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 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

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 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 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

  • 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?

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