Foodie Friday: Kale & Cashew Nut Pesto Pasta with Courgette & Chestnut Mushrooms (Vegan / Dairy-Free recipe)

Friday 31 May 2019

Easy Kale & Cashew Nut Pesto Pasta with Courgette & Chestnut Mushrooms (Vegan / Dairy-Free recipe)
Happy Friday everyone, I hope you're all looking forward to the weekend! For this week's Foodie Friday feature, I'm sharing one of my all-time favourite pasta dishes which is packed full of healthy and fresh ingredients. It's also ready in just 10 minutes so it's brilliant as a quick and easy mid-week dinner!

Since I posted about my weight loss and overall health and fitness journey a few months ago (read that post here if you missed it), the most common question that I'm still asked today is if I eat any carbs. In fact, whenever I post about eating more healthy on Instagram, I'm guaranteed to receive at least one DM about carbs. 

So ladies and gents, let me tell you something.

Carbs are NOT the enemy!

You NEED carbs in your life, especially if you're doing any kind of intensive workouts like running, weightlifting, circuits, spinning classes or HITT. Carbs help to refuel your body and without them, you're likely to feel easily irritable, hungry and even constipated (many people who cut out carbs run the risk of not getting enough fibre in their diet, which also leads to further problems with gut health and digestion). For further info, read up on the NHS' 'The Truth About Carbs' page here.

If you love pasta as much as I do, you can make healthy swaps by switching white pasta to whole grain, but eating the odd bowl of white pasta here and there isn't going to kill you, which is why I wanted to feature one of my fave pasta recipes this week.

This Kale & Cashew Nut Pesto Pasta tastes oh-so-fresh and it's a cheeky way to sneak some extra dark greens into your meal. Once you've whizzed up your own pesto from scratch, you'll never want to buy a ready-made supermarket version ever again! Simply add veggies (I've included Courgette and Chestnut Mushrooms in this one) and enjoy a hearty, filling bowl of goodness. 

Easy Kale & Cashew Nut Pesto Pasta with Courgette & Chestnut Mushrooms (Vegan / Dairy-Free recipe)
Ingredients (serves two)
  • 150g Pasta of your choice
  • 75g Kale
  • 40g Cashews
  • 2 cloves of Garlic
  • 50ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • A handful of fresh Basil Leaves
  • Pinch of Salt & Pepper
  • Your choice of Veggies 

  • Bring a kettle to the boil and pour into a large saucepan. Add the Pasta with a pinch of Salt, and simmer for about 10 minutes until the pasta is al dente or done to your liking.
  • While the pasta is cooking, make the Pesto. Add all of the remaining ingredients to a food blender or processor, removing any particularly tough stalks from the Kale and blend until you have a pesto paste. Taste and add extra seasoning if desired. 
  • Pan fry or steam your chosen Veggies until lightly cooked, then drain the Pasta. Add the Veggies and Pesto, stirring everything to combine. Plate up and enjoy!

Storage tip: If you have any leftover Pesto, place into a small glass jar with a lid, pouring a little Olive Oil over the surface which helps to preserve it. Keep in the fridge for up to a week or freeze for up to a month.

Have you made your own Pesto before?

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New In Beauty: Dr. Hauschka Limited Edition High Spirits Makeup Collection - Review & Swatches + New Eye-Makeup Remover

Thursday 30 May 2019

 Dr. Hauschka Limited Edition High Spirits Makeup Collection - Review & Swatches + New Eye-Makeup Remover
Dr. Hauschka is one of the leading natural beauty brands throughout Europe, and I've noticed that they are becoming more popular here in the UK. I've tried out many of their luxury skincare and pampering products over the years but hadn't used any of their makeup until now.

When I stumbled upon their latest Limited Edition collection called High Spirits for S/S19, I knew that this was the perfect time for me to pick up some of their cosmetics to test out. This short but sweet range features five brand new products from the German brand and everything is 100% natural, organic, certified to NATRUE standards and cruelty-free, as well as being free from synthetic fragrances, artificial dyes, preservatives, mineral oils, silicones and PEGs.

Below are three products from the High Spirits Collection, plus a notable mention for Dr. Hauschka's brand new, vegan-friendly Eye Makeup Remover.

Dr. Hauschka Liquid Lip Colour in 03 review
Dr. Hauschka High Spirits Liquid Lip Colour in 03* (4.5ml, £20.50, link)

The ideal addition to your Summer holiday makeup bag, Dr. Hauschka has released two new exclusive shades of their popular Liquid Lip Colours. I wouldn't say that these are liquid lipsticks in the traditional or mainstream sense of the word as they're more of a sheer, but buildable lip product that offers more coverage than a lipgloss. They have a lovely lightweight and creamy texture that effortlessly glides onto the lips with a nicely shaped doe-foot applicator for a precise pout. 

As these Liquid Lip Colours are formulated with natural ingredients, there's plenty of plant-based nourishment that comes from the likes of Castor Seed Oil, Apricot Oil, Candellia Wax, Mango Butter, Sweet Almond Oil and Beeswax to keep lips soft and moisturised, whilst mineral pigments add a gorgeous pop of colour. I have the shade 03 which is a very pretty, on-trend coral pink with lots of glossy shine. It wears well without being sticky but it does require a touchup after eating and drinking.  

Dr. Hauschka Bronzing Glow Powder review
Dr. Hauschka Bronzing Glow Powder* (3.3g, £25, link)

I'm a big fan of using bronzers all year-round, but if you only wear them during the Summer months, Dr. Hauschka's Bronzing Glow Powder will give you a gorgeous sunkissed glow without being orangey, too dark or OTT sparkly. In fact, I highly recommend this for makeup beginners because it is so easy to use! Packaged in a sleek tube, you simply open and twist up to reveal a nifty integrated brush which you can then sweep onto cheekbones, décolleté, arms, legs - basically anywhere that you want to add a subtle bronzed, very fine shimmer finish to. 

In addition to looking good on the skin, it's also good for your skin as it contains medicinal plant extracts such as Witch Hazel and Anthyllis which help to protect and keep the skin soft and supple. The only drawback is that it's only available in one shade meaning that it's better suited for light-medium skin tones, as I don't think it will show up on anyone darker than my light olive complexion as you can judge from the swatch below.

Dr. Hauschka Eye Crayon Duo in 01
Dr. Hauschka Eye Crayon Duo in 01* (4.8g, £18, link)

Dual colour products like this new Eye Crayon Duo come in so handy for holidays and travelling as they are super easy to just throw into your handbag or clutch to use on the go. Crafted from a blend of natural plant ingredients such as Quince Wax, Shea Butter, Witch Hazel and Anthyllis, I was really impressed by the strong pigment payoff which is mineral-based. It applies smoothly and you can use either colour as an eyeliner or as an eyeshadow all over the lid (if using as the latter, make sure that you apply a good primer/base underneath as I found that it was prone to creasing later on in the day if you have oily lids).

There are two new colourways to choose from and I opted for 01 as it has a dark turquoise/peacock blue on one end (which looks amazing on all eye colours but especially on dark brown eyes like mine), and a smouldering, metallic taupey-bronze on the other. Both shades are simply stunning!

 Dr. Hauschka Limited Edition High Spirits Makeup Collection - Review & Swatches + New Eye-Makeup Remover
Swatches! Dr. Haushka Limited Edition High Spirits - Bronzing Glow Powder, Eye Crayon Duo in 01 and Liquid Lip Colour in 03

Dr. Hauschka Eye Makeup Remover review
Dr. Hauschka Eye Makeup Remover* (75ml, £25, link)

Whilst I was checking out the High Spirits Collection, I spotted that Dr. Hauschka had also released a brand new Eye Makeup Remover which I was immediately curious to try. Specially developed for sensitive skin, this eye makeup remover is ultra gentle and has a dual-phase water and oil composition that you shake up to combine the two elements before using. This allows the formula to quickly get to work removing all traces of makeup, including stubborn waterproof and long-wearing formulas, without the need for being harsh or abrasive on the delicate eye area.

Key ingredients include Sesame Seed Oil, Glycerin, Rose Flower Water, Sunflower Seed Oil, Castor Oil and Fennel Seed extract. There's also plant-based Alcohol and Fragrance (derived from essential oils) included, but I didn't experience any problems with these on my sensitive eye area, though I would always recommend carrying out a patch test on your own skin first if you have any concerns. The Eye Makeup Remover is packaged in glass too so it's a winner for anyone who is currently looking for a plastic-free alternative!

Have you tried any makeup from Dr. Hauschka?

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Green Beauty: LoveLula Beauty Box - May 2019 review

Tuesday 28 May 2019

LoveLula Beauty Box - May 2019 review
One of the most popular subscription boxes for fans of green beauty is the monthly LoveLula box and May's edit of natural and organic skincare and makeup is worth £67! Curious to find out more? Here's what's inside:-

Madara Re: Gene Lifting Mask
 Madara Re:Gene Lifting Mask (RRP £35)

The star of this month's LoveLula box is a full-size anti-ageing face mask from Madara which is worth £35. This non-invasive treatment uses a powerful fusion of revitalising Birch Water and firming Amino Acids to deliver visible lifting, plumping and wrinkle-smoothing results to mature skin, so if you feel that your complexion has lost some of its youthful shape and glow, this mask is a good one to try out. 

Seascape Island Apothecary Refresh Hand Lotion
 Seascape Island Apothecary Refresh Hand Lotion (RRP £16)

Treat your dry hands to some serious TLC with this luxury Seascape Island Apothecary Hand Lotion which contains 100% natural essential oils of Jersey Lavender, Lemongrass and Geranium for a relaxing and uplifting scent. It's packed full of Shea Butter to nourish and soften, plus this massive 300ml bottle will last forever!

Ayumi Naturals Sandalwood & Ylang Ylang Body Scrub
 Ayumi Naturals Sandalwood & Ylang Ylang Body Scrub (RRP £6.99)

I'm a bit of a self-tanning addict during the Summer months, so I was pleased to find a full-size Body Scrub from Ayumi Naturals which I'm looking forward to using as tan prep. It's cruelty-free and vegan-friendly, with a gentle cleansing and exfoliating formula that's been created for dry and sensitive skin. It smells gorgeous thanks to a blend of two of my favourite essential oils, Sandalwood and Ylang Ylang.

JOIK Silky Lip Balm in Pastel Pink
 JOIK Silky Lip Balm in Pastel Pink (RRP £6)

I'm always happy to see makeup included in the LoveLula beauty boxes and this Silky Lip Balm from JOIK is perfect for the Summer holidays. It comes in the shade Pastel Pink which gives the lips a light baby pink wash of colour, whilst a blend of Cocoa Butter, Babassu, Avocado and Jojoba Oils ensures that they are kept hydrated and soft.

Vestige Verdant Peat Mask
Vestige Verdant Peat Mask (sample)

The last product is a sample sachet of Vestige Verdant Peat Mask which I've used and loved in the past (check out my full review of it here and my Empties post here). It's a brilliant mask for drawing out stubborn blackheads and impurities for clearer skin so it's great to have it back in my life!

LoveLula Beauty Box* is a monthly subscription box priced at £13.95 with free postage in the UK. Visit to find out more.

Have you subscribed to LoveLula's Beauty Box?

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Holiday Style: Summer 2019 Trends Wishlist #AD

Monday 27 May 2019

Shopping for new holiday outfits is almost as fun as booking the holiday itself, so I've put together a wishlist based on some of Summer's biggest fashion trends this year to give you a little shopping inspo on this rainy Bank Holiday Monday. 

(1) The Timeless Straw Bag - Hit the beach with this Classic Straw Shopper Bag (£20, link) which features a vintage-esque straw body and tan handles. Straw bags like this are popular every Summer as they have a wonderful timeless charm about them, so they never really go out of fashion!

(2) The Bold Striped Jumpsuit - Jumpsuits have made a big comeback again and I love the bold pattern of this Multi-Stripe Button Through Jumpsuit (£49, link). Super flattering and easy to wear, just add flip flops for a casual look or dress it up with heels for a dinner date.

(3) The Classic Black Jumpsuit - If you want to keep it simple and still get on in on the jumpsuit trend, opt for an all-black number like this Black Button Through Jumpsuit (£45, link) instead. Like the Straw Bag, this is one of those capsule wardrobe favourites that you'll end up wearing all the time!

(4) The Vegan-Friendly Sandals - Vegan shoes are becoming easier and easier to find nowadays, and these Kendra Toepost Sandals (£10, link) are an absolute bargain for only a tenner! The black faux-leather straps and gold chain detailing will go with every dress you wear this Summer.

(5) The Hot Pink Maxi Dress - I love maxi dresses and this hot Pink Vest Maxi Dress (£20, link) looks particularly flattering on olive, tanned and darker skin tones. The tie-in waist adds a cinched-in structure to your silhouette too.

(6) The Bright Graphic Print Maxi Dress - Inject some extra colour into your holiday wardrobe with a bright Stripe Print Maxi Dress (£29, link) in this on-trend graphic style. Flattering for all your curves, the floaty fabric makes you feel like a million dollars!

(7) The Rose-Tinted Sunglasses - Another key Summer trend this year that has a classic vintage vibe, are these ultra-cool Cat Eye Sunglasses (£12, link) with rose-tinted lenses. The nude-light mocha frames also ensure that they'll perfectly compliment all of your holiday outfits.

Shop online for all of these items and more at

What's on your holiday wishlist this year?

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Foodie Friday: Peanut Butter, Oat & Banana Breakfast Muffins (Refined Sugar-Free / Dairy-Free /Vegetarian recipe)

Friday 24 May 2019

Peanut Butter, Oat & Banana Breakfast Muffins (Vegetarian recipe)
Looking to save money, cut down on refined sugar and go plastic-free with your breakfast choices? Bypass that chain coffee shop in the morning - these moreish Peanut Butter, Oat & Banana Breakfast Muffins are a much healthier grab and go option, and they're super easy to make from scratch!

If I know I'm going to have a particularly busy week, I'll always try and whip up a batch of Breakfast Muffins on the Sunday night beforehand as part of my meal prep routine. Easy to make and easy to store in an airtight tin on your kitchen counter, these delicious muffins are surprisingly filling and they help to satisfy my sweet tooth without being too rich or sickly. They're also refined sugar-free so they won't cause any unpleasant sugar crashes later on and they have a good mix of healthy fats, protein and fibre to keep you going until lunchtime.

The recipe below makes six muffins, but you can simply double the ingredients if you want a bigger batch of twelve.

Peanut Butter, Oat & Banana Breakfast Muffins (Vegetarian recipe)
Ingredients (makes 6 muffins)
  • 100ml dairy-free Milk of your choice (I used unsweetened almond milk)
  • 150g sugar-free Peanut Butter (I used Meridian)
  • 50g jumbo Oats 
  • 35g Spelt or Wholemeal Flour
  • 1 large ripe Banana
  • 1 medium-sized, free-range organic Egg
  • 3-4 Medjool Dates
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon

  • Preheat the oven to 180C / Gas Mark 4 and line a muffin tin with six muffin cases.
  • Add all of the ingredients to a food processor and blend together until you have a relatively smooth texture.
  • Carefully spoon the mixture into the muffin cases and sprinkle over some additional Oats on the top if desired.
  • Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes. The tops of the muffins should be a light golden brown and you can check that they're done by inserting a skewer into the middle of one - it should come out clean.
  • Allow to cool and enjoy!

Storage tip: Keep these Breakfast Muffins in an airtight container on your kitchen counter for up to 3 days or you can freeze them individually where they'll keep for up to a month.

Peanut Butter, Oat & Banana Breakfast Muffins (Vegetarian recipe)
Do you like muffins for breakfast?

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Spring Beauty: 5 Green Beauty Products To Try This Month

Wednesday 22 May 2019

Spring Beauty: 5 Green Beauty Products To Try This Month
Need a Spring Beauty pick me up? Here are some of my current favourites from the green beauty world to freshen up your daily routine.

 Bright Nails & A Greener Nail Polish Remover

Spring and Summer are my favourite seasons of the year, and I love embracing all of the brighter colours for my nails. There are so many new collections that have launched from countless nail polish brands recently, but one particular shade that has caught my eye is Glossworks in Last Mango In Paris* (9ml, £12, link). Exclusive to LoveLula, Glossworks is a cruelty-free and vegan-friendly range of nail polishes which all have a glossy, gel-like finish. Everything has a 9-free formula so they are free from the main 'nasties' such as Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, Toluene, DBP, Camphor, Paraben, Xylene, Ethyl Tosylamide and Lead. I absolutely love this bright orange shade that really 'pops' against a tan and it looks great on toes too.

I'm often asked about more 'natural' nail polish removers and one of the best that I've tried is Benecos Natural Nail Polish Remover* (125ml, £5.95, link) which is acetone-free and features BDIH certified essential oils for a more citrusy fragrance. It removes nail polish just as well as mainstream brands and being acetone-free, it doesn't dry out or weaken your nails.

CHOBS Organic Moringa Total Cream
 Treat Yourself To A Luxury And Organic Face Cream For Sensitive & Mature Skin

If you're a die-hard fan of K-Beauty but don't want to compromise your organic and ethical standards, CHOBS is a fantastic brand to look out for. Based in South Korea, CHOBS stands for Charm & Health Organic Beauty Store, and as the name suggests, its specialism is in natural and organic skincare with everything being Ecocert certified, vegan and cruelty-free. I highly recommend their Sheet Masks for a quick pampering treat, though for something that's going to benefit your skin more in the long run, their moisturisers are a must-try. 

I've been enjoying using CHOBS Organic Moringa Total Cream* (£49, 50ml, link) over the past couple of weeks, as it's packed full of beneficial organic ingredients such as Moringa Leaf extract, Centella Asiatica Leaf Water and Sunflower Seed Oil. This Total Cream has a beautifully rich, yet easily absorbed texture which feels ultra-hydrating on the skin, and it works incredibly well underneath makeup to create a smooth base, so I've been using it as my main morning moisturiser. It leaves my skin feeling soft, nourished and plumped up - I'd recommend it for sensitive and mature skin types as it's brilliant for smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles.

Try A New Green Beauty Brand

AYAN are a new green beauty brand that I've recently been introduced to, and I've been impressed by their simple natural formulas that effortlessly fit into my daily routine, as well as their affordable prices. Their commitment to high-performance natural skincare ensures that all of their products are made without any fillers, thickeners, harmful preservatives, genetically-modified and animal-derived ingredients, synthetic chemicals and fragrances or colourants, and they use locally sourced ingredients where possible.

Being based in Bulgaria, AYAN uses two of the country's most popular and well-loved natural offerings; Lavender and Rose Oil. Their Multi-Lavender Butter* (100ml, £14.99, link) is a deliciously thick and luxurious multi-purpose moisturiser with a glorious whipped butter texture and a divine natural Lavender scent. Made from a blend of Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, Macadamia Oil, Beeswax and Vitamin E, this moisturiser is further infused with pure Organic Lavender Oil sourced from AYAN's very own Lavender fields for a super-hydrating and soothing skincare treat. Apply it to dry hands and feet, or slather it all over your body after a bath or shower for baby-soft skin.

Rose fans will adore AYAN Rosa Damascena Organic Bulgarian Rose Water* (200ml, £11.99, link); a 100% pure and organic product that's made from simply steaming and carefully distilling Rose Essential Oil with nothing else added. Not only is it amazing for soothing and calming irritated and dry skin as a toner in your skincare routine, but you can also apply it to your scalp to help regulate sebum and promote healthy hair growth - how awesome is that?!

All products featured are available from

Have you tried any of these?

Home Fragrance: Africology Natural Scented Candle review

Monday 20 May 2019

Africology Natural Scented Candle review
There is something about candles that captivates me right from the decadent glass packaging to the unique fragrances, and I've been something of a luxury candle addict for a long time now. I was recently introduced to a new-to-me brand called Africology who have a glorious range of luxurious natural scented candles.

Africology is a high-end spa brand based in Johannesburg, South Africa. They have an interesting origins story which is based upon the founder's (Renchia Droganis) multi-layered professional work as a massage therapist, reiki counsellor, life coach and aromatherapist. It's through this work that she came to truly understand how beneficial aromatherapy can become to someone's life, especially when they are trying to overcome deep-rooted problems or past traumas. Renchia was keen to develop products that were both kind and holistic to the Earth, so Africology was ultimately born.

With a wide selection of products available, this is a spa-brand that will instantly appeal to anyone who enjoys self-care/pampering and natural, luxurious fragrances. Everything is eco-friendly, cruelty-free, contains organic ingredients and is made by hand. When a package arrived with one of their bestselling signature candles, I couldn't wait to open it up!

Africology Natural Scented Candle review
Housed in frosted black glass, this candle exudes a luxurious feeling wherever it is placed in your home and its simplistic black packaging will happily go together with virtually any theme or decor. Made from high-quality soybean wax for a cleaner burn with none of the toxins that arise from petroleum based candles, Africology's candles feature a beautiful blend of essential oils and you'll easily find one (or two, or three...) to suit the ambience that you are looking to create.

The Body Mind Therapy Candle*(£38) has delicate notes of Marula, African Potato, Rooibos and Aloe Vera for a soothing, relaxing and inviting scent that fills the whole room in a matter of minutes. It's such a beautiful, clean, spa-like and sophisticated fragrance that it's easy to see why Africology are fast-becoming one of the leading brands in South Africa when it comes to luxury natural beauty and spa products, and it's great to see them in the UK so that even more people can enjoy what they have to offer.

Discover the full range at

Have you heard of Africology?

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Health & Lifestyle: Weleda Birch Spring Cleanse 30 Day Challenge #TriedandTested

Thursday 16 May 2019

Weleda Birch Spring Cleanse 30 Day Challenge
Regular readers will know that I've been a big fan of Weleda for a very long time, so when they asked me if I'd be interested in taking part in their Birch Spring Cleanse 30 Day Challenge, I had to say yes of course!

Weleda is one of those truly amazing natural/green beauty brands that always go above and beyond with their products and eco-friendly ethics. The brand has been at the forefront of sustainable and clean beauty since 1921 and still manages to perfectly balance innovation with traditional, organic and biodynamic farming methods to source their natural ingredients. There aren't many brands that I can think of that I have admired for such a long time and you'll find my countless reviews and features on their products here.

This year, Weleda launched their Birch Spring Cleanse 30 Day Challenge to help customers gently ease themselves into the new Spring season and get ready for the warmer, sunnier months ahead. I really liked this concept because I'm interested in Ayurveda which has many similar holistic approaches on allowing the mind and body to adapt to the natural changes in our environment, all in keeping with the transition of the seasons.

The Birch Spring Cleanse is based around products that feature ingredients from Silver Birch, a tree that grows throughout much of the Czech Republic (Weleda works with a small family business in South Bohemia who grows their certified Birch). Birch is highly revered for its natural detoxifying properties that are just as beneficial for the skin, as well as for your overall health.

Step One: Get Scrubbing! 

The first step is to incorporate a daily body scrub as a means to stimulate healthy circulation and to help flush out toxins and waste naturally, as it gets the lymph fluid moving around the body. For an easy and gentle scrub, you can use a Bath Scrunchy* (made from recyclable mesh and available in a range of colours, £3.50, link) in the shower or bath with your favourite body wash or body scrub. This method will exfoliate and clear away any dull, dead skin cells without feeling too harsh or causing any irritation, leaving your skin smoother afterwards. To enjoy the full benefits of this challenge, I'd recommend picking up a tube of Weleda Birch Body Scrub* (150ml, £9.95, link) to use with the scrunchy as it has small, natural, plastic-free granules in a skin-friendly pH base and it smells really citrusy and invigorating, so it's ideal to use first thing in the morning.

For ultra-glowing smooth skin, you can also try dry body-brushing which takes the challenge to the next level and makes you feel ready to take on the day! The Weleda Body Brush* (£4.95, link) is affordable, convenient and easy to handle. Made from the Asian tree Schima Superba, it features an organic cotton strap and synthetic bristles which allow you to get a nice and deep brushing action going on. As the name suggests, you use the brush on dry skin with no products and brush upwards towards your heart in long strokes for the best results.

Step Two: Massage 

Once you've scrubbed all over, treat your skin to the Birch Cellulite Oil* (100ml, £25.95, link). Specially formulated to tackle wobbly bits and 'orange peel' textured skin, cellulite can often indicate a build-up of toxins within the body which is stored in the fatty tissue layers known as adipose. The above step of dry-brushing will certainly help to remove this build-up, which can then be further assisted with a regular massage using a dedicated oil. 

The Weleda Birch Cellulite Oil is made from 100% natural ingredients including Apricot Kernel Oil, Jojoba Seed Oil, Wheatgerm Oil and the all-important Birch Extract, plus a blend of Rosemary, Cypress and Grapefruit Essential Oils give it a wonderfully refreshing and uplifting fragrance. I've been applying it daily to any area that has visible cellulite (so for me, this has been the thighs and bum!) and have noticed a visible difference within the 30 days as my skin is much firmer, smoother, looks more toned and any orange peel texture has vastly been reduced - success!

Step Three: Drink Your Juice

As I mentioned earlier, Weleda's holistic approach believes that what you put into your body is just as important as what you apply on the outside, so their Birch Juice* (200ml, £10.95, link) is a brilliant accompaniment to this challenge. This certified organic drink is made with two simple natural ingredients; 94% wild-grown Birch Leaf Extract and 6% biodynamic Lemon Juice, which completes the tonic effect. 

The taste is somewhat 'acquired' shall we say?! It's obviously much more concentrated than the trendy Birch Waters that you can find in Wholefoods, and has a far stronger flavour as a result. To try to put it into words, it's slightly sweet, slightly sour and slightly herbal/woody, all at the same time - you'll have to try it to know what I mean as it's a very unique taste! Luckily, you don't need to consume much of it to reap the rewards as just one tablespoonful (15ml which is 4.5 calories) a day is all you need, and it can be easily disguised in cold tea, juice or your morning smoothie/yoghurt. Benefits of drinking Birch Juice include improved skin elasticity and healthy blood circulation so it's a good food supplement to add to your breakfast.

Overall thoughts
I really enjoyed taking part in the Weleda Birch Spring Cleanse 30 Day Challenge and once I got into the swing of things, I found it very easy to incorporate the steps into my daily routine with minimal fuss. Dry-brushing has definitely helped my skin to feel softer and more rejuvenated overall, whilst the Birch Cellulite Oil has greatly reduced the appearance of my cellulite, which in turn has boosted my confidence ten-fold, especially with Summer holidays coming up! I'm not sure that I've noticed any significant changes to my skin through drinking the Birch Juice, though it has made me feel a lot 'healthier' in myself. I mainly feel that challenges like this are a fantastic way to get some important self-care steps into your busy lifestyle as it can be all too easy to forget to do them when you're running around doing everything else, so the mindful aspect has been great for my mental health alone - thanks Weleda!

Visit for more info and to shop the full range of products included in this feature

Would you like to try a gentle Spring Cleanse?

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Introducing: Code8 - Blush Mood-Reflecting Cheek Palette in Pink Beach & Iconoclast Eyeshadow Palette in Lustrous Corduroy - Review & Swatches

Monday 13 May 2019

Code8 - Blush Mood-Reflecting Cheek Palette in Pink Beach & Eyeshadow Palette in Lustrous Corduroy - Review & Swatches
Chic and compact, palettes are an easy throw-in-your-bag option when it comes to packing for holidays and long weekends away. These two beauties from British cosmetics brand Code8, will save you space and ensure that you have all of your favourite shades to hand, regardless of whether you're enjoying a staycation or travelling further afield this Summer.

Code8 - Blush Mood-Reflecting Cheek Palette in Pink Beach & Eyeshadow Palette in Lustrous Corduroy - Review & Swatches
With a stunning pop-up shop located in Burlington Arcade in the wealthy Mayfair district of London, Code8 has received much positive fanfare from the press, which is highly impressive for such a young brand. Launched only late last year, Code8 is founded by two successful businesswomen who wanted to create an inclusive luxury makeup range that's simple and effective to use, for all ages and skin colours. You can read more about their 8 Point Beauty Manifesto here.

Intrigued by their overall vision and concept, I was kindly sent two of Code8's bestselling palettes to try out; the Blush Mood-Reflecting Cheek Palette in Pink Beach and the Iconoclast Eyeshadow Palette in Lustrous Corduroy

Code8 - Blush Mood-Reflecting Cheek Palette in Pink Beach - Review & Swatches
 Code8 Blush Mood-Reflecting Cheek Palette in Pink Beach* (£32, link)
First impressions definitely count when it comes to luxury, higher-end makeup and I wasn't disappointed when I unpacked the Blush Mood-Reflecting Cheek Palette. Housed in a circular metallic gold coloured compact with elegant brand logo engraving on the lid and a satisfying magnetic closing clasp, this palette has a pleasant weight to it and fits neatly into my hand. Opening it up, there's a decent sized mirror and a delightful trio of blush powders, each with a sizeable pan for dipping your brush into. Featuring a 'revolutionary Knead Technology', these blushers have a silky smooth consistency and can be used individually, or you can swirl all the shades together for a pretty punch of pink.

There are currently three different colourways to choose from and Pink Beach is the lightest and brightest of the bunch which makes it perfect for the Summer months. The top two shades are my favourites; on the left is a more intense NARS Orgasm-esque rosy-gold, and next to that is a medium rose pink with a subtle silver shimmer. Both of these are very wearable and can be applied lightly for a softer finish, or layered up for a bolder look - both have such a gorgeous glow to them! 

By contrast, the bottom blush shade is a very pale, mostly matte pink that's sadly too cool-toned for my skin colour. It comes across as quite chalky at first, but once blended in properly it adds a cute hint of baby pink to the cheeks. If you're an avid collector of blush palettes or simply want some new shades for your holiday, you'll love these.

Code8 - Blush Mood-Reflecting Cheek Palette in Pink Beach - Review & Swatches
Code8 Blush Mood-Reflecting Cheek Palette in Pink Beach 

Code8 Eyeshadow Palette in Lustrous Corduroy - Review & Swatches
 Code8 - Iconoclast Eyeshadow Palette in Lustrous Corduroy* (£45, link)
With the Blush Mood-Reflecting Cheek Palette setting a good standard for the brand, I was curious to test out the Iconoclast Eyeshadow Palette, but I must admit that the cheaper looking black plastic packaging didn't feel anywhere near as luxurious as the gold metallic compact that the blush trio came in. Although perfectly functional, there was no immediate 'wow' factor for such a pricey palette. However, the product inside looked promising so let's continue by focusing on the eyeshadows themselves.

Available in three colourways, this one is named Lustrous Cordoury and it will instantly appeal to neutral lovers like myself who can't get enough of these versatile and easy to wear shades. A mix of matte and metallic/shimmer colours allow you to create everyday natural looks, as well as more dramatic smokey-eyed evening looks, plus there's a mini diagram on the back of the palette to help consumers to achieve three different finishes by showing you exactly where to place each shade.

Like the blushers above, the Iconoclast Eyeshadow Palette is also formulated with Code8's patent-pending Knead Tech which blends pre-baked pigments with Sweet Almond and Jojoba Oil, for a silky smooth texture and enhanced longevity and they certainly have these traits. Performance wise, this palette is kinda comparable to similar offerings from NARS and Urban Decay, but a few of the matte shades let it down a little as the colour payoff isn't as strong as I was hoping, though they work better when applied wet. That said, I can see myself getting a fair amount of usage out of this palette for the sheer convenience and portability factors alone. 

Code8 Eyeshadow Palette in Lustrous Corduroy - Review & Swatches
Code8 - Eyeshadow Palette in Lustrous Corduroy

Overall Thoughts
  • Innovative and promising British brand
  • Inclusive colours - all skin tones catered for
  • Products are vegan-friendly and free from parabens and paraffin
  • Palettes are super convenient and travel-friendly
  • Nice selection of colourways available
  • Guidance on the back of the eyeshadow palette for extra usability & makeup beginners
  • Metallic/shimmer shades for blushers and eyeshadows are highly pigmented

  • Not as luxurious as other brands of a similar price point
  • Eyeshadow palette packaging looks and feels a bit cheap
  • Matte eyeshadow shades are a little weak and chalky in terms of colour payoff

Code8 Beauty - shop the full range online at

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