Health & Lifestyle: Bioglan Superfoods Beauty Protein Powder review #VeganBeauty

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Bioglan Superfoods Beauty Protein Powder review #VeganBeauty
Collagen supplements have been popular amongst skincare fans for a long time now, but did you know that most are made from marine or bovine ingredients? For those who have been searching for a vegan-friendly collagen alternative, Bioglan Superfoods have the answer in the form of their new Beauty Protein Powder.

Collagen is a protein that's found naturally all throughout the body; it's in your bones, skin, muscles and tendons, and is often referred to as the body's 'scaffolding' which is a good way to sum it up as it supports your overall structure. Like many natural sources though, collagen production starts to slow down after around the age of 25 and takes a tumble even further for women after the menopause (thanks Mother Nature!)

Needless to say, finding ways to boost collagen, and thus its production, has been touted as one of the big 'anti-ageing' research areas as declining collagen levels ultimately lead to a loss of skin elasticity and moisture - resulting in those common signs of ageing such as fine lines, wrinkles, sagging and drier skin. 

There are a myriad of different collagen supplement products available on the market, from capsules to drinks, to topical skincare and rejuvenating face treatments, but now there's finally a vegan-friendly option thanks to Bioglan Superfoods' new Beauty Protein Powder - hooray!

Bioglan Superfoods Beauty Protein Powder review #VeganBeauty
What Is It?
Bioglan Superfoods Beauty Protein Powder is a collagen-boosting blend of superfood berries and plant-based protein which has been enhanced by additional vitamins and minerals to give your skin a boost from within. It features a unique amino acid mix that essentially mimics the composition of traditionally used bovine collagen, giving vegans and vegetarians a cruelty-free alternative.

What Are The Key Ingredients?
Pea and Rice Protein offer a good source of plant-based protein (7.1g per 10g serving), whilst Goji Berry and Raspberry Fruit Powders provide a source of antioxidants and Vitamin C that helps to maintain normal collagen formation for healthy skin. The amino acid complex is made up of L-Glycine, L-Alanine, L-Proline, L-Hydroxyproline, L-Leucine and L-Arginine, each of which has been specially chosen for their abilities to help boost collagen, and there's also Hyaluronic Acid (to help the skin hold onto moisture for longer), Bamboo extract and Biotin (to keep skin, hair and nails strong) added to complete the blend.

Bioglan Superfoods Beauty Protein Powder review #VeganBeauty
How Do I Use It?
Super easy - like everything in the Bioglan Superfoods range, you can add it to porridge (as above),  overnight oats, birchers, smoothies, shakes, or stir it into yoghurts, and even add it to pancake and muffin recipes for a healthier treat. Two teaspoons (10g) is all you need per day.

What Does It Taste Like?
Unlike other mainstream collagen supplements which can have a fishy aftertaste, this one doesn't really taste of much, except for a subtle 'protein powder' flavour (if you drink protein shakes, you'll know what I mean!) which I don't mind. It's easily disguised in whatever you blend it with anyway! 

Overall Thoughts?
I know a lot of vegetarians and vegans who have been looking for a product like this, and with more people turning to a plant-based diet, I can see this being very popular. It's free from animal products, high in protein and contains no added flavours, sugar or sweeteners. Plus it's easy to use and incorporate into your daily routine, and it can help to improve your skin in the long term - what's not to like?! My only bugbears are the plastic packaging (I hope Bioglan are looking into this) and that a product of this nature could be made even better by using organic ingredients, however for the price, it's definitely worth a try.

Bioglan Superfoods Beauty Protein Powder* (100g - equal to 10 servings - £12.99) is available direct from Bioglan Superfoods and Holland & Barrett (link)

Do you take any collagen supplements?

Christmas Gift Guide 2019: Highstreet Stocking Fillers For NYE Party Girls - Nails Edit

Friday, 15 November 2019

Christmas Gift Guide 2019: Stocking Fillers For Party Girls - Nails Edit
Looking for stocking fillers or secret Santa ideas for that gal in your social circle/office who just can't wait for the biggest party of the year? This special Nails Edit shares some affordable options with everything featured £15 or under!

Christmas Gift Guide 2019: Stocking Fillers For Party Girls - Nails Edit
Leighton Denny Large Crystal Nail File* (£15.50, link)
OK, so I'm cheating a little bit by including this as it's 50p over the £15 mark, however, there is a smaller Crystal Nail File from Leighton Denny that you can pick up for £12.50 if you're sticking to a secret Santa budget! I think this is a good choice for that person who has everything, but who adores manicures and all things nails. It's guaranteed to last a lifetime and has been described as the 'Rolls Royce' of nails files, winning numerous awards, so why not invest in the best?! You can also pick it up from Boots and stock up on your loyalty points - win-win!

Leighton Denny Nail Polish* (£12, link)
A luxury, high-quality nail polish is something that can take pride of place on a makeup junkie's vanity table and with a huge variety of on-trend colours and finishes to choose from, there's something for everyone who loves playing with nail polish. My top pick would be the shade above which is called Fedora from Leighton Denny's new AW 19/20 collection. It's a stunning, rich, warm and muted purple cream that goes with everything. Heads up - M&S have currently got these in on a 3 for 2 offer if you're looking to purchase multiple stocking fillers.


Christmas Gift Guide 2019: Stocking Fillers For Party Girls - Nails Edit
KISS Glam Fantasy & Gel Fantasy Nail Sets* (£7.99 each, link)
You can't beat a set of eye-catching falsies for that all-important NYE party and these ready-to-wear nails can be worn with nail glue or applied with adhesive tabs. There are loads of different designs and shades available in both the Glam Fantasy and Gel Fantasy ranges from KISS, so you'll be simply spoilt for choice! Both ranges have a realistic gel nail effect with an ultra-smooth finish to help you party the night away.

imPRESS Press-On Manicure Sets* (£7.99, link)
If you're looking for a less OTT nail kit, why not try the imPRESS Press-On Manicure Sets? These super easy to apply falsies come in a shorter length which makes them more wearable for most people, and they still offer the benefits of a gorgeous gel nail finish. I really like these for special occasions and they're great for those who aren't too confident at painting their own nails. Like the KISS sets above, these are also currently on offer in Superdrug.

Have you started your Christmas shopping yet?

The Weekend Post: Top 5 Eco-Friendly Cleaning Hacks That Actually Work #AD

Saturday, 2 November 2019

Doing a little bit of cleaning here and there on a regular basis, is a lot less stressful than trying to tackle the enormous challenge of cleaning the whole house when family or friends arrive unannounced, or you have that all-important landlord check to pass. To make things even easier, here are my top 5 eco-friendly cleaning hacks that actually work - so you can get the job done without harming the environment in the process - win, win!

Hack 1 - Use White Vinegar & Water to Clean Windows & Mirrors
Lots of mainstream window cleaners contain butoxyethanol which can cause a sore throat if inhaled and can really irritate the lungs of asthma sufferers, so make your own natural window cleaner by simply mixing white vinegar and plain water (50/50 ratio) in a spray bottle. Spritz onto any window and mirrored surface to remove dirt and grease marks, and then buff to a beautiful shine with a reusable cloth.

Hack 2 - Get Rid Of Bad Cooking Odours With Essential Oils
Opened your oven or microwave and got a whiff of something nasty? You don't need to resort to using bleach-based products to get rid of those bad post-cooking smells. Instead, add a few drops of essential oils (citrus, eucalyptus or vanilla all work nicely) to a bowl of water and pop it into the oven or microwave on a medium heat setting. Allow the water to steam the inside surfaces until almost evaporated, then remove, switch off and wipe a cloth over the surfaces. It will smell so much better!

Hack 3 - Remove Tough Grime And Stains With Baking Soda
Baking soda can be used for so many different purposes and it works particularly well for removing those tough, built up stains on oven doors, as well as general daily dirt and grime in both bathroom and kitchen areas. Make a thick paste by combining baking soda with a little water, spread it onto the dirt/stains and allow it to do its thing for 15 minutes before removing with a damp cloth.

Hack 4 - Put Lemons In The Oven, Microwave And Dishwasher
It may sound strange at first, but lemons have natural antibacterial properties which can help to degrease ovens, microwaves and dishwashers. To use in the oven or microwave, cut them in half and rub directly onto the inside surfaces. Leave for 20 minutes and then wipe down with a damp cloth to remove grease and stains. You can also use lemons in the dishwasher to degrease and refresh - simply cut them in half and put them inside the top rack face down, then run the dishwasher on an eco wash. Compost the lemons after use and enjoy a sparkling clean and fresh dishwasher.

Hack 5 - Re-Use Your Old Toothbrushes For Cleaning Hard To Reach Areas
Save your old toothbrushes for cleaning those hard to reach/tricky areas around the house. The smaller brush heads allow you to angle into all sorts of nooks and crannies and remove dirt and grime found around taps, in between grouting tiles and at the back of washing machine drawers. 

Need some more cleaning hacks? 
Check out these cheap and easy DIY eco-cleaning methods from Pattersons below! Pattersons offer both commercial and household eco-friendly cleaning product ranges, so why not discover their eco cleaning products today?



[This is a sponsored post]

What are your favourite eco-cleaning hacks?

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Foodie Friday: Roasted Tomato & Red Pepper Soup (Vegan / Dairy-Free recipe)

Friday, 1 November 2019

Foodie Friday: Roasted Tomato & Red Pepper Soup (Vegan / Dairy-Free recipe)
The weather is awful so it's time to embrace those simple pleasures in life, such as cosying up on the sofa with a hot bowl of homemade soup.  This easy Roasted Tomato & Red Pepper Soup recipe will warm you up in no time at all!

Soups are a great way to use up leftover veg and once you get into the habit of making your own (and it's pretty addictive when you start), you'll quickly find that you'll never want to eat a ready-made can of soup ever again. Homemade really is best here and I'm sure you'll agree once you've tasted this delicious recipe.

I always try to make sure that I incorporate plenty of naturally red coloured foods into my diet as they are packed full of super-healthy antioxidants and essential vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A (beta-carotene), Vitamin C, manganese and lycopene, as well as being a good source of dietary fibre. Cooking tomatoes, in particular, helps them to release more of the antioxidant lycopene which helps to protect the heart and even lowers the risk of some forms of cancer.

Not only that, but roasting the tomatoes and red peppers for this recipe takes this soup to the next level up in terms of adding even more flavour, so it's well worth taking the extra time to do this, and once your soup is ready, you'll have a whole batch to see you through the week for some speedy lunches or dinners. Yum!

Foodie Friday: Roasted Tomato & Red Pepper Soup (Vegan / Dairy-Free recipe)
Ingredients (makes four servings - simply double the ingredients to make a bigger batch if you're meal prepping)
  • 4 medium-sized Red Peppers
  • 400g Plum Tomatoes
  • 1 small White Onion
  • 1 stick of Celery
  • 3-4 cloves of Garlic, depending on taste
  • 2tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 400ml Vegetable Stock
  • Salt & Pepper to season
  • Drizzle of Coconut Milk (optional)
  • Chilli Flakes (optional)

Method
  • Preheat the oven to 200C / Gas Mark 4. Cut the Red Peppers in half and discard the ribs and seeds. Halve the Tomatoes and Onion, and place everything on a baking tray, along with the Garlic to roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes until soft. 
  • In a large saucepan, mix together the Vegetable Stock and Tomato Puree. Finely chop the Celery and add it to the saucepan, simmering over a medium heat for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the peel from the roasted Onion and Garlic and add them to the saucepan for 5 minutes, before adding the roasted Red PeppersTomatoes and Olive Oil. Simmer for another 5 minutes to allow all of the flavours to infuse.
  • Add a drizzle of Coconut Milk if using and transfer everything to a food processor. Blend until smooth and pour a serving into a bowl. 
  • Season with Salt & Pepper, and sprinkle over some Chili Flakes if you like a little spice. Enjoy immediately whilst the soup is still hot with some slices of toasted sourdough.

Storage tip: Once thoroughly cooled, this soup will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days or it can be frozen in batches for up to a month. Ensure it is fully defrosted before reheating and always serve piping hot.

Do you enjoy making your own soup?

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Christmas Gift Guide 2019: Laouta All Natural Soy Wax Wood Wick Candles review

Thursday, 31 October 2019

Christmas Gift Guide: Laouta Luxury All Natural Soy Wax Wood Wick Candles review
Candles are one of my favourite products to gift and to receive, so it made sense to begin this year's Christmas Gift Guide series with a spotlight on Laouta's beautiful luxury candles.

It's so easy to find incredible artisan candles these days - there really does seem to be a boom in this section of the market which means that us consumers are truly spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing the perfect candle for that special someone this Christmas.

For this reason, I will be featuring a range of different brands during the run-up to the big day, but for now, let me introduce you to Laouta.

Christmas Gift Guide: Laouta Luxury All Natural Soy Wax Wood Wick Candles review
This small, family-run business is based in Greece and they have an array of natural and cruelty-free beauty products alongside a selection of artisan candles. All of Laouta's products are inspired by traditional Mediterranean recipes which pay homage to their heritage, and everything is made by hand in small batches using locally sourced handpicked natural ingredients. 

Free from parabens, stabilisers, synthetic dyes, synthetic ingredients, perfumes and preservatives, Laouta's products are proudly 100% natural and they have a strong commitment to the environment by ensuring all of their packaging is 100% recyclable or biodegradable. 

I have yet to try their beauty products (although they are on my to-try wishlist!) as it was their All Natural Soy Wax Wood Wick Candles which immediately caught my eye whilst I was browsing LoveLula.com one evening, so I knew I had to pick some up!

Christmas Gift Guide: Laouta Luxury All Natural Soy Wax Wood Wick Candles review
There were four or five different scents to deliberate over and I eventually chose Bittersweet Almond and Raspberry & Pomegranate. I was pleased to see that they arrived in plastic-free , cardboard packaging and they come housed in white handmade ceramic pots which can be re-used afterwards. 

Made from 100% natural, hand-poured soy wax which is carefully mixed with a premium fragrance oil blend, each candle weighs 200g and boasts a burn time of up to 30 hours. At the centre is a wooden wick and I absolutely love these because they produce a satisfying and cosy crackling sound when they're lit!

But I know what you're all thinking - what do these Laouta Candles smell like? Well, they smell just like their namesakes! Bittersweet Almond has a subtle, sweet marzipan and floral fragrance to my nose which is comforting and Christmassy, whilst Raspberry and Pomegranate has a fruity floral aroma going on with a little spice added in for good measure. The scent throw isn't wide which I found a little disappointing at first, but after an hour of burning, they will subtly fragrance a small room or living area without being overwhelming and most of the time, I want a candle to do just that.

Laouta All Natural Soy Wax Wood Wick Candles* (£25 each) are available from LoveLula.com

Will you be buying candles as gifts this year?

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October Empties: Products I've Used Up

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

October Empties: Products I've Used Up
My little wicker basket is full once again just in time for this month's Empties post, so here's another rundown of the products that I've finished up recently. Which ones will I be repurchasing in the future? Keep on reading to find out!

Gallineé Body Milk* (reviewed here)
This is a lovely body moisturiser with a light and easily absorbed texture so it's been great to use throughout Summer. I love the fresh and clean scent that it has and I think this is the third bottle that I've gone through so you know it's good! Repurchase? I'll buy it again next Summer as I need something much more heavy-duty for my dry skin in Winter.

Bodhi & Birch Tomato Seed Cleansing Oil* (reviewed here)
From Bodhi & Birch's excellent Superfood skincare range, I enjoyed using this luxury cleansing oil as a first cleanse to remove makeup and daily grime and it smells absolutely delicious like a Bakewell tart! However, I prefer the overall texture and performance of the Avo Bao Cleansing Balm from this range more, so I wouldn't personally buy this one again. Repurchase? No.

Tropic Good Skin Day Resurfacing Serum* (reviewed here)
If you're looking for a natural AHA based exfoliating treatment, you must try this and I believe it's my second or even third bottle that I've used up. I have the old packaging as it's since been renamed the Fruit Peel Serum but I believe the formula is still the same. Brilliant for brightening dull complexions and smoothing uneven skin texture. Repurchase? If you follow me on Instagram, you'll have seen that I've recently been sent two brand new serums to try out from Tropic, so I'm going to see what they're like first!

Antipodes Manuka Honey Skin-Brightening Eye Cream* (reviewed here)
Another skincare product that I've used many, many times in the past is this gorgeous Eye Cream from Antipodes. Perfect for dry under eyes like mine, it hydrates and smoothes out fine lines and wrinkles, so it sits well underneath concealer. Plus, the pot lasts for ages too. Repurchase? I've gone back to the Dafna's Eye Care for the time being, but I would pick this up again.

October Empties: Products I've Used Up
Pai Gentle Hydrating Cleanser (reviewed here)
Whenever my skin throws a wobbly, I often come back to this ultra-gentle cream cleanser from Pai to help calm everything down. It always works a treat and usually restores my skin to its normal self within a week or so. This is another product that I've used countless tubes of and it's something that I'll always have in my skincare stash - I highly recommend it for sensitive skin types. Repurchase? Already have!

Yves Rocher Coconut Eau de Toilette
This travel-size bottle was an impulse purchase on holiday as I'd forgotten to pack a perfume with me. As the name suggests, it's a straight-up coconut scent which isn't too cloying like some others can be, but I found that it didn't last long before I needed to re-apply sadly. Repurchase? No.

Grace & Stella Activated Coconut Charcoal Powder Teeth Whitening Formula*
I was sent this from Amazon to try out and I have a real love/hate relationship with it! I love the fact that it's a natural teeth whitening alternative and it does help to remove stains and brighten up your teeth with regular use (it won't give you crazy white teeth as you can only achieve that through bleaching or by getting veneers, but I did notice a difference whilst I was using it). But I hated the mess as it's a loose powder and it gets everywhereRepurchase? No, I'm using a different one from Laviish at the moment which I prefer as it's a solid formula.

P.S - Recycle your beauty empties with Terracycle! 
Most of these plastic and glass containers can be recycled through my local council service (blue bin in my area), however, things like the pumps have metal springs in them which are not accepted as they require a different method in order to be recycled. Luckily, Garnier have teamed up with Terracycle to recycle beauty and personal care waste which is deemed difficult to recycle. It's free, all brands are accepted and there are drop off locations all over the UK. Read more here.

What have you used up recently?

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Green Beauty: LoveLula Beauty Box - October 2019 review

Thursday, 24 October 2019

 LoveLula Beauty Box - October 2019 review
October's LoveLula Beauty Box is here and inside there's a fantastic array of natural and cruelty-free products to see you through Autumn and beyond. This month's box is also worth over £59!

Here's what's inside:-

Seascape Island Apothecary Uplift Body Lotion
 Seascape Island Apothecary Uplift Body Lotion (RRP £16)

I thought it was a little strange to receive another full-size body lotion as there was a Madara one in last month's box (check out my review of that one here if you missed it), however, after testing it out I'm certainly not complaining! This Seascape Island Apothecary Body Lotion has a really great texture, feels hydrating and smells beautiful with essential oils of Eucalyptus, Lime and Lavender. If you're a morning shower kinda person, this is amazing to apply afterwards as the scent instantly puts you in a refreshed and positive mood for the day ahead.

 Balmond's Intensive Facial Oil
 Balmonds Intensive Facial Oil (RRP £22)

Worth £22 on its own, this luxury Intensive Facial Oil is described as a blend of plant-based ingredients to help rejuvenate and nourish tired, sensitive and damaged skin thanks to a variety of essential vitamins and nutrients in the formula. I haven't come across this brand before, so I'm curious to try this out soon as it sounds perfect for protecting the skin during Winter.

Laidbare Pack Your Bags Eye Cream
 Laidbare Pack Your Bags Eye Cream (RRP £7.99)

Laidbare is a lovely affordable natural skincare brand whose products I've namedropped many, many times over the years. Needless to say, I've already had the pleasure of using this Pack Your Bags Eye Cream in the past and it has a really nice light consistency for those who don't like heavy or thick eye creams, so I like to use it in the mornings as it sits well underneath makeup.

Dr Botanicals Cocoa & Coconut Superfood Reviving Hydrating Mask
Dr Botanicals Cocoa & Coconut Superfood Reviving Hydrating Mask (30ml, RRP £9.90)

Another great skincare product that is going to come in handy for the colder months is Dr Botanicals Cocoa & Coconut Superfood Reviving Hydrating Mask. As we put the central heating on, you might find that your skin feels more dehydrated than usual so this quick-acting mask will help to revive and nourish your complexion in just 10 minutes. It's ideal to use whenever your skin feels stressed or tired, as well as on long flights for a fast moisture boost.

Also included: a free sachet sample of Mossa Glow Cocktail Serum.


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?

Introducing: Aromatica - Clean & Vegan Beauty Products from Korea

Monday, 21 October 2019

Aromatica - Clean & Vegan Beauty Products from Korea
It's always exciting to receive packages from abroad, especially when it comes to discovering ethical beauty brands who are leading the way in sustainability and clean beauty values in their home countries and beyond. This week, I'd like to introduce you to Aromatica from Korea.

Aromatica prides itself on offering a wide range of cruelty-free and vegan-friendly products that covers, well, everything! From haircare and skincare to body care and items for the home, Aromatica has something for everyone. Born in 2004, it is involved in researching cosmetic ingredient safety campaigns for Korea and works alongside the EWG (Environmental Working Group) to help educate consumers who are concerned about the impact of certain ingredients on their health and the environment. 

Needless to say, all of Aromatica's products are certified by ECOCERT & COSMOS, Vegan, EWG VERIFIED™ and follow the company's own strict standards when new formulas are tested and developed. I was kindly sent a selection of Aromatica's bestsellers to try out to give you an example of what they have to offer.

Aromatica Rosemary Scalp Scaling Shampoo
 Aromatica Rosemary Scalp Scaling Shampoo* (400ml, $26, link)

The colder months can often spell trouble for those who have sensitive and dry scalps, and they can even trigger symptoms in people who generally don't have any problems throughout the year. If your scalp is feeling itchy, irritated or you're suffering from dandruff, give this Rosemary Scalp Scaling Shampoo a go.

Free from silicones and sulphates, as well as a vast range of other potentially irritating known ingredients, this shampoo produces a light lather when plenty of water is added to it and it has a pleasantly fresh and herbal scent. The 97% natural ingredient formula does an excellent job of gently cleansing the hair and scalp, but like many shampoos of this nature, it did leave my hair feeling a little drier than usual afterwards, so a good quality conditioner is a must to use alongside it. On the plus side, it's great for clearing up dandruff!

Aromatica Organic Jojoba Golden Barrier Oil
 Aromatica Organic Jojoba Golden Barrier Oil* (30ml, $36, link)

If you're a fan of aromatherapy, you'll be all too familiar with the concept of barrier oils and these multi-purpose oils are a great way to customise a skincare routine. This one features quite simply a high quality, 100% natural and organic cold-pressed Jojoba Seed Oil, without nothing else added to it for the ultimate purity. The luxurious glass bottle comes with an inbuilt dropper dispenser and you can use this in so many different ways.

Create your own facial, bath or body oil by mixing it with your favourite essential oils, or simply just apply it on its own to reap the natural moisturising properties of this liquid gold.

Aromatica Rose Absolute First Serum
Aromatica Rose Absolute First Serum* (130ml, $44, link)

Perhaps one of Aromatica's most popular products is the Rose Absolute First Serum and this may be partly due to the Korean beauty trend of including an essence in their famous multiple-step skincare routines. This highly concentrated treatment triples up as a toner, essence and serum, all-in-one and it boasts a formula which is 97.3% natural and 80.4% organic.

Perfect for dry and mature skin types, the serum has a thick but easily absorbed consistency with the unmistakable scent of fresh roses. It helps to balance and brighten the skin, boosting hydration levels and smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles, so if you're looking for an all-round anti-ageing skincare product to add to your Christmas gift list, this is definitely one to try!

Aromatica Organic Aloe Vera Gel* (300ml, $14, link)

I also want to give a special mention to this Organic Aloe Vera Gel because I've been using it on a regular basis to soothe my dry skin for the past month or so. Made from 99.5% natural ingredients, 96.5% of which are certified organic, this is a wonderful multi-purpose gel which will appeal to those who don't like using heavy or sticky body creams or butters. Instead, this lightweight gel sinks quickly into the skin and it helps to calm down and reduce any irritation. A pleasure to use on the face and body, it's also ideal as an after-sun treatment to combat sunburn.


Shop the full range at thearomatica.co with free shipping over $100

What are your favourite natural Korean beauty brands?

Foodie Friday: Matcha Green Tea & Lemon Breakfast Muffins (Dairy-Free / Vegetarian / Gluten-Free recipe)

Friday, 11 October 2019

Matcha Green Tea & Lemon Muffins (Dairy-Free / Vegetarian / Gluten-Free recipe)
Matcha is a surprisingly versatile superfood ingredient to have in your cupboard and if you're a fan of the green stuff, these Matcha Green Tea & Lemon Breakfast Muffins are a healthy snack to enjoy first thing in the morning or to beat that dreaded afternoon slump.

I am partial to a good Matcha Latte (check out how to make one here), but after browsing some of my cookbooks, I decided to try it in baking for the first time last month and I loved the results! Since then, I've experimented with a couple of different recipes and have been enjoying these delicious Breakfast Muffins so much that I wanted to share it on here for Foodie Friday.

This recipe is taken from The Gut Health Diet Plan by Christine Bailey which is well worth checking out if you're interested in how you can improve your gut health. Dairy-free, gluten-free, grain-free and vegetarian-friendly, these muffins are packed full of anti-inflammatory antioxidants thanks to their Matcha content. They also contain a source of the amino acid L-theanine which has been shown to relieve minor symptoms of anxiety and help the body cope with daily stress so these are perfect if you have a busy commute to work or Uni!

Tip: If you want to make these muffins vegan, simply swap the eggs for some mashed banana or try an egg replacement product like Follow Your Heart Vegan Egg.

Matcha Green Tea & Lemon Muffins (Dairy-Free / Vegetarian / Gluten-Free recipe)
Ingredients (makes 8 muffins)
  • 200g Ground Almonds
  • 30g Coconut Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 1 tsp gluten-free Baking Powder
  • 60g Xylitol or Coconut Sugar
  • Zest & Juice of 2 Lemons
  • 1tbsp Matcha Green Tea powder
  • 60ml Almond or Coconut Milk
  • 4 organic, free-range Eggs, beaten
  • 2tbsp Coconut Oil, melted
  • 1tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tbsp Chia Seeds
  • Flaked Almonds (optional topping)
  • Pinch of Sea Salt

Method
  • Preheat the oven to 180C / Gas Mark 4. Line an 8-cup muffin pan and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine the Ground Almonds, Coconut Flour, Salt, Bicarbonate of Soda, Baking Powder, Sugar, Lemon Zest and Matcha, gently mixing everything together.
  • Slowly stir in the Lemon Juice and Milk, then add the rest of the wet ingredients; Eggs, Coconut Oil and Vanilla Extract. Stir until smooth.
  • Leave the mixture to stand for 5 minutes, then stir in the Chia Seeds.
  • Divide the batter into the muffin cases and add a few Flaked Almonds on top if using.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden and firm to the touch. Leave to cool for 5 minutes before turning out on a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!

Matcha Green Tea & Lemon Muffins (Dairy-Free / Vegetarian / Gluten-Free recipe)
Have you tried using Matcha in baking?

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Autumn Beauty Buys - Under £13 - #HelloOctober

Monday, 7 October 2019

Autumn Beauty Buys #HelloOctober
Need a little beauty pick-me-up? These are some of my recommended Autumn Beauty Buys to treat your nails and hair to this season - all under £13!

Treats For Nails: Leighton Denny Slick Tips Hydrating Cuticle Oil* (12ml, £12, link) & Leighton Denny Nail Polish in Inkjet* (12ml, £12, link)

Autumn is a good time to starting taking more care of your nails, as the colder weather can cause them to become drier and more brittle than usual which can lead to weakness and breakages (central heating also has a drying effect on nails and skin). Massaging in a drop or two of cuticle oil can help though and Leighton Denny's Slick Tips Hydrating Cuticle Oil is a lovely formula to try that's enriched with Jojoba Oil and Vitamins A, B and E to instantly moisturise, smooth and soften for stronger nails overall.

I've also been embracing the return of darker colours for nails and in particular, have fallen head over heels in love with another favourite from Leighton Denny. Their Nail Polish in Inkjet is the most stunning rich navy blue with a metallic silk-like finish - I always get compliments when I wear it!

Leighton Denny Nail Polish in Inkjet review swatches
Leighton Denny Nail Polish in Inkjet

 Design. ME Puff. ME Light Hair Volumising Powder
Treats For Hair: Design. ME Puff. ME Light Hair Volumising Powder* (9.1g, £9.95, link)

It may have a long name, but Design. ME's Puff. ME Light Hair Volumising Powder is a must-try for anyone who has fine or difficult to style hair like mine. Free from sulphates, parabens and salt, this vegan-friendly magical volumiser helps to add texture and body to even baby-fine hair thanks to its super lightweight consistency - I was quite surprised by how you can't really tell or feel that you've used any product in your hair. Add it directly to the roots and style as normal - super easy!

A Cruelty-Free & Vegan-Friendly Alternative To Silk Pillowcases: Morning Glamour Satin Pillowcase
A Cruelty-Free & Vegan-Friendly Alternative To Silk Pillowcases: Morning Glamour Satin Pillowcase* (£12.99 for one, link)

Silk pillowcases have long been a traditional beauty secret of many A-list actresses and celebrities, as well as countless skincare and beauty gurus singing their praises over the years, but what if you want a cruelty-free and vegan-friendly alternative? Look no further, Morning Glamour's range of Satin Pillowcases has got your back! 

Available in several different colours to fit your bedroom colour scheme, these pillowcases are just as luxurious feeling as their silk counterparts and help to prevent hair breakages and night time skin wrinkles as it provides a smooth surface to sleep on. They're also great for damaged or frizzy hair types and are non-absorbent so your skin and hair retains moisture better throughout the night - genius!

What's on your Autumn beauty wishlist?

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September Empties: Products I've Used Up

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

September Empties: Products I've Used Up
A new month is upon us so you know what that means - it's time for another Empties round-up! Here's a short but sweet recap of the products that I've used up recently and whether I would repurchase them again or not.

Madara Daily Defence Balm*
I think this is my third tube of Madara's Daily Defence Balm that I've gone through since discovering it at a green beauty blogger event a few years ago. This is a rich and nourishing multi-purpose balm that you can use on the face, hands, body, basically anywhere that feels dry or rough which needs some extra moisturising TLC. Great to use all year round, though it comes in especially useful during the colder Winter months. Repurchase? Yes.

Intelligent Nutrients Volumizing Spray*
I've had this for a long time and just never seemed to reach for it as I've found so many other products that work a lot better for my fussy fine hair. I wouldn't say that it's terrible, but I didn't personally see much of a difference to my hair when I used it. Repurchase? No.

Tropic Vitamin Toner Pore Refining Mist* (featured here)
A brilliant toner for blemish-prone/problematic skin - it clarifies, calms and hydrates all in one. Perfect to use as a makeup setting spray as well. Repurchase? I have a couple of others to use up first but I'll definitely be picking this up again.

September Empties: Products I've Used Up
Elsa's Organic Skinfoods Natural Deodorant Stick in Love(reviewed here)
If you're looking for a natural and organic deodorant, try one of these from Elsa's - they are amazing! They keep me smelling and feeling fresh all day long and don't irritate my skin. This scent Love is my favourite from the range as it's a blend of Rose and Patchouli which is so lush. Repurchase? I'm currently using Elsa's deo in Ocean at the moment.

LJ Natural Papaya Wash-Off Lighter Cleanser(reviewed here)
I've been enjoying using this as my morning cleanser throughout the end of Summer thanks to its light gel formula. Very refreshing and thoroughly cleanses and brightens without stripping the skin - a good one for most skin types to try. Repurchase? I'll buy it again next Summer.

Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask(reviewed here)
Lastly, I thought I'd end this round-up with one of my absolute favourite skincare products - Antipodes' much-loved Aura Manuka Honey Mask. I never tire of using this and always have a tube of it in my skincare stash. It hydrates, soothes and clears redness and blemishes, and always leaves my skin looking in much better shape overall. Repurchase? Already have!  

What have you used up recently?

Health & Lifestyle: Living Better Health Superfoods - Chia Seeds, Energy Blend Energiser, Baobab & Maca review

Monday, 30 September 2019

Living Better Health Superfoods - Chia Seeds, Energy Blend Energiser, Baobab & Maca review
I recently spotted that LoveLula were now stocking Living Better Health Superfoods, so I decided to place an order and stock up on a couple of healthy essentials for the new season ahead.

If you haven't heard of Living Better Health Superfoods before, the company was founded by Lisa Barnes (an award-winning transformational health and wellness coach), and they have a whole range of mainly organic superfood powders which you can easily incorporate into your daily diet. Everything is lactose and gluten-free, suitable for vegans and they all contain no added sugar or any other filler/bulking ingredients or additives.

I picked up four packs to try; Chia Seeds, Energy Blend Energiser, Baobab and Maca.

Chia Pudding
Living Better Health Superfoods Organic Chia Seeds* (125g, £5.99, link)
Perhaps the most well-known, Chia Seeds are readily available from lots of different places these days and the Instagram-famous Chia Pudding (pictured above) is one of my healthy go-to breakfasts to have during the week.

Chia Seeds may not look like much, but these teeny tiny seeds are packed full of Omega-3 fatty acids (60% of their nutritional profile is just Omega-3 making them one of the richest plant-based sources of fatty acids) which is essential for a healthy diet as the body cannot make its own Omega-3. Clinically proven to reduce cholesterol and inflammation, Chia Seeds are also beneficial as they are a good source of Fibre, Calcium, Manganese, Magnesium and Phosphorous. 

How to use: Add a teaspoon to smoothies, or sprinkle over porridge, soups or salads. Or make a tasty Chia Pudding by adding a tbsp to 200ml of water or dairy-free milk in a container with a pinch of Cinnamon and leave overnight for a yummy breakfast come the morning.

Energy smoothie
Living Better Health Organic Superfoods Energy Blend The Energiser* (125g, £14.99, link)
I'm always looking for ways to boost my energy levels as I suffer from fatigue on a regular basis, so I was curious to try out The Energiser, a superfood blend of six natural ingredients; Chia Seeds, Baobab Powder, Guarana Powder, Hemp Protein Powder, Lucuma Powder and Maca Powder. 

This blend has been specially designed to help you beat that mid-afternoon slump, and you can use it first thing in the morning to kickstart your day thanks to its mix of Fibre, Protein, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium and Zinc. I've been taking it for about a month now and it's definitely been helping!

How to use: Add 1/2 tsp to a glass of juice or your smoothie once or twice a day for the first week, after which you can increase to 1 tsp a day. You can also sprinkle or stir it into cereal, porridge, muesli, and even add it to homemade raw chocolate and cakes.

Living Better Health Superfoods - Chia Seeds, Energy Blend Energiser, Baobab & Maca review
Living Better Health Superfoods Organic Baobab Powder* (125g, £6.99, link)
If you prefer a singular superfood powders, Living Better Health also has a range of those including this delicious Baobab Powder. Baobab is really quite special as it contains almost fifty per cent fibre and boasts an impressive count of antioxidants which is amongst the highest for any known fruit in the world. It has fourteen essential vitamins and minerals and is great for supporting a healthy metabolism, improving skin conditions, reducing inflammation and supporting gut health to name but a few of its benefits.

Best of all though? It tastes a bit like sherbet - yum!

How to use: Add 1/2 tsp to juices and smoothies, increasing to 1tsp afer the first week of use if desired. Like the other superfood powders, you can also sprinkle it onto yoghurts, acai bowls, cereal and porridge etc.

Living Better Health Superfoods - Chia Seeds, Energy Blend Energiser, Baobab & Maca review
Living Better Health Superfoods Organic Maca Powder* (125g, £5.99, link)
Saving my personal favourite to last, Maca Powder is a highly nutritional food which is growing in popularity. It contains a source of Fibre, Protein, Vitamins B1, B2 and B6, Calcium, Iron and Zinc, and is a good one to use every day if you do a lot of exercise or have a busy lifestyle as it helps to support your adrenal glands. There's also a number of studies that suggest it can be useful for balancing hormones as well.

The flavour of Maca though is just heavenly - it has a sort of sweet caramel/toffee/malty taste which works particularly well in smoothies and sweet recipes.

How to use: Add 1/2 tsp to smoothies and juices, increasing to 1tsp a day if desired. It's great stirred into porridge, overnight oats, acai bowls, chia puddings etc, and can be used in raw cake and biscuit recipes.


Shop the full range at LoveLula.com

Have you tried any of these superfoods?

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