Green Beauty: The Plastic Free Edit #PlasticFreeJuly

Thursday 30 July 2020

Green Beauty: The Plastic Free Edit #PlasticFreeJuly
Going plastic-free is a journey that many of us are currently taking as we actively cut down on our plastic waste to help save our oceans and the environment. As we near the end of the Plastic Free July campaign, I wanted to share some of my favourite plastic-free green beauties in this handy edit that covers shampoos, hand and body soaps, toothpaste, deodorant and hand sanitiser.

Green Beauty: The Plastic Free Edit #PlasticFreeJuly
 Shampoo Bars

Having tested out well over 40 or 50 different brands of shampoo bars over the years, I can honestly say that no two shampoo bars are the same and it's a real trial and error process to find 'the one' that will work perfectly for your hair. Some people find this easier than others depending on their particular hair types and concerns, and thankfully there are more and more shampoo bars being released to address frizzy hair, dry hair, coloured hair, damaged hair, greasy hair and everything in between - I promise 'the one' is out there somewhere so don't give hope just yet if you're finding the switch from plastic a bit more difficult than other people's experiences.

I'm a big fan of My. Haircare Rescue My Hair Pollution Patrol Shampoo Bar which I dedicated a whole post to here earlier in the year, and for this round-up, I wanted to shine the spotlight onto two more options that have been working really well for me. 

If you have a fussy scalp like mine that's prone to dryness and dandruff and gets easily irritated, I would recommend trying EarthKind Shampoo Bar for Improved Scalp Health* (50g, £6.95, link). This vegan-friendly formula is free from sulphates and contains Tea Tree and Eucalyptus essential oils which have natural antibacterial and antimicrobial properties so they can fend off the bacteria and yeast that can cause dandruff. I find this one really gentle and soothing for when my scalp feels itchy or sore and it has a lovely fresh scent to it.

Another SLS-free and vegan-friendly option is Nuddy Ultra Volume Shampoo Bar* (100g, £8.95, link) which is amazing if you have fine and dull hair that needs a bit of a volumising boost. It's pH balanced so again, great for sensitive scalps, and is infused with the likes of Coconut Oil and Argan Oil. This bar lathers up beautifully and makes your hair much more manageable and shiny. Fruity fans will also love the Acai Berry and Peach fragrance which is very summery.

Green Beauty: The Plastic Free Edit #PlasticFreeJuly
 Body & Hand Soaps

Good old-fashioned bars of soaps are well and truly back in the nation's bathrooms, and the choice out there is utterly outstanding. From handcrafted, small-batch, artisan-style soaps to mainstream brands that you can pick up alongside your supermarket shopping, the options are seemingly endless when it comes to multi-purpose soaps that you can use for hands and body. I would be here all day if I listed all of my favourites so here are just two brands that I've been using a lot recently. 

The Tropic Cleansing Body Pebbles* (130g, £8 each, link) are round body soaps that are perfect for using in the shower and their larger size makes them easier to hold too. These are great for dry skin as they contain Shea Butter and Oat Oil to help moisturise, they lather up well, and with four different scents available, there's something for everyone; I particularly love the Original and Creamy Colada Body Pebbles, both of which smell gorgeous.

For a budget-friendly alternative, you can't beat the amazing Organii Cream Soaps* (100g, £2.95, link) which are SLS-free, made from 100% natural ingredients, are vegan-friendly and produced Carbon Neutral with Greenpeace energy. These deliciously creamy Shea Butter based soaps have natural essential oils added to them after saponification and they've recently brought out five new scents, two of which you can see above; Almond & Avocado and Verbena & Lemon. They're heavenly! 

Green Beauty: The Plastic Free Edit #PlasticFreeJuly
 Toothpaste & Deodorant

It's the little things that really add up when you're switching to plastic-free alternatives, so have a look at the everyday products that you and your family use, and see if there's one which is plastic-free next time when it runs out. Most of us use toothpaste and deodorant every day and whilst these plastic-free alternatives are more expensive, they have much better ingredients in them and are made by ethical brands so if you can afford to, invest in those companies that you want to see more of by purchasing their eco-friendly products for a better world for everyone.

There are lots of options becoming readily available for plastic-free toothpaste, from solid bars and 'tooth tabs', to tubes that feel like regular plastic but are actually made from biodegradable sugarcane. I know many of my readers prefer products which are packaged in glass so the Ben & Anna Natural Toothpaste* (100ml, £8.95, link) range would be perfect for you. The paste is a little thinner than the mainstream equivalents, but it's easy to use the mini wooden spatula that comes with each jar to scoop up a small amount and apply it to your toothbrush - then you simply brush your teeth as normal - easy! With fluoride and fluoride-free formulas available, you simply can't go wrong.

Plastic-free deodorant alternatives also come in a range of different formats, but the most common is as a solid stick or cream in a jar or tin, the latter of which you'll find from We Love The Planet. Their Forever Fresh Deodorant* (48g, £8.99, link) is a hard-working deo which keeps you smelling fresh all day thanks to a powerful combination of Beeswax, Coconut Oil and Cornstarch Powder, citrusy essential oils and botanical herbs. It has a thick and creamy balm type texture and is easy to apply with your fingers. 

Hand Sanitiser

Whilst we don't yet know what the lasting physical and mental effects of Coronavirus will be for ourselves, we do know that the ongoing fight against it requires billions of pieces of plastic to be produced and ultimately thrown away, whether in landfill or burnt into the atmosphere. Much of this is unavoidable at this point in time as sadly as there is no cost-effective alternative yet to plastic-based PPE, but there are a few things that we can do as individuals to help. We can switch to plastic-free soaps for hand-washing, wear a reusable cotton/cloth face mask that can be popped into the washing machine after each use, and we can make better choices about the hand sanitiser that we carry everywhere that we go.

One such brand who are leading the way is Beauty Kitchen who have developed an Organic Vegan Hand Sanitiser (link) as part of The Sustainables range. Made with 62% alcohol, Organic Aloe Vera and naturally antibacterial Mint essential oils, it has a light and refreshing, non-sticky feeling and comes packaged in a recyclable aluminium bottle. You can either refill this yourself by purchasing more direct from Beauty Kitchen, or you can send it back to them for free as part of their Return, Refill, Repeat scheme (read more here) where it will be washed and reused. You can also do this with the plastic pump when it wears out and Beauty Kitchen will recycle it for you!

What are your favourite plastic-free alternatives?

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Health & Lifestyle: 4 Vegan-Friendly Supplements To Try This Summer

Wednesday 22 July 2020

Health & Lifestyle: 4 Vegan Supplements To Try This Summer
Get your health back on track after lockdown with these four vegan-friendly supplements which are all super easy to incorporate into your daily routine. 

Vitashine Vegan Vitamin D3 Tablets & Oral Spray
 For The All Important Vitamin D3 - Vegetology Vitashine Vegan Vitamin D3 Tablets & Oral Spray* (prices from £8.95, link)

With overseas holidays being off the cards for many people this year, taking a Vitamin D supplement has become more important than ever, especially for those who are choosing to limit their outdoor exposure due to Coronavirus, whether through shielding due to a health risk or simply personal choice. The debate continues as to which Vitamin D is better absorbed by the body (D2 or D3), however, there is growing evidence to suggest that D3 is the one to go for, and when I asked my GP about it, she also recommended D3 as it currently has the most positive scientific trials and research available. Vitamin D is essential for a healthy immune system, maintaining healthy muscles, bones and teeth, and has been shown to improve overall brain health including regulating mood and maintaining healthy cognitive functions.

Typically, Vitamin D3 is derived from Lanolin (aka sheep's wool grease), however, if you're looking for a vegan-friendly alternative, Vegetology's Vitashine range is perfect. Certified by both the Vegan Society and the Vegetarian Society, Vitashine's Vitamin D3 comes exclusively from Cholecalciferol, a carefully selected strain derived from the organic plant source Lichen. 

Available in either small chewable tablets or a convenient oral spray format, these supplements are gluten-free, packaged in 100% biodegradable sugarcane-based containers, and should be taken just after a meal to ensure optimum absorption. They're currently on a 3 for 2 offer on Vegetology's website so it's a great time to stock up!

Floradix Vitamin B Complex Liquid Formula
 For Busy Lifestyles: Floradix Vitamin B Complex Liquid Formula (250ml, £13.50, link)

Most vegans that I know routinely take a Vitamin B12 supplement as it's difficult to get the daily requirement from a plant-based diet alone, and if you have a particularly busy lifestyle, you might want to consider a B Complex formula instead to give yourself a real boost. These hard-working vitamins are essential for a healthy metabolism, immune and nervous system, regulating energy levels, combatting fatigue, maintaining normal red blood cell formation and keeping your heart and brain healthy. For beauty fans, Niacin (B3) and Biotin (B7) are particularly important for healthy skin, hair and nails.

I'm a big fan of Floradix's liquid formulas as they're made without any alcohol, preservatives, colourings or artificial flavourings, plus they're also free from lactose, yeast and gluten so a lot of people with allergies or different dietary requirements can happily consume them. Their Vitamin B Complex is suitable for vegans and each 20ml daily adult serving provides 100% NRV of Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B7 and B12. This liquid has a fruity-herbal taste and should be stored in the fridge after opening. If you like it, I highly recommend Floradix's Liquid Iron and Liquid Magnesium formulas too - they're all in the current 3 for 2 supplements offer at Boots.

Highkind 5% CBD Liquid Drops in Tranquil
For Sleep Problems & Anxiety: Highkind 5% CBD Liquid Drops in Tranquil* (10ml, £27.99, link)

I'm so pleased that my recent Sleep Series has been such a big hit with my readers - it has been an absolute pleasure to be able to respond to so many emails and messages regarding sleep issues and sharing ways that we can all try and get a better night's sleep. As it's something that so many people struggle with, I'll continue to feature and review products which I think may help in future posts and I couldn't resist including these amazing CBD Liquid Drops in Tranquil from Highkind.  

I've personally found CBD Oil to be beneficial as a long-term supplement and I was intrigued to try this as it's a specific nighttime product. Made from 100% natural ingredients, it includes CO2 extracted broad-spectrum Hemp extract, MCT Oil and a blend of Botanical Terpenes to help promote a good night's sleep. I generally take around 10 drops an hour or so before I want to go to sleep and have found that it helps me to drift off faster, as well as reducing some of the minor feelings of anxiety and restlessness that I can experience towards the end of the day. It's free from artificial flavours, colours, preservatives, lactose, yeast and gluten. You can check out their full range on their website above.

Disclaimer: I am not a GP or a medical professional - my reviews of supplements demonstrate what has worked for me, but they may not work for you. Please see your GP if you have any health concerns or want further advice on any of these supplements before you take them. 

Are you currently taking any supplements to support your health?

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Green Beauty: LoveLula Beauty Box - July 2020

Monday 20 July 2020

LoveLula Beauty Box - July 2020
Worth £46, LoveLula's latest Beauty Box is packed full of green beauty essentials and features brands such as The Castilian Soap Company, Balm Balm, Laidbare and Urban Veda. Here's what's inside July's box!

The Castilian Soap Company - Limited Edition Natural Castile Soap with Tea Tree
 The Castilian Soap Company - Limited Edition Natural Castile Soap with Tea Tree (RRP £8)
Made from an organic castile soap base and high-quality natural vegetable oils, this larger Limited Edition size bottle from The Castilian Soap Company can be used on the face and body as a gentle purifying cleanser, and I've also used this to wash my makeup brushes with great results! Blended with Tea Tree Oil for additional natural antiseptic properties, it's a multi-purpose must-have.

Balm Balm Rose Floral Water Hydrosol
 Balm Balm Rose Floral Water Hydrosol (RRP £8.50)
I love the simplicity of a good rosewater toner mist and this Rose Floral Water Hydrosol from Balm Balm is a gorgeous product to spritz onto the skin, either as part of your skincare routine or throughout the day whenever you feel your skin needs a bit of a pick me up. It smells beautiful and I love that it's packaged in glass.

 Laidbare Butter Me Up Organic Shea Body Butter (RRP £10)
I remember when this product was sold in big tubs many years ago - you can check out an old review hereLaidbare's Butter Me Up Organic Shea Body Butter is brilliant for dry skin thanks to a super-rich formula which boasts natural nourishing ingredients such as Shea Butter and Avocado Oil. I think I'll be saving this for Winter!

Urban Veda Sandalwood Soothing Clarifying Night Cream
Urban Veda Sandalwood Soothing Clarifying Night Cream* (RRP £19.99)
The last product in this month's LoveLula Beauty Box is a full-size Night Cream from the Ayurvedic inspired natural skincare brand Urban Veda. This Sandalwood Soothing Clarifying Night Cream is the perfect treat for skin that needs some help as it deeply moisturises, plumps, renews and repairs the complexion overnight for smoother and softer skin come the morning. It sounds ideal for my skin type so I'm excited to give it a go!

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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New In Beauty: Tropic Suncare range - Skin Shade Sun Cream, Sun Day Facial UV Defence, Sun Stick & Sun Soothe Aftersun review #ReefSafe

Wednesday 15 July 2020

Tropic Suncare range - Skin Shade Sun Cream, Sun Day Facial UV Defence, Sun Stick & Sun Soothe Aftersun review
With the promise of some sunnier weather on the way this week, I thought it would be a great time to introduce you all to Tropic's new range of certified reef-safecruelty-free and vegan-friendly Suncare!

About a month or so ago, I was very kindly sent a package from Tropic to help promote their new suncare line which is certified reef-safe by Protect Land & Sea (click here for more info) and has products that the whole family can use. 

Here are my top picks:-

For The Whole Family: Tropic Skin Shade Sun Cream SPF 30* (200ml, £28, link)
Available in SPF 15, 30 and 50, Tropic's Skin Shade Sun Cream is ideal for the whole family to use, especially for those holidays and weekends away when you need a big 200ml tube! This broad-spectrum mineral formula contains Illawarra Plum extract, Kahai and Roucou Oils to keep your skin nourished and to provide additional antioxidant protection. It feels like a regular body moisturiser and absorbs quickly without feeling greasy or sticky.

For The Face: Sun Day Facial UV Defence SPF 50* (40ml, £24, link 
I always recommend using a dedicated facial only sunscreen for the face, as the texture and formulas of most body sunscreens can often be too heavy for some skin types to handle which can lead to breakouts. I love this Sun Day Facial UV Defence SPF 50 as it not only offers that all-important broad-spectrum protection, but it also doubles up as a primer thanks to plant-based polymers and Hyaluronic Acid, plus it has the most amazing silky and lightweight texture - I'm really impressed by it! 

Tropic Suncare range - Skin Shade Sun Cream, Sun Day Facial UV Defence, Sun Stick & Sun Soothe Aftersun review
For Tinted Fans: Tropic Skin Shade Tinted Facial Sun Cream SPF 50* (40ml, £24, link)
If you want your facial sunscreen to come in a tinted moisturiser style format, you can't go wrong with Tropic's Skin Shade Tinted Facial Sun Cream SPF 50. The 100% mineral-based formula protects against free radicals and UV rays, whilst delivering a lovely, sheer dewy glow to the skin - think of it like an easy way to achieve a look that says 'your skin but better'! It's available in two colour options, Light/Medium and Medium/Dark, and it's just perfect for those days when you want to give your skin a real boost without caking on loads of foundation.

For On-The-Go Protection: Tropic Sun Stick SPF 50+* (17g, £20, link)
For a super easy top-up whilst you're out and about, Tropic's Sun Stick SPF 50+ is a summer handbag essential that's packed full of soothing natural ingredients such as Marshmallow Root extract, Vitamin E and Green Algae extract, in addition to broad-spectrum SPF 50+ protection. This handy twist-up balm stick makes it ultra-convenient to swipe onto those areas that are the most exposed to the sun such as the face, ears, backs of hands, shoulders etc, as and when you need to reapply.

For When You Get Home: Tropic Sun Soothe Cooling Aftersun Lotion* (200ml, £22, link)
Lastly, a good quality aftersun should be on every sun-lover's shopping list this summer and this gorgeous Sun Soothe Cooling Aftersun feels like a breath of fresh air after a long and hot day! It contains plenty of natural anti-inflammatory ingredients like Aloe Vera, Bisabolol and Jojoba Oil, to instantly soothe and soften irritated and sunburnt skin. Another family favourite thanks to the large 200ml tube!

Shop the full range at

Have you bought any new sunscreen this year?

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The Weekend Post: Role of Essay Writing for Students #AD

Saturday 11 July 2020

All students ought to write various types of academic papers. Essays are the most popular and frequently assigned projects. To receive high grades, students are supposed to have advanced writing skills. However, it’s not the only reason why you should enhance your essay writing.

Many students tend to use a pro essay writing service to handle some of the most complicated tasks. Such services do real miracles and write perfect pieces that guarantee the highest grades. Unfortunately, many students overuse them and, so, stop to develop their own skills. They don’t even realize how much they lose when they don’t develop writing skills. This article will illustrate the role of essay writing for students and how it benefits them.

Enhanced Critical Thinking

First of all, students ought to use their brains to write great pieces. They cannot simply write several sentences that aren’t related to one another. An essay must be whole and must make sense. Consequently, students have to think about what to write about, where to find the information, how to use the retrieved information, and how to use it properly. These and similar steps enhance the critical thinking of students.

Students begin to evaluate the whole process and synthesize it from the slightest detail to the final version. As they develop critical thinking, they also enhance problem-solving and analytical skills. It’s necessary to analyze the data you possess and how to overcome any problem. These skills will be useful in other aspects of life as well.

The Possibility to Convey Your Thoughts

Sometimes people have great ideas but they cannot properly express them. Perhaps they have poor writing skills. It has been proved many times that when we write, we learn how to express our thoughts clearly. It’s not an easy process and takes sometimes quite long. Nonetheless, the time students spend to master the art of message delivery is worth a try. If they plainly convey their thoughts, they receive high grades and other people will easily understand their ideas on the paper, as well as during a conversation.

Improved Organization

Students get more disciplined and organized when they write essays. It happens in two ways. Firstly, they plan how to write their essays. It’s necessary to:
  • Choose a topic;
  • Research it;
  • Create an outline;
  • Set deadlines;
  • Decide what to write;
  • Revise, etc.

These are organizational aspects of writing. If an organization is incorrect, everything may come to ruin. Secondly, students develop a habit to write. Although some of them may dislike that stuff, they are obliged to write essays. Otherwise, they’ll drop out of college.

This habit and realization of responsibility turn them into well-disciplined and organized people. Afterward, this habit will embrace other activities of students, which is actually great.

Better Career Perspectives

Effective writing skills are valuable at work as well. A special project of the University of California has checked this theory. It proved that employers require educated experts who have advanced writing skills. Such people are much smarter, quick-minded, creative, and flexible. Such employees and corporate leaders have greater chances to get promoted compared to those with weak writing skills. Over 90% of participants agreed on this statement.

The Usefulness in Real Life

Finally, improved writing skills, as well as problem-solving, analytical, critical thinking, and similar skills help in every aspect of real life. Good writers are great communicators. It’s always pleasant to converse with such folks. They know a lot and their sentences are properly structured and are grammatically correct. They can clearly express their ideas. Besides, such people become important workers. Their solutions come quickly and commonly, they are correct and efficient.

Quick Tips to Write Winning Essays

As we actively discuss the advantages of essay writing for international students, it makes sense to tell how to write great essays. There are several classic tips, which will help to write winning essays regardless of their type, topic, and discipline. These are:

Choose meaningful topics. You must choose only relevant topics. Consider the interests of your audience and focus on a problem, which is really important for them.

Research the main question. Always feedback your theories if you write a scientific essay. Find trustworthy information sources to support your thesis.

Create topic sentences. Sometimes students get stuck in certain parts of their essays. They may lack the plain objective to dwell upon. Thus, you should write the so-called topic sentence for every paragraph. It acts on the behalf of a sub-thesis. If you forget what to discuss, simply look at that sentence.

Enlarge your vocabulary. It’s essential to expand your active vocabulary. You’ll lose many grades if all your essays are full of the same lexicon. Therefore, read a lot and use online dictionaries.

Apply technology. Don’t forget that technology is our friend. Many supporting applications help to detect mistakes and plagiarism, avoid procrastination, select relevant topics, insert correct citations and references, become organized, control time effectively, etc.

Have an editor. It’s vital to reread your essays to spot some mistakes. At times, we miss some of them and so, get a good editor who will help you.

We’re quite confident that every student will think twice before he/she refuses to boost essay writing. It’s utterly beneficial in a great variety of ways and helps in various aspects of life. An academic sphere is only one of them and you can succeed in other spheres too if your essay writing skills are advanced and regularly practiced.

Author’s Bio
Joan Young is an aspiring journalist and copywriter with a deep interest in sociology, inventions and technological progress. She provides online tutoring sessions to international students and finds immense pleasure in witnessing their writing progress. Currently, she is employed by AdvancedWriters essay writing company. Some of her insights can be found in her author’s column on blog.

[This is a sponsored post]

My Style: Nordgreen Philosopher Rose Gold Mesh Strap Watch S/S20 review + Nordgreen's Giving Back Programme

Thursday 9 July 2020

Nordgreen Philosopher Rose Gold Mesh Design review
The simplicity and contemporary innovations of Scandinavian designs are admired around the world, and for a truly classic accessory to complement your daily attire, you can't beat a Nordgreen Watch

Based in Demark's impossibly cool and chic capital of Copenhagen, Nordgreen have partnered with the renowned Scandinavian designer Jakob Wagner to design their latest Spring/Summer 2020 collection. Well, I say it's an S/S collection, but these pieces are really investments that you'll want to wear for years and years to come!

I was lucky enough to be asked if I'd like to review one of their watches, and after browsing their effortlessly sophisticated range of watches on their website, I decided to choose the Philosopher Rose Gold Watch in the classic Mesh strap design.

Nordgreen Philosopher Rose Gold Mesh Design review
Presented in a long navy blue gift box, each Nordgreen timepiece comes complete with a manual, an engraved serial number on the back of the watch and a Certificate of Authenticity that bears a unique identification number. The latter two are part of Nordgreen's Giving Back Programme which enables each customer to choose from one of their three great causes via their website by inputting their serial and identification numbers. These causes include Health, Education and the Environment initiatives by NGOs which bring about real and immediate change such as:-

  • Health - Water For Good - each watch purchased provides two months of clean water to one person in the Central African republic.
  • Education - Pratham UK - each watch purchased provides a month of education to a child in India.
  • Environment - Cool Earth - each watch purchased preserves 50sqm of rainforest in Latin America.

I very much value brands that make commitments to causes like these and I was pleased to find lots of information on their website which explains in detail what these NGOs do so that you can choose the one that you'd like to support. For my watch, I chose the Cool Earth cause as the world's rainforests are in desperate need of being conserved.

Nordgreen Philosopher Rose Gold Mesh Design review
Back to the watch, when I opened the box, I found it to be even more beautiful in real life than what it looks like online. Nordgreen's Philosopher watches have been designed to 'celebrate our ability to think differently, learn from the past, act now and create a better future', which I couldn't agree more with. The asymmetric second hand that appears to continuously slice through time, is designed to remind of exactly this, as the watch is acting as an instrument of time, whilst the conical shape of the face creates a sharp two-piece dial that draws the eye to the centre of the timepiece, a reminder of being present in the moment. Isn't that just a beautiful way of thinking about time?

This watch features a Japanese Quartz movement and is made from Stainless Steel that offers water resistance up to 3ATM (rain resistant). It also offers a fully customisable and interchangeable strap, and I love the classic mesh design which looks both timeless and contemporary. 

Available in Rose Gold, Gold, Silver and Gun Metal, it's a truly beautiful everyday accessory that I'll be sure to treasure as time goes by.

Nordgreen Philosopher Rose Gold Mesh Design review
Nordgreen Philosopher Rose Gold Mesh Strap Watch* (£169)

Discover the full range at

Do you prefer to buy from brands that support charitable causes?

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Mid-Week Pamper Treat: Evolve Organic Beauty Bio-Retinol Gold Face Mask review

Wednesday 8 July 2020

Evolve Organic Beauty Bio-Retinol Gold Face Mask review
British natural and organic skincare brand, Evolve Organic Beauty, have been on a roll with some amazing new releases this year, and the latest addition to their skincare family is this stunning Bio-Retinol Gold Face Mask.

I'm an avid fan of Evolve Organic Beauty and regular readers of mine will be delighted with this beautiful new face mask from the award-winning brand. You can check out my review of Evolve's earlier product releases this year including the Liquid Radiance Glycolic Toner and 360 Eye And Lip Contour here if you missed it.

Evolve Organic Beauty Bio-Retinol Gold Face Mask review
Released back in May, Evolve Organic Beauty's Bio-Retinol Gold Face Mask is made in small batches in Hertfordshire and is cruelty-free and vegan-friendly (certified by the Vegan Society). In keeping with this luxurious organic brand's eco-friendly ethics, the mask comes packaged in a glass jar with a recyclable plastic lid and boasts a formula which is 100% natural, 85.1% of which are certified organic ingredients (certified by Ecocert COSMOS Organic). Its stunning shimmery gold colour comes from ethically sourced mineral mica. 

So what's in it?
This mask contains key ingredients such as a natural Retinol-like plant extract from Bidens Pilosa, an interesting bio-retinol ingredient as it helps to boost the skin's cellular renewal process for a younger and smoother looking complexion, but it doesn't cause the associated irritation that can arise from using regular Retinol. Rosehip Oil has been added for its natural anti-ageing and nourishing Omega-3 rich benefits and Argan Oil helps to keep the skin plump and hydrated thanks to its fatty acids and Vitamin E content.

Full INCI: Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Glycerin**, Kaolin, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil*, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil*, Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI77891), Silica, Iron Oxide (CI77491), Sucrose Laurate, Rosa Canina (Rosehip) Fruit Oil*, Parfum (Naturally derived Fragrance), Bidens Pilosa Extract, Astrocaryum Murumuru Seed Butter, Gossypium Herbaceum (Cotton) Seed Oil, Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Water*, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Oil, Tocopherol, Sucrose Stearate, Sucrose Palmitate, Tin Oxide. *Ingredients from Organic farming **Made using Organic Ingredients.

Evolve Organic Beauty Bio-Retinol Gold Face Mask review
Who can use it?
The Bio-Retinol Gold Face Mask is suitable for all skin types and it's a particularly good treatment to try for sensitive skin types who can't use regular Retinol based products. If you have sensitive skin please make sure that you do a patch test first, just in case. As the main benefits of this mask are focused on anti-ageing, I would recommend it for those who are showing the first signs of ageing, as well as more mature skin which already has fine lines and wrinkles. If you're under 25, you really don't need this in your routine - try Evolve's awesome Radiant Glow Mask instead.

How do I use it and how often?
Apply a thick layer to cleansed skin and leave on for 5 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with warm water, pat skin dry with a flannel and follow up with the rest of your routine e.g toner, serum, moisturiser/or face oil. I'd recommend using 1-2 times a week for the best results.

Evolve Organic Beauty Bio-Retinol Gold Face Mask review
Overall Thoughts
My initial thoughts were a bit hot and cold in all honesty. I was of course, immediately drawn into that beautiful, shimmery gold abyss when I opened the jar as it's absolutely mesmerizing and it yielded a lot of instant admiration from my housemates, plus I couldn't wait to take a selfie with it on! However, I wasn't keen on the overly sweet fragrance which reminded me of a very sickly sweet type of bubblegum - it's definitely a love/hate thing, but I can imagine that some people may be put off by it as it's very cloying and overpowering, despite being a naturally derived fragrance. 

The texture of the mask is also similar to bubblegum in the respect that it's very thick, feels a little sticky and glue-like, and it's difficult to spread onto the skin. I'd recommend using a plastic face mask brush or spatula to apply it, which is not only more hygienic but also by far, the easiest method by which to use this mask. Once applied though, the Bio-Retinol Gold Face Mask stays perfectly in place on the skin and I liked the fact that it only takes 5 minutes to work its magic. 

Despite my initial concerns about the texture, the mask was super easy to remove as it transforms into a light creamy consistency once warm water is added and it was simple to rinse off without any sticky residue being left on - I didn't need to rub at my face or even rinse twice. This treatment left my skin looking brighter and noticeably glowy after just the first use, and this got even better the more I used it. My complexion feels smoother, softer and definitely more plumped up and hydrated than before so I absolutely love the results of this mask. I just wish that the scent of it was different, but each to their own, as it's been selling out like hotcakes!

Evolve Organic Beauty Bio-Retinol Gold Face Mask* (60ml, £24, link)

What's your favourite face mask?

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Introducing: Innersense - Organic & Cruelty-Free Luxury Haircare - Hydrating Hair Masque, I Create Finish Hairspray & Refresh Dry Shampoo review

Tuesday 7 July 2020

Innersense - Organic, Vegan & Cruelty-Free Luxury Haircare - Hydrating Hair Masque, I Create Finish Hairspray & Refresh Dry Shampoo review
Whether you've fully embraced a lockdown haircut or are eagerly counting down the days to when your favourite hairdresser can fit you into their busy schedules again, many of us are now choosing to invest more time and money into better quality hair care products that we can use at home. It's been a boom for the luxury haircare market and one such brand that is continuing to lead the way is Innersense.

I was introduced to Innersense during May, a time when my hair was in desperate need of some TLC. The lockdown days were beginning to merge into one giant disorientated jumbled mess of sleepless nights and sadly my self-care was not always high up on my list of priorities. So when a parcel from Innersense arrived in the midst of such chaos, it was a breath of fresh air to be able to take some personal time to sort some things out, including my wayward hair.

Innersense is a luxury family-owned business based in California which was founded by two friends who are both beauty professionals. They wanted to create a cruelty-free brand that embodies the best of wellness and beauty by inspiring consumers to make healthier, greener and cleaner choices. Innersense's products use certified organic ingredients which are ethically sourced and harvested, to create formulas that are not only effective but are better for your hair and better for the environment. 

They have a commitment to Beauty Without Compromise which means that their products are free from phthalates, ethoxylates, sulfates, silicones, parabens, propylene, butylene glycol, PEG, MEA, TEA, MIA, EDTA and artificial colourants. The range is a dream come true for beauty fans who love experimenting with luxury hair products and I was thrilled to receive three of Innersense's bestsellers to try out for myself.

Innersense - Organic & Cruelty-Free Luxury Haircare - I Create Finish Hairspray review
 Innersense Hydrating Hair Masque* (118ml, £28, link)
As the lengths and ends of my hair are naturally very dry and frizzy, I'm a huge fan of hair masks and I love to include them in a weekly pampering session at home.  The Innersense Hydrating Hair Masque is packed full of ultra-nourishing organic ingredients such as Shea Butter, Monoi Oil, Flaxseed, Tamanu, Hydrolyzed Quinoa and Coconut Oil to hydrate, repair and strengthen dry and damaged hair, whilst adding lots of lovely shine for a gorgeous swish-worthy finish. 

Depending on how dry and/or damaged your hair is to start with, you can either apply the masque for 5-20 minutes after shampooing, or for a really deep and intensive treatment, you can leave it on overnight. I've tried it both as a 20-minute treatment and as an overnight job, and I would say that the 20-minute option is better if you have fine hair like I do as this is a very rich and moisturising masque so that was enough time for my hair to soak up all of that goodness without overloading it. Dry and thick hair will definitely drink it up overnight though!

Innersense - Organic & Cruelty-Free Luxury Haircare - Hydrating Hair Masque, I Create Finish Hairspray & Refresh Dry Shampoo review
Innersense I Create Finish Hairspray* (295ml, £24, link)
Unlike some other green beauty and organic brands which are sometimes a bit lacking in their product ranges, Innersense has a hair styling aid for every situation imaginable. Whether you want to enhance your curls, create beachy waves, add volume or prep for more elaborate hairstyles, Innersense has it all, and their I Create Finish Hairspray is a good place to start.

This is a versatile product which will work well with all hair types and can be used as the finishing touch for any occasion. Most mainstream hairsprays use plastic-derived resins to make the hair 'hold', but Innersense has opted for Organic Honey instead which works as a natural resin alternative. Rice Amino Acids, Aloe, Lavender and Rooibos Tea extracts have also been included in the formula to further strengthen and hydrate delicate strands for fuller and shinier looking hair in one quick spritz.

I must admit that it doesn't perform exactly like a mainstream hairspray, but it does deliver a decent amount of hold without any sticky or stiff residue and it's easy to brush out, so there are no complaints here from my fussy hair.

Innersense - Organic & Cruelty-Free Luxury Haircare - Hydrating Hair Masque, I Create Finish Hairspray & Refresh Dry Shampoo review
Innersense Refresh Dry Shampoo* (70ml, £22, link)
I try to only wash my hair once or twice a week so I'm an avid user of dry shampoo to keep it refreshed between these washes. Saying that, this is the first time that I've used a dry shampoo which has a foam-to-powder formula so I found this one quite interesting and novel to try out! 

Innersense's Refresh Dry Shampoo works like magic using a clever combination of Tapioca Starch, Witch Hazel, Hydrolyzed Quinoa and Rice Amino Acids which merge together to create a base that sucks up oil from greasy roots without the need to use any Talc (a dominant and somewhat controversial ingredient in many mainstream dry shampoos). The formula quickly changes from a foam to a light powder once it has dried, eliminating excess oil and impurities, and adding some volume and shine. To apply it, I simply added two pumps of foam to my hands and massaged it directly into my roots and left it to dry. Within a minute or so, it had transformed and I then styled it as usual.

Like all the products I've tried from Innersense, this Dry Shampoo has a gorgeous scent thanks to a relaxing blend of essential oils which help to promote further feelings of wellness, so if this sounds like a brand for you, be sure to check out the full range which is available from Cult Beauty and Innersense Organic Beauty

Have you been buying more haircare during lockdown?

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