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?

Organic Makeup: SARYA Couture Makeup Lip Lacquers & Lip Elixir Oil - Review & Swatches

Sunday, 31 May 2020

Organic Makeup: Sarya Couture Makeup Lip Lacquers & Lip Elixir Oil - Review & Swatches
Having been a fan of SARYA's gorgeous organic couture lipsticks since last year (check out my review here), I was delighted to have the opportunity to try out some of their luxury Organic Lip Lacquers, and these beauties are just perfect for Summer!

Organic Makeup: Sarya Couture Makeup Lip Lacquers & Lip Elixir Oil - Review & Swatches
If you haven't heard of SARYA before, that might be because they are a relatively young brand who only launched back in 2018. Made in Italy, all of SARYA's cosmetics are proudly certified Organic by Cosmetici Biologici and Cruelty-Free by PETA. Everything is also free from parabens, petrochemicals, preservatives and synthetic fragrances.

This exciting luxury makeup brand boasts some incredible products which have super covetable packaging and fantastic formulas - they really have managed to marry the very best components of a high-end cosmetic company with brilliant green credentials and ethics - well done SARYA!

At the moment, the brand has a small, but beautiful range of Lipsticks, Eyeshadows, Makeup Brushes and Lip Lacquers available and it's the Organic Lip Lacquers that I want to share with you all today.

Organic Makeup: Sarya Couture Makeup Lip Lacquers & Lip Elixir Oil - Review & Swatches
SARYA's Organic Lip Lacquers* are packaged in stunning frosted tubes with a doe-foot sponge applicator and they have a satisfying weight to them which is always a good hallmark of a luxury brand in my opinion. I was kindly sent a press kit of four different shades to play with, and although at first glance they all looked quite similar, I was presently surprised by the individual differences which quickly become apparent once applied. 

The formulas of these are fantastic and they're made from 100% certified organic ingredients that include moisturising superstars such as Shea Butter, Candelilla Wax, Jojoba Oil and Macadamia Seed Oil. 

These Organic Lip Lacquers are true liquid lipsticks in the respect that they are highly-pigmented and provide an excellent full coverage of colour with just one easy swipe. They do have a slightly plumping effect thanks to some of the vitamins in the formula, and I absolutely love the overall shine! As an extra bonus, I found each one very comfortable to wear with no stickiness. 

A fantastic organic beauty find - the only problem is choosing which one is my favourite!

SARYA Organic Lip Lacquer in Crush
SARYA Organic Lip Lacquer in Crush
Beginning with the palest out of the four that I was sent, Crush is a creamy pale-pink nude which is always a winner when paired with a smokey eye for a sexy evening party/ date night look.

SARYA Organic Lip Lacquer in Muse
SARYA Organic Lip Lacquer in Muse
Muse is one of that classic, super easy to wear, everyday pink that is typically flattering on a range of skin tones. I know I'm getting to get a lot of use out of this one!

SARYA Organic Lip Lacquer in Sugar
If you only buy one new lip product this Summer, make it Sugar. It's the perfect balance of peachy pink which makes it irresistible - again, this is another easy and very flattering shade to wear.

SARYA Organic Lip Elixir Oil in Pearl
SARYA Organic Lip Elixir Oil in Pearl

Finally, we have Pearl which isn't a lacquer, it's a Lip Elixir Oil instead. This luxury lip treatment oil is infused with nourishing natural ingredients such as Almond Oil, Sunflower Oil, Shea Butter and Jojoba Oil, to provide a generous swipe of instant hydration. The finish is a fuller, glossier pout with a hint of pearlescent shimmer - it's very pretty! Can be used alone or over your favourite lippie.


SARYA Organic Lip Lacquers* (3ml, £18 each) and Organic Lip Elixir Oil* (3ml, £20) are available from LoveLula.com with free worldwide shipping

Do you prefer to buy organic makeup?

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Health & Lifestyle: How To Get A Good Night's Sleep - 3 Wellness Experts Share Their Top Tips #BestSleepEver

Thursday, 28 May 2020

best sleep ever top sleep tips
Getting a good night's sleep seems like an impossible task for many people and it's something that I've struggled with for years - I'm so envious of anyone who can just instantly fall asleep as soon as their head touches their pillow! To help those in the same boat, I decided to pick the brains of three wellness experts to see if they could share some words of wisdom so that we can all try to enjoy a good night's sleep at last.

My experience with poor sleep
For as long as I can remember, I've always been a terrible sleeper, especially since hitting puberty. After that, my early 20s were particularly stressful in many ways, and I fell into a lot of bad habits such as eating too much junk food, staying up too late, drinking too much alcohol before going to bed - all the standard hallmarks of early adult life some might say! The problem was that my sleep didn't improve that much when I began to clean up my lifestyle later on - I was still plagued with crippling insomnia that was causing me to fall asleep during the day as I was completely exhausted. 

I visited my GP who diagnosed insomnia and prescribed sleeping tablets which gave me horrific nightmares, so I sought a second opinion and was sent on a CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) course which helped a lot with my stress management, but it still didn't solve all of my sleeping problems. Frustrated by years of poor sleep, I've been going down the self-help route recently which has led me to contact some wellness experts via social media to see if they could share their knowledge on this tricky issue which affects nearly two-thirds of UK adults on a regular basis.

Aurimas Juodka
Meet AJ - The Health & Human Performance Expert
Aurimas Juodka is a Health and Human Performance Expert (Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, Nutrition Coach, High-Performance Coach - wellwithaj.com). In his career as an educator, speaker and coach, AJ has helped hundreds of his clients excel in life physically and mentally, after personally struggling with a range of health issues himself including insomnia, digestion problems, mental fog, low energy and a compromised immune system.

One of the key aspects of attaining good sleep comes through understanding the basics of the body's natural circadian rhythm. AJ explains that the circadian rhythm, "is an internal body clock that regulates sleep-wake cycles. Humans are ultimately still animals that thrive with the cycles of nature." This is why his top tip for better sleep is, "rising with the sun and blocking all artificial blue light". He recommends wearing blue light blocking glasses, installing f.lux or Iris app on your computer, using the night shift mode on your phone and having warm lighting in the house. AJ also advises that it's important to create a bedtime routine based on whatever helps you to wind down such as drinking tea, taking a bath before bed, turning your WiFi off, putting your phone onto aeroplane mode or his personal favourite, which is using an acupressure mat. 

The timing of your evening meal is another key factor as well - AJ recommends not eating within at least 3hrs before bedtime because "an overloaded digestive system makes your body focus on digestion rather than producing necessary sleep hormones. Pre-bedtime snack really isn't a great idea."

ursula james
Meet Professor Ursula James - Visiting Professor of Clinical Hypnosis at Robert Gordon University and a Visiting Teaching Fellow at Oxford University Medical School

Ursula James is a Hypnotherapist and Professor of Clinical Hypnosis (her company, Thames Medical Lectures, has lectured at most of the UK's medical schools including Oxford and Cambridge, and she is a Patron of Anxiety UK and the National Centre for Domestic Violence (NCDV). She is also a Foundation Member of the Academy of Medical Educators and a member of the Women of the Future Network - ursulajames.com). Ursula treats people with sleep problems and has a hypnotherapy mp3 called Better Sleep which you can listen to in bed to help you to fall asleep. To further aid those who are experiencing poor sleep due to the Coronavirus pandemic, she has created a weekly Covid Calmer session which is conducted over Zoom every Wednesday - you can check out previous sessions on her YouTube channel here.

With hypnotherapy being Ursula's area of expertise, I asked her how it can help my fellow readers with their sleep. She replied, "Sleep is more than physical rest, it is mental housekeeping, without which we can go crazy. Using hypnotherapy helps you to prioritise, compartmentalise and discard information so you optimise your sleep. It also helps you with creativity and letting go of the things which stress you.

Hypnotherapy is a brilliant process for improving your sleep, whether it is to get to sleep, get better quality sleep, or to eradicate disturbed sleep. It does this by keeping your mind occupied with a simple process which moves in tandem with your natural sleep processes. It helps you leave out the upsetting thoughts, so you don’t dwell on them as you sleep, and focus on the positives from the previous day, as well as creating something to look forward to in the next day."

Aside from hypnotherapy, Ursula also recommends trying these top tips for better sleep; "a warm bath, an orgasm (partner not required), and a warm milky drink. Do not attempt all at the same time, you will probably spill your drink."

Meet Joel Jolen from Reset Breathing and Fellow of Buteyko Professionals Intl institute (FBPI)
Meet Joel Jolen from Reset Breathing and Fellow of Buteyko Professionals Intl institute

Joel Jolen is a Fellow of Buteyko Professionals Intl institute (FBPI). (He holds a BA Hons in Health Econ and his area of specialism is focussed on breathing techniques - resetbreathing.com).

The benefits of improving breathing to someone who is struggling to sleep takes many forms, as Joel explains below, "the key is how you breathe during the day. That’s whilst eating, working, exercising and relaxing. The causes of poor sleep from a breathing education perspective include:
  • Mouth breathing by day – this has become common place and you might be surprised by how many people think it’s correct to mouth breathe. This puts you on fight or flight and can create a cascade of stress throughout your body without you being aware.
  • Your breathing being audible at rest – this basically means you are breathing a volume of air far bigger than required. It’s often out of habit following a change to your breathing pattern after a sustained period of stress.
  • Sighing, sniffing, and yawning with big breaths also creates over breathing and impairs sleep when you finally get your head on the pillow.
  • Large breaths prior to talking along with lots of visible upper chest movement have a similar effect."
Joel warns that those who have jobs which involve excessive talking, such as teachers and sales executives, should be particularly mindful as they can be at risk of fatigue due to a loss of CO2 and oxygen. He advises that drinking carbonated water can help if you have a lot of talkative days. Other things to watch out for which can upset your sleeping patterns include eating processed foods - Joel recommends to "stay away from beige food and don't overeat as both increase breathing rate beyond that of fresh food. Eat light to breathe right", and make sure the temperature in your house isn't too warm as, "high temperatures can impair breathing too".

My favourite piece of advice from Joel is when he says the following which I think anyone who struggles to sleep will appreciate; "The benefits are life-changing and the techniques and accompanying lifestyle advice are simple. Admittedly, they are not easy to commit to but all you need do is focus on those life-changing benefits and they act as a huge incentive...especially as drastic improvements in health/sleep can be experienced in 4-6 weeks."

Thank you to all of the experts who shared their knowledge for this feature!

Do you struggle with sleep?

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The Weekend Post: My First Virtual Blogger Event with Moonpig - Cards, Cocktails & Flowers #MoonpigMoments

Sunday, 24 May 2020

My First Virtual Blogger Event with Moonpig - Cards, Cocktails & Flowers #MoonpigMoments
Last Thursday evening, I took part in my first ever Virtual Blogger Event via Zoom! The event was hosted by Moonpig to help spread the word of the brand's mobile app which makes it easy to send cards and gifts to loved ones during these difficult times.

Although some restrictions on the lockdown within England have recently been eased (such as unlimited outdoor exercise etc), it's still not permitted or considered safe for people to visit family and friends at their homes due to the Coronavirus pandemic. This has been putting a big strain on relationships and the emotional aspects of not being able to see your family or friends have been upsetting to say the least. 

Thankfully, technology has been amazing for keeping in touch with those outside of your immediate household, and it's been great to see more people going back to some 'old-fashioned' ways of communication such as sending a card in the post and making more phone calls. Before Covid-19 happened, I couldn't remember the last time that I received a physical card through the letterbox, but now every time that I get one from a friend or family member, it instantly cheers me up! 

moonpig app
Back to the virtual blogger event, after a quick 'Hello!' to everyone who joined in over Zoom, we were introduced to a demo of the Moonpig app (you can download it here) by Jasper, which is available for both iOS and Android customers. The app is free to use and it's quick and simple to set up your account by just filling in a few details at the sign-up process. Once you're all set up, you can browse the hundreds of card designs that Moonpig has available, and they really do have a card for everyone and every occasion from classics to the more contemporary - I spotted some Tiger King ones whilst I was scrolling through earlier which are quite funny ;)

At the top of the homepage on the app is a slideshow of the current Moonpig offers and I thought this made the shopping experience even easier as it was clear to see the discount codes. Who doesn't love a cheeky bargain?!

moonpig app
moonpig app
The ordering process is also incredibly concise and easy - just select the card that you're interested in and then it displays how you can personalise it - there's even the opportunity to 'handwrite' a message inside the card using a stylus pen which I thought was a lovely touch.

As you can see above, Moonpig has three card options to choose from; a digital eCard (handy if you've left things too late!), a Standard Card size and a Giant Card size which is brilliant if you want something that's more of a novelty. iOS users can even use the AR view on the app to physically see how big the cards are by moving your phone around the room, a digital card pops up on any surface which is very clever.

There are lots of interesting features within the app including a page to add a reminder date and an option to import from an online calendar. I'm terrible for forgetting the dates of people's birthdays so this feature instantly appealed to me and I've already synced up my calendar to my account so there are no excuses now!

mix and twist cocktails
After the app demo, we were treated to a Cocktail Masterclass with James from Mix and Twist and using the contents of a very generous cocktail box which had been delivered the day before, we created three delicious cocktails using Silent Pool Gin as the main ingredient. I love gin so I'd been looking forward to this part all week!

silent pool gin
The first cocktail was called a Gin Garden (above) which was bursting full of flavour thanks to plenty of fresh mint and cucumber. Next, we had a fun 'quick-fire' round where we raced to make an Elderflower Collins - I almost spilt the entire bottle of Gin over my keyboard in the process but luckily it all went to plan and the result was delicious! Finally, the last cocktail was perhaps my favourite - a Strawberry Gimlet which involved a fresh Strawberry puree and of course, plenty of Gin. Yum - thank you James for being an awesome bartender!

Moonpig flowers
Moonpig flowers
Moonpig are not just famous for their personalised cards, their range of fresh delivery flowers is simply beautiful and for the final part of the event, we had the pleasure of taking part in a Flower Workshop with Roxanne. She shared her top tips for arranging a professional-looking bouquet and offered advice on how to make fresh flowers last longer which I found really useful. We were able to arrange our own bunch thanks to a gorgeous fresh flower delivery from Moonpig which featured their bestselling Luxury Rose and Peony Boquet* (above, £50, link)

I was truly blown away when this arrived as the flowers were in perfect condition and I've enjoyed watching the Peonies come into bloom over the past few days; they are so stunning.

One of the many gifts available at Moonpig

I thoroughly enjoyed the Virtual Blogger Event and had a great time chatting to fellow bloggers over Zoom. I hope more brands do these virtual events now and in the future, as I've often struggled to accept event invites due to not living in London, so this makes it so much more inclusive for bloggers to join in. Thank you Moonpig for being an amazing host! 

Discover the full range of Moonpig cards, flowers and gifts at moonpig.com/uk and don't forget to check out their app!

Green Beauty: LoveLula Beauty Box - May 2020 review

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

LoveLula Beauty Box - May 2020 review
Worth over £50, this month's LoveLula Beauty Box has something for everyone with makeup, haircare, skincare and more! Everything included is cruelty-free and it's a great way to try out a high-end brand or a new product without breaking the bank. Curious to find out more? Keep on scrolling to discover what's inside. 


INIKA Organic Lip Crayon in Deep Plum (RRP £19.50)
Being a make-up junkie, I always look forward to receiving cosmetics in the LoveLula Beauty Box and I was thrilled to find this full-size chunky Lip Crayon from INIKA. I've had the pleasure of trying out a lot of makeup from INIKA and they are one of those green beauty brands that I regularly use - you can check out my previous reviews of their makeup here

This Lip Crayon is a gorgeous plum shade which is very flattering on and I imagine it will suit most skin tones too. The creamy formula means that it doesn't drag onto the lips and it's made from 100% natural ingredients, plus it's certified vegan and cruelty-free.

The Castillian Soap Company Natural Hand Sanitiser in Peppermint & Chamomile (RRP £9.50)
With hand sanitiser being in hot demand, I was incredibly grateful to receive another one of these Natural Hand Sanitisers from The Castillian Soap Company. I recently featured it in my Good Hand Hygiene post here and love the refreshing minty fragrance it has. It gets the job done and doesn't leave hands feeling dry or sticky.

Ayumi Naturals Hibiscus & Turmeric Shampoo (RRP £6.99)
The face scrub from this same range appeared in February's box (check out my review here if you missed it) so it's nice to try out this Hibiscus & Turmeric Shampoo as I haven't used anything from Ayumi Naturals' haircare range before. This one's described as being suitable for fine and dull hair types thanks to the brightening natural properties of Turmeric and Papaya extracts which sounds interesting.

Skin Alchemists Humble Warrior Cleansing Oil (RRP £15)
The last product in this month's LoveLula Beauty Box is a deluxe 30ml sample of Skin Alchemists Humble Warrior Cleansing Oil which is a new-to-me brand that I'm excited to try. Formulated to remove all traces of makeup and daily grime, this deep cleansing oil can also be used as a natural face mask, hair treatment and as a nail and cuticle oil - you guys know how much I love a multipurpose beauty product!

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?

Treat Your Feet: Give Your Feet Some TLC with Tropic Skincare

Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Show Your Feet Some Love with Tropic Skincare
One of the little joys that comes with the warmer weather is that glorious feeling of being able to ditch your socks and put your bare feet into your favourite flip-flops or sandals  - I love it! So make sure to show your feet some TLC this summer with these pampering foot care treats from Tropic Skincare.

The range of products that are available from Tropic Skincare never ceases to amaze me - from skincare to haircare, suncare and body care - they have it all! One category that I had yet to explore was their foot care and with the temperature rising this week, it was as good a time as any to test some of them out.

As always, everything from Tropic Skincare is certified cruelty-free and is suitable for vegans -yay!

Show Your Feet Some Love with Tropic Skincare
Tropic Ocean Fizz Foot Soak* (100g, £6, link)
If your feet haven't seen any sunshine since last Summer or if they're feeling tired and weary after a long day, a good soak with this refreshing Ocean Fizz Foot Soak can make a huge difference. This is one of the best products that I've tried for really helping to soften up your feet and after a soak in this, they'll be almost as soft as a baby's bum! To use the Ocean Fizz Foot Soak, just add three tablespoons to warm water and give it a quick mix to activate - it produces a satisfying 'fizz' and then it's ready for you to soak your feet in for a relaxing 5-10 minutes, though I have it tried it for longer and it feels lovely. A spa-like pampering treat that you can enjoy at home for just £6? Bargain!

Tropic Polishing Foot Pebble* (130g, £9, link)
For feet that are particularly dry or rough, Tropic's luxury Polishing Foot Pebble is a godsend. This solid exfoliating bar features White Sand from Bora Bora and Tahitian Volcanic Ash to buff away dry skin, whilst Peppermint and Eucalyptus essential oils help to instantly refresh and revive. Use it directly onto wet feet to create a cleansing lather for soft and supple feet in no time at all.
Show Your Feet Some Love with Tropic Skincare
Tropic Repairing Foot Remedy* (80ml, £14, link)
In the same league as a lip balm and hand cream, a hardworking foot cream is a beauty essential in everyone's bedroom/bathroom and this Repairing Foot Remedy offers an intense softening treatment for dry feet. I found that it works particularly well on cracked heels thanks to its super hydrating formula that uses the likes of Aloe Vera, Coconut Oil, Macadamia Oil, Avocado Oil, Illipe and Cupuacu Butters, to really deeply nourish and repair dry and damaged skin. There's also Aspen Bark extract included which contains Salicyclic Acid to gently dissolve dead skin cells for a smoother result. The rich, thick texture is brilliant with an uplifting fresh fragrance, and it doesn't feel greasy or sticky.

Do you look after your feet?

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Good Hand Hygiene: Keeping your Hands Clean & Soft during Coronavirus and beyond

Monday, 18 May 2020

Good Hand Hygiene: Keeping your Hands Clean & Soft during Coronavirus and beyond
Practising good hygiene at home and when you're outside is one of the best ways to protect yourselves and others from the spread of Coronavirus. Here are some of my top picks from the green beauty world which include hand sanitisers, soaps and hand cream to keep your hands clean and soft.

Keeping your Hands Clean & Soft during Coronavirus and beyond
Hand Sanitisers
Depending on which organisation or Government guidelines you're looking at, you want to make sure that your hand sanitiser contains at least 60% alcohol for it to be effective at killing off bacteria and germs. Anything below 50% is considered too diluted which will compromise its disinfecting abilities. Unfortunately, there are a lot of 'natural' hand sanitisers on the market that are alcohol-free and these are absolutely pointless as they won't do anything - you need alcohol as the main ingredient!

For green beauty fans who want to use something that's more natural and kinder to their hands than the likes of Dettol, but still serves the purpose of being a high-quality sanitiser, you can look out for products which incorporate alcohol with ingredients such as aloe vera, vegetable glycerine, essential oils and plant-based flower waters or essences.

I recommend trying The Castillian Soap Company Hand Sanitiser with Peppermint & Chamomile* (50ml, £9.50, link), a travel-friendly size which includes 62% organic grain alcohol, organic chamomile floral water, natural plant glycerin and peppermint essential oil. It smells wonderfully fresh and doesn't leave hands feeling dry or sticky afterwards. 

For families or anyone who requires a larger size bottle, Alteya Organics Hand Cleanser* (100ml, £7.95, link) has an easy to use spray applicator and a formula which boasts 70% alcohol (denatured ethyl alcohol) with organic glycerin and lavender essential oil for further antibacterial protection.

Keeping your Hands Clean & Soft during Coronavirus and beyond
Hand Soaps & Moisturisers
At home and in bathrooms, the NHS state that washing your hands with any kind of soap and water is a highly effective way to stop the spread of Coronavirus and practising good hygiene is something that we should all be doing to protect ourselves and others. It doesn't matter which brand or type of soap that you use, the focus is more on how often you wash your hands (it should be done on a regular basis throughout the day) and how long for. The NHS recommends washing your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds each time and you can check out their techniques video with further info here.

Personally, I'm a big fan of an old-fashioned bar of soap. They're a great way to cut down on your plastic waste and usually last longer than the bottled versions. I currently have Ayumi Naturals Neem & Tea Tree Soap* (100g, £2.49, link) by my bathroom sink which is vegan-friendly and has the naturally antibacterial benefits of neem, tea tree and lemongrass oils to keep your hands super clean. It also doubles up as a purifying facial cleanser for acne and blemish-prone skin types.

If you prefer a liquid hand soap that contains alcohol, Organii Citrus Liquid Soap* (300ml, £4.95, link) comes in a large 300ml bottle with a pump. Made from a blend of 100% plant-based ingredients, it features organic olive oil, alcohol denat, vegetable glycerin and citrus essential oils for a fresh and thoroughly clean feeling every time.

It should come as no surprise that regular and longer hand-washing sessions can result in dry skin quite quickly, so a hand cream is an absolute must-have to help restore the moisture balance. My current favourite is Lavera Basis Sensitiv Hand Cream* (75ml, £4.95, link) as it's packed full of ultra-hydrating ingredients such as organic sweet almond oil, shea butter, jojoba seed oil. Bye-bye dry hands!

What are your hygiene must-haves?

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