Plastic-Free Haircare: Biovène Barcelona Moisture Volume Solid Shampoo & Conditioner review #ZeroWaste

Friday, 14 February 2020

Biovène Barcelona Moisture Volume Solid Shampoo & Conditioner review
You may be well aware of solid bars of shampoo, which are fast becoming the norm in eco-conscious households, but did you know that solid hair conditioners are a thing too?! Meet Biovéne Barcelona - the easy way to become completely plastic-free for all your daily hair care needs.

There's rarely a week that goes by when I don't come across a new plastic-free beauty brand, and my latest find is Biovène Barcelona. This award-winning, socially conscious company hails from Barcelona, Spain which is one of my favourite cities in the whole world thanks to its diversity, architecture, and the countless amazing restaurants where you can find a gourmet veggie burger at 4am! 

Biovène Barcelona Moisture Volume Solid Shampoo & Conditioner review
Biovène Barcelona embraces this unique inclusivity from its homeland, and has created a range of completely plastic-free haircare which feels premium, yet is accessible and affordable - everything is priced at just £5.99. They also readily champion the Clean Beauty movement with transparent formulas which are free from a long list of 'nasties' such as Sulfates, SLS, SLES, Parabens, Formaldehyde, Phthalates, Mineral Oil, Retinyl Palmitate, Palm Oil, Oxybenzone, Hydroquinone, Triclosan and Triclocarban, and there's less than 1% synthetic fragrance in their products. 

I love these clear statements on the side of their packaging (see above) - it makes it so much easier for consumers to shop for proper green beauty when a brand is so proud of what they make!

Biovène Barcelona currently has five different sets of pH balanced Solid Shampoos and Conditioners available to suit all hair types and concerns, and I have recently been testing out the Moisture Volume duo which is formulated for normal, fine and oily hair types.

Biovène Barcelona Moisture Volume Solid Shampoo & Conditioner review
Biovène Barcelona Moisture Volume Solid Shampoo* (40g, £5.99)
I find that many solid shampoos I've tried in the past have a tendency to weigh down my fine hair, so I was curious to try this Moisture Volume Solid Shampoo to see if it would buck the trend. With key natural ingredients such as Apple Cider Vinegar, Biotin, Shea Butter, Beeswax, Macadamia Oil and Vitamin E, this light green coloured solid bar promises to volumise fine hair, giving it extra strength and resilience, whilst keeping it hydrated and preventing product build-up. To use it, I simply added water to the bar to create a light lather and then massaged the lather into wet hair. It smells really fresh and left my hair thoroughly clean without feeling 'squeaky' or dry afterwards. I didn't notice any extra volume though.

Biovène Barcelona Moisture Volume Solid Conditioner* (40g, £5.99)
After enjoying a positive experience with the shampoo, I followed up with the matching Solid Conditioner with high hopes but sadly, I was left disappointed. The Conditioner has similar ingredients to the shampoo - there's Biotin, Apple Cider Vinegar, Shea Butter, Beeswax and Macadamia Oil etc, however, it just felt a bit waxy and sticky in consistency. I followed the instructions and applied the bar directly to my hair, smoothing it over and leaving it on for 5 minutes before rinsing. After rinsing, my hair unfortunately felt very tangled and sticky, which didn't improve after I got out of the shower and left it to air dry. I tried a couple of different methods after that, including wetting the bar between my hands and then smoothing the conditioner onto my hair, but the results proved to be much the same with my hair feeling dry with a waxy residue left on it, despite numerous rinses.

Overall thoughts?
I can definitely recommend the Moisture Volume Solid Shampoo, but my hair just didn't like the Solid Conditioner sadly! I may be tempted to try some of the other conditioners in the future to see how different the formulas are though - fingers crossed.

Shop the full range of Biovène Barcelona plastic-free haircare at LoveLula.com

Have you tried plastic-free haircare?

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Introducing: Rebecca Tracey - Handmade Aromatherapy - The Perfumed Workshop

Monday, 10 February 2020

Rebecca Tracey - Handmade Aromatherapy - The Perfumed Workshop
Just before Christmas, I was introduced to the wonderful world of Rebecca Tracey's Perfumed Workshop at Bonds in Stratford-upon-Avon by a friend who adores aromatherapy as much as I do. Ever since, I have been simply smitten with her exquisite range of beautifully scented lifestyle products, and I was over-the-moon when my friend sent me a surprise package as an early 'Galentine's' gift.

Rebecca Tracey is perhaps one of the most underrated entrepreneurs who specialises in creating artisan aromatherapy products, and she has turned her passion for pure and natural scents into a successful business. Based at Bonds Lifestyle Centre just outside of Stratford-upon-Avon, Rebecca's Perfumed Workshop is a must-visit for anyone who is interested in high quality, 100% natural fragrances, candles, diffusers, aromatherapy blends, skincare, body care and more. Everything is handmade, cruelty-free and sustainably packaged.

To give you a small insight into this brand, I thought I'd share the package that my friend sent me as a mini introduction to what Rebecca Tracey has to offer.

Rebecca Tracey - Handmade Aromatherapy - The Perfumed Workshop
 Rebecca Tracey Lemon, Patchouli & Lemongrass Botanical Candle 01* (300g, £28, link)

I adore luxury naturally scented candles and they really don't come much more luxurious than Rebecca Tracey's sublime collection of Botanical Candles which currently has fifteen enticing fragrances to choose from. This 01 Botanical Candle is based on a blend of Lemon, Patchouli and Lemongrass, three of my favourite mood-boosting essential oils, and this is such an uplifting, summery, zesty and 'happy' fragrance to experience - it's the perfect antidote to this miserable weather!

All of these Botanical Candles are handmade using non-GMO Soy Wax and 100% pure essential oils. They have an impressive scent throw and this 300g size will deliver a clean, non-toxic burn for around 60 hours. Larger 3 wick candles are also available which are definitely next on my wishlist.

Rebecca Tracey - Handmade Aromatherapy - The Perfumed Workshop
Rebecca Tracey Frankincense, Lavender & Geranium 04 Aromatherapy Room Fragrance* (100ml, £15, link) and Fresh Head 21 Aromatherapy Pulse Point Rollerball* (10ml, £9, link)

Being a migraine sufferer, I can't use mainstream room sprays as they're a painful trigger for me (the aerosol ones are the worst) and often leave me feeling nauseous and irritated as well, so I prefer to scent my home with simple, natural blends of essential oils instead. 

Rebecca Tracey has created ten different Aromatherapy Room Fragrances, all housed in dark glass bottles, and 04 Frankincense, Lavender & Geranium is a divine cocktail of floral and woody notes. This one's great for spritzing around the bedroom to help you unwind as it's very relaxing and doubles up as a calming pillow spray too. Like the candles, the Room Fragrances are 100% natural and use only the finest and purest essential oils.

Aromatherapy fans should also check out the range of 100% natural Pulse Point Rollerballs, of which there are six blends, each one with a different purpose. Fresh Head 21 is a soothing and refreshing way to clear a foggy head so that you can concentrate on tasks better and be more productive. It's perfect for anxiety and fatigue, as well as being a useful study aid if you find that you're a bit of a procrastinator like me!

Discover the full range of Rebecca Tracey's Aromatherapy ranges and products at rebeccatracey.co.uk

Are you a fan of Aromatherapy?

January Empties: Products I've Used Up

Wednesday, 5 February 2020

January Empties: Products I've Used Up
January always feels like the longest month of the year and my Empties seem to reflect that as I have another bumper edit of them! Here's everything that I've used up recently and my thoughts about whether I'll be repurchasing them again or not.

D'Alchémy All-Over Blemish Solution (samples)
I had a horrible breakout when I had flu last month, so I decided to try out these samples of D'Alchémy's All-Over Blemish Solution and this stuff is amazing! It's a light, oil-free cream which unblocks pores and reduces inflammation so that blemishes heal faster. Worked a treat! Repurchase? Yes.

Lavera Whitening Toothpaste
I love Lavera's toothpastes as I believe all of them are SLS-free and their Whitening formula is a really good natural option for those who are looking for something to gently remove daily surface stains such as coffee, tea, wine and curry/spices. Gentle and effective. Repurchase? Yes.

Skin & Tonic Brit Beauty Oil (reviewed here)
I've used this wonderful omega-rich facial oil many times over the years and often come back to it during the Winter months when my skin feels drier and needs more nourishment. Great to use for an evening facial massage as well. Repurchase? Will do next Winter.

January Empties: Products I've Used Up
Tropic Smoothing Cleanser Complexion Purifier*
One of my favourite cream cleansers for combination skin, this one from Tropic is perfect to use morning or night and removes all traces of daily grime, pollution and impurities. Repurchase? Yes.

Lyonsleaf Natural Body Butter(reviewed here)
Another long time fave of mine is Lyonleaf's Body Butter. This stuff is seriously thick, rich and super buttery as it's a water-free and preservative-free formula, and it's amazing for very dry skin and problems like eczema. Repurchase? Yes.

CHOBS Moringa Total Cream(reviewed here)
This was a lovely moisturiser to use in the Winter months and I sometimes used it as a night cream when I felt like my skin was particularly parched. Repurchase? Will do next Winter.

Weleda Samples
I always seem to have a stash of Weleda minis lying around as they come in handy for travelling and weekends away. Here I've used up their Arnica Massage Oil, Almond Body Oil, Almond Sensitive Body Wash and Lotion, and Pomegranate Regenerating Body Lotion. Repurchase? I would happily buy full-sizes of all of these!

January Empties: Products I've Used Up
Organii Intensive Organic Face & Body Oil(reviewed here)
Another Winter skin fave - Organii's Intensive range is ideally suited for people who suffer from eczema like myself and their Face & Body Oil is fantastic for sensitive and dry skin types as well. I didn't use this on my face but loved it on my body after a bath or shower. Repurchase? Yes.

Radical Skin Perfecting Screen SPF 30(reviewed here)
I use sunscreen on my face all year round, regardless of the weather as I feel it's one of the best things that you can do in terms of anti-ageing, so it's no surprise that I've gone through many tubes of this over the years! Sinks in, doesn't feel greasy and sits well underneath makeup. Repurchase? Yes.

Tropic Clear Skin Blemish-Fighting Mask(reviewed here)
A powerful natural-based clay face mask for when you're fighting a nasty breakout - this gets to work quickly and helps to reduce the size of spots within 24 hours. Particularly useful for bringing those painful 'under-the-skin' blemishes to the surface. Repurchase? Yes.

Madara Smart Anti-Fatigue Eye Rescue Cream & Anti-Pollution Charcoal & Mud Repair Mask
Two from Madara - the eye cream is brilliant for those who are battling dark circles and fine lines - it creates a smooth surface for concealer, hydrates and de-puffs so it was my go-to in the mornings. The face mask uses a combination of charcoal and mud to detoxify congested skin and remove traces of pollution so it's a good one to use once a week. Repurchase? Yes to both!

January Empties: Products I've Used Up
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 sample sachets, pumps and atomisers with Neal's Yard Remedies - more info at the bottom of their website here.
  • Recycling toothpaste tubes with Colgate's partnership with Terracycle - more info 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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The Weekend Post: Is Botox The Right Way To Get Rid Of Wrinkles? by Austin K

Sunday, 2 February 2020

If how you look is important to you, ageing is bound to be your biggest challenge. Some of the signs of ageing can be hidden easily by simple procedures. Hair colour can hide your grey hairs pretty easily. Other signs like fine lines and wrinkles that appear on your face are a lot harder to deal with. Ageing cannot be reversed, there's no cure for it. There are a lot of good habits one can inculcate to delay the signs of ageing from appearing. Habits like smoking and excessive consumption of alcohol have been known to make things worse faster. Apart from taking preventive steps, there are options one can consider even after fine lines and wrinkles appear on your face. 

Why do wrinkles appear? 

Ageing coincides with the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The exact causes may vary depending on where they appear. The way to treat wrinkles depends on the precise cause of why they appear or where they appear. Our facial expressions make our skin fold. This is caused by the contraction of certain facial muscles. Once the face returns to a resting state the skin straightens out due to its elasticity. Ageing reduces the elasticity of the skin. Due to the frequent contraction of the muscles in a similar pattern over the years the skin forms lines where it folds and over the years these lines deepen. For these types of wrinkles, Botox is the best solution available. 

What does Botox do? 

Botox is a powerful toxin that can temporarily paralyse muscles when injected into them. When injected into the facial muscles responsible for wrinkles they get paralysed and the wrinkles get smoothed out. This effect will last between three to six months depending on a few factors. After that period another dose would be required to maintain a wrinkle-free appearance. Botox cannot remove all types of wrinkles though. It is typically used to treat wrinkles that form on the top one-third portion of the face. Most reputed organizations that offer Botox treatments like ​Therapie Clinic ​also offer other solutions. The most common being dermal fillers. 

What are other treatments? 

All wrinkles do not form because of the contraction of facial muscles. Ageing also reduces the tissue volume in the face. This causes the skin to shrink or sag leading to the appearance of wrinkles. Botox cannot help with such wrinkles. Dermal fillers are a range of substances that can be directly injected into the skin to replace the lost volume thereby letting the wrinkles vanish. The treatment will have to be repeated in around ten months. 

Apart from injectables and preventive good habits, there are surgical methods to treat wrinkles. These methods like a facelift are a lot more expensive. It will also involve a longer recovery period. It also comes with the risks associated with surgery and anaesthesia. Injectables are a safe and relatively hassle-free process to get rid of wrinkles. When it comes to wrinkles that form due to muscle contractions Botox is the best option.

Article contributed by Austin K


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Foodie Friday: No Bake Salted Chocolate Pretzel & Peanut Butter Squares (Vegan / Dairy-Free recipe) #Veganuary

Friday, 31 January 2020

Salted Chocolate Pretzel & Peanut Butter Squares (Vegan / Dairy-Free recipe)
Happy Friday everyone! As today marks the end of a very successful Veganuary, I wanted to round off the month with a chocolatey sweet treat which is based on a simple no-bake recipe. These Salted Chocolate Pretzel & Peanut Butter Squares are seriously moreish so you have been warned!

Vegan desserts and sweet treats are often a lot easier to make at home than you may have previously thought, thanks to the ingredients being readily available from most supermarkets these days. It's simply the case of finding a like-for-like product such as dairy-free chocolate or a plant milk alternative to use instead.  

With this in mind, I wanted to share an easy no-bake recipe for Salted Chocolate Pretzel & Peanut Butter Squares as I feel it's a great recipe to try if you're new to veganism. They're also healthier than something you'd buy pre-made/prepackaged in the shops, and these yummy squares are the perfect size to pop into lunch boxes or to keep in the fridge for whenever you have a sweet snack craving.

I'm hopelessly addicted to that salty chocolate flavour sensation so these really hit the spot if you're a fan too!
Salted Chocolate Pretzel & Peanut Butter Squares (Vegan / Dairy-Free recipe)
Salted Chocolate Pretzel & Peanut Butter Squares (Vegan / Dairy-Free recipe)Ingredients (makes 8-10 squares)
  • 80g Salted Pretzels, plus extra for topping
  • 80g Jumbo Rolled Oats
  • 150g Medjool Dates
  • 6 tbsp Peanut Butter
  • 2 tbsp Maple or Agave Syrup
  • 150g Dairy-Free Milk or Dark Chocolate
  • 2-3 tbsp Dairy-Free Milk
  • 1 tsp Coconut Oil


Method
  • Line a brownie tin with baking paper and set aside.
  • Place the Salted Pretzels, Oats, Dates, Peanut Butter and Maple Syrup into a food processor and blitz until everything comes together to form a rough dough-like texture.
  • Add 2 tbsp of the Dairy-Free Milk and blitz again so that the dough feels sticky between your fingers. If it's still a bit dry or crumbly, add an extra 1 tbsp of Dairy-Free Milk and mix again.
  • Transfer the dough to the lined brownie tin, using a spatula to spread it evenly and to smooth out the surface, pressing it firming into the tray. Set aside.
  • Next, break up the Dairy-Free Chocolate into smaller pieces and place in a microwave-safe bowl with the Coconut Oil. Heat on medium-high for 20-30 seconds until mostly melted and then stir to ensure a smooth and glossy consistency.
  • Carefully pour the melted Chocolate over the dough layer, using the spatula again to smooth it out so that it's an even layer. Finish with some broken pieces of Salted Pretzels and pop into the fridge for at least 2 hours to set.
  • Once set, remove from the fridge and cut into squares. Enjoy!

Storage tip: Keep the squares in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Salted Chocolate Pretzel & Peanut Butter Squares (Vegan / Dairy-Free recipe)
Salted Chocolate Pretzel & Peanut Butter Squares (Vegan / Dairy-Free recipe)
Do you enjoy no-bake recipes?

[Recipe adapted from PlantBased magazine]

Green Beauty: LoveLula Beauty Box - January 2020 review

Thursday, 30 January 2020

Green Beauty: LoveLula Beauty Box - January 2020 review
The first LoveLula Beauty Box of 2020 arrived earlier this month and they've done a fantastic job of including a variety of green beauty products, with an overall value of £50! Curious to find out more? Keep on reading...

Kathleen Natural Bright Mask
 Kathleen Natural Bright Mask (RRP £28)

Worth £28 on its own, this luxury, vegan-friendly face mask is proudly made in the UK by Kathleen Natural who are based in Royal Leamington Spa. The Bright Mask is appropriately named as it's been formulated to deliver refreshing, illuminating and hydrating results thanks to a blend of rich natural acids which are found in White Willow Bark and Hibiscus extracts. The acids help to speed up cell turnover as they gently clear away dull, dead skin cells on the surface, revealing brighter, fresher and younger-looking skin underneath - genius!

Kiki Health Magnesium Oil
 Kiki Health Magnesium Oil (RRP £12.50)

Next up, I was delighted to find a Magnesium Oil from Kiki Health as I often talk about the benefits of magnesium supplements to anyone who will listen! Most of us in the UK have a magnesium deficiency so it's important to keep your levels topped up, especially if you exercise or train a lot. This convenient spray can be applied any time of the day directly to the skin, where it's quickly absorbed to help relax muscles and soothe any minor aches or pains.

Hesh Black Seed Oil
 Hesh Black Seed Oil (RRP £7.99)

Another interesting product in this month's LoveLula box is Hesh Black Seed Oil which comes packaged in dark glass to protect the ingredients within from the elements. Containing simply 100% pure and virgin Black Seed Oil which is extracted from the seeds of the Nigella Sativa plant, this oil has been revered by Asian communities for centuries thanks to its antioxidant-rich properties. You can take it internally to help with allergies, asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure and digestive disorders, or you can apply it topically to treat dry skin problems, reduce inflammation and boost natural hair growth.

Natura Siberica Taiga Daily Protection Hand Cream
 Natura Siberica Taiga Daily Protection Hand Cream (30ml travel size)

As Winter continues its chilly assault on our skin, make sure to give your hands some extra TLC with this travel size Taiga Daily Protection Hand Cream from Natura Siberica. With ingredients such as Wild Honey, Arctic Cloudberries and Lingonberries, this hard-working hand cream instantly hydrates and softens, whilst also protecting the skin's natural barrier.

Mádara Grow Volume Shampoo & Conditioner
Mádara Grow Volume Shampoo & Conditioner (samples)

To round off this month's LoveLula box, we have two samples of Mádara Grow Volume Shampoo & Conditioner - a range of natural hair care which is infused with Caffeine and Zinc to give your hair a healthy boost. And don't forget that after you've tried these, you can recycle the sample sachet packaging at your nearest Neal's Yard Remedies as part of their national recycling scheme - more info here to find your local stockist.


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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