June Empties: Products I've Used Up

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

June Empties: Products I've Used Up
I usually post my Empties right at the end of the month, but there's no way I'm going to finish anything else in the next couple of days, so here's a slightly earlier than usual Empties post. Here's everything that I've used up recently and my thoughts about whether I'll be repurchasing them or not. Enjoy!

Living Nature Sensitive Cleanser
Whenever my skin feels like it's going to break out or throw a tantrum, I'll switch whatever cleanser I'm using to something like this Sensitive one from Living Nature to help calm it down, so I've been using this on/off for a couple of months now. I've gone through tubes of it in the past and it's lovely and gentle on the skin. Great for a morning cleanse, or as a second cleanse in the evening. Repurchase? I have a lot of cleansers to use up at the moment, but I would definitely repurchase this in the future.

Swell Advanced Volumizing Shampoo & Conditioner
If you have fine hair like I do, these are a must-try! I love the Swell range, and these are SLS and silicones-free. As they are quite pricey, I like to alternate them with some more affordable brands, but they are absolutely fantastic and work a treat! Managed to get these on offer in the Christmas sale. Repurchase? Yes, I'll be sure to snap them up next time they're on offer somewhere!

Swell Ultimate Volume Masque*
Used a full-size tube of this masque before and loved it, so it was handy having a travel size in my toiletries bag. It's a really great hair mask for anyone who has fine hair that needs extra hydration and volume, as it doesn't leave your hair feeling weighed down. Lovely stuff. Repurchase? Yes.

Aveda Outer Peace Blemish Relief Pads
These pads were an impulse buy because I saw them on a half-price offer a few months ago, but I sadly didn't see any difference by using them. They didn't make my skin or blemishes any worse, but they didn't clear up anything either. Repurchase? No.

Bodhi & Birch Camomile Sky Bath & Shower Therapy*
I was so lucky to win this in a giveaway at Christmas time and I've thoroughly enjoyed using it as a luxury shower gel. I love Bodhi & Birch's Bath & Shower Therapies and this Camomile Sky scent is so fresh and unusual. Lovely for Summer. Repurchase? Will do once I've used up some other ones!

June Empties: Products I've Used Up
Ila Bath Soak for Pure Relaxation
This is a really calming bath soak to use for those busy days when you get home feeling stressed and just need to unwind. Perfect for a relaxing pamper with some candles and a glass (or two) of wine! Repurchase? Yes, the full size is very reasonably priced so it's on my shopping list.

L'Occitane Shea Hand Cream
Just a mini that I had in my handbag - this is still one of my all time favourite hand creams. Ideal for very dry hands and doesn't feel sticky or greasy at all. Repurchase? Already have some more minis in my stash.

Conscious Skincare Pure Body Butter*
A very simple but effective body butter made with just pure natural and organic ingredients like Coconut Oil, Shea Butter and Cocoa Butter. It's got an amazing lightly whipped texture to it and works so well for eczema and general dry skin. A little goes a long way so it's taken me months to get through this huge tub! Repurchase? Yes.

Balance Me Radiance Face Mask
I've mentioned this face mask on numerous occasions and I still love it a lot. A great one to reach for if your skin is feeling congested or looking dull - it really helps to brighten everything up and gives your face a gentle manual exfoliation at the same time. Repurchase? I may have a few more travel sizes in my stash somewhere that I need to dig out.

Roques Oneil Therapie Restore Aura Spray
One of my favourite Christmas presents that I received last year was a Roques Oneil Therapie Gift Set which included this full-size bottle of their incredible Restore Aura Spray. It's made with a calming blend of essential oils and it smells absolutely heavenly! Lovely to use as a relaxing facial spritz when you're feeling stressed, or as a luxury room/pillow spray to help you to sleep. Repurchase? It's expensive so it's on my wishlist for the time being!

Which beauty products have you used up recently?

Summer Haircare: Aveda Suncare Protective Hair Veil & After Sun Masque review

Friday, 23 June 2017

Aveda Suncare Protective Hair Veil & After Sun Masque review
We all know about the effects of the sun's rays on our skin, but what about on our hair? If your locks are feeling frazzled by too much sun, grab one of these products!

Whenever I use heat styling tools on my hair, be it a hairdryer or the straightening irons, I almost always use a heat protector product. It's become something of a habit that I don't really think about anymore, but on the rare occasion where I've been in a rush and skipped this step, my hair has really suffered for it. Everyone's hair is different of course, but as mine is naturally very fine and dry (not to mention already a bit damaged from too many blow dries), a helping hand in the form of a heat protector really helps, and the same goes for a protector against the sun.

Too much UV exposure on hair can cause it to become weak and brittle due to a loss of natural proteins in the hair. Add to this a summer holiday with lots of swimming in chlorinated water and a build up of natural salt from those long windswept walks on the beach, and your hair could be looking worse for wear by the end of a week-long trip abroad. Those with naturally thicker, darker hair tend to fare better than those with finer, lighter or colour treated hair, but too much of anything is going to take its toll.

This may be why there are so many products on the market right now which are basically 'suncare for your hair', to help keep you looking your best in all of those holiday Instagram selfies. So two products that I've been enjoying using during this recent heat wave have come from Aveda, whose suncare/haircare range has dedicated formulas to protect your locks against the damaging effects of UV, sun, salt and chlorine.

Aveda Suncare Protective Hair Veil & After Sun Masque review
Aveda Suncare Protective Hair Veil* (100ml, £22.50, link)
One of the easiest ways to protect your hair against the sun is to use a leave-in spray that contains a clever UV filter in its formula. Aveda's Protective Hair Veil does just that, and uses naturally derived UVA/UVB inhibitors which are found in Wintergreen and Cinnamon Bark Oils to help to protect the hair from receiving any further damage from the sun's harmful rays. The formula is also water-resistant and promises to provide sun protection for the hair for up to 16 hours (but make sure to reapply it after swimming). To use it, you just spritz onto dry or damp hair and style your hair as normal. It feels lightweight and non-sticky so it won't interfere with your hairstyle, or cause any product build up afterwards. I really like it as it's so easy and simple to use, and it's definitely been helping to stop my hair from getting frazzled with all this sun we've been having recently.

Aveda Suncare After-Sun Masque* (125ml, £24, link)
If your hair has already had too much sun exposure and is feeling worse for wear, you can rescue it with an intensive hair treatment/mask. Whilst any ultra-hydrating hair mask will do the job, Aveda have some fantastic hair masks in their range and their After Sun Masque is a real SOS treat for anyone who has dry or damaged hair. Formulated with key nourishing ingredients such as Tamanu Oil, Organic Coconut Oil, Sunflower Oil and Green Tea, it also contains Morikue Protein and Vitamin E to further repair and protect the hair. You only need to leave it on for a couple of minutes to see it work its magic (around 5 minutes is optimum), so it's a fantastic quick fix product to use when you're on holiday and have better things to be doing than waiting for a hair mask to develop!

Have you tried any of Aveda's suncare range for hair?

The Mid-Week Pamper Treats: Special Birthday Edition

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

The Mid-Week Pamper: Special Birthday Edition
If you can't indulge in a pampering session on your birthday, when can you?! Here are four products that I'll be reaching for to celebrate my birthday this week.

The Mid-Week Pamper: Special Birthday Edition
The Hair Mask: Naturtint Vital 5 Hair Mask* (200ml, £14.99, link)
With all this humidity going on thanks to the longest, stickiest heatwave I can ever remember, it's safe to say that my hair has not been looking its best recently. A combination of too much sun and far too many styling products have left it feeling ultra dry and looking quite flat and sad. It's time for an intervention! Luckily, I have this gem from Naturtint on hand and their Vital 5 Hair Mask is fantastic for rescuing stressed out and parched hair. Formulated with key ingredients such as Wheat Proteins, Shea Butter and Canola Oil, it helps to deeply moisturise dry hair, add volume, vitality and shine, and strengthen it overall. Free from SLS and parabens, it's a great hair mask to try and gets to work in just 5 minutes for the ultimate quick hair fix.

The Face Mask: Janjira Marine Radiant White Instant Brightening Bubble Mask* (40ml, £24, link)
I've been testing out a bunch of new face masks lately, but none have impressed me as much as this Instant Brightening Bubble Mask from Janjira. This Thai-inspired brand is all about spa friendly products, so they were a perfect match for this special Birthday pamper edit. The Instant Brightening Bubble Mask feels a little gimmicky at first as you apply a couple of pumps of the mask to the skin and then wait for it 'bubble' up. It quickly turns into a light foam within around 3-5 minutes and then you rinse it off. The lather/foam is produced without SLS which is always a winner in my book, and I was very pleased to see a noticeable brightening effect to my complexion immediately after using, thanks to an interesting ingredient called Algowhite (trademarked) which is extracted from Brown Algae. There's also Vitamin C (well known for its brightening qualities) and Vitamin D3 in the formula to help protect the skin against pollution and keep it hydrated. A fun mask to use and one that actually works!

The Mid-Week Pamper: Special Birthday Edition

The Luxury Body Oil: Antipodes Heavenly Body Oil* (100ml, £24.99, link)
Whilst Antipodes do some amazing skincare products, their body stuff is not to be overlooked as this Heavenly Body Oil is my newest favourite from the organic New Zealand brand. Despite feeling like a light and non-greasy oil on the skin, it's actually very rich and hydrating due to nutrient-rich base of Avocado Oil, Macadamia Oil, Jojoba Oil, Rosehip Oil and Vitamin E, so it's a lovely body oil to reach for in this kind of weather when your skin might be feeling dry or dehydrated from too much sun exposure! The addition of Jasmine, Ylang Ylang and Lavender essential oils makes it smell incredible too. It's such a gorgeous luxury pampering product to have in your bathroom!

The Bath Soak: Botanicals Deep Peace Mineral Soak* (70g travel size pictured, full size is 500g for £27, link)
If you're struggling to get a good night's sleep in this heat, taking a bath before bedtime can really help. I've been enjoying using Botanicals' Deep Peace Mineral Soak which contains a blend of Pink Himalayan Mineral Crystals, Dead Sea Salt and Epsom Salt, all of which are infused with organic essentials oils of Sandalwood, Sweet Orange, Geranium, Lavender and Marjoram. This is a very relaxing bath soak as it really helps me to switch off after a busy day and prepare my mind for a restful night's sleep.

What are your favourite pampering products?
Have you tried any of these?

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Staying Safe in the Sun: Organic Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin from Green People

Monday, 19 June 2017

Staying Safe in the Sun with Green People
As the UK basks in another heatwave this week, take this post as your daily reminder to slap on some much needed SPF so that you can enjoy this beautiful weather safely - you never know when it's going to rain again!

Sunscreen is the most important staple to have by your side during the Summer months. I know it's common sense, but the number of people who I've seen this past weekend who have been really badly sunburnt, makes me realise that it's something that needs to be brought up again and again.

It's not rocket science people - if you're going to be outside at this time of the year, you're going to need some sunscreen! Apply it 30 minutes before going outside, and re-apply it every two hours (or more often if you're swimming or sweating a lot). Simples!

Here are two of my favourite organic and cruelty-free summer skincare essentials from Green People, both of which are ideal for the whole family to use and are especially ideal for anyone who has sensitive skin:- 

Staying Safe in the Sun with Green People

Green People Scent Free Sun Lotion SPF 30* (200ml, £22, link)
If you have sensitive skin, it can be really difficult to find a suitable fragrance free sunscreen that isn't going to irritate it. Luckily, this one from Green People is one of the best that I've tried and it will happily cover any of my eczema prone areas without upsetting my skin - hooray! This natural based formula is 78% organic and provides a protection of SPF 30 against both UVA and UVB rays so that you and your family are fully covered. It applies like a regular body moisturiser and absorbs easily, without any greasy feeling, making this the perfect choice for any fussy kids who might not like the feel of thick or sticky sunscreens on their skin. This is also a great sun lotion for those who suffer from Prickly Heat to try out. I love it!

Green People Hydrating After Sun Soothing Moisturiser* (200ml, £15.95, link)  
Ah, the blissfully cooling benefits of a high-quality after-sun product! These can be a real godsend if you've caught too much sun during the day and Green People's offering is a lovely, non-greasy, ultra-cooling moisturiser that you can use all over the body to reduce peeling as it helps to heal the skin with a range of natural ingredients. Formulated with the likes of Organic Aloe Vera, Chamomile, Myrhh and Mint, this after sun is 94% organic and feels wonderfully refreshing on the skin after a long day in the sun. The big 200ml tube will keep the whole family happy this Summer, and you can use it as a light and fresh body lotion all year round too - win win.

Do you use any products from Green People?

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Summer Holidays: Ted Baker Enchanting Treats Blush Pink Vanity Case Gift Set review

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Ted Baker Enchanting Treats Vanity Case Gift Set review
Looking for a new toiletries set to jazz up your summer holiday this year? Ted Baker's latest Porcelain Rose bath and body collection has just launched into Boots and it's a beauty!

Ted Baker's new collection features a whole host of fresh floral scented treats to get you in the mood for Summer, and there are three new fragrance ranges to choose from; Pretty Pearl, Opulent Petal and Blush Pink. Each one has its own products which you can purchase singularly, or if payday is coming up, there are some gorgeous gift sets available including this one which immediately jumped out at me when I first saw the new collection.

Ted Baker Enchanting Treats Vanity Case Gift Set review

The Enchanting Treats Blush Pink Vanity Case Gift Set is based around a beautiful vanity case in a chic and stylish floral print, and has metallic rose gold detailing for some added luxe (the signature Ted Baker bow on the zip is super cute!). Unlike smaller toiletries sets, this vanity case is a very generous size that's perfect for longer holidays as it has loads of space to store your favourite toiletries in. It also looks great sitting pretty on your vanity desk at home - I've already had lots of compliments about it!

Inside the vanity case, you'll also find three full-size products:-
  • Ted Baker Blush Pink Body Wash (200ml)
  • Ted Baker Blush Pink Body Souffle (300ml)
  • Ted Baker Blush Pink Body Spray (150ml)

This Blush Pink range smells amazing with subtle notes of Jasmine and Neroli on a base of Sandalwood, Patchouli and Musk. It's a very floral, feminine and summery scent overall and I think Ted Baker are onto a real winner with this collection!

Ted Baker Enchanting Treats Blush Pink Vanity Case Gift Set* retails for £25 and is available from Boots stores nationwide and online at boots.com

Are you a fan of Ted Baker?

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Foodie Friday: Cacao & Almond Energy Balls (Deliciously Ella / Vegan Recipe)

Friday, 16 June 2017

Cacao & Almond Energy Balls (Deliciously Ella / Vegan Recipe)
Happy Friday! For this week's Foodie Friday post, I wanted to share one of my favourite recipes by Deliciously Ella and show you how easy it is to make these delicious Cacao & Almond Energy Balls at home. 

These are perfect as a post-gym/workout snack or just as a healthier, refined-sugar free alternative to reach for when that afternoon energy slump happens! I've stuck mostly to Deliciously Ella's original recipe, but I have added slightly more Almonds to up the protein percentage, as I personally like to grab one of these when I've finished a workout.

I love to make these at the weekend in advance of a busy week, and they'll happily keep in the fridge for about a month in an airtight container.

Cacao & Almond Energy Balls (Deliciously Ella / Vegan Recipe)
 Ingredients:- (makes around 12 Energy Balls)
  • 150g Almonds
  • 200g Medjool Dates
  • 2 tbsp Raw Cacao Powder
  • 1 tbsp Almond Butter
  • 1 tbsp Coconut Oil
  • Pinch of Salt

  1. Place the Almonds into a food processor and pulse until they are chopped into small pieces.
  2. Add the Medjool Dates and Coconut Oil, and mix until thoroughly combined.
  3. Next, add the Almond Butter and Raw Cacao Power along with the pinch of Salt, and blend everything again until it looks like a thick paste mixture.
  4. Take a tablespoon of the mixture into your hands and roll into a ball. Set aside on a plate lined with greaseproof paper and continue making balls until all the mixture is used up. Depending on the size that you want, you'll probably end up with around 10-12 balls in total.
  5. Pop the rolled balls on the plate into the freezer for about an hour to firm up, and then transfer to the fridge into an airtight container. They will soften up again but should retain a firm ball shape. Enjoy!

Cacao & Almond Energy Balls (Deliciously Ella / Vegan Recipe)
Have you tried making your own Energy / Bliss Balls?

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