Mid-Week Pamper Treat: Westlab Detoxing Salt Body Scrub & Bath Soak review

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Westlab Detoxing Salt Body Scrub & Bath Soak review
For this week's pamper treat, I'm shining the spotlight on a seriously underrated product from an equally underrated brand. Meet my current favourite 2-in-1 bathroom treat from Westlab.

If you've ever been waiting in a queue in a chemist, you may have spotted some huge white bags of Magnesium Flakes and Epsom Salts on the shelves from a brand called Westlab (which are amazing by the way!). You may have thought that they didn't sell anything other than these skin-softening minerals because I've never seen any other Westlab products on sale anywhere, but this British brand have been strangely hiding an amazing secret product; their Detoxing Salt Body Scrub and Bath Soak.

The minute that I cracked open the tub, I knew I was going to get along with this product. To start with, there's a lovely subtle scent of Mint and Lemongrass - it's not too strong or overpowering, but there's enough of it to make me feel happy and uplifted. 
Westlab Detoxing Salt Body Scrub & Bath Soak review
Secondly, I could see a really good amount of oils (Rice Bran Oil, Grapeseed Oil and Apricot Oil) in this mixture of naturally Pink Himalayan Salt. All too often, salt based scrubs can be way too harsh on the skin because some brands skimp on the oil content to keep costs down, but Westlab have got this salt-to-oil ratio perfect. The formula consistency is also bang on, as you can easily scoop out the right amount of scrub to use without it going everywhere.

Best of all though, as the name suggests this is a 2-in-1 product as you can use it as a Body Scrub and as a Bath Soak. I love using this all over my body as an effective way to exfoliate dull, dead skin cells and it's great to use as pre-fake tan prep as it makes your skin feel so wonderfully smooth and moisturised. It's also fantastic as a Bath Soak; all you need to do is throw a handful into a bath and let the salts work their detoxing magic. I always feel so much more relaxed and de-stressed after having a bath with these, and the oils make your skin feel so soft afterwards. 

It's the perfect product to use for a multi-purpose pamper at home and one that's an affordable price point as well!

Westlab Detoxing Salt Body Scrub & Bath Soak* (500g, £14.99) is available from HelloSkinshop.co.uk

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Beauty News: DHC Bestsellers now available at Harvey Nichols!

Monday, 24 July 2017

Beauty News: DHC Bestsellers now available at Harvey Nichols!
Harvey Nichols' Beauty Stores have turned into a must-visit destination for many beauty fans, and now you can pick up some of DHC's best sellers during your next shopping trip.

DHC, one of Japan's most cult skincare brands that is loved worldwide, has launched an exclusive edit of some their best selling products into eight Harvey Nichols Beauty Stores this month. Here's what you can pick up:-

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil* (70ml, £12.50)
I've used this cleansing oil on and off for years now and it's something that I always have in my skincare stash. It's one of the best cleansing oils that I've used to remove makeup with, as it literally dissolves and melts away all traces, including stubborn waterproof mascara formulas. I love using this as a first cleanse in the evening to completely get rid of any dirt, grime and of course makeup, and as the oil transforms into a milky cleanser when you add water to it, you can get a really good massaging action going on. Afterwards, my skin always feels thoroughly clean and silky soft, so I can't recommend it enough. Apparently, one is sold every 10 seconds somewhere in the world and I can see why!

DHC Lip Cream* (1.5g, £8.75)
Although it's called a lip 'cream', this product is actually an intensely moisturising twist-up lip balm, and it's a fantastic lip balm, to say the least. Enriched with nourishing ingredients such as Aloe, Vitamin E, Lanolin, Beeswax, Olive Oil and Squalene, this lip balm is perfect to use underneath your matte lipsticks and is ideal to swipe on before going to bed so that you can wake up to soft, moisturised lips every morning.

DHC Olive Virgin Oil Swabs* (pack of 50, £6.75)
For the ultimate beauty quick fix, these clever little cotton swabs are soaked in 100% Olive Oil and you can use them to clean up and fix any eye makeup mistakes, so you can quickly say goodbye to wonky eyeliner and mascara smudges! The swabs are individually wrapped which means you can pop a few into your handbag, desk drawer at work, flight carry on bag etc, to also use as a cuticle and nail softener whenever you want to.

DHC Oil Blotting Paper* (pack of 100 sheets, £4.50)
Having an oily t-zone means that I always carry a pack of blotting sheets in my handbag, and these ones from DHC are made from natural hemp fibre to fully absorb any excess oil and they will mattify your complexion within seconds. The packaging is super pretty too!

This edit of DHC products are now available at eight Harvey Nichols Beyond Beauty stores, as well as online at harveynichols.com

Have you tried any of these from DHC?

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Foodie Friday: Shake That Weight - Taste Test & 2 Week Trial review

Friday, 21 July 2017

Trying to lose some weight for the Summer can be the first step towards achieving your personal health and fitness goals, but what if you need a helping hand to start you on your way? This is where Shake That Weight comes in.

Dieting is hard. Whether you want to lose a couple of pounds or twenty, it takes effort and determination. I've struggled with diets in the past and have now adopted a more long term 'lifestyle change', but I know that for many people it can take some time to change bad habits and get into a new, healthier routine and mindset.

When Shake That Weight contacted me about doing a two week trial of their products, I wasn't sure whether to accept as I don't believe these kinds of very low-calorie diets are useful for long term weight loss i.e keeping the weight off after you've lost it. However, after I'd looked into their diet plans on their website, I found one called 'Woman With Meal' which seemed much more do-able for me so I thought I'd try it for a fortnight as I was curious to see what their meal replacement products tasted like.

On the Woman With Meal plan, you consume 800 calories per day which includes three meal replacement products for Breakfast, Lunch and a Snack, and then you make your own healthy self-prepared meal for Dinner that's no more than 400 calories. You can also enjoy a Shake That Weight snack, and all of their products are high protein, low carb and low calorie. As always, I chose vegetarian-friendly products for this trial and taste test. Here's how I got on! 

Breakfast - Shakes
Shake That Weight Chocolate Heaven Shake
 Shake That Weight Chocolate Heaven Shake  (135 calories / 12.5g protein)

I'm never very hungry in the mornings and often skip breakfast (a big no-no I know!), so having a shake was ideal for me and this was by far the easiest part of the diet plan to stick to. The shakes come packaged individually in sachets and you just mix them with water - super easy.

The Chocolate Heaven flavour was my favourite out of all the shakes that I tried. It had a surprisingly rich and sweet chocolatey taste which was delicious. If you're a chocoholic, you'll love it! The high protein content kept me full until lunchtime and I found that I didn't need that mid-morning snack anymore.

 Shake That Weight Hazelnut Crush Shake
 Shake That Weight Hazelnut Crush Shake (130 calories / 12.5g protein)

Hazelnut Crush was really good too. It blended well into a creamy shake and the hazelnut flavour was quite strong which I liked. Like the chocolate one above, I found this very sweet and satisfying.

Shake That Weight Lively Latte Shake
 Shake That Weight Lively Latte Shake (131 calories / 12.5g protein)

Coffee fans will love the Lively Latte shake and this was great as a pick me up when I had a busy morning ahead of me or if I was running late. It had a delicious latte flavour, but I could taste that added protein in this one.

Shake That Weight Gorgeous Gingerbread Shake
Shake That Weight Gorgeous Gingerbread Shake (140 calories / 13.3g protein)

This Gorgeous Gingerbread shake has a few more calories than the ones above, but it also packs in more protein. Unfortunately, this flavour was much too sweet for my liking and I could only manage one of these during the two-week trial.

Snacks - Protein Bars
Shake That Weight Dreamy Dark Chocolate Bar
 Shake That Weight Dreamy Dark Chocolate Bar (130 calories / 8.5g protein)

For an afternoon snack, I had sometimes had one of these high-protein bars which also serve as a meal replacement product if you don't fancy shakes or want to mix things up a bit. The Dreamy Dark Chocolate Bar really soothed my chocolate craving and stopped me from reaching for a proper chocolate bar which definitely helped me to shift some pounds! This one was very chocolatey, rich in flavour and chewy, but not too dry.

 Shake That Weight Maple & Almond Bliss Bar (135 calories / 8.5g protein)

For a change from pure chocolate, I tried the Maple & Almond Bliss Bar which has a sweet, soft, slightly chewy and nutty centre, covered in a light layer of milk chocolate. This was very satisfying and helped with those sugar cravings!

Shake That Weight Honey Nougat Harmony Bar
 Shake That Weight Honey Nougat Harmony Bar (130 calories / 10.2 g protein)

You can really taste the extra added protein in this Honey Nougat Harmony Bar and sadly it makes the bar very dry, densely chewy and not very palatable. Wasn't a fan of this one I'm afraid. 

Shake That Weight Milk Choc Joy Bar (130 calories / 8.5g protein)

Milk Choc Joy indeed! This was so good and like the other dark chocolate bar, it really hit that chocolate craving sweet spot nicely. It is chewy and you can taste the whey protein, but it's also very chocolatey which helps to balance out the overall flavour. Yum!

Lunch - Soups
 Shake That Weight Vegetable Medley Soup
 Shake That Weight Vegetable Medley Soup (136 calories / 10.7g protein)

For lunch, I tried a mixture of soups, noodles and rice meals. I'm a big fan of soup and regularly make my own from scratch when I have time (I like to batch cook and freeze them in portions for later), but I didn't like these ones at all. They come in powdered sachets like the shakes, where you add water and then heat them up in the microwave. This Vegetable Medley Soup was just awful flavour-wise, with the dominant taste being onion and little else.  

Shake That Weight Tasty Tomato & Basil Soup
Shake That Weight Tasty Tomato & Basil Soup (132 calories / 12.5g protein)

The Tomato & Basil Soup didn't fare any better either, with the tomato flavour being particularly weak with a slightly bitter undertone to it and the texture was much more on the thin side which I wasn't a fan of.

Lunch - Noodles & Rice Meals
Chicken Tikka Massala Rice Meal
 Chicken Tikka Massala Rice Meal (167 calories / 12.5g protein)

I've been a vegetarian for many years now, but it never surprises me how many 'chicken' flavoured products are actually vegetarian-friendly! Pretty much all of the 'meat' flavoured meals from Shake That Weight are suitable for vegetarians so it was interesting to try some of them out. 

The first one that I tried was the Chicken Tikka Massala Rice Meal which has a mixture of soy based protein, white rice and a curry-meets-tomato based sauce. It comes as a powder mixture that you stir into water and then microwave. It wasn't too bad, but it wasn't great either. The overall flavour was just too weak in my opinion and some of the rice was quite hard and bitty in places.

 Shake That Weight Simply Chicken & Veg Flavoured Noodles
 Shake That Weight Simply Chicken & Veg Flavoured Noodles (169 calories / 13.8g protein)

This meal consisted of low carb 'diet' noodles made from durum wheat and egg, and soy and pea based protein in a chicken soup style broth. Again, it wasn't awful, but it wasn't fantastic either - it just had a very mild flavour that bordered on being bland.

Shake That Weight Cheeky Chicken Curry Flavoured Noodles
 Shake That Weight Cheeky Chicken Curry Flavoured Noodles (171 calories / 14g protein)

The Chicken Curry Noodles, on the other hand, were much, much, much better! They had a strong typical 'curry' flavour and tasted similar to what you'd expect from a Pot Noodle, but without all the calories and fat. Very filling with soy protein and a good taste and texture all round. 

Shake That Weight Blazing Beef Chilli Noodles
Shake That Weight Blazing Beef Chilli Noodles (166 calories / 14g protein)

The Blazing Beef Chilli Noodles were also really good and full of flavour and I used less water than stated to thicken up the sauce. They weren't as hot or spicy as the name suggests, but they have a little kick to them which makes you feel like you're eating a much more comforting meal. Texture and flavour was on point with these!

Did I Lose Any Weight and My Overall Thoughts?
At the end of the two week trial, I hopped onto the scales and it showed that I had lost 3 pounds. I could only stick to about 60% of the diet plan and I did end up eating over my calorie limit for some of the days, so I wasn't really expecting to see much of a weight loss difference. 

The breakfast shakes and swapping my regular chocolate bar treat for one of the protein bars instead, was definitely the easiest part of the diet for me. The hardest part were the lunches as I hated the soups and only really liked two of the noodle meals that I tried, so I found myself making my own lunches on at least half of the days. Sticking to a 400 calorie self-prepared meal for dinner was also incredibly hard (you really don't realise how few calories that is until you try to make a meal out of them!) and most of my evening meals ended up being around 500-600 calories instead.

As I mentioned earlier, I don't think that very low-calorie diets are sustainable in the long term, but they may help some people to kick start a diet, especially if they struggle with portion sizes and don't have any time to cook proper meals at home. Weight loss is definitely a very personal journey and there are lots of different ways to achieve your goals, so if starting on a very low-calorie diet is appealing to you, check out Shake That Weight.

*All products for the two-week trial were provided by Shake That Weight. Opinions by own as always!

Have you tried a diet like this before?

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Green Beauty: LoveLula Beauty Box - July 2017 review

Thursday, 20 July 2017

LoveLula Beauty Box - July 2017 review
This month's LoveLula Beauty Box arrived last week and it's another fantastic mix of brands and products, with haircare, skincare and makeup included in July's box.

Here's what's inside:-

John Masters Organics Scalp Spearmint & Meadowsweet Scalp Stimulating Shampoo (60ml travel size)
I was really pleased to see another John Masters Organics product because I've gotten on so well with their other products from the previous boxes. This one's their popular Scalp Stimulating Shampoo which uses six certified natural ingredients to help remove any build-up so that the scalp can be kept healthy and clear. It's like a deeply clarifying/purifying shampoo and is great to use at the end of a busy week if you've been using a lot of styling products. I love how fresh and zingy this feels!

Lyonsleaf Marshmallow Soften and Rejuvenate Facial Oil (full size, RRP £14.99)
This is Lyonsleaf's newest release and having used several of their products for the past couple of years, (they do some amazing moisturisers, cleansing balms and body butters), I was thrilled to see them now branching out into the world of face oils. Their Marshallow Soften and Rejuvenate Facial Oil is incredibly rich in antioxidants which help to protect against ageing and damaging free radicals, whilst a broad range of natural fatty acids keep skin happily hydrated. I've only been using this for about a week since the box arrived, but I'm loving it so far as it makes my skin feel wonderfully plumped up and super soft. 

LoveLula Beauty Box - July 2017 review
Madara Smart Antioxidants Fine Line Minimising Day Cream (20ml travel size)     
Another new release comes from Madara, and this Day Cream is part of their latest Smart Antioxidants range. Unfortunately, it's not for my skin type as it's formulated for dry to very dry skin, but I will be passing this onto my mum as I think she will love it!

REN Satin Perfection BB Cream SPF 15 (3ml sample)
I've used this before a few times in the past, and it's a brilliant silicone-free BB Cream for the summer months. It uses some clever colour adaptive technology to adjust to most skin tones and it blends beautifully for a fresh and light level of coverage. This is something that I like to wear on holiday when I don't want a full face of makeup, though I do like apply a separate and higher SPF under it. 

PHB All In One Natural Mascara in Black (full size, RRP £15.95)
I think LoveLula may have heard our call for more makeup to be included in the beauty boxes because they've included a mascara this month! I've actually been wanting to try out this one from PHB for a while because it's got so many positive reviews and I have to admit, it may be one of the best natural mascaras that I've used so far. I've only used it twice, but so far, so good! I will be interested to see how it holds up in the heat when the sun comes out to play again.

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?

Mid-Week Pamper Treat: Urban Veda Soothing Body Ritual review

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Urban Veda Soothing Body Ritual review
Happy Humpday! If you fancy treating yourself to some mid-week pampering, I'd highly recommend checking out Urban Veda's Soothing Body Ritual set. Get ready to relax and unwind....

Urban Veda have been on my radar for a while, but I've only tried out a few of their skincare products before, mainly from their Purifying range. I've actually nearly finished using their Purifying Hydrating Toner, so keep an eye out for my Empties post at the end of the month for a mini review on that one! 

As the name may suggest, Urban Veda are a natural skincare brand who utilise the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda in their formulas, and they use a variety of beneficial Ayurvedic herbs as key ingredients in their products. Ever since I read Sebastian Pole's book, A Pukka Life, I've been intrigued to find more ways to bring Ayurveda into my daily life, so Urban Veda instantly appealed to me and I was keen to try out more of their body care products.

In Ayurveda, you have a 'dosha' which is like a 'mind and body type' based on your physical, mental and emotional characteristics. The doshas are sorted into three main groups; Pitta, Vata and Kapha, and there are numerous online quizzes that you can take to find out which one you are - check out Urban Veda's quiz here. Each dosha is linked to certain skin types, so for example, you may be a Kapha if you're oily and prone to breakouts, or a Vata if you have dry skin. You can also be a combination of doshas and you can use them as a guideline to find Ayurvedic products that will work best for you.

I tend to fall in between the Pitta and the Kapha doshas, and as they are related to the elements, I find that Pitta products tend to be best for me during the Summer months as they are formulated to calm and soothe excess heat or 'fire' which is why the Urban Veda Soothing Body Ritual set was perfect for me to try out. Even if you're not interested in Ayurveda, this set is still a lovely soothing pampering treat for anyone who has sensitive or stressed out skin.

Urban Veda Soothing Body Ritual review
The Urban Veda Soothing Body Ritual set contains three full-sized products:-

Urban Veda Soothing Body Scrub (200ml)
This microbead-free Body Scrub uses tiny natural particles derived from crushed Walnut and Volcanic Pumice to gently but effectively, exfoliate away dull dead skin cells. This exfoliating formula is enriched with Orange, Lemon, Geranium, Arjuna, Palmarosa and Vitamin E to help stimulate circulation and hydrate the skin, and there's also Clary Sage, Sandalwood and Myrrh essential oils to help fight fatigue and stress with their uplifting natural properties and scent. This all results in a beautifully fragranced body scrub that is a real pleasure to use in the bath or the shower.

Urban Veda Soothing Body Wash (200ml)
The Soothing Body Wash is SLS-free so it's very gentle on sensitive skin and won't irritate or dry it out. Instead, it feels really moisturising and soothing thanks to a blend of natural ingredients which include Sandalwood, Aloe Vera, Glycerine, Vitamin E, Rosemary, Patchouli, Geranium, Palmarosa and Peppermint. Like the Body Scrub, this Body Wash has a blissfully relaxing and mood-enhancing scent which I just love. It's perfect to use first thing in the morning to put you in a good mood for the rest of the day, or as a night time shower product to help you to relax before going to bed.

Urban Veda Soothing Body Lotion (250ml)
To complete the set, there is a Soothing Body Lotion which is incredibly moisturising and ideal for tight, dry and sensitive skin. It shares a lot of the same natural ingredients as the other two products and uses the likes of Ayurvedic Arjuna, Aloe Vera, Sandalwood, Glycerine, Vitamin E, Clary Sage and Myrhh, to calm down irritated skin and rehydrate any particularly dry areas. This Body Lotion is fantastic as an after-sun moisturiser and is definitely something that I would pack in my next holiday bag!

Urban Veda Soothing Body Ritual Set* (£34.99) is available from urbanveda.com

Have you tried any Urban Veda products?

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Holiday Haircare with Philip Kingsley's Summer Solutions

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Summer Haircare with Philip Kingsley
Holiday haircare can be tricky as all that extra sunshine, sea salt and chlorine can leave your hair feeling dry and damaged, but don't worry.  Philip Kingsley have got your back with these clever summer friendly solutions.

My hair is naturally very dry, and in the summer months, I notice that it can get even drier, especially if I'm outside all day. I try to wear hats when it's super hot, but they're not always practical (e.g swimming!) and sometimes I just want to let my hair down and relax without worrying about my hair getting frazzled!

To stop this from happening, I like to switch up my haircare routine with a couple of summer friendly products to keep my hair in tip top condition. Think incredibly hydrating formulas, leave-in conditioners, anti-frizz and humidity protectors and UV filters to prevent any further damage. 

I tend to use different products from various brands (I mentioned Aveda's products recently here), but I've been testing out a whole bunch of new ones from Philip Kingsley lately and they are really good. Really, really, really good in fact!

Philip Kingsley Sun Shield* (100ml, £22) 
Sun Shield is basically like a sunscreen, but for your hair. It provides UV protection against the sun's damaging rays, and also offers protection against colour fade which is caused by sun exposure. The sun is really harsh on colour treated hair so this is definitely one to pick up if you like to get your hair done before going on holiday! Sun Shield is enriched with Sunflower Seed Extract which helps to stop the hair from drying out and it has frizz control that will keep your locks sleek for longer, even in humid conditions. What I love the most about this product is that it's so easy to use - just spritz on the lightweight mist to dry and wet hair, and you're done. 

Philip Kingsley Instant Beach Texturizing Spray* (100ml, £22)
If your hair is already dry like mine, you may find that most texturizing sprays only further exacerbate this problem as they usually contain added salt to get that desired finish, which dries out hair in no time at all. Instant Beach, however, has been formulated without salt, and instead feels more like a regular leave-in conditioning mist, but one that will add that much-needed texture for those coveted beachy waves. It won't dry out your hair and it doesn't leave it with any 'crispy' feeling or crunchy residue - hooray! A must try for the Summer.

Philip Kingsley Swimcap* (75ml, £12.50)
Swimcap is such an interesting product and I don't believe I've tried anything similar to it before. It was originally created especially for the US Olympic synchronised swim team and remains a favourite amongst professional swimmers to this day, and I can certainly see why. It's a water resistant cream which you apply to your hair before swimming or sunbathing, and it contains an innovative formula which protects against chlorine, salt water and the sun. Blondes will especially love it as it stops blonde hair from turning green in the swimming pool, and brunettes like me will love it for its all round protection and hydrating qualities. Win win!

Philip Kingsley After Sun Scalp Mask* (75ml, £17)
We're all familiar with the blissfully soothing benefits of a good after sun moisturiser when we've had too much sun, and this After Sun Scalp Mask is the one for reach for if you have sensitive skin or have scorched your scalp after a long day in the sun! Packed full of soothing Aloe Vera and Chamomile, it will calm down any irritation and re-hydrate any burnt areas. You can also use this as a weekly hydrating scalp treatment all year round, so remember to pop it into your bathroom when you get back from your holiday in the sun.

Philip Kingsley Elasticizer Coconut Breeze* (150ml, £33)
Another product that you can use all year round, but one that I feel really comes in useful during the summer months, is the award-winning, celebrity favourite Elasticizer. I've lost count of how many times I've seen someone rave about this and I've used it myself on and off for years. The Elasticizer is an intense, super conditioning pre-shampoo treatment which will rescue and revitalise any hair type, and I'd highly recommend it for anyone who has dry, damaged or brittle hair that's prone to breaking. 

To use it, you just need to apply the Elasticizer to your hair before shampooing it, and leave it on for 10-20 minutes. I generally leave it on a little longer if I can (for around half an hour) because it really helps the treament to penetrate the shafts of the hair and work its magic for the full effect. Afterwards, I shampoo and style as usual, and my hair feels much softer, bouncier, hydrated, and noticeably shinier. This summer version Coconut Breeze also has a wonderful scent of Coconut, Jasmine and Almond - it honestly smells good enough to eat!

All of the products above are available from philipkingsley.co.uk

Have you tried any of these Philp Kingsley products?

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Summer Beauty: The Festival Edit

Monday, 17 July 2017

Summer Beauty: The Festival Edit
Festival season is in full swing and with one happening almost every weekend across the UK until September, it's time to take advantage and make the most out of the great British Summer. So if you're ready to step up your beauty game for all those Instagram pics with your mates, read on! 

Summer Beauty: The Festival Edit
Go Bright or Pastel?
Summer Festivals are the perfect opportunity to try out a brand new hair colour, so indulge your Pinterest hair-inspiration fantasies, and grab your best friend for some cheap and cheerful hair-dying at home. These 2-in-1 packs from Schwarzkopf Live* (£5.49 each, from Superdrug) let you choose whether you want an ultra bright shade or a more subtle pastel colour. They work best on blonde or pre-lightened hair, are semi-permanent, easy to use and come in a wide range of colours including 095 Electric Blue and 096 Turquoise Temptation. What are you waiting for?!

Remember To Use Sunscreen!   
If you're going to be outside standing in a field for most of the day, you're going to need some sunscreen. Make sure you pop a bottle into your backpack - something like EVY Sunscreen Mousse SPF 30* (150ml, £16.95 from HelloSkin) will ensure that you're fully protected thanks to its unique Swedish technology that allows this sunscreen to absorb into the top layer of the skin, rather than sitting on the surface. This makes it incredibly water-resistant, and the mousse formula is non-sticky, hypoallergenic and doesn't leave you with a white cast. Win win!

Your BFF - The Humble Dry Shampoo
After sunscreen, dry shampoo is probably the second most 'essential' beauty item to take, especially if you're going for a full weekend and camping on site. Schwarzkopf Fresh It Up Dry Shampoo in Extra Fresh* (£2 from Primark) will banish dirt, absorb excess oil and keep your hair smelling fresher for longer with its uplifting citrusy fragrance. 

Summer Beauty: The Festival EditThe Hairstyle Saviours
For those who have more high-maintenance hair, these two style saviours from Kerasilk will stop you from looking like Monica in that now meme-famous episode of Friends. The Control Humidity Barrier Spray* (150ml, £21.50) will defend your tresses against heat and high humidity and keep your hair looking sleek all day with just a few spritzes of its clever invisible barrier spray. For the ultimate frizz protection, apply a little Control De-Frizz Primer* (75ml, £21.50) before blow-drying for the smoothest possible results. Both are available from your nearest Goldwell Salon.

Keep Cool in the Heat
Us Brits are notorious for not handling the heat well when we finally do get some sun, so if you get easily hot and bothered, make sure you stock up on a can or two of Superdrug Instant Cooling Spray for Body & Face* (200ml, £3.99, link). This product does exactly what it says it'll do - just spray onto face and body and it'll provide an instantly refreshing and cooling sensation in seconds. Suitable for the whole family to use so a great one to have if you're taking kids with you! 

Summer Beauty: The Festival Edit
Brighten Up Your Makeup
Neutral palettes have no place at a summer festival - it's all about digging out those unused bright shades and experimenting with some bold new looks! If you don't have any festival-friendly colours in your everyday makeup stash, why not invest in Urban Decay's Afterdark Eyeshadow Palette* (£39.50, link). This palette contains ten pans of beautiful metallic jewel tones and there are some stunning shape-shifting duotones that change colour when the light hits them. As always with Urban Decay, these eyeshadows are incredibly pigmented and the colours are really rich and vibrant as a result. They'll stick around all day too - perfect for festivals and girls nights out.

If you're on more of a budget, you could try Lottie London Shadow Swatch Eyeshadow Palette in The Rainbows* (£9.95, link) which has 12 brilliantly colourful matte and shimmer shades with lovely blendable textures, to suit all your bright and pastel cravings. I'm really impressed with the quality of this one - it's excellent value for money so go outside of your comfort zone and have some fun with your makeup! 

Are you heading to any Summer Festivals this year?

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Sunday Style: Moonstone Magic Jewellery - Dropping Wisdom Pendant review

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Moonstone Magic Jewellery - Dropping Wisdom Pendant review
When I was about seven or eight years old, my grandmother bought me a beautiful moonstone necklace for my birthday. It had a large oval shaped pendant and I remember being utterly mesmerised by this magical looking gemstone that would look different when it caught the light at various times of the day. 

Sadly, I lost the necklace when I was a teenager during a family house move, and despite being upset by it at the time, I haven't really thought about it in recent years, until an email popped up in my inbox from a company that specialises in moonstone jewellery. 

When I visited their website, I couldn't help but think about the necklace that I had lost, so when they asked me if I wanted to review one of their pieces I jumped at the chance. 

Moonstone Magic Jewellery - Dropping Wisdom Pendant review
Moonstone Magic Jewellery - Dropping Wisdom Pendant review
Moonstone Magic Jewellery are a jewellery company based in Florida, USA and they create beautiful pieces of jewellery using genuine Rainbow Moonstone Gemstones and 925 Sterling Silver, all of which are handmade. Their pieces are heavily inspired by a youthful, fun and creative bohemian lifestyle, and as I like to think of myself as a hippy at heart, they immediately appealed to me.

Their online shop is a cornucopia of rings, pendants, bracelets and earrings, and I was thrilled when Moonstone Magic let me choose a piece to review. I was spoilt for choice, but naturally, I checked out their pendants first and after some serious umming and ahhing, I decided to opt for their Dropping Wisdom Pendant.

When the pendant arrived, I was smitten. The Rainbow Moonstone is simply stunning - it almost looks like a piece of trapped ice and when it catches the light, it changes colour gradually, moving into grey, blue and even some pink tones depending on the direction that the light is coming from. 

This classic teardrop shape is wonderfully elegant and it really adds that finishing touch to any outfit. I'm so happy to have finally found a replacement for the moonstone necklace that I lost all of those years ago - thank you Moonstone Magic!

Moonstone Magic Jewellery - Dropping Wisdom Pendant review
Moonstone Magic Jewellery Dropping Wisdom Pendant* ($65) is available from MoonstoneShop.com and is supplied without a chain.

Are you a fan of moonstone jewellery?

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Foodie Friday: The Vegan Kind - July 2017 review #TVK45

Friday, 14 July 2017

The Vegan Kind - July 2017 review #TVK45
Last week, July's The Vegan Kind box arrived and I've been steadily munching my way through the contents. As always, it didn't disappoint with lots of new foodie products to try out.

This month's The Vegan Kind Box boasts eight products which are mostly snack related, and there have been one or two things which have surprised me this time around. Like their previous boxes that I've reviewed (check those out here), this one contains another good mix of sweet and savoury treats, so let's take a closer look at what's inside.

The Foods of Athenry Belgian Chocolate Biscuit Rocky Road Bar
The Foods of Athenry Belgian Chocolate Biscuit Rocky Road Bar (RRP £1.50)

The popular family-run Irish bakery returns with a brand new creation and TVK subscribers get to be the first to try it in the UK - awesome! This thick and chocolatey bar is a proper indulgent treat and features a yummy blend of caramel, crunchy biscuit, dark Belgian chocolate and sweet marshmallow pieces. Absolutely delicious - you wouldn't even notice that it's gluten, wheat, dairy and egg free unless I told you!

Jealous Sweets Grizzly Bears (RRP £1.50)

It can be hard finding gummy sweets that are gelatine-free, whether you're a vegetarian or a vegan, but these ones from Jealous Sweets are amazing. They have a really great texture and are packed full of natural fruity flavours. Much nicer than Haribo!


Bute Island Creamy Cheddar Sheese
Bute Island Creamy Cheddar Sheese (RRP £2.30)

The Vegan Kind included a spreadable ambient cream 'cheese' from Bute Island in their May box (reviewed here), which I enjoyed trying but it wasn't something that I would buy again. So when I saw this Creamy Cheddar Sheese in this month's box, I wasn't expecting to like it that much, but surprisingly, it's pretty good! I like it a lot more than the other cream cheese flavour, and although it's got a similar soy/coconut oil based texture, it's the strong, realistic cheddar cheese flavour that really sets it apart. I like it spread onto a slice of warm sourdough with some cucumber slices on the top for an easy afternoon snack. 

Free From Italy Chocolate Cream Filled Organic Croissant
Free From Italy Chocolate Cream Filled Organic Croissant
Free From Italy Chocolate Cream Filled Organic Croissant (RRP £1.10)

A vegan croissant?! This got had a little squashed during transit, but I couldn't wait to try it. It's made by a new free from food line in Italy and this croissant is sweetened with Agave Nectar and filled with a dairy-free chocolate cream. It was obviously not as melt-in-your-mouth buttery as a normal croissant is, but the flaky pastry texture was good, if a little dry. The chocolate cream filling was great though, but there needed to be more of it as it was pretty much just in the centre and would have been a million times tastier if it was throughout the whole croissant!

The Feel Goods Drinks Co Refreshingly Still Orange, Mango and Water Drink
The Feel Good Drinks Co Refreshingly Still Orange, Mango and Water Drink (RRP £1.20)

I love the Feel Good Drinks and have purchased this flavour many times when I've been out and about. Wonderfully fruity and refreshing, especially on a hot summer's day.

VITL Essentials Vegan Vitamin One Day Trial + 2 Week Free Trial Code
VITL Essentials Vegan Vitamin One Day Trial + 2 Week Free Trial Code (RRP £1.30)

I'm a strong believer in taking supplements every day, alongside a healthy diet, to make sure that you have all the vitamins and minerals that your body needs, so I was pleased to see this pack of supplements from VITL Essentials. This one day trial pack contains Multivitamin, Omega 3, CoQ10 and Supergreens capsules to cover all bases, and there's also a 2-week free trial code (2WKSFREE) included which I'll definitely be taking advantage of shortly.

Super Moons Cheese and Onion Lentil Puffs
Super Moons Cheese and Onion Lentil Puffs (RRP £0.75)

Super Moons are another brand new product and they're made by the same people who are behind Hectares Sweet Potato Crisps (which are amazing by the way!). This time, they're using lentils to create these tiny puff balls that are flavoured with cheese and onion, for a moreish savoury snack. At only 83 calories per bag, I'll certainly be buying these again! 

Ape Crunchy Coconut Bites with Sesame Seeds (RRP £1.60)

The last snack that I devoured from this month's box were these delicious little coconutty bites from Ape Snacks. They're really good and crunchy, with a subtle sweetness, and they're also baked, not fried. All natural, gluten and dairy free, these are well worth looking out for during your next grocery shop.

Also in the box: This month's recipe card is for a Courgette and Butternut Squash Rose Tart, courtesy of The Tofu Diaries, and July's chosen charity is The New Arc who are a North East Wildlife and Animal Rescue Centre. They specialise in rehabilitating injured and orphaned wildlife, but also rescue domestic animals who are in need as well. The New Arc are hoping to start construction on a new animal hospital as they are currently at capacity, so check out their website here and donate to them if you can via their Just Giving page here.

To find out more about The Vegan Kind, visit their website here. £10 + p&p each month in the UK, with worldwide shipping options available. 

Have you signed up to The Vegan Kind?
What's your favourite, non-beauty lifestyle subscription box?

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