Beauty Box: LoveLula Beauty Box - August 2017 review

Monday, 21 August 2017

LoveLula Beauty Box - August 2017 review
After seeing a couple of spoilers, I was excited to receive this month's LoveLula Beauty Box as it contains some new, just launched products and tea!

Here's what I found inside August's box:-

PHB Natural & Organic Eye Liner in Brown
 PHB Natural & Organic Eye Liner in Brown (full size, RRP £10.95)

Last month, LoveLula included a fantastic mascara from PHB (reviewed here), and this month they've added a full-size eyeliner pencil from the brand. This is the product that I'm the least excited about in the box as I don't tend to use brown eyeliner very often, so I'll be passing this onto my mum who will get more use out of it than I will.

 Balm Balm Organic Chamomile Floral Water Hydrosol
 Balm Balm Organic Chamomile Floral Water Hydrosol (30ml travel size, RRP £8.50)

You guys know how much I love multi-purpose products, and this Chamomile Floral Water Hydrosol from Balm Balm is totally up my street! You can use it as a facial toner mist, a soothing spray for irritated skin areas all over the body, and as a relaxing spritz for pillows and linens. It's 100% natural and kind enough to use on a baby.

Glossworks Nail Polish in Name Of The Rose and 3-in1
Glossworks Nail Polish in Name Of The Rose and 3-in1
Glossworks Nail Polish in Name Of The Rose and 3-in1 (full sizes, £12 each)

Recently launched on LoveLula is the brand new range of Glossworks nail products and I was really excited to try these out as they're vegan-friendly, cruelty-free and have a 9-free formula (they're free from Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, Toluene, DBP, Camphor, Paraben, Xylene, Ethyl Tosylamide and Lead). 

The 3-in-1 is a base coat, top coat and hardener product and the nail polish that I received is in the shade 'Name Of The Rose', which as you can see, is a beautiful hot pink shade that's perfect for Summer. This nail polish applied smoothly in two coats and has a lovely gel-like finish and shine to it.

Beauty Brews Verve Organic Rooibos & Orange Tea
Beauty Brews Verve Organic Rooibos & Orange Tea (full size, RRP £9.50)

Lastly, I found a tin of Beauty Brews Organic Tea in Verve - a Rooibos and Orange blend. I absolutely love the Beauty Brews loose leaf teas and have reviewed them in the past here, but this is the first time that I've tried the Verve flavour. This is a really delicious and tasty tea with strong fruity notes of Orange, Apple and Blackberry, in a Rooibos base. Yum!

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?

Luxury Home Style: Charlotte Rhys Home Fragrance Range review

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Charlotte Rhys Home Fragrance Range review
Looking for some new scented treats for the home, that smell as good as they look? These luxury home fragrance products from Charlotte Rhys tick all the right boxes.

Living with two pet dogs means that my house can smell a little, well, doggy at times, so I'm a huge fan of scented candles and room sprays, to help keep things nice and fresh. I also like to keep a stash of what I call 'fancy' home fragrance products around, to bring out when guests come around. There's nothing like a quick spritz of a nice scent to create an instantly more welcoming atmosphere, and it can help to hide the fact that you might have missed dusting the top of the TV if people are too busy complimenting you on how good your home smells!

I've recently been introduced to Charlotte Rhys, a luxury bath, body and lifestyle brand from Cape Town. They're one of South Africa's leading homegrown luxury brands and they've now spread their wings to the UK. The brand are very much focused on sustainability and eco-friendly practices, and all of their products are vegan-friendly, cruelty-free and have biodegradable formulas. They kindly sent me a package of some of their best-selling home fragrance products to try out, including a scented candle, a room spray and a pillow/linens spray.

Charlotte Rhys Perfumed Candle in No.17* (£31, 200g, link)
Packaged in a high shine black glass with a silver lid, this candle looks beautifully chic and stylish wherever you place it in your home. There are a range of scents available and I received No.17, a fresh, woody and quite masculine fragrance, with top notes of Bergamot, Lemon, and Tarragon, heart notes of Lily of the Valley and Reseda, all nestled in a base of Cedarwood, Sandalwood, Vetiver, and Musk. The scent throw is excellent and within half an hour, my entire living room smells like an expensive hotel room.

Charlotte Rhys Atmosphere Room Spray in Under The Leaves(£18, 50ml, link)
If you prefer to fragrance your home with a room spray, Charlotte's Atmosphere range is exquisitely packaged in glossy black glass bottles that look more like luxury colognes than your typical room sprays. They come in a variety of scents to suit different rooms and moods, and I have Under The Leaves which is a warm and uplifting fragrance featuring Orange, Tomato Leaves, Hyacinth, Lily of the Valley, Musk and Cedarwood. It's perfect for living and dining rooms - anywhere that you like to entertain guests.

Charlotte Rhys Pillow Spray in St. Tomas* (£17, 300ml, link
I have to admit that I was a little disappointed when I opened up the Pillow Spray as it's packaged in a much cheaper feeling plastic bottle compared to the luxury glass housings of the above products, but the sheer size and quantity of fragrance that you receive certainly makes up for this. Like the other products, the Pillow Sprays are available in a range of fragrances, and St. Thomas is a wonderfully fresh and crisp scent with its unique blend of Mint, Birch Leaf, Grapefruit, Green Apple, Geranium, Lavender, Vetiver, and Patchouli. It's ideal to spritz onto bed sheets, sofa throws, linens and pillows, to instantly refresh and revitalize, whilst helping to scent the room at the same time.

To shop the full range of Charlotte Rhys products, visit charlotterhys.uk.com

Do you love luxury home fragrance products?

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Foodie Friday: 5 Ways To Use Habanero Hot Sauce with Memento Mori

Friday, 18 August 2017

 5 Ways To Use Habanero Hot Sauce
If there's one thing that I can't get enough of, it's hot sauce. And I like my hot sauce, really, really hot! Meet my latest obsession which I've been pouring onto almost everything; Memento Mori Habanero Pepper Sauce.

Fellow chili lovers will know that the independent hot sauce scene in the UK is booming right now, and you can find all sorts of homemade fiery delights from every corner of the country. Someone, somewhere, is always experimenting with a new chili sauce recipe, so the best places to find them are generally not in your local Tesco, but online. So much so, that my cupboard and fridge are full of hot sauces from artisan producers that I've found via social media, and my newest discovery is from Memento Mori.

 5 Ways To Use Habanero Hot Sauce

 5 Ways To Use Habanero Hot Sauce
The brand reached out to me and asked if I'd like to try their hot sauce, and when I saw the bottle, I instantly said yes! I mean, how cool does it look?! From the small chunky glass bottle, to the label design and the cork top complete with a red wax seal featuring a skull, Memento Mori immediately grabbed my attention and I couldn't wait to try it when it arrived.

Their Habanero Pepper Hot Sauce is a seriously hot blend of fresh Habanero Peppers, Vinegar, and Spices, and each batch is handmade in Crouch End, North London. This sauce really packs a punch in both the flavour and heat department, and it will certainly add a fiery kick to any meal! I love how fresh it tastes and you only need to use a few drops to liven up your food.

Below, I've shared five ways that I've been recently using Memento Mori Habanero Hot Sauce, but the options are endless as it's such a versatile condiment to have in your cupboard!

 5 Ways To Use Habanero Hot Sauce
 1 - On Avocado Toast

My Superfood Avocado On Sourdough Toast recipe has been one of my most viewed posts this month, so if you're an avo fan and you love hot sauce, why not combine the two?! If only everything in life was this simple to figure out!

 5 Ways To Use Habanero Hot Sauce
 2 - Spicy Baked Beans

Whether you like your beans from Heinz or enjoy making your own version like I have above, a few drops of hot sauce will add some pleasant heat for a super tasty side dish.

 5 Ways To Use Habanero Hot Sauce
3 - Chili Infused Dipping Oil

This Chili Infused Dipping Oil idea was recommended to me by Memento Mori who suggest using two parts Extra Virgin Olive Oil to 1 part Memento Mori Hot Sauce for a delicious dipping oil that you can use with crusty chunks of fresh bread. Yum!

 5 Ways To Use Habanero Hot Sauce
 4 - Over Scrambled Eggs

Spice up your breakfast with a splash of hot sauce over scrambled eggs, or any eggs for that matter - it works just as well with poached and fried - whichever way you like them! 

 5 Ways To Use Habanero Hot Sauce
5 - Aztec/Mexican Hot Chocolate

If you're feeling particularly adventurous, try adding some hot sauce to an Aztec or Mexican Hot Chocolate instead of using chili powder. The sauce will mix even better with the liquid hot chocolate and you'll get that amazing chili and chocolate flavour coming through. Why not try it with my Aztec Hot Chocolate recipe

Memento Mori Habanero Pepper Sauce* is available to order via the brand's Facebook here.

Are you a fan of hot sauce?

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New In Beauty: Urban Decay Naked Heat Eyeshadow Palette - Review & Swatches

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Urban Decay Naked Heat Eyeshadow Palette - Review & Swatches
Urban Decay are bringing the heat this Summer, quite literally, with their brand new Naked Heat Eyeshadow Palette. But is it worth the hype? Let's find out!

Urban Decay Naked Heat Eyeshadow Palette - Review & Swatches
Urban Decay's latest eyeshadow palette release was 'hotly' anticipated by many makeup junkies and the brand did some clever marketing to get the beauty world talking about it with a handful of pre-sale events. Being the newest addition to UD's much loved Naked range, the Naked Heat Eyeshadow Palette was always going to cause a stir and I have to say that I was immediately drawn to it when I first saw it on Instagram. I'll always be a die-hard neutrals fan at heart, but I've been wanting to push myself outside of my comfort zone and try out some new shades for Summer, so this palette arrived at just the right time!

The packaging for the Naked Heat palette is on point as always with anything from Urban Decay, and I love the fun, almost retro-80s vibe on the lid, complete with embossed text that's super satisfying to run your fingers over. This palette contains 12 brand new shades and it's a sizzling mix of warm toned mattes and shimmers featuring an interesting spectrum of browns, reds, coppers, and bronzes. 

Urban Decay Naked Heat Eyeshadow Palette - Review & Swatches
Urban Decay Naked Heat Eyeshadow Palette - Review & Swatches
As expected, there's a large mirror in the reverse lid and the Naked Heat palette comes with a double-ended eyeshadow brush featuring a flat end for packing on shadow, and a fluffier end for blending it all out. I'm always impressed with the quality of the brushes from Urban Decay as they are by far the best that you can find in a palette like this. 

Here's a rundown of all 12 shades and how they perform on the peepers:-

Urban Decay Naked Heat Eyeshadow Palette - Review & Swatches
  • Ounce - Super pale, creamy white ivory shade with a touch of shimmer. Perfect to use as an inner corner highlight to make the eyes look wide awake, or as a subtle under-brow highlight. 
  • Chaser - A classic 'nude' / flesh-toned matte. I've been using this a lot all over the lids for those easy 'no makeup makeup' days when you want to look like you've made an effort, but really can't be bothered! 
  • Sauced - Light brown matte with a reddish undertone. Looks amazing in the crease alongside some neutral shades for a more defined, everyday look. 
  • Low Blow - A medium brown matte with a hint of yellow. Richly pigmented and great as a base for a warm smokey eye. 
  • Lumbre - Stunning metallic rose-gold with a duo-chrome finish. Adds a lot of warmth and the shimmer reflects beautifully when it's caught in sunlight.
  • He Devil - Burnt red matte. This one wasn't the easiest to work with as it's a little dry and you definitely needs a primer underneath to get the most out of this colour.
  • Dirty Talk - Bright metallic copper. Beautifully pigmented with a rich gold shimmer running through it. Blends like a dream! 
  • Scorched - A pink toned metallic copper, this is my favourite shade in the palette. It's quite similar to Dirty Talk but that extra pink in there makes it even more wearable for me. 
  • Cayenne - Warm chocolate matte. This is another great shade to use a base for a warm smokey eye and is a really versatile colour. 
  • En Fuego - Dark burgundy matte. A strong shade to use on its own, I've found it works better as a liner colour tucked into the lashline or as a crease shade for a dramatic smokey eye. 
  • Ashes - Dark aubergine brown matte - my least favourite colour as it's quite dry and doesn't blend as well as the other matte shades. 
  • Ember - A beautiful and very unusual deep metallic brown and copper duo-chrome shade. I don't have a colour like this in the whole of my eyeshadow collection and it's absolutely stunning used wet as a liner for the lower waterline!

Overall thoughts? 
Although there are one or two shades which either aren't my thing or don't blend as well as the rest, the vast majority of the shadows in the Naked Heat palette are typical of the richly pigmented and high-quality formulas that I've come to expect and love from a brand like Urban Decay. This warm toned colourway won't be for everyone, but if you're looking for a new high-end palette to play with this Summer, Naked Heat will provide a lot of creativity and fun, and it certainly does its job of helping me to break out of my neutral-loving comfort zone!

Urban Decay Naked Heat Eyeshadow Palette* retails for £39.50 and is available from various stockists including direct from urbandecay.co.uk

What do you think of the new Naked Heat Palette? Yay or nay?

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Health & Wellbeing: PurePharma Synbiotics SB3 review

Wednesday, 16 August 2017


PurePharma Synbiotics SB3 review
Pick up any health magazine and you'll find countless features on the benefits of having a healthy gut, and both prebiotics and probiotics are currently enjoying a long overdue welcome in the spotlight.

But this is nothing new. Many ancient civilisations have held the 'gut' in high regard and respect for thousands of years. For example, in Ayurveda, the stomach and the digestive system are seen as the root cause of all ill health, from minor complaints to more serious diseases, and so maintaining a healthy gut is the best way to ensure long and happy years of good health.

In the West though, our digestive system is often under attack from fatty junk food diets and too much-processed foods, a lack of exercise and tons of stress. Conditions like IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) are on the rise, but they are frequently treated with medication that doesn't properly address the problem.  

I've had numerous stomach problems myself and was diagnosed with IBS last year, which led me to research more about the subject to try and understand what was causing it. After some diet and lifestyle changes, I found that taking a prebiotic and probiotic supplement has really helped. I still get flare ups every now and then (especially if I fall off the diet and into a plate of pizza...ahem!), but for the most part, it's much better and far more manageable than it was before I was diagnosed.

I've tried a couple of different prebiotic and probiotic supplements from various brands since then, and a new one I've been trying out recently is the Synbiotics SB3 from PurePharma.

PurePharma Synbiotics SB3 review
What is it?
PurePharma Synbiotics SB3 are a blend of prebiotics and probiotics which help to keep your body and your gut in balance. It's important to find a supplement that has both as they work best when they're together (e.g as a 'synbiotic'). The easiest way to think about them is like an army and the food that the army needs to keep marching on. The Probiotics are the good guys. They're the good, live bacteria that your gut needs to fight off bad bacteria, and they help to support your immune and digestive systems. The Prebiotics are the ingestible fibres that serve as food for the Probiotics - they feed the good bacteria so that it can thrive, grow and keep fighting off the bad bacteria. Thus a happy balance is formed to keep your gut in check and working as it should be.  

What's in it?
This supplement contains a Probiotic blend with 13 billion viable cells featuring Bifidobacterium (BB-12) 3.5 billion CFU and Lactobacillus fermentum (PCC) 9.5 billion CFU. It also contains 200mg of Vitamin C to further support the body, in addition to Fructo-oligosaccharides, Inulin, Pectin and natural Cranberry flavour. It's free from Gluten, GMOs, Nuts and Artificial additives, contains no added sugar, and is suitable for vegans.

PurePharma Synbiotics SB3 review
How Do I take It and How Often?
Synbiotics SB3 comes in a powder format that you can easily mix with water, juice, milk, yoghurt or you can take it straight from the packet. It has a subtle Cranberry flavour when dissolved in plain water, and I can't really taste it when it's added to juice. The supplements are individually packaged into convenient stick servings (great for popping into your handbag and travelling with), and it's advised that you take one per day, 30 minutes before eating a meal. 

Results?
I've been taking these daily for about a month now and I've seen an improvement in the symptoms of my IBS; most noticeably that I've had a lot less bloating and any stomach cramps and twinges have been much milder or virtually non-existent. I've also found that I'm sleeping a little better too, which is always a bonus as I'm a terrible sleeper! I've already ordered another pack and will continue to take these as part of my daily supplement routine.

PurePharma Synbiotics SB3* (30 daily sticks, £30) are available online from HelloSkinShop.

Do you take any prebiotics and probiotics?

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Introducing: Nakin Natural Anti-Ageing Skincare - Performance Face serum & Matt Formula Face Cream review

Monday, 14 August 2017

Nakin Performance Face serum & Matt Formula Face Cream review
Finding effective, natural skincare that makes a real difference to ageing skin can sometimes be difficult, but thankfully, many more 'green' brands are starting to invest in innovative technology and there's a lot more choice out there.

One of the latest skincare brands to emerge onto the market are Nakin; a British company whose products are all made here in the UK. They're cruelty-free (Leaping Bunny certified) and their skincare is free from Parabens, SLS, Petrochemicals, artificial fragrance and colours, PEGs and Propylene Glycol. Nakin offer high-performance products which feature cutting edging dermal science know-how and advanced formulas which are as natural and clean as possible. 

What I like the most about Nakin is that their skincare has been designed to be gentle and suitable for sensitive skin, which makes a change from many other anti-ageing skincare lines which can be too harsh and too aggressive in the pursuit of a younger and fresher looking complexion. I also love Nakin's clean and simple packaging which looks luxury and very Instagram-friendly, but comes with a surprisingly affordable, mid-market price tag. There are currently eight products in Nakin's essential skincare range and this streamlined approach makes shopping for new skincare so easy and hassle free. I've been trying out two of their products over the past month, so here are my thoughts!

Nakin Natural Anti-Ageing Performance Face Serum* (50ml, 98% natural, £25, link)  
In the evenings, I've been using the Anti-Ageing Performance Face Serum after cleansing and toning, and before applying my regular night cream. This serum is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive, and it has a lovely, subtle and fresh scent to it. It's packed full of natural actives such as Hydrolyzed Hibiscus Extract (known as 'natural botox' thanks to its powerful anti-wrinkle properties), Hyaluronic Acid (a fantastic ingredient that helps to boost hydration by locking in moisture), Green Tea (famed for its antioxidants), Pomegranate (helps to reverse damage caused by the sun) and Rosemary Leaf Extract (protects collagen and elastin fibres). 

The consistency of the serum is like a light gel that is easy to massage into the skin, and it absorbs quickly without any stickiness afterwards. I must admit that I didn't see any difference to my skin within the first couple of days of using it, but within two weeks of everyday use, my skin began to feel much softer and smoother, and the drier areas of my face were considerably more balanced and hydrated. I also noticed that some of the fine lines around my eye area were more plumped out and less visible, so I'm looking forward to continuing using this to see if the results get even better.

Nakin Natural Anti-Ageing Matt Formula Face Cream* (50ml, 98% natural, £20, link)
Nakin have two face creams in their range and their Matt Formula Face Cream has been specially formulated for those who have oily, sensitive and normal skin types. Featuring a Glycerin, Shea Butter and Jojoba Oil base, this face cream also contains natural ingredients such as Pomegranate Extract, Hyaluronic Acid, Baobab Oil, Argan Oil and Olive Oil, resulting in a lovely everyday moisturiser which hydrates, balances and firms the skin. This cream feels very luxurious when you apply it as it has a rich and silky texture, and there's a pleasant light, fresh scent. I was initially concerned that this moisturiser was going to be too heavy for my oily/combination skin, so I was pleased when it absorbed easily and gave me a shine-free finish. It also provides an excellent smooth base for makeup, so I love using it first thing in the morning when I'm getting ready - you can easily skip the primer step when you use this!

Nakin are available online from nakinskincare.com and via selected stockists including Ocado.

Do you like discovering new natural skincare brands?

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Beauty Box: Love Me Beauty - August 2017 review + 20% Discount Code

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Love Me Beauty - August 2017 review + 20% Discount Code
Moving on from the changes that Love Me Beauty introduced last month (check out my previous review here for all the info on those), I was really pleased to see them add a whole bunch of new products to their online shop for this month's picks.

If you're new to Love Me Beauty, they're a beauty subscription service which lets you choose the products that you want to receive every month, so if you've been disappointed by the 'surprise' element of other boxes in the past, this one should be much more your thing! 

In exchange for the monthly fee, you'll receive 60 credits to spend on whatever products you want from Love Me Beauty's online shop and there are lots to choose from. If you spot extra products that you want, you have the option of purchasing additional add-on credits so you can really go to town treat yourself! In addition to the products that you pick, you'll also receive a free makeup bag with your order every month instead of a traditional box, which is a nice little extra.

Here's what I got in August's Love Me Beauty bag to give you an idea of the products that are currently available. These are all focused on luxury makeup and fragrance minis, but there are also makeup brushes, skincare, bodycare and nail polishes to choose from as well.

Buxom Full-On Lip Polish in Dolly
 Buxom Full-On Lip Polish in Dolly (1.5ml deluxe mini - 15 credits)

Buxom are one of those make-up brands that I've been wanting to try out for a while now, but for some reason, I just never got around to picking up any of their products. Needless to say, I was very happy when I saw that Love Me Beauty had added some of their items to the online shop and I just had to try some! This Full-On Lip Polish in the shade Dolly is one of the brand's bestsellers and features their unique plumping formula to give you a big sexy pout. It subtly tingles and feels cooling when you apply it, and guess what - it works! Dolly is a sheer, shimmery lip gloss in a light mauve shade - very pretty and it doesn't feel overly sticky - I love it!

Buxom Full-On Lip Polish in Dolly swatches
Buxom Full-On Lip Polish in Dolly

Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick in Cathedral
 Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick in Cathedral (1.2g deluxe mini - 20 credits)

Is there anything cuter than a miniature lipstick?! I absolutely adore these Studded Kiss Lipsticks from Kat Von D and I'm thrilled to add a new shade to my growing collection. The formula is truly amazing; they're richly pigmented, go on so smoothly, feel moisturising and they stay put for hours. This shade Cathedral is definitely a new favourite of mine - a stunning medium pink with a subtle touch of a brown undertone to it.

Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick in Cathedral swatches
Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick in Cathedral

 Kat Von D Lock It Translucent Setting Powder
 Kat Von D Lock It Translucent Setting Powder (1.4g - 20 credits)

I've heard a lot of great things about this Kat Von D Lock It Translucent Setting Powder and it has a lovely silky feel to it. It features a clever kind of 'micro-blurring' technology which helps to give a flawlessly diffused finish to the skin so that you're 'selfie-ready' at all times. I've used it twice so far and I'm seriously impressed it. This powder works amazingly well for setting concealer underneath the eyes, and it helps makeup stay looking fresh for longer when applied all over the face.

Buxom Lash Mascara in Black
 Buxom Lash Mascara in Black (6ml deluxe travel size - 15 credits)

If you're in the market for a new mascara, why not try out this one from Buxom? For just 15 credits, you get a deluxe travel size of their bestselling Lash Masacara which adds intense volume, whilst separating and defining the lashes for a super glam, wide awake, fluttery finish. The curved rubber bristle brush really manages to grab every single lash without clumping - brilliant stuff!

Kat Von D Eau de Parfum in Saint
Kat Von D Eau de Parfum in Saint (4.5ml travel size - 10 credits)

Perfume fans can pick up travel-sizes of Kat Von D's hugely popular Saint and Sinner Eau de Parfums for just 10 credits each. I have Saint which is a sweet, floral blend of Jasmine, Vanilla, Musk, Mandarin, Caramel and Plum. It's a lovely Summer fragrance and perfect for everyday wear.

Love Me Beauty* is £10 plus £3.95 P&P per month - lovemebeauty.com

Special reader offer: Use my discount code beautywolfgirl20 to get 20% off your first box!

Do you subscribe to Love Me Beauty? 

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