lovely range of toners and floral waters as well which are not to be missed!). They have a strong wellbeing ethos that fits perfectly with their eco-friendly approach to skincare, and all of their products are Ecocert certified

Their formulas have been reworked from traditional and age-old skincare recipes, meaning that everything is as natural and simplistic as possible, whilst still being incredibly effective for the health and wellbeing of the skin. Needless to say, you won't find any 'nasties', preservatives or synthetic fragrances in anything that they offer. 

I've used body care oils for years, so I was keen to try some from Laboratoire du Haut-Ségala for a little luxury self-care pampering this week.

Laboratoire du Haut-Ségala - Neck & Shoulders Oil, Anti-Stretch Marks Oil and Muscle Recovery Oil review
Laboratoire du Haut-Ségala Neck & Shoulders Oil* (100ml, £28.95, link)
I'm one of those people who carries a lot of tension and stress in my neck and shoulders, so this product was literally made for someone like me, and it is an absolute godsend! This dedicated oil is super relaxing and soothing with a blend of Organic Arnica and St John's Wort to help relieve all those niggling symptoms of daily stress and anxiety that build up in the neck and shoulders. There's also Organic Lavender, Orange, Wintergreen and Chamomile essential oils to further soothe and relax the muscles, and I love the handy rollerball that makes applying it so quick and easy.

Laboratoire du Haut-Ségala Anti-Stretch Marks Oil* (100ml, £27, link)
Give your body a confidence boost with this Anti-Stretch Marks Oil. Not only has it been specially developed to help reduce the overall appearance of stretch marks (both existing older, and newer ones), but it keeps the skin hydrated and smoother for longer with a nourishing composition of Organic Prickly Pear Flower, Jojoba Oil, Calophylle Oil and Centella Asiatic extract.  Skin is left feeling much firmer with improved elasticity so it's perfect for those 'wobbly' bits! Please note this oil isn't suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Laboratoire du Haut-Ségala Muscle Recovery Oil* (100ml, £28.50, link)
Finally, the product that I've been using the most often recently has been the Muscle Recovery Oil and it's been coming in so useful to use after a yoga or pilates session. Like the Neck & Shoulders Oil, this also has a convenient rollerball which makes it easy to apply to help soothe sore and tired muscles all over the body. It's formulated with a range of beneficial natural ingredients such as Organic Arnica Oil, Harpagophytum extract, Rosemary and Lavender essential oils to relax and ease muscle tension, and it can also be used pre-workout to help prevent muscle spasms. I found the oil to be nourishing, non-sticky/greasy, and easily absorbed like all of the other Laboratoire du Haut-Ségala products above.

Are you a fan of wellbeing body care oils?

Christmas Gift Guide: RMS Beauty Limited Edition Wild With Desire Mini Lipstick Set 2018 - Review & Swatches

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

RMS Beauty Limited Edition Wild With Desire Mini Lipstick Set 2018 - Review & Swatches
I took advantage of a few Black Friday deals this year and I couldn't pass up the new Limited Edition Mini Lipstick Set from RMS Beauty which I spotted online last month. It's gorgeous!

RMS Beauty is one of the most covetable and luxurious makeup brands in the green beauty world. Actually, scrap that, they're incredibly popular in the mainstream as well, being a regularly featured favourite amongst many celebrity makeup artists, A-list Hollywood actresses and supermodels. The woman behind the brand, Rose-Marie Swift (hence the 'RMS'), is a renowned celebrity make-up artist herself and developed the company because she wanted to use products that were not only cruelty-free, but that had formulas which were certified organic and made from raw and natural ingredients.

I've had the pleasure of trying many RMS products over the years and I particularly love their Un Cover-Up (a thick and creamy concealer and foundation in one), and the brand's beautiful cream highlighters and Lip2Cheek pots (see some of my favourite shades in the Mod Palette here). Late last year, RMS launched their Wild With Desire Lipsticks and I fell even more in love! 

RMS Beauty Limited Edition Wild With Desire Mini Lipstick Set 2018 - Review & Swatches
RMS Beauty Limited Edition Wild With Desire Mini Lipstick Set 2018 - Review & Swatches
Naturally, when I saw that they had released a special Limited Edition Mini Lipstick Set just in time for Christmas, I had to get my hands on one. The set features five mini lipsticks which showcase two of RMS' bestsellers, Temptation and Jezebel, alongside three BRAND NEW and EXCLUSIVE shades; Unmistakable, Masquerade and Nightfall.

The RMS Beauty Wild With Desire Lipsticks has a classic satin finish to them which apply smoothly on the lips. They are seriously pigmented (one swipe is all you need to reach full opacity), so the darker shades, in particular, will need some extra care and attention to apply - I'd recommend using a lip liner and a lip brush to get the best results with those ones.

I don't find these lipsticks all that moisturising, despite the fact that the formula is enriched with RMS Beauty Oil, nor I do I find them particularly drying - they're somewhere in between for me. However, I've seen other bloggers mention that they feel on the drying side for them, so you may want to use a lip balm underneath if you have very dry lips. Performance wise, I consider these to be a lot longer lasting than other natural lipsticks that I've tested out in the past, and you'll need touch-ups for the darker colours after eating and drinking, although they do leave a pretty stain behind.

Right then, who wants to see some swatches?!

RMS Beauty Wild With Desire Lipstick in Unmistakable
RMS Beauty Wild With Desire Lipstick in Unmistakable
Starting off with the lightest shade, Unmistakable is one of the three new and exclusive shades in this set and it's a straight-up pale nude with a light beige undertone. I was initially concerned that this was going to wash me out too much when I first applied it, but it's perhaps the palest nude that I can probably get away with wearing. It looks stunning with a dramatic smokey eye and is a good one to go for if you're into those classic KimK colours.

RMS Beauty Wild With Desire Lipstick in Temptation
RMS Beauty Wild With Desire Lipstick in Temptation
Spoiler alert: I already have this shade Temptation and love it to bits! You can clearly see why it's one of RMS' bestsellers can't you? It's the most perfect every day, pinky-mauve that just goes with everything and I've recommended this colour to so many people who tell me it's become a new favourite for them. If you only buy one shade from RMS, make it this one.

RMS Beauty Wild With Desire Lipstick in Masquerade
RMS Beauty Wild With Desire Lipstick in Masquerade
I don't usually reach for such vibrant pinks, but new shade Masquerade has really grown on me. It's surprisingly wearable and has 'Summer Holiday' written all over it - I want to take it to the beach pronto! This cool-toned pink will instantly brighten up your complexion and it gives your lips a juicy pout that makes them look fuller and more youthful.

RMS Beauty Wild With Desire Lipstick in Jezebel
RMS Beauty Wild With Desire Lipstick in Jezebel
Jezebel has been on my makeup wishlist for ages, so I was thrilled to see it included in this set. It's as beautiful as I was hoping it would be, and has such a rich blackberry-red colour that's ideal for the festive season and beyond. The perfect shade to wear on Christmas Day? Quite possibly!

RMS Beauty Wild With Desire Lipstick in Nightfall
RMS Beauty Wild With Desire Lipstick in Nightfall
The fifth and final shade is called Nightfall and it's my personal favourite of the set. I can't get enough of these deep vampy colours for Winter and Nightfall ticks all of the right boxes. A drop-dead gorgeous, dark cranberry colour with a killer '90s brown undertone and the pigmentation is insane - it's so intense and rich!

RMS Beauty Limited Edition Wild With Desire Mini Lipstick Set 2018 - Review & Swatches
From L-R: Unmistakable, Temptation, Masquerade, Jezebel and Nightfall

RMS Beauty Limited Edition Wild With Desire Mini Lipstick Set is £33 (link) and is available from various retailers whilst stocks last.

Have you tried anything from RMS Beauty?

Introducing: Simply Soaps - Hedgerow Herbals Queen Of Sheeba Organic Spa Salt & Milk Bath, Orange Lip Salve & Handmade Geranium Rose Balancing Soap review

Monday, 3 December 2018

Simply Soaps - Hedgerow Herbals Queen Of Sheeba Organic Spa Salt & Milk Bath, Orange Lip Salve & Handmade Geranium Rose Balancing Soap review
This week, I'd like to introduce you all to Simply Soaps, a British 100% natural and organic skincare company with a strong passion for supporting organic and local agriculture.

Established back in 1997, Simply Soaps have been in the organic beauty business for nearly 20 years - which is very impressive, especially when you think of how many independent companies have gone bust during that time. Based in Norfolk, they have gone from strength to strength and are now one of the UK's leading suppliers of 100% organic and natural handmade soaps. 

With formulas that are gentle enough for those who have dry skin, psoriasis and eczema, you won't find any 'nasties' such as Phthalates, Parabens, Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, Sodium Laureth Sulphate, DEA, TEA, MEA or Formaldehyde in their products, and they carefully source their ingredients to help support local farmers and fair trade suppliers. 

Simply Soaps offer far than just handcrafted soaps though as you'll soon see below! Here are a couple of products that I've been trying out from them.

Simply Soaps - Hedgerow Herbals Queen Of Sheeba Organic Spa Salt & Milk Bath review
Simply Soaps Hedgerow Herbals Queen Of Sheeba Organic Spa Salt & Milk Bath* (100g, £3.95, link)

Like Cleopatra, the legendary stories about the Queen Of Sheeba indulging in milk baths to keep her skin rejuvenated and looking younger for longer, have always appealed to me (I mean, who doesn't love a luxury bath every now and again?!). Simply Soaps have tapped into this cult history and created a decadent addition to every woman's bathroom with the Queen Of Sheeba Organic Spa Salt & Milk Bath. Made from just six natural ingredients, this product gives you the skin-softening benefits of  Organic Goat's Milk, with the relaxing experience of mineral-rich Dead Sea Salts, all infused with a delicate fragrance of Geranium Rose and Ylang Ylang essential oils. A generous tablespoon's worth is all you need for a pampering bathtime treat that's fit for a Queen, and I love how soft and nourished my skin feels after a long soak in this.
Simply Soaps Orange Lip Salve review
Simply Soaps Orange Lip Salve* (15ml, £2.95, link)

'Tis the season for chapped, dry and cracked lips, so make sure that you have a high-quality, natural lip balm on hand this Winter to save them! You needn't spend a fortune either, as this Orange Lip Salve proves with its rich and hydrating blend of Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Sunflower Oil, Avocado Oil and Beeswax. Added to the mix is a little Orange Oil which gives this lip balm a delightfully festive feel with a fresh and subtle, fruity sweet flavour. A little goes a long way and it's a great product to use before going to bed for kissably soft lips come the morning.

Simply Soaps Handmade Geranium Rose Balancing Soap review
Simply Soaps Handmade Geranium Rose Balancing Soap* (100g, £3.25, link)

Rose and Geranium are two of my favourite scents when it comes to body care and this Balancing Soap is a such a delight to use, especially if you're a fellow floral fan. Handmade and cold-pressed, this soothing soap is not only 100% natural, but also 100% biodegradable and all of the packaging is compostable - yay for zero waste! Free from Palm Oil, it's instead made from a moisturising trio of Rapeseed Oil, Coconut Oil and Shea Nut Butter, and of course, features Geranium Essential Oil alongside a good measure of dried Rose Petals for that beautiful fragrance. I've been using this in the shower for a few weeks now and it's still going strong - it produces a light and creamy lather that's kind to sensitive, dry and eczema prone skin like mine, and it just smells amazing! A real treat for the senses and a lovely luxury soap that won't break the bank.

Discover the full range of products from Simply Soaps at simplysoaps.com

November Empties: Products I've Used Up

Friday, 30 November 2018

November Empties: Products I've Used Up
Well, this may be my smallest Empties post of the year so far, but there are some fab products in this lot, so it's not to be missed! Find out which ones I'll be repurchasing in the near future below.

Weleda Almond Sensitive Skin Body Wash* & Body Lotion* (travel sizes, featured here)
As many of you know, I'm a big fan of Weleda and particularly love their Almond range which has been made especially for sensitive skin. I find that my eczema tends to flare up at this time of the year in line with the colder weather, so it's no surprise that I reached for these two this month. The Body Wash is SLS-free and lovely and creamy, and the matching Body Lotion is nice and nourishing, without being heavy or sticky. They have a fresh, subtle almond scent that always smells very 'clean' to me which I love. Repurchase? Yes, I'll definitely pick up the full sizes of both of these. 

Caudalie Make-up Removing Cleansing Oil* (full size, reviewed here)
If you're after a cleansing oil that's light in texture, yet gets the job done, this one from Caudalie is fantastic. It's made from 100% natural ingredients and I generally find that 2-3 pumps is all I need to get rid of everything on my face. It melts into the skin and quickly dissolves all types of makeup, including stubborn waterproof formulas, in no time at all. Love it! Repurchase? Yes. 

Faith In Nature Coconut Shower Gel & Foam Bath (travel size)
I used to really like this, but since trying out some similar products, I've realised that the coconut scent just isn't strong enough for me as you can hardly smell it at all when it's used in the bath (the fragrance very rapidly dissipates when added to water). For this reason, I used it up as a shower gel, but it's very 'meh', despite the nice SLS-free formula. Repurchase? No.

Kiss The Moon Dream Bedtime Bath Salts (travel size) 
Oh my, these were amazing! Made from a blend of Epsom and Dead Sea Salts which are infused with a range of essential oils such as Lavender, Bergamot, Chamomile and Cedarwood, these were so relaxing to use and perfect for when I needed to de-stress and unwind after a long day. Absolute bliss. Repurchase? Definitely, I need a full-size tub ASAP.

Naked Lips Organic Lip Balm in Superfruits(full size, reviewed here)
Lip balms take me forever to use up as I have lots of half-used ones in every drawer, bag and coat that I own, so I've made it my mission to try and stick to using just one until the situation becomes more manageable, ahem! The first one to bite the dust is from Naked Lips which I enjoyed using - it's natural, organic and moisturising, with a delicious fruity flavour. Repurchase? Not until the lip balm stash is under control, but yes I would buy it again in the future.

Tints Of Nature Hydrate Conditioner(full size, reviewed here)
I've used up a few bottles of this conditioner now and keep going back to it because it works so well for my very dry and fine hair. Sometimes conditioners for dry hair can be too thick and more like a mask or treatment, but this one gets the formula just right and doesn't weigh my hair down. It's gentle enough to be used every day if you're a frequent washer and smells good too. Repurchase? Already have!

What have you used up recently?

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