December Empties / Products I've Used Up

Sunday, 30 December 2018

December Empties / Products I've Used Up
What better way to round off 2018 than with an Empties post?! I'm pretty pleased that I've managed to finish off a lot of skincare, as some of these products have taken me months to use up, so it'll be nice to look forward to starting 2019 with a couple of new things instead!

December Empties / Products I've Used Up
Antipodes Grace Gentle Cream Cleanser* (reviewed here)
Grace is one of my all-time favourite cream cleansers and this must be the third or fourth tube that I've gone through since I discovered it. I especially love using it during the Winter months when I need something a bit more hydrating and it's just so lovely and gentle to use which makes it great for sensitive skin. I generally use this as a morning cleanser or as a second cleanser in the evenings. Repurchase? Yes.

Sheffield Skincare Company Honey Love Bath Truffles (travel size, link)
A good friend of mine gave me the most beautiful self-care package for Christmas and inside was a sample pack of these Honey Love Bath Truffles which I've thoroughly enjoyed using over the past couple of nights. 100% natural and they make your skin feel so soft afterwards! Repurchase? Yes. 

Tropic Super Greens Nutrient Boost Serum* (reviewed here)
I've used Tropic's Super Greens Serum on and off since it launched, and this is the second bottle that I've used up. It's something that I like to keep on hand for when my skin feels like it's lacking something as this serum always gives it a nourishing boost and helps my complexion to get its glow back. Perfect for Winter. Repurchase? Will do once I've used up some of my other serums!

Madara Time Miracle Age Defence Day Cream* (link)
As far as everyday moisturisers go, this one from Madara is brilliant if you hate the traditionally thicker types of creams that are so prevalent in the anti-ageing industry. Instead, it feels rich and nourishing, yet absorbs very easily into the skin without any greasiness and layers well underneath makeup. I also love the fresh natural scent that it has and the excellent pump packaging that dispenses just the right amount each time. Repurchase? Definitely.

Aveda Botanical Kinetics Hydrating Treatment Lotion* (reviewed here)
Another Winter friendly skincare product that I always reach for at this time of the year is the Hydrating Treatment Lotion from Aveda. I often use it just twice a week or so to give my skin an extra shot of moisture if it's been feeling tight or dry, or you can use it daily if your skin is drier than mine. Repurchase? Yes.

December Empties / Products I've Used Up
Perricone MD Blue Plasma Cleansing Treatment (featured here)
I have a serious love/hate relationship with this product! Sometimes my skin adores it and other times I feel like it causes me to break out - argh! I've used it a couple of times in the past and decided to give it another go when I received it in a GWP over the Summer, but I'm still not sure about it to be honest. Repurchase? Probably not!

Inner Senses Deep Blue C Facial Oil(reviewed here)
One of the best brand discoveries for skincare this year has to be finding Inner Senses and I have absolutely loved using this Deep Blue C Facial Oil over the past couple of months. It's definitely something that I tend to reach for every now and then when my skin is being troublesome as it really helps to calm down breakouts and any irritation, so if your skin is going through a difficult phase, I highly recommend it. Repurchase? Yes, will do once I've used up some of my other face oils.

Turbliss Bioactive Peat Toner(featured here)
Another product that's ideal for blemish prone skin is the Bioactive Peat Toner from Turbliss, and I think this is may be my second or even third bottle that I've used of it. It feels very refreshing so great for morning use and it helps to keep your pores nice and clear, thus minimising breakouts and blackheads. Repurchase? Yes.

Naturally Tribal Iya Body Food(reviewed here)
If you have dry skin, you must check out Naturally Tribal who have been a firm favourite of mine all throughout 2018! Their Body Foods are amazing multi-purpose moisturisers that are so thick and buttery which makes them perfect for using on your feet, hands, elbows, knees, and anywhere that needs some extra TLC. The Iya one has the most gorgeous floral scent and they last a long time as a little goes a long way. Repurchase? Yes.

December Empties / Products I've Used Up
Be In Blossom Ocean Flower Multi-Complex Serum + Cream(reviewed here)
Towards the end of Summer, I was using this serum a lot but as the weather changed, I felt myself reaching for it less and less. It's a beautifully crafted serum and it's definitely one that I would happily use again next year when it's Spring or Summer again, but it doesn't quite cut it for me in the colder months as my skin needs something more. Repurchase? May do next year.

Aurelia Revitalise & Brighten Eye Dew* (featured here)
I'm usually not much of a fan of eye serums, but Aurelia's Eye Dew is a complete game-changer as it's light, non-sticky and you really do see a difference when you use it! I loved everything about this product - from the ingredients, the smoothing out of my fine lines, to the cooling rollerball applicator, it was such a pleasure to use all round! Repurchase? It's pricey but I'm very tempted to save up for another!

Aurelia Illuminate & Smooth Puff Reduction Eye Cream(featured here)
It's no surprise to see the accompanying Eye Cream in this post as well, as the two work so well together and can be layered or used as a powerful morning and night team. The Eye Cream is of course much thicker and richer, but it doesn't overload the delicate eye area and it does a brilliant job of depuffing and smoothing everything out. If you suffer from puffy eyes first thing in the morning, it's definitely worth splashing out on. Repurchase? As above.

Aurelia Cell Revitalise Day Moisturiser (travel size, featured here)
I've had a couple of these travel sizes in various beauty boxes and GWPs over the years and I find this moisturiser a little too rich for my skin for daytime use. However, it's lovely as a night cream if I don't fancy using a face oil or if I'm travelling. If you have dry or mature skin, I'm sure you'll love it! Repurchase? I wouldn't personally buy the full size but certainly wouldn't say no to another travel size pot!

What have you used up recently?

Foodie Friday: Lina's French Hot Chocolate Fondant / Melt In The Middle Cakes (Vegetarian recipe)

Friday, 28 December 2018

French Hot Chocolate Fondant / Melt In The Middle Cakes (Vegetarian recipe)
I hope you've all had a lovely Christmas?! I thought I would quickly pop back onto the blog to do a special Foodie Friday post to celebrate the upcoming New Year festivities. The past couple of days have been all about indulgence and enjoying yourself, so I wanted to share an absolutely delicious French Hot Chocolate Fondant Cake recipe, which is one of my favourite things to make during Christmas and New Year's.

This recipe was shared to me by a Parisian friend who spent some time studying in the UK last year before returning to France. Our whirlwind friendship is much missed, though we're still keeping in touch online - Lina, if you're reading this, this post is dedicated to you darling!

Chocolate Fondant Cake is a popular homemade dessert throughout France and there are many variations as it's one of those recipes that's frequently passed through the family, generation to generation. That said, the basis usually remains the same - it's simple and fuss-free to make and uses a lot of eggs, butter, chocolate and sugar, with not much flour. The coveted end result is an individual cake that has a firm top crust, soft sponge sides and a mouthwatering liquid chocolate centre.

Lina's version comes from her grandmother who had a serious sweet tooth so it involves milk chocolate, as well as dark, for an extra touch of sweet decadence. It's definitely worth investing in the highest quality ingredients that you can afford for the best results and to make this dessert even more special.

French Hot Chocolate Fondant / Melt In The Middle Cakes (Vegetarian recipe)
Ingredients:- (makes six individual cakes in ramekins)
  • 100g High-Quality Cooking Chocolate - Milk
  • 100g High-Quality Cooking Chocolate - Dark (at least 70%)
  • 200g Unsalted Organic Butter 
  • 150g Caster Sugar
  • 80g White Flour
  • 5 Medium Organic Free-Range Eggs
  • 3 Organic Free-Range Yolks
  • Cinnamon Powder to serve (optional)
  • Double Cream or Ice-Cream to serve (optional)


Method:-
  • Preheat the oven to 200C / Gas Mark 6 and allow it to thoroughly heat up for a good 15-20 minutes before you bake anything, otherwise the cakes won't retain their liquid centres.
  • Add boiling water to a saucepan and place a large heatproof bowl on top of it to make a bain-marie. Roughly cut the Butter into chunks and break up all of the Chocolate. Add both to the bowl and allow to gently melt over a low simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • In a separate bowl, add the Caster Sugar and the 5 Eggs and whisk together. Add in the Flour and mix until you have a smooth consistency.
  • Once the Chocolate and Butter has completely melted and cooled slightly, whisk in the 3 Egg Yolks. Then add the Caster Sugar/Egg mixture and combine everything together until smooth.
  • Spoon the final mixture into six ramekins in even portions.
  • Place the ramekins into the oven for 10 minutes - the tops should have a firm crust and the sides should be softer to indicate a liquid centre. 
  • Serve immediately with a light dusting of Cinnamon and a generous dollop of Thick Double Cream or Vanilla Ice-Cream - enjoy!


Time saver tip: You can make the cake mixture a day in advance and store it in the ramekins in the fridge, ready to bake for when you need them - perfect for dinner parties and special occasions.

French Hot Chocolate Fondant / Melt In The Middle Cakes (Vegetarian recipe)
What's your favourite type of chocolate cake?

My Style: Comfy & Casual Christmas Day #OOTD

Sunday, 23 December 2018

For me, Christmas Day is all about relaxing at home with some good food and drink, having Netflix on in the background playing some kind of Christmas movie, and catching up with friends and family.

I like to keep it all very low key and casual, with minimal fuss and zero stress, and my clothes always reflect this. Now is not the time for six-inch stilettos (let's save those for NYE) and itchy jumpers! If I had it my way, I'd probably be in a fluffy dressing gown or a onesie, but alas, with people coming over you have to make some kind of effort!

So I've put together the following comfy and casual Christmas Day outfit which is as close to being in PJs as one can get without actually being in PJs if you catch my drift! For this look, I've paired an oversized long Boyfriend Cardigan in a festive Wine Red colour with an oversized Christmas print T-Shirt. I like to wear thin layers when I'm at home as opposed to thicker jumpers and knits for outside wear, so these two are perfect. 

The cardigan has cute pearlescent buttons which add a nice touch of detail to it and best of all, it has pockets - yay! I'm definitely one of those people that appreciate pockets and I wish more clothes had them. I picked this up in a size 10 for a big oversized fit (for reference I'm a size 8) which is super comfy and so easy to just throw over any outfit; I can see myself wearing this a lot in Spring instead of a coat outside.

My friends and family are very much into festive Christmas jumpers and things like that, so I decided to opt for this boyfriend fit Ho Ho Ho T-Shirt, but I didn't quite realise how big it was going to be - I got it in a size 10 and it's massive! Needless to say, the slouchy, oversized style goes well with the overall comfy theme I was going for and the material is really nice and soft, plus the Reindeer print is adorable!

Ah leggings, is there anything better to wear if you can't wear PJs?! These ones from Adidas are the most comfortable pair that I own and they have a cool mesh inset design at the back which gives them a sporty finish. The thicker high-waistband is very flattering and there's enough stretch to accommodate some Christmas food indulgence (you guys know what I mean!). I love wearing these for Yoga, HIIT and Pilates too.

One thing that I've never understood about relaxing at home is when people keep their shoes on - I just don't get it! I either prefer kicking back in a thick pair of socks or better still, wearing some seriously cosy slippers. This pair is from Accessorize and they have an Ugg-style suedette look with soft faux fur to keep your feet warm and toasty all Winter long. I'm never taking them off!

Comfy & Casual Christmas Day OOTD
Comfy & Casual Christmas Day OOTD details:-
Hat - Accessorize (old)
Boyfriend Cardigan* (£20, link)
Ho Ho Ho Boyfriend T-Shirt* (£10, link)
Adidas ID Mesh Leggings* (£28, link)
Accessorize Suedette Mule Slippers* (£15, link)

Special thanks to Fashionworld.co.uk for collaborating with me for this post :)

What are you planning to wear on Christmas Day?

Budget Beauty: Benecos Happy Nails Natural Nail Polishes in Vamp, Nordic Blue & Galaxy - Review & Swatches

Thursday, 20 December 2018

Benecos Natural Nail Polishes in Vamp, Nordic Blue & Galaxy - Review & Swatches
If you're looking for a more natural kind of nail polish that's also vegan-friendly and affordable, Benecos' new Happy Nails range will be right up your street!

Priced at just £4.95 each, Benecos' Happy Nails Natural Nail Polishes are one of those rare green beauty gems that you come across and then you have to tell everyone that you know to pick them up pronto. I must admit that I can be a bit of a snob when it comes to nail polishes, but these budget-friendly polishes have really impressed me.

Benecos Natural Nail Polishes in Vamp, Nordic Blue & Galaxy - Review & Swatches
Free from a long list of 'nasties' such as Titanium Dioxide, Toluene, Camphor, Colophony, Phthalates, Formaldehyde, Parabens, Carmine, Fragrance and Silicones, these Happy Nails Polishes are made from 90% naturally derived ingredients and are fortified with Avocado Oil and Biotin to help strengthen and nourish your nails. They feature a wide brush that's perfectly shaped so that it's super easy to swipe the polish down your nails and it makes the job much quicker too. 

Currently, there are 17 shades available in the range, including these three beautiful new colours which have recently been released for Winter. Swatches below!

Benecos Happy Nails Natural Nail Polish in Vamp
Benecos Happy Nails Natural Nail Polish in Vamp*
I never tire of these dark burgundy red shades and Vamp is a colour that I'll definitely be wearing a lot of over the next couple of months. It's deliciously rich and glossy and takes just two coats to reach full opacity. 

Benecos Happy Nails Natural Nail Polish in Nordic Blue
Benecos Happy Nails Natural Nail Polish in Nordic Blue
Nordic Blue is an interesting colour because I'm so used to seeing much darker shades such as traditional navy in most brands' Winter nail collections. Instead, Nordic Blue is more of a medium denim blue which I absolutely love. Applies smoothly in two coats.

Benecos Happy Nails Natural Nail Polish in Galaxy
Benecos Happy Nails Natural Nail Polish in Galaxy*
Oh, Galaxy, what a stunning colour you are! This multi-dimensional, dark grape purple has a metallic silver shimmer running through it, which is as captivating as star-gazing into the sky at night. It's not as glossy in finish as the other two shades above, but that's nothing a decent top coat can't sort out. Like the others, it applied easily in just two coats.

Benecos Happy Nails Natural Nail Polishes (5ml, £4.95 each) are available from Pravera.co.uk

What are you wearing on your nails today?

Green Beauty: LoveLula Beauty Box - December 2018 review

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Green Beauty: LoveLula Beauty Box - December 2018 review
The final LoveLula beauty box for the year arrived last week and it's packed full of green beauty pampering goodies, just in time for the Christmas break! The contents of the box are worth £60, so let's jump right in and see what's inside for December.

Kathleen Natural Sensual Rose Bubble Bath & Shower Gel
 Kathleen Natural Sensual Rose Bubble Bath & Shower Gel (RRP £18)
One of the best things about the Christmas holidays is that extra time to indulge in a long hot bath (ideally with a good book and glass of wine - that's my idea of heaven), and this luxury Bubble Bath from Kathleen Natural will be such a pleasure to use. I received the Sensual Rose scent in my box which I'm so happy about as I was running low on some of my favourite rose-scented bath treats, so I'm looking forward to jumping into the tub with this one instead. No bath? Don't worry, it also doubles up as a Shower Gel so everyone can try it out.

Hairy Jayne Hair Perfume in Floral
 Hairy Jayne Hair Perfume in Floral (30ml travel size - full-size retails for £22)
For hair, there's a beautiful Hair Perfume from Hairy Jayne in a handy travel size bottle. I've actually tried this before in the past and absolutely loved it because they smell amazing and fresh, plus you can use it as a heat protector, shine enhancer and frizz-tamer, so it's a pretty awesome multi-purpose product! A little goes a long way too, especially if you have fine hair like mine. They do a range of scents and this one is Floral which is a lovely mix of Geranium, Bergamot and Vanilla. 

 Seascape Island Apothecary Hand & Nail Cream in Refresh
 Seascape Island Apothecary Hand & Nail Cream in Refresh (RRP £10)
You can never have enough hand cream at this time of the year and this one from Seascape Island Apothecary has won the 'Best Everyday Hand Cream' in the Beauty Shortlist Awards. It has a lovely nourishing texture thanks to key ingredients such as Shea Butter, Olive Oil and Beeswax, and sinks into the skin quickly without being sticky or feeling greasy afterwards. A must-try if your hands are feeling dry this Winter.

Glossworks Nail Polishes in Ruby On Nails & Silver Bullet (RRP £12 each)
I was hoping for something makeup related in the December box and LoveLula delivered with these two gorgeous festive Nail Polishes from their popular Glossworks range. They are cruelty-free, vegan-friendly and feature a 9-free formula (so there's no Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, Toluene, DBP, Camphor, Parabens, Xylene, Ethyl Tosylamide or Lead) with a high-shine glossy finish - what more could you want?! 

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?

Party Makeup & Last Minute Gift Ideas/Stocking Fillers

Monday, 17 December 2018

Party Makeup & Last Minute Gift Ideas/Stocking Fillers
Whether you need a last minute beauty gift, a highstreet friendly stocking filler, or are simply looking forward to getting your glam on for that big NYE night out, this special edit of makeup treats will give you some party-perfect shopping inspo!

Ciate Glitter Storm Lipsticks
Ciate Glitter Storm Lipsticks
 Ciate Glitter Storm Lipsticks* (£19 each, link)
Is it even a Christmas or NYE party if you don't bring out the glitter?! These brand new Glitter Storm Lipsticks from Ciate are one of the most exciting cruelty-free makeup launches that I've seen all year and come in a range of six different glitter-tastic shades. They are insanely shimmery and have an awesome metallic finish with an impressive full-colour base. What surprised me the most about these lipsticks though is that they apply so creamy and smoothly, and I haven't had any problems with them drying out my lips which is a bugbear with other glitter based products. Amazing! My favourite shades from this bunch are Flash, a gorgeous wearable festive red, Elecktra, a full-on metallic purple and Spark, a more subtle pink toned, nude gold.

Make sure that you also check out the Ciate Glitter Storm Eyeshadow Palette that I featured in my Luxury Christmas Gift Guide here, it's a beauty!

Perfect Shade Disco Makeup
 Perfect Shade Disco Makeup
Last month, I did a feature on the budget-friendly makeup brand, Perfect Shade (you can read that here if you missed it) and I was over the moon when they sent over some more products from their fun Disco range. I've been loving the Mysterious Doll Eyeshadow Compact in Day Glow* (£6, link) which features four highly pigmented metallic shimmer shades in warm bronzes, golds, rose and plum tones, and the Playful Musician Lipgloss in Silky Silver* (£9, link) and Swinging Lipstick in Gold Rush* (£9, link) will guarantee that you stand out from the crowd.

 KISS Nails & Lashes
 KISS Nails & Lashes
False nails and lashes make ideal stocking fillers for makeup junkies, and they're the icing on the cake when it comes to finishing off your look. I've been using the sets from KISS for years and love their wide ranges of colours and designs for nails. The Glam Fantasy Nails* (£7.99, link) are particularly eye-catching for special occasions when you want something 'extra', whilst the imPress Nails* (£7.99, link) offer an easy to apply press-on manicure that gets your nails party-ready in a flash.

For eyes, KISS has a great range of lashes including my personal favourites, the Blooming Lashes in Peony* (£6.49, link) that are so pretty and wearable for an elegant flutter that's not OTT, and the brand's new Wing It Eyeliner Kit* (£8, link) is a must-have for liquid liner fans and comes with a handy stencil to help guide your flicks into different styles. Pick these up on the highstreet from Boots, Superdrug and Asda if you're doing your Christmas shopping in town this week!

Rubis Rose Gold Slanted Tweezers* (£22.50, link)
The trend for well-groomed brows is here to stay, so investing in a high-quality pair of tweezers will ensure that you'll never have to purchase another pair again for many years to come. As great tweezers don't come cheap, I think they make excellent gifts and these beautiful Rose-Gold Slanted Tweezers from Rubis will be a useful beauty find under the Christmas tree this year! Rubis made its name by making tweezers for the luxury watch industry (Cartier and Rolex are just some of the famous brands they work for) to assemble their delicate clockwork mechanisms, so it makes sense that they expanded into beauty tweezers as these are some of the most precise that you'll find on the market. They definitely give my Tweezerman's a run for their money and it's nice to have such a covetable alternative out there.

Are you shopping for last minute Christmas gifts this week?

Tried & Tested Skincare: 4 Products To Try This Winter From Samaya, Daytox, Weleda & Tropic

Sunday, 16 December 2018

New In Skincare: Samaya Renewing Exfoliant, Daytox Volcanic Mud Mask, Weleda Evening Primrose Age Revitalising Concentrate & Tropic Pure Lagoon Blemish Prevention Serum review
My social media feeds are currently full of Winter Skincare posts and I'm not surprised, as this time of the year can often wreak havoc with your complexion. Keep yours in check with these products from Samaya, Daytox, Weleda and Tropic which will help to smooth, hydrate, boost and clear up your skin.

New In Skincare: Samaya Renewing Exfoliant, Daytox Volcanic Mud Mask, Weleda Evening Primrose Age Revitalising Concentrate & Tropic Pure Lagoon Blemish Prevention Serum review
Samaya Renewing Exfoliant in Kapha* (50ml, £59, link)
Fans of Ayurvedic skincare will adore this latest release from luxury eco brand Samaya. Available in three different formulas that are specially tailored to suit the main doshas of Vata, Kapha and Pitta, the new Renewing Exfoliant is a powerful all-natural exfoliant that quickly removes dull dead skin cells on the surface of the skin to reveal a clearer and brighter complexion. Packed full of Pineapple Enzymes, Avocado Oil, Sodium Hyaluronate, Aloe, Jojoba, Vitamin E, and Ayurvedic herbs such as Amla, Gotu, Kola, Vetivert, Sandalwood, Turmeric, Neem and Ashwagandha, this 20-minute liquid exfoliant treatment is highly effective and gentle at the same time. It's also brilliant for unclogging pores and drawing out impurities, as well as helping other products to absorb into the skin better afterwards.

Daytox Volcanic Mud* (100ml, £20, link)
The ever-widening range of vegan-friendly beauty brands that are now available at Waitrose continues to impress me, and Daytox is one of my latest discoveries from them. Cruelty-free and formulated without parabens or silicones, the Volcanic Mud is a great 2-in-1 product for your bathroom as you can use it as a daily purifying cleanser, and as a weekly deep cleansing mask treatment. Featuring a base of Mineral Volcanic Mud, it also contains key ingredients such as Aloe Vera, Broccoli and Citrus extracts to protect against oxidative stress and free radicals, absorb excess sebum, banish blackheads, unclog pores and improve the overall texture of the skin. I prefer to use this as a quick 5 minute face mask as I have combination skin, but if yours is oilier, you could definitely try it as a cleanser as well to keep your skin looking clear without drying it out.

New In Skincare: Samaya Renewing Exfoliant, Daytox Volcanic Mud Mask, Weleda Evening Primrose Age Revitalising Concentrate & Tropic Pure Lagoon Blemish Prevention Serum review
Weleda Evening Primrose Age Revitalising Concentrate* (30ml, £37.50, link)
Regular readers will know what I'm a big fan of Weleda's body care ranges, but I haven't properly explored much of their skincare. Their Evening Primrose Age Revitalising Concentrate arrived on my doorstep a few weeks ago, and although it's been technically made for skin that's more mature than mine, I was eager to try it out as a night treatment to give my tired complexion a bit of a boost, and it's certainly helped with that! Part of Weleda's popular Evening Primrose line, the Age Revitalising Concentrate targets fine lines and wrinkles, whilst increasing elasticity, intensely moisturising and firming the skin, and promoting a more even skin-tone, so it can definitely be used by most ages, especially anyone who's 30+. This concentrate is a beautiful 100% natural serum that's lightweight and smells fresh with subtle floral notes. It has organic Evening Primrose Oil which is rich in essential fatty acids to promote cell regeneration, and there's Aloe Vera, Witch Hazel, Centella Asiatica and Inca Nut Oil to further hydrate, soothe and boost collagen production. If your skin feels like it's lacking something this Winter and has lost its glow, give it a go!

Tropic Pure Lagoon Blemish Prevention Serum* (30ml, £42, link)
With the most indulgent time of the year just around the corner, you may find that your skin will throw a wobbly and break out with all the excess sugar and fat that's in all those tasty Christmas treats (I know my skin always does this, and judging by similar complaints from fellow bloggers on Instagram, I'm not alone!). Help is always available though and I've been enjoying using the new Pure Lagoon Blemish Prevention Serum from Tropic which not only deals with existing blemishes but helps to keep your skin from erupting in the first place.

It's very different from a lot of similar products that I've tried in the past as it's not drying at all, and instead focuses on the skin's health by treating the bacteria that causes spots with a specialised formula of Bioflavonoids, Prebiotics, Hyaluronic Acid, Watermelon Fruit Extract, Zinc PCA, Vitamin B3 and PHAs. These are combined with Blue Spirulina and Malachite Crystal Extract which are known for their powerful anti-inflammatory properties and they also give the serum its beautiful natural blue colour!  I love the super lightweight texture of this serum because it feels like water on the skin, and so far the results have been very promising as my complexion looks much clearer, and my pores appear smaller since using it. 

What skincare products are you enjoy using at the moment?

Health & Lifestyle: VitSpritz Oral Spray Supplements review

Friday, 14 December 2018

Not a fan of taking vitamin pills? Why not try VitSpritz instead? These oral spray supplements are the perfect alternative to hard-to-swallow tablets and capsules, and are even more convenient to take whilst on the go!

VitSpritz is a range of liquid food supplements which come packaged in handy oral sprays. They're suitable for vegetarians and vegans and have been specially designed to be taken at any time, so whether you're commuting to work or just out and about doing your errands, you can simply pop one of these little bottles into your bag and you've got your daily vitamin fix ready when you are.

There are six different products available, including two for children, and I've been testing out the four adult ones below.

VitSpritz Vitamin D3* (30ml, £9.99, link)
Due to low UV levels during the Winter months in Britain, many people don't get enough Vitamin D so medical professionals have suggested taking a supplement from November to March to keep your levels topped up. Vitamin D3 is important for supporting a healthy immune system and helps your body to absorb calcium, which in turn maintains normal bone and teeth structure. This one from VitSpritz is an orange-flavoured oral spray that you spritz into your mouth once a day. It's sugar and calorie free, and each bottle contains enough for 230 days!

VitSpritz Vitamin B12* (30ml, £9.99, link)
If you're vegan, it's important that you take a Vitamin B12 supplement as it's difficult to get your recommended daily amount from plant-based sources alone. Vegetarians and omnivores can also benefit from this handy Vitamin B12 spray which helps to reduce tiredness and fatigue, and keeps your nervous and immune system working properly. It has a tasty orange flavour and two sprays a day is all you need to take.

Vitspritz Biotin Beauty* (30ml, £9.99, link)
Biotin is a popular go-to supplement for those who are keen to maintain healthy skin and collagen production, as well as encouraging hair growth, hence its nickname as a 'beauty' supplement. Found in the Vitamin B family, Biotin also helps the body to metabolise food and convert it into energy and it supports a healthy nervous system too, so it's not just a pretty face! VitSpritx Biotin Beauty requires just two daily sprays and each bottle contains 115 servings.

VitSpritz Adult Multivitamin* (30ml, £9.99, link)
If you're after a good quality all-rounder, you can't go wrong with the Adult Multivitamin which is packed full of Vitamins A, D3, K1, C, B1, B2, B6, B12, Niacin, Folic Acid, Biotin, Pantothenic Acid, Selenium and Iodine. Due to the content of the formula, you need to take more sprays than the others mentioned above (in this case it's 4 per day), but it can work out cheaper if you're looking to get your main daily vitamins in one convenient bottle.  Like the other products, it's sugar and calorie free, and has a pleasant fruity orange flavour.

Shop the full range of VitSpritz at vitspritzhealth.com  - currently on a 3 for 2 offer!

Disclaimer: Food supplements should never be used to replace a healthy and varied diet with plenty of exercise. Always consult your GP before taking if you have any queries, existing medical conditions or are taking any medication.

Do you prefer taking liquid supplements like these?

Christmas Gift Guide: Alima Pure The Essentials Lip Tint Duo - Review & Swatches

Thursday, 13 December 2018

Shopping online for a last minute Christmas gift for a green beauty fan? Pop this Alima Pure Essentials Lip Tint Set into your basket and you're good to go!

Highly revered for their luxury range of cruelty-free makeup that's made from naturally derived ingredients such as pure minerals, Alima Pure has a specially curated gift range this year called The Essentials. As the name suggests, each Essentials kit or duo provides the recipient with a fuss-free selection of makeup that's easy to use and wear, so if you like to keep your cosmetics bag as streamlined and clutter-free as possible, this is the brand for you.

I've read so many positive reviews of Alima Pure's lip products in particular over the years, that it was high time I finally got my hands on some, and I decided to pick up their Essentials Lip Tint Duo during the recent Black Friday sale on Naturisimo. Being an American brand, you do end up paying in pounds what you would pay in dollars over there, but given the exchange rate at the moment, it didn't work out too badly and as I bought the set from an online UK stockist, there were, of course, no additional customs fees or charges to pay when it arrived.

I chose the Essentials Lip Tint Duo as I wanted something that I could throw into my handbag and apply on the go without needing to use a mirror, and these are absolutely perfect for that. The kit contains two full-size Lip Tints in Petal and Currant, and it's been specially designed as Limited Edition set for the holidays. The combination of a soft nude pink and a berry-red shade allows you to go from day to night effortlessly in just one swipe, so if you have a busy job and like to go straight out in the evenings after work, this is a great little kit to have in your bag.

The formula of these Alima Pure Lip Tints is seriously impressive; they are so creamy and hydrating thanks to an ultra-nourishing blend of plant-based oils and butters such as Cocoa Butter, Castor Seed Oil, Safflower Seed Oil, Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Pumpkin Seed Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil and Jojoba Oil, plus there's Vitamin E and a little Peppermint Oil added for good measure.

Pigmentation wise, they are very sheer as you would expect from a Lip Tint. As they're so moisturising, the colour doesn't last long on the lips before you need to reapply, though I did find that they stayed around slightly longer than a few other brands that have similar products, so that's a positive. If you find that your lips get very dry and chapped during Winter, but you still want a pretty wash of colour at the same time, you must try these!

 Alima Pure Lip Tint in Petal
Petal is a lovely soft nude pink that you can easily wear every day. It's the epitome of low-maintenance chic as you only need one or two swipes, and it somewhere pulls together your whole look so effortlessly. This is going to be staying put in my handbag until the whole tube has been used up!

 Alima Pure Lip Tint in Currant
If you find red shades a bit intimidating or just want to get in on the festive trend in a much more subtle way, Currant is the ideal pop of colour for you. It looks scary dark in the bullet, but as you can see, when applied to the lips it's actually a very wearable shade that gives you a nice 'just bitten into a berry' finish that's always in fashion every year.

From L-R: Alima Pure Lip Tints in Currant and Petal

Alima Pure The Essentials Lip Tint Duo is £20 (worth £28) and is available from Naturisimo whilst stocks last.

Have you tried anything from Alima Pure?

Currently Loving: 3 Multipurpose Winter Skincare Products For Your Handbag or Desk

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

My Top 3 Multipurpose Winter Skincare Products For Your Handbag
Protect your skin this Winter with one of these natural and cruelty-free, multipurpose products - all of which are available in handbag friendly sizes.

My Top 3 Multipurpose Winter Skincare Products For Your Handbag
P'URE Papayacare Papaya Ointment* (25g, £8.99, link)
Packaged in a handy squeezable tube, this 100% natural ointment from P'URE Papayacare is an intensively rich and nourishing treatment that has the consistency of a thick, non-sticky balm. Packed full of Organic Papaya, Calendula, Shea Butter, Macadamia and Jojoba Oils, it's a must-try for anyone is suffering from very dry patches anywhere on the body, as well as dry, chapped lips. It can also be used after laser treatments to calm down irritated skin, and as it's all-natural, it's safe to use whilst breastfeeding to moisturise sore nipples, and as a soothing protector for nappy rash and cradle cap. Unlike other similar products on the market, this one is cruelty-free and is free from Petroleum, Castor Oil, Palm Oil, Phthalates, Parabens or Preservatives.

Lyonsleaf Beauty Balm* (55ml, £12.95, link)
Whilst most typical cleansing balms only do one job, Lyonsleaf's Beauty Balm is a convenient multipurpose alternative which can be used to thoroughly cleanse, exfoliate and moisturise the skin for a three-step skincare routine in just one pot! The water-free formula means that it doesn't need to contain any harsh preservatives and there's no artificial fragrances or colours, so it's an ideal choice for those with dry and sensitive skin. It's made entirely from natural ingredients such as cold-pressed plant oils (Babassu, Macadamia, Jojoba and Sweet Almond), as well as raw Organic Shea Butter and a carefully chosen blend of essential oils, to nourish, repair and protect your skin this Winter.

My Top 3 Multipurpose Winter Skincare Products For Your Handbag
Weleda Skin Food* (30ml, £7.95, link)
You can't have a winter skincare post without mentioning the iconic Weleda Skin Food; a tried and trusted celebrity favourite and a product that I've been using myself for many years now. Inside the bright green metallic tube, you'll discover an insanely thick and rich moisturiser that you can use everywhere on the body for some instant hydrating TLC. It's great to use as an intensive moisturising face mask once a week (just leave on for 10-15 minutes and then rinse the excess off), and it's brilliant for dry hands, lips, cuticles, elbows, heels and feet. Like all of the products featured here, a little goes a very long way, so these are all very affordable skincare options to try out during the Winter months.

Have you tried any of these?

Foodie Friday: Fresh Lemon, Ginger Root & Star Anise Tea #WinterWellness

Friday, 7 December 2018

Fresh Lemon, Ginger & Star Anise Tea #WinterWellness
Christmas is perhaps one of the worst times to be struck down with a cold or flu bug, so give your immune system a boost with this antioxidant-rich drink. A great way to energize your morning and a lovely little Winter Warmer at the same time!

Have you ever noticed the abundance of Vitamin C-rich fruits that appear during Winter? Whilst I miss all of the juicy berries of Summer, there are plenty of fruits that are seasonal at this time of the year, and all of them will help to ensure that you're getting your daily dose of Vitamin C from a natural source. From fresh Oranges and stocking-stuffer Clementines, to crisp Apples and zingy Lemons, Mother Nature has got your back when it comes to fighting off those cold and flu bugs.

In addition to Vitamin C, other antioxidants can play an important role in keeping you healthy and on top form this Christmas, and one of the original superfoods is Ginger Root. Ginger has been used for centuries as a natural remedy to improve digestion and keep the common cold at bay, thanks to the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that are found in its main bioactive compound, Gingerol. Best of all, fresh Ginger Root is easy to find at most mainstream supermarkets and even cheaper to buy from a local Asian / world food store. 

Another beneficial spice to look out for is the antioxidant-rich Star Anise which has compounds of Thymol, Terpineol and Anethole, all of which help to ward off the flu and keeps your digestion system working properly.

Fresh Lemon, Ginger & Star Anise Tea #WinterWellness
As Christmas is a time of indulgence, this Fresh Lemon, Ginger Root & Star Anise Tea can soothe an upset stomach, reduce any minor feelings of nausea, prevent constipation as it gets your digestive system going, and it gives your immune system a boost, all at the same time. See why I like it so much?!

Ingredients: (for 1)
  • 2 Slices of Fresh Lemon (unwaxed and organic if possible)
  • 1 Slice of Fresh Ginger Root
  • 1 Star Anise

Method:
  • Boil water in a kettle and allow to cool for about 30 seconds.
  • Place the ingredients into a heatproof mug or glass, pour over the water and allow to infuse for 5 minutes.
  • Drink immediately - enjoy!

What's your favourite Winter Wellness drink?

Christmas Gift Guide: Organiqua Hemper For Her Set review

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Organiqua Hemper For Her Set review
If you want to support more independent businesses this Christmas, why not pick up one of these Hemper sets from Organiqua? Perfect for anyone who is a fan of organic and natural skincare!

You probably won't have heard of Organiqua yet, as they are a brand new cruelty-free, British skincare company. Based in West Sussex, they specialise in organic hemp-based skincare which I've always found to be beneficial for my dry and eczema prone skin, especially at this time of the year when the weather gets colder.

All of Organiqua's products are 100% vegan, organic and natural, and all of their packaging is also 100% recyclable and/or biodegradable which is great to see. They have a small range of products available at the moment, and you can discover everything that they have to offer in one of their super convenient Hemper Sets (there's one for Her which contains a Hair Oil, and one for Him that features a Beard Oil instead).

I was kindly sent the ladies Hemper set below which is a lovely introduction to the brand and packed full of pampering treats to see you through the Winter months!

Here's a run-through of what's inside:-

Organiqua Hemper For Her Set review
Organiqua Bath Bomb Set

Indulge in a bath (or two!) over the festive season with this SLS-free Bath Bomb Set which comprises of two different bathing experiences. The Hemp, Lemon & Lime Bath Bomb is an uplifting and zesty little number that's perfect for an awakening morning bath, whilst the Hemp & Ylang Ylang is on the opposite side of the spectrum as it's more relaxing and floral which is ideal for an evening soak in the tub. I love both of these!

Organiqua Hemper For Her Set review
Organiqua Body Butter Bar & Lip Balm

After your bath, you can treat your skin further by applying the Body Butter Bar all over. This solid slab of moisturising heaven gently melts into your skin when you massage it in thanks to a hydrating formula of Organic Shea Nut Butter, Cocoa Butter, Candelilla Wax, Hemp Oil, Coconut Oil, Vitamin E Oil, Sweet Almond Oil and Rosehip Oil. Vanilla and Sweet Orange essential oils have also been added to the bar to give it a fresh and delicious natural scent which I adore.

For lips, there's the Lip Balm which comes in a handy pocket-sized tin that's easily recyclable after use. Slide it open and you'll find a smooth balm that's made with several natural organic ingredients that include Organic Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter, Hemp Oil and Coconut Oil, as well as Peppermint essential oil for a minty fresh flavour.

Organiqua Hemper For Her Set review
Organiqua Hair Oil & Face Cream

To complete your pampering routine, you can give yourself a full head and scalp massage with Organiqua's Hair Oil. Packed full of nourishing plant-based oils such as Organic Hemp Oil, Argan Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Frankincense, Lavender and Vitamin E, this product can be used to help strengthen damaged hair, whilst giving dry hair all the essential moisture that it needs to look glossy and healthy again. A brilliant overnight treatment for parched lengths and ends, you only need a few drops per application so this bottle should last you a long time!

The last product in the set is a Face Cream and it's the only item that I didn't personally get on with because it's a very rich moisturiser that would be better suited for dry or mature skin types. If that sounds like you, you'll love this pot of hydrating goodness, and if it isn't, perhaps gift it to your mum or gran?

Organiqua Hemper For Her set is £40 and available from organiqua.com

Do you use any hemp-based skincare?

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Luxury Mid-Week Pamper Treats: Laboratoire du Haut-Ségala - Neck & Shoulders Oil, Anti-Stretch Marks Oil and Muscle Recovery Oil review

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Laboratoire du Haut-Ségala - Neck & Shoulders Oil, Anti-Stretch Marks Oil and Muscle Recovery Oil review
Neck feeling tense? Shoulders stiff and tight? Whether you've been hunched over at your desk for too long or you've been hitting that Hot Yoga class a little too hard recently, it's time to give your body some much needed TLC with the help of Laboratoire du Haut-Ségala.

Laboratoire du Haut-Ségala is a cruelty-free, French natural and organic skincare brand which mainly specialises in pure, cold-pressed plant oil-based products (although they do a lovely range of toners and floral waters as well which are not to be missed!). They have a strong wellbeing ethos that fits perfectly with their eco-friendly approach to skincare, and all of their products are Ecocert certified

Their formulas have been reworked from traditional and age-old skincare recipes, meaning that everything is as natural and simplistic as possible, whilst still being incredibly effective for the health and wellbeing of the skin. Needless to say, you won't find any 'nasties', preservatives or synthetic fragrances in anything that they offer. 

I've used body care oils for years, so I was keen to try some from Laboratoire du Haut-Ségala for a little luxury self-care pampering this week.

Laboratoire du Haut-Ségala - Neck & Shoulders Oil, Anti-Stretch Marks Oil and Muscle Recovery Oil review
Laboratoire du Haut-Ségala Neck & Shoulders Oil* (100ml, £28.95, link)
I'm one of those people who carries a lot of tension and stress in my neck and shoulders, so this product was literally made for someone like me, and it is an absolute godsend! This dedicated oil is super relaxing and soothing with a blend of Organic Arnica and St John's Wort to help relieve all those niggling symptoms of daily stress and anxiety that build up in the neck and shoulders. There's also Organic Lavender, Orange, Wintergreen and Chamomile essential oils to further soothe and relax the muscles, and I love the handy rollerball that makes applying it so quick and easy.

Laboratoire du Haut-Ségala Anti-Stretch Marks Oil* (100ml, £27, link)
Give your body a confidence boost with this Anti-Stretch Marks Oil. Not only has it been specially developed to help reduce the overall appearance of stretch marks (both existing older, and newer ones), but it keeps the skin hydrated and smoother for longer with a nourishing composition of Organic Prickly Pear Flower, Jojoba Oil, Calophylle Oil and Centella Asiatic extract.  Skin is left feeling much firmer with improved elasticity so it's perfect for those 'wobbly' bits! Please note this oil isn't suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Laboratoire du Haut-Ségala Muscle Recovery Oil* (100ml, £28.50, link)
Finally, the product that I've been using the most often recently has been the Muscle Recovery Oil and it's been coming in so useful to use after a yoga or pilates session. Like the Neck & Shoulders Oil, this also has a convenient rollerball which makes it easy to apply to help soothe sore and tired muscles all over the body. It's formulated with a range of beneficial natural ingredients such as Organic Arnica Oil, Harpagophytum extract, Rosemary and Lavender essential oils to relax and ease muscle tension, and it can also be used pre-workout to help prevent muscle spasms. I found the oil to be nourishing, non-sticky/greasy, and easily absorbed like all of the other Laboratoire du Haut-Ségala products above.

Are you a fan of wellbeing body care oils?

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