New In Beauty: Noughty Haircare at Feel Unique + Wave Hello Set Instagram Giveaway!

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Noughty Haircare at Feel Unique
Have you heard the latest beauty news? Noughty Haircare are now available on Feel Unique - hooray! To celebrate, you can win a set of their popular Wave Hello range over on my Instagram page.

When it comes to affordable haircare that's both cruelty-free and vegan-friendly, Noughty Haircare is your hair's BFF. This budget-friendly brand has products which are 97% natural and everything from them is free from a range of common 'nasties' such as Petrochemicals, Parabens, Sulphates and Silicones. I've been using SLS-free haircare for many years now and it's been one of the best things that I've done for my sensitive scalp, so seeing a brand like this, that has effective products which won't break the bank, is definitely worth looking into if you're wanting to make the switch to a more natural alternative with your hair care.

Noughty Haircare Wave Hello range
Like most haircare brands, Noughty have different ranges to suit different hair types and styles, so you'll find something for everyone. One of their most popular ranges is called Wave Hello which has been specially formulated for curly and wavy hair. Its main aim is to help define your curls and enhance any natural wave texture to your hair, whilst also softening and adding essential moisture. My hair is naturally wavy and very frizzy when left to its own devices, so I was interested to try out the range to see if it would work for me.

Noughty Haircare at Feel Unique
Noughty Haircare Wave Hello Curl Defining Shampoo* (250ml, £6.99, link)
As I mentioned earlier, this shampoo is SLS-free and instead contains SLMI (Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate which is naturally derived from coconuts. It provides a much more gentle and subtle cleansing lather, but it still does a great job of cleaning your hair, although you may need to use a little more product than what you normally would with a regular shampoo. It smells very fresh and also contains vitamin-rich Avocado Oil to strengthen, Sea Kelp extract to soothe sensitive scalps (which is brilliant for mine) and Chlorella extract which contains amino acids, vitamins and minerals to replenish the overall health of your hair. 

Noughty Haircare Wave Hello Curl Defining Conditioner* (250ml, £6.99, link)
The matching conditioner is just as good as the shampoo and shares the same ocean fresh scent which I love. In addition to Avocado Oil, this conditioner also boasts a range of other plant-based oils that work their magic on dry, frizzy locks, whilst Sea Fennel extract is included to further hydrate and smooth the delicate hair cuticle and Irish Moss helps to replenish and lock in moisture. Combined with the shampoo, this duo leaves my hair much softer and sleeker, with a noticeable definition to my natural wave texture so it gets a thumbs up from me, plus the price is fantastic as you get a lot of bang for your buck!

Noughty Haircare Wave Hello Curl Defining Taming Cream* (150ml, £6.99, link)
To complete the Wave Hello range, there's a Taming Cream which acts as an additional anti-frizz treatment so that your hair stays sleeker for longer. Packed full of Wheat extract to detangle, Camelia Oil and Linoleic Acids to keep the hair moisturised all day long and pesky flyaways at bay, and Mango Butter to deeply hydrate and soften, this product can be used every day without any worry about buildup problems. A little goes a long way with this leave-in cream and it's great to use as the last step in your styling routine.

Giveaway & How To Enter
Head on over to my Instagram page here to enter to win a set of Noughty's Wave Hello products, as featured above, worth £20.97. Simply follow me, Noughty Haircare and Feel Unique and tag one of your best friends - easy! Giveaway ends on 25th September 2018 - good luck!

Shop Noughty Haircare at FeelUnique.com

Have you tried any haircare from Noughty?

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Green Beauty: 5 Everyday Essentials From LoveLula.com

Monday, 17 September 2018

Everyday Essentials From LoveLula.com
One of my favourite places to shop online is at LoveLula which is a haven for some incredible green beauty brands! Not only is it a great place to treat yourself to something special, but it's quickly become my go-to for everyday essentials as well. Here are my top five daily products that I like to pick up from LoveLula.

Supplements
Regular readers will know that I'm a big fan of taking natural supplements to help keep your health in tip-top shape and LoveLula stock an excellent range from Terra Nova and Kiki Health. Both of these brands don't use any cheap fillers, bulking agents or additives in their products so you're getting a much higher quality supplement. The Terra Nova Magnesium Calcium Complex* (100 capsules, £13.25, link) is something that I take on a regular basis, as well as their B-Complex (100 capsules, £16.75, link).  

Toothpaste
If you're looking for a more natural alternative to mainstream toothpaste, LoveLula has some good options from Weleda, Green People and Lavera that you can try out. Each one features different ingredients, but they're all free from the main 'nasties' such as SLS and parabens, and there are fluoride-free formulas available too. My top pick is the Lavera Basis Sensitive Toothpaste in Organic Mint* (75ml, £3.95, link) which has a lovely refreshing flavour.

Everyday Essentials From LoveLula.com
Deodorant
Finding a natural deodorant that works for you often requires a bit of trial and error - I know I've tried out a lot of different brands over the years! Thankfully, LoveLula has a wide range available from the likes of MadaraLaveraElsa's Organic SkinfoodsWeledaDr HauschkaSukinNeal's Yard RemediesBen & AnnaGreen PeoplePacificaOhm and Benecos. I particularly love the Native Unearthed Deodorants and Elsa's Organic Skinfoods Deodorant in Ocean(45g, £10, link) as it keeps me smelling fresh all day long. 

Cotton Essentials
For your everyday cotton based essentials, you can't beat Organyc whose products are all made from 100% certified organic cotton and have a hypoallergenic composition with no perfumes, no colourants, no synthetic materials or SAP (Super Absorbent Powders). They have sanitary/femcare products, wipes and post-pregnancy items, as well as two staples that I always buy; Cotton Pads(70 pads, £2.79, link) and plastic-free Cotton Buds(200 buds, £2.99, link).

Everyday Essentials From LoveLula.com
Soap
Finally, if you love a good solid bar of soap as much as I do for baths, showers, washing your hands etc, you'll find lots to choose from at LoveLula. In addition to well-known green beauty brands such as John Masters OrganicsWeledaJOIKMadaraPacifica and Odylique, you'll also discover some smaller, more niche companies like Ruth RomanoGK Natural Creations and The Handmade Soap Company, so there's something for everyone. I tend to chop and change between different brands, but two firm faves of mine are the Organii Cream Soap in Almond(100g, £2.95, link) and PHB Ethical Beauty Natural Soap in Lavender* (100g, £3.95, link).

Do you like to buy any essentials from LoveLula.com?

Foodie Friday: Chunky Apple & Spelt Soda Bread (Vegan recipe) #GBBO Bread Week

Friday, 14 September 2018

Chunky Apple & Spelt Soda Bread (Vegan recipe)
I'd been planning to try out some sourdough recipes for the GBBO's Bread Week challenge, but this monster cold that I've been fighting against has been zapping all of my energy, so I've mustered up a quick and easy Soda Bread instead! 

Soda Bread is by far the easiest type of bread to make as it requires minimal ingredients, no kneading or proving, and is out of the oven ready to be served within 30 minutes. This awesome quick bread is something that I often make with lots of seeds (check out my post earlier in the year on that recipe here), but this time I fancied trying something different.

The base of a classic Soda Bread is usually a simple mixture of some kind of flour and buttermilk, however, I've had many requests for more vegan food features so I decided to experiment with some non-dairy buttermilk alternatives and I'm pleased to say that it's turned out pretty well! 

The recipe below features Spelt Flour which gives the bread a slightly milder wholemeal taste, Unsweetened Almond Milk with a little Lemon Juice as the vegan buttermilk alternative, and a chunky Bramley Apple thrown in for a fruity seasonal twist. This bread is delicious served warm or cold in thick slices with your favourite nut butter, jam or dairy-free butter slathered on top.

Chunky Apple & Spelt Soda Bread (Vegan recipe)
Ingredients: (makes 1 loaf)
  • 500g Spelt Flour
  • 1 tsp of Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 1 tbsp Agave Syrup
  • 400ml Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 2 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 Bramley Apple
  • Pinch of Sea Salt

Method:
  • Preheat the oven to 200C / Gas Mark 6 and line a loaf tin with greaseproof baking paper.
  • Peel and core the Bramley Apple and chop into bite-sized chunks (or smaller if you prefer). Dry any excess moisture from the apple pieces with kitchen paper.
  • To make the vegan buttermilk, mix the Unsweetened Almond Milk and Lemon Juice together in a bowl and allow to stand for 5-10 minutes. Add the Agave Syrup and whisk until combined.
  • In a separate large bowl, add the Spelt Flour, Bicarbonate of Soda and Salt and gently mix them together. Make a well in the centre and pour in the buttermilk mixture, mixing quickly.
  • Transfer the mixture into the lined loaf tin and make some scores across the top with a knife. Bake for 30 minutes or until the bread has risen with a golden crust. 
  • Serve warm from the oven or allow to cool and enjoy on its own or with your favourite toppings. Enjoy!

Storage tip: Keep in an airtight container for 3-4 days. Best consumed as fresh as possible.

Chunky Apple & Spelt Soda Bread (Vegan recipe)
Do you like Soda Bread?

New In Beauty: 4 Products To Buy & Try This Month

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Looking for some beauty shopping inspo? Here are four products that you should treat yourself to this month. This edit includes a bit of skincare, body care, makeup and some very realistic temporary tattoos, so there's something for everyone! 

Try Hempz Milk & Honey Herbal Body Moisturiser
Dry skin? Try Hempz Milk & Honey Herbal Body Moisturiser* (500ml, £23.99, link)

Hempz have recently launched their brand new Milk & Honey range which is just as delicious as it sounds! Comprising of four products (a Body Wash, Exfoliating Body Whip, Hand & Foot Creme and a Herbal Body Moisturiser), the range features the brand's famous 100% natural Hemp Seed Oil and combines this with ingredients such as Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Aloe Vera, Jojoba Seed Oil, Oat Extract, Avocado Oil and Sunflower Seed Oil, for a softening and hydrating body moisturiser that you can use as often as needed to keep dry skin at bay.

It's not as natural as I was hoping it to be, but I've been enjoying slathering on this Body Moisturiser after baths and showers and it makes my skin feel so soft and comforted afterwards. The Milk & Honey scent is fresh and not too sweet which I just love. For those curious, there's no actual milk or honey in the formula (it's just fragranced that way) so it can be used by vegans and is also free from gluten and parabens.

STARSKIN 100% Camellia Nourishing & Anti-Wrinkle 2-Step Oil Sheet Mask
 Luxury sheet mask fan? Try STARSKIN 100% Camellia Nourishing & Anti-Wrinkle 2-Step Oil Sheet Mask* (£9, link)

If your complexion is in need of a luxury pampering treat, STARSKIN's 100% Camellia Nourishing & Anti-Wrinkle 2-Step Oil Sheet Mask will not disappoint. Featuring a two-step complete skincare treatment, it has a capsule of 100% Camellia Oil as the first step which is packed full of natural antioxidants, vitamins and essential fatty acids to nourish and soften the skin. The second step is then the Benitsubaki Sheet Mask itself which is soaked in a rich essence that contains Hyaluronic Acid, Arginine and Amino Acids to transform dull and dry skin. 

It also has a temporary effect to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles for a more youthful and glowy finish. Definitely one to try for a special occasion or night out when you want to be looking your best!

Esquido Waterproof Gel Eyeliner Pencils in Black & Brown
Esquido Waterproof Gel Eyeliner Pencils in Black & Brown
Need new eyeliners? Try Esqido Waterproof Gel Eyeliner Pencils in Black & Brown* (0.5g, $16 each, link)

Whether you wear eyeliner on a daily basis or just like to have a high-quality waterproof one on hand for those occasions where you want some extra definition to your look, these Gel Eyeliners from Esqido are amazing! I wasn't expecting them to be anywhere near this good because the brand are better known for their gorgeous false lashes (check out my review on those here), but these have really hit the ball out of the park and impressed me!

The twist-up white pencils look very chic in your makeup bag and the waterproof gel formulas are intensely pigmented and apply like a dream; they are so easy to use and really nice and creamy. Once on, they don't smudge or fade for at least 8-10 hours, so if you're looking to invest in some new eyeliners, why not try these?


Tattooed Now! Realistic Temporary Tattoos
Tattooed Now! Realistic Temporary Tattoos (various prices from £2.60, link)

Aside from golden glitter tattoos for festivals, I usually steer clear of most temporary tattoos because, to be frankly honest, they look a bit naff and often peel or flake off when you least expect it - not a good look. However, I like to be open-minded, so when I was introduced to Tattooed Now! I was curious to try them out as they're made by Hollywood makeup artists and are a million times more realistic looking than any temporary tattoos that I've ever seen before. So much so, that A-list actors like Gerard Butler, Channing Tatum and Salma Hayek have happily worn custom designs by Tattooed Now! and the brand's work have been featured in everything from Game of Thrones to Cloud Atlas and Black Sails. 

Tattooed Now! are certainly a completely different level of temporary tattoo, and I've managed to trick friends with both their Sphynx Cat and Skull Butterfly designs recently. I appreciate that they may not be to everyone's personal tastes, but if you are looking to experiment with body art and want something temporary (or even just to try out a design to see if you like the placing of it before getting properly inked), Tattooed Now! are well worth checking out.

What beauty products have you bought this month?

Skincare Review: Odacité Black Mint Cleanser, Black Cumin Pimples Serum, Rose & Neroli Treatment Mist, Peach Cypress Combination Skin Serum + Aventurine Kiss Lip Serum

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Skincare Review: Odacité Black Mint Cleanser, Black Cumin Pimples Serum, Rose & Neroli Treatment Mist, Peach Cypress Combination Skin Serum + Aventurine Kiss Lip Serum
Odacité are one of those amazing cult skincare brands that I've been wanting to try out for absolutely ages, so you can imagine how excited I was when this package arrived from the US! 

Odacité are based in California and have become world-famous for their innovative formulas which are cruelty-free, clean, organic and natural. These attributes are truly at the core of this luxury green brand as the founder, Valérie Grandury, was diagnosed with breast cancer back in 2004. Following her diagnosis, Valérie wanted to create a skincare range that was both healthy and beautiful, with 'freshness' being one of the main inspirations. It's no surprise then to learn that all of Odacité's products are entirely free from synthetic ingredients and boast some of the freshest, organic natural ingredients that are sourced from around the world. 

After years of experimenting and perfecting various formulas, Odacité was launched to the public in 2009 and has enthralled skincare junkies and green beauty fans ever since. I've been testing the following products out in a full skincare routine for about four/five weeks now and wanted to share my current thoughts on this interesting range. 

For reference, my skin is combination, prone to blemishes and can sometimes be sensitive.

Odacité Black Mint Cleanser
 Odacité Black Mint Cleanser* (100ml, £39, link)

Packaged in sleek black glass and featuring a handy inbuilt pump, Odacité's Black Mint Cleanser is an exceptional purifying facial cleanser that would suit anyone who has oily, combination and blemish/acne-prone skin. The texture of this cleanser has a thin gel-like consistency which turns into a light foam for a deep clean that feels instantly cooling and refreshing - it's a delight to use during the warmer Summer months! My skin feels super clean but without any tightness or dryness afterwards.

Key active ingredients include Activated Charcoal and Rhassoul Clay to draw out impurities, and there's Peppermint and Tea Tree to refresh and wake up a tired complexion, whilst also helping to reduce the appearance of pores. Although this cleanser can remove light makeup, I've kept to using it exclusively in the mornings, mainly due to the price tag and the fact that I really enjoy a properly refreshing cleanser to make me look more alive first thing. If that sounds like something that you need in your life and you have the budget for it, I certainly recommend it.

Odacité Black Cumin Pimples Serum
Odacité Black Cumin Pimples Serum Concentrate* (5ml, £27.50, link) 

Odacité are most well-known for their range of Serum Concentrates, and having tried two of them for myself, I can say that if you only buy one product from the brand, make it one of these. They have a product for every type of skin-related problem or concern, and their Black Cumin Pimples Serum Concentrate is one of the brand's bestsellers.

Specially formulated to really get deep down into the pores, this serum has a very clarifying and purifying effect and manages to blitz away blemishes quickly, whilst still not drying out the skin like most other acne/spot treatments do. The superstar main ingredient is the highest-grade, cold-pressed certified virgin organic Black Cumin Oil which is revered for its abilities to tackle clogged pores and draw out embedded impurities, whilst Cajeput Oil is included to help fight the source of the bacteria which often causes blemishes in the first place.

As the name suggests, a little goes a long way so don't be put off by the small size of the bottle. You can either use 2-3 drops mixed in with your daily moisturiser, or apply a few drops directly to the skin as a blemish treatment which is how I've been using it. I've definitely noticed a decrease in new breakouts and it's helped to clear up some of those stubborn under-the-skin bumps that appear during that 'time of the month'.

Odacité Rose & Neroli Hydra-Vitalizing Treatment Mist
Odacité Rose & Neroli Hydra-Vitalizing Treatment Mist* (50ml, £39, link)

Rose and Neroli are two of my favorite essential oils, so I had a gut feeling that I was going to enjoy using this Hydra-Vitalizing Mist, and it did not disappoint. Made from an expert blend of some of nature's most soothing and moisturising ingredients, this wonderful spritz contains the likes of Rose Water to balance sebum, Aloe Vera to keep the skin protected and moist, Neroli to banish blemishes, and Aspen Bark which acts a potent astringent to help minimize the appearance of pores.

The mist is distributed lightly with the pump applicator and feels so amazingly refreshing and hydrating on the skin. It's brilliant to use in your everyday skincare routine, as well as whenever you feel that your skin needs a revitalising pick me up. I don't personally feel that you ever need to spend much on a toner/spritz, but if you are in the market for a really luxurious organic one and have the cash to splash, this is certainly a product to treat yourself to.  I'll definitely be decanting some of this to take with me on my next plane trip!

Odacité Peach Cypress Combination Skin Serum Concentrate
 Odacité Peach Cypress Combination Skin Serum Concentrate* (5ml, £27.50, link)

Effective serums for combination skin types can be difficult to find because they essentially have to do at least two jobs; balance the skin's sebum production to keep the oily parts under control and provide moisture to the drier areas. Fortunately, Odacité's Peach Cypress Combination Skin Serum Concentrate manages to do those two jobs perfectly. 

In this serum, you'll find a blend of Seabuckthorn Oil to smooth and even out the skin's texture, Peach Oil to minimise excess sebum and make pores appear smaller, and Cypress and Grapefruit Oils to keep shine at bay and the skin soft with their natural astringent and antioxidant properties. The result is a super lightweight serum that absorbs easily without any stickiness, and gives the skin a nice matte finish without making it feel tight or dry. 

I find that the Serum Concentrates are best used as treatments applied directly onto the skin, as and when you feel that your skin needs them, but you can add a few drops to your daily moisturiser if desired.

Odacité Aventurine Kiss Lip Serum
Odacité Aventurine Kiss Lip Serum* (2ml, £44, link)

The newest release from Odacité is their Aventurine Kiss Lip Serum and this is something that I was a little sceptical of at first. I mean £44 for a lip serum - do I really need this in my life?! Whilst it's by no means a skincare essential, I have to admit that it is a beautiful product that has made a difference to the overall appearance and texture of my lips, so I'll give it all the credit that it's due - this stuff works.

Open it up and you'll find an Aventurine green crystal rollerball applicator which completely seals the deal as a luxurious Princess product and it'll make you feel like a million dollars whenever you use it. Described as a 'triple-action' serum, the formula targets the vertical lines of the lips, deeply hydrates and helps to restore the natural plumpness that can be lost through ageing. Key ingredients include the super antioxidant CoQ10, Vitamin C, Cacao Butter, Shea Butter, Moringa Oil and Jojoba Oil, plus there's a little Mint and Capsicum to give it a tingly, warming feel, and no doubt helps to plump up those lips! 

Although the plumping effect is temporary (I'd say it lasts a few hours at most), I have seen a noticeable difference in how smooth and soft my lips look and feel. If your lips are your best feature and you want to give them some serious luxury TLC pampering, the Aventurine Kiss Lip Serum will be right up your street.

Odacité can be found in the UK via various stockists including Naturisimo, Cult Beauty and Content Beauty.

Have you tried any cult products from Odacité?

Foodie Friday: Crispy Madras Tofu Bites with Turmeric Basmati Rice & Stir-Fried Veggies (Vegan recipe)

Friday, 7 September 2018

Crispy Madras Tofu Bites with Turmeric Basmati Rice & Stir Fried Veggies (Vegan recipe)
Think all Tofu tastes like a weird soggy sponge? You've been cooking it wrong! With a little clever know-how,  it's easy to transform this popular plant-based protein source into a deliciously crispy bite that you can add to any rice, noodles or stir-fry dish. Try it this way and you may just change your mind!

Tofu is definitely a love it or hate it type of food for most people and I can sympathise; the very first time that I tried tofu was from my local Chinese takeaway and it was awful. It had hardly been cooked and the accompanying thick sauce caused it to be horribly soggy in texture. I avoided tofu for years afterwards, until a vegan friend cooked up a batch at a house party and it changed my outlook on the humble bean curd forever.

Crispy Madras Tofu Bites with Turmeric Basmati Rice & Stir Fried Veggies (Vegan recipe)
See, the main thing to bear in mind with tofu is that the texture of it can be altered completely depending upon how you cook it, and it can be prepared in so many different ways. It's also worth experimenting with trying various brands because I've found that they don't all taste the same or have the same texture, even before you cook with it. The best kind that I always buy is organic and extra-firm, with my favourite brands being Clearspot (available in health food stores and online at Abel and Cole), and Tofoo which you can pick up in your local Sainsbury's, Waitrose or Tesco. 

Below is my absolute favourite way to cook with tofu as the end result has a pleasant crisp/bite to it and the Madras Curry Powder gives it lots of flavour. I love adding this to a hot bowl of homemade Turmeric Basmati Rice and plenty of Stir-Fried Veggies for a nutritious and totally satisfying meal that always fills me up! You can easily adapt this recipe by using different types of seasonings and spices with your tofu, and you can serve it with your favourite veggies and any kind of rice or noodles.

Crispy Madras Tofu Bites with Turmeric Basmati Rice & Stir Fried Veggies (Vegan recipe)
Ingredients (makes 2-3 servings)
  • 280g of Extra-Firm Plain Organic Tofu (I used Clearspot)
  • 2tsp of Madras Curry Powder
  • 1 tbsp of Cornflour
  • 1tbp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus extra for frying
  • 150g Basmati Rice
  • 2 tsp of Turmeric (I used Kiki Health)
  • 3 Cardamon Pods
  • 1 whole Star Anise
  • Mixed Stir-Fry Veggies (I used Peppers, Mushrooms & Baby Corn)
  • Soy or Tamari Sauce to serve (optional)


Method:
  • In a large saucepan with a lid, add the Basmati Rice and 225ml of cold water. Add the Turmeric, Cardamon Pods, Star Anise and put the lid on. Bring to the boil, then reduce to the lowest simmer setting to allow the rice to steam for around 20-25 minutes, keeping the lid on for the whole duration. Alternatively, use a rice steamer.
  • While the rice is cooking, prep the Tofu by gently squeezing out as much water as possible because the drier and firmer it is, the better the end result will be. Cut it into bite-sized cubes and place in a medium-sized bowl. Add the Madras Curry Powder, Cornflour and Olive Oil, mixing it with a spoon or your hands, so that the tofu is completely coated. Set aside.
  • Heat up a large frying pan or wok to a medium temperature with a generous drizzle of Olive Oil. Slice up your Mixed Veggies and add these to the pan with the coated Tofu cubes. Stir fry everything for 6-8 minutes until the outside of the Tofu looks golden brown and crispy. 
  • Remove the lid on the pan with the Basmati Rice and take out the Cardamon Pods and Star Anise. Fluff the rice with a fork and transfer to a serving bowl or plate. Add the Tofu and Veggies on the top with a splash of Soy or Tamari Sauce if desired. Enjoy!

Speedy Meal Prep Tips: You can make the Tofu a day in advance and store it in the fridge in a sealed container - just make sure to add the Cornflour before you're about to cook it. You can use microwaveable rice if you're short on time.

Crispy Madras Tofu Bites with Turmeric Basmati Rice & Stir Fried Veggies (Vegan recipe)
Are you a fan of Tofu? 

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