August & September Empties: Products I've Used Up

Monday, 28 September 2020

 

Regular readers will have noticed that I didn't publish an Empties post last month, and that's because I only had three empty products in my bathroom basket, but fret not, here's a full August & September empties round up to enjoy!


Evolve Organic Beauty Superfood 360 Serum* (review
A beautiful light-weight serum that hydrates, plumps up and brightens the skin. I always enjoy using this in the evenings and it works well under all of my face oils and moisturisers. Repurchase? Yes, I've repurchased this before and will continue to do so. 

Mont Trod Purifying Clay Mask* (review)
I discovered this luxury natural mask during lockdown earlier this year, and it's been a real saviour for fighting off blemishes and keeping breakouts and 'maskne' at bay. Gets rid of spots fast but doesn't dry out the skin. Repurchase? I have some similar clay masks to use up first, though I'm sure I'll treat myself to this again in the near future.

Weleda Citrus Deodorant* (link)
In pre-Covid times, I would usually layer this on top of another natural deodorant to double up the strength, but with working from home now a regular occurrence and socialising off the cards for most of us, a quick spritz of this natural deodorant is all I need to feel fresh these days! Repurchase? Yes.

OSKIA Renaissance Mask (travel size)
Oh, how I love this mask and I was so pleased to find it in a GWP goody bag leftover from Xmas. It's one of the best that I've ever tried for brightening and smoothing a dull and lacklustre complexion and gives instant glowing results after just one use thanks to a powerful blend of Fruit Acids and prebiotics. Repurchase? It's out of my budget at the moment sadly but I'll definitely pick it up the next time I see it on offer.

Tropic Clear Skin Mask* (review)
You can tell I've had a lot of time on my hands to do some serious pampering this year can't you?! This is another fantastic face mask for zapping blemishes and clearing up 'maskne'. You can see what it looks like on in my review post here. Repurchase? Will do once I've used up some other masks.

Typology Pamplemousse Petitgrain & Cèdre Vétiver Fragrances(review)
One of my favourite brand discoveries for 2020 has been the luxury French natural brand Typology, and I absolutely adore their fragrances. These two samples are from one of their Perfume Discovery Sets and I loved them both. Repurchase? Tempted!

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil (travel size)
Like many people, I haven't been wearing a lot of makeup recently, but I did manage to use up a mini of the incredible DHC Deep Cleansing Oil which is still one of my favourite make-up removers. It takes off everything, including waterproof formulas. Repurchase? Yes.

A'kin Cleansing Micellar Water(review)
Perfect for all those lazy days at home (and there's been so many of them...), I've been using this micellar water as a quick and easy cleanse in the mornings. Very light and refreshing. Repurchase? Yes.

Ogario Restore And Shine Hair Masque(review)
A long time favourite of mine, this magical hair mask has been a staple in my bathroom for the last few years and I never tire of slathering it on when my hair needs some serious hydration. It gets to work in just 10 minutes and always leaves my hair so smooth and shiny afterwards. Repurchase? Already have!

All Naturals Handmade Soap in Spectacular Jasmine(review)
Finishing up this round-up with another long time fave of mine, I've been buying these All Naturals Soaps for 2-3 years now and Spectacular Jasmine is such a gorgeous scent, I can't get enough of it. Repurchase? My sister kindly sent me some earlier in the year so I'm all stocked up for now.


P.S - How To Recycle Your Beauty Empties!

All of the glass and easy-to-recycle plastic PET empties will be put into my council's blue bin kerbside recycling scheme, but for the harder-to-recycle stuff, I will be:-

  • Recycling the pumps, lids and atomisers with Neal's Yard Remedies - more info at the bottom of their website here.
  • Recycling any other products that my local council doesn't accept at The Body Shop, L'Occitane or with Garnier's Terracycle partnership - more info here.

What have you used up recently?

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Green Beauty: LoveLula Beauty Box - September 2020 review

Wednesday, 23 September 2020

 

LoveLula's latest Beauty Box is crammed full of green beauty goodies and with a total value of over £60, it's a bargain too! This month's box features mainly skincare with a little makeup, and everything is happily cruelty-free.

Here's what's inside:-

AYUMI Glow Tumeric & Papaya Glycolic Acid Toner (RRP £6.99)
This budget-friendly facial toner from AYUMI is inspired by Ayurveda and includes a special blend of proven plant-based actives and natural ingredients to help you get your glow back. Infused with brightening extracts of Tumeric, Amla and Papaya, plus soothing Aloe Vera, it uses natural Glycolic Acid to gently remove dull and dead skin cells on the surface to reveal brighter and younger-looking skin underneath. An easy addition to your daily morning or evening skincare routine!

Dr Botanicals Hemp Moisturiser (RRP £15.99)
With two hard-working key ingredients of Hemp Seed Oil and Cocoa Butter, Dr Botanicals Hemp Moisturiser is a simple but effective product to help your skin feel hydrated and smooth all day long. I love Hemp-based products like this as I find it works so well for sensitive skin like mine, so I'm looking forward to trying it out.

Madara Smart Anti-Pollution Charcoal & Mud Repair Mask (travel size)
Oh, I was very happy to see this! I'm a huge fan of using charcoal and clay-based face masks to keep spots and breakouts at bay, and I've used this one from Madara in the past with great results. If you feel that your skin is congested and feels 'bumpy' underneath the surface, this facial treatment will help to draw everything out in just 5 minutes. Highly recommended for 'maskne' too!

INIKA Mineral Mattifying Powder (RRP £23)
If you read last month's LoveLula Beauty box review, you'll know that they included a primer from INIKA and this month sees another fantastic full-size makeup product from the luxury Australian brand - a Mineral Mattifying Powder. This translucent loose powder provides a naturally matte finish to your makeup look and can be used over the top of any foundation, regardless of whether it's a liquid or mineral powder.

Urban Veda Reviving Renewal Night Cream (travel size)
Finally, the last product is a travel size sample of Urban Veda Reviving Renewal Night Cream which helps to replenish and hydrate most skin types with natural ingredients that include Rose extract, Organic Pomegranate and Rosehip.

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

Have you subscribed to LoveLula's Beauty Box?

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Foodie Friday: Laksa-style Tempeh with Stir fried Veg & Vermicelli (Vegan recipe)

Friday, 18 September 2020

 

A quick and easy vegan recipe which can be whipped up in a matter of minutes, this tasty Laksa-style Tempeh with Stir-Fried Veg & Vermicelli dish is light, but filling, and packed full of flavour.


I was asked by a friend to recommend an easy vegan recipe that she could make for a mid-week meal when she was short on time after coming home late from work. She didn't want it to include tofu or a meat substitute, so I asked if she had tried Tempeh? She hadn't heard of it, but I sent this recipe to her and she loved it!


Like Tofu, Tempeh is also made from soybeans, but the texture is completely different and I think it's the spongey feeling of Tofu that puts many people off, including my friend (check out my Tofu recipes for the best ways to cook Tofu here). Instead, Tempeh has a thicker, chewier, and more solid consistency overall as the fermented soybeans are essentially tightly packed down into a 'cake' or a log which is then usually sliced into strips, marinaded and pan-fried. Tempeh also has a slightly nutty flavour to it which some people find much more palatable than Tofu which is considerably blander.


Personally, I love both Tofu and Tempeh and find them very versatile to use in a range of meals. They're both healthy and low-fat forms of plant-based protein, and Tempeh contains almost double the amount of protein that Tofu has.


One of my favourite ways to use Tempeh is to coat it in a quick Laksa-style marinade, stir-fry it with some mixed veggies and combine it with a carb such as wholegrain basmati rice or vermicelli noodles. It's quick and delicious - give it a try!


Ingredients (makes 2 servings with leftover Laksa sauce)

  • 150g Tempeh
  • 100g Vermicelli rice noodles
  • Large handful or two of mixed veg such as Peppers, Broccoli, Carrots, Mushrooms etc
  • Toasted Sesame Oil for frying
  • Sesame Seeds, optional garnish

For the Laksa sauce/marinade
  • 1 Onion, peeled & diced
  • 2 Lemongrass stalks, stripped & chopped
  • 2 Red Chillies, finely chopped
  • 4 Garlic cloves, peeled & crushed or finely chopped
  • A thumb-size piece of Fresh Ginger, peeled & finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil
  • Handful of unsalted Cashews
  • Pinch of Paprika
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1 tsp Tumeric powder
  • 1 tsp Coriander Seeds
  • Pinch of Sea Salt
  • 150ml cold Water
  • 40ml Soy Sauce or Tamari
  • 1 tsp Coconut Sugar or Agave Syrup


Method:
  • In a frying pan, lightly dry toast the Cashews, Coriander and Cumin Seeds for a minute over a medium heat until fragrant and lightly brown. 
  • Add to a blender or food processor, along with all the other Laksa ingredients and blitz until you have a smooth consistency. If it's too thick, gradually add extra water 1 tbsp at a time until you have a sauce that resembles a marinade.
  • Cut the Tempeh into even slices and add to a bowl, pouring some of the Laksa marinade over the top to evenly coat. Allow to infuse for 10 minutes (you can leave it longer in the fridge up to half an hour if you have more time).
  • Whilst the Tempeh is marinating, prep your Mixed Veg by washing and chopping it.
  • Stir-fry the Veg and marinaded Tempeh in a wok or pan with a little Toasted Sesame Oil over a medium heat for 5 minutes - you can add some extra Laksa sauce to the pan to add more flavour to the veggies if you like.
  • Add the Vermicelli to a saucepan of boiling water and simmer for a few minutes to soften (or cook to packet instructions), then drain and serve in bowls with the stir-fried Veg and Tempeh. Garnish with a sprinkling of Sesame Seeds if desired. Enjoy!

Storage prep: Keep the remaining Laksa sauce/marinade in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to 48 hours.

Have you tried Tempeh before?

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Introducing: Green Beetle Natural Skincare - Mood Booster Sugar Body Scrub & Pumpkin Spice Soy Wax Candle review

Thursday, 17 September 2020

 

This week, I'd like to introduce Green Beetle, a small and independent natural skincare company based in Essex, UK. With a strong commitment to using as many natural and organic ingredients as possible in their products, they're an indie brand that I know you're all going to love!

Instagram is a great way to discover independent beauty and lifestyle brands, and as a blogger, I'm lucky enough to be introduced to new and exciting start-ups across that platform almost every week. My latest find is named Green Beetle who are starting out with a range of natural Body Scrubs, Body Souffles and Candles

All of Green Beetle's products are cruelty-free, vegan-friendly and handmade in small batches for optimum freshness. They are a proud member of the Guild of Craft & Toiletry Makers and in addition to their commitments to using natural and organic ingredients, they also look after the environment by choosing to package their products in glass and aluminium, both of which can be easily reused or recycled. Plus, their postage packaging is plastic-free too - yay!

I was kindly sent one of their Body Scrubs and a Soy Wax Candle to try out.

Green Beetle Sugar Body Scrub in Mood Booster* (260g, £12, link)


With five very tempting fragrances to choose from, Green Beetle's Sugar Body Scrubs are housed in large aluminium tins and feature an ultra-pampering creamy formula which emulsifies into an exfoliating lotion once water is added. A blend of Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter and Raw Cane Sugar form the base of this scrub, to which an uplifting selection of essential oils is added to help boost your mood. I love the mix of Sweet Orange, Palmarosa and Geranium which smells incredible.


These Body Scrubs are the perfect combination of removing dull dead skin with a rich and hydrated finish so that your skin doesn't feel dry or stripped afterwards. Instead, it feels silky soft without being greasy and the natural fragrance adds to the whole holistic pampering experience - it's safe to say that I'm a fan!


Green Beetle Soy Wax Candle in Pumpkin Spice* (small 90ml, £9, link)


Green Beetle's Soy Wax Candles are available in two sizes; small (packaged in aluminium) and large (packaged in glass) and are crafted from hand-poured, all-natural soy wax which is an eco-friendly and safer alternative to traditional paraffin candles. Each candle is blended with only 100% essential oils that have been carefully chosen for their aromatherapy benefits. Currently, there are four fragrances to choose from and with Autumn on the way, I just had to choose the Pumpkin Spice!


This exquisite fragrance marries together all the best Autumn scents with lots of spices such as Cinnamon and Clove, and an underlying sweetness from Orange coming through once lit. The small candles burn for up to 20 hours and would make fantastic stocking fillers this Christmas - definitely one to add to the shopping list.


Discover the full range at greenbeetleltd.com


Are you thinking about Christmas yet?


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Summer Beauty: NUORI Sun Repair Serum & Mineral Defence Sunscreen SPF 30 review + 10% Reader Discount Code

Tuesday, 15 September 2020


Summer isn't over just yet, and with this week's heatwave arriving in the UK, it seemed like the ideal opportunity to feature a new luxury clean skincare brand which has been popping up my beauty radar. Meet NUORI.

NUORI is a Danish high-end, clean and non-toxic skincare brand whose products are formulated with 100% naturally derived ingredients which work in harmony with the latest generation of bioengineered actives. It's one of those brands that I just love because it marries together nature and science for the best possible results, whilst sticking to their clean skincare ethics. 

In addition, it's worth noting that all of NUORI's products are created in small batches every 10-12 weeks in Denmark to ensure maximum freshness and potency, and all of their packaging comes clearly marked with batch numbers and expiry dates which is even more important when it comes to suncare as out-of-date products aren't going to protect your skin properly!

I was invited to join in with NUORI's current Sun Defence Duo campaign to help promote the brand's suncare. I'm hugely passionate about encouraging everyone to wear SPF when they go outside, even in the Winter months, so I couldn't wait to try out this duo which will see you through the end of Summer and beyond.

NUORI Sun Repair Serum* (30ml, €58, link)
Suitable for all skin types including sensitive, Sun Repair Serum is a fragrance-free serum which deeply hydrates, soothes and repairs skin that's been exposed to sunlight. With an innovative antioxidant-rich complex, it helps to neutralize damaging free radicals which cause premature ageing such as fine lines and wrinkles, whilst also inhibiting the production of melanin for a more even skin tone and texture. 

If you find that your skin becomes very sensitive, red or irritated when you're in the sun, this serum could become your new BFF as it basically offers an extra layer of protection that you can wear underneath your regular facial sunscreen. The serum has a lovely lightweight and non-sticky feeling so it works well underneath makeup too, and the hydrating properties will keep your skin comfortably moisturised throughout the day.

NUORI Mineral Defence Sunscreen SPF 30* (50ml, €49, link)
Sunscreen is, of course, your main shield of defence against those harmful UVA and UVB rays and the aptly named Mineral Defence Sunscreen SPF 30 delivers essential broad-spectrum protection in a convenient and all-natural formula. Created without any nasties such as nanoparticles, chemical sun filters and titanium dioxide, it instead utilises a new generation of non-nano Zinc Oxide which means that this sunscreen won't harm your skin or marine species and the environment as it's both ocean and reef-safe. 

I love the texture of this sunscreen as it's very light, untinted and is quickly absorbed when applied to the face without any white cast or stickiness/greasy problems. The fragrance-free formula also means that it's suitable for sensitive skin types and when removed properly with a double cleanse at the end of the day, you shouldn't experience any issues with breakouts which are more common when using chemical sunscreens. 


Try the NUORI Sun Defence Duo with 10% off with my special reader discount code - just add beautywolfgirl10 at the checkout and enjoy! Discount code expires on 30th October 2020 and is limited to one use per customer - shop here at Nuori.

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Health & Lifestyle: 7 Natural Products To Help Ease Muscle Aches & Pains (Post-Gym/Exercise)

Tuesday, 1 September 2020

Whether you're embracing the new normal of returning to your favourite gym or you're continuing to work out at home, here are seven natural products which can help to ease some of those post-exercise muscle aches and pains.

Bath & Shower Helpers: Magnesium & Sea Salt
One of the best ways to relax your muscles after a tough workout, especially if you've been lifting weights or doing high strenuous exercises such as HITT or spinning, is to take a warm bath and there are countless products that you can use. Popular favourites are Epsom Salts of course, but I wanted to feature a product that has Sea Salt instead as some people can find Epsom Salts to be a bit too irritating if they have sensitive skin, so Sea Salt is often better tolerated by all skin types. I'm a big fan of JOIK Energizing Bath Salt* (500g, £6.50, link) which is 100% natural and has invigorating citrus essential oils to give your body and mind a stimulating boost, as well as helping to relax muscle tension.

I also love REN's amazing luxury Anti-Fatigue range and the SLS-free Atlantic Kelp & Magnesium Body Wash* (250ml, £22, link) is ideal for those who don't have a bath, or are short on time and want to use something quick and easy in the shower to instantly revive tired skin. I featured the Exfoliating Body Scrub from this range in my last Empties post which is another long-time fave of mine.

Topical Treats: Creams, Gels and Sprays
Pop into any health store and you'll find a huge selection of topical products to soothe aching muscles in a variety of formulas and formats so you can pick and choose depending on your personal preference. If you want a cream product, Ying Yang Skincare MSM Cream* (180ml, £24.95, link) is one of the best that I've tried as it contains a potent and effective blend with 9% MSM to provide comfortable relief to overworked muscles - perfect for using after Hot Yoga or running. 

For something more affordable, I highly recommend Organii Soothing Arnica Gel* (50ml, £3.95, link) as Arnica is a fantastic natural ingredient for helping to reduce any kind of inflammation and swelling. It's also useful for those who suffer from muscle pains related to Arthritis, and it's a must-have if you do any contact sports where bruises may occur.

My overall favourite topical product though is a high-quality Magnesium Oil Spray and when you're buying one, make sure it's 100% natural and contains a high dose of Magnesium Chloride for the best results. I've used this one from KIKI Health* (125ml, £12.50, link) for years and I always have a bottle in my gym bag. Magnesium is one of the most important minerals in your body but it's quickly depleted with intense exercise so a topical spitz applied to aching muscles can reduce painful spasms and contractions within minutes.

Internal Supplements: Turmeric & MSM Flakes
Supplements are a useful addition to anyone's daily routine and if you regularly exercise, two that I find helpful are Turmeric and MSM Flakes (Glucosamine is also a must if you're over 50 yrs old). I regularly purchase Twenty First Century Herbs Turmeric Supplements (30 capsules, £5, link) as they don't contain any unnecessary fillers/bulking agents and are vegan and gluten-free. Turmeric is an incredible natural anti-inflammatory so it's another product that I recommend trying if you suffer from any regular joint pain or have Arthritis etc. 

MSM Flakes are a nutritional form of sulphur which can be taken internally with benefits ranging from maintaining healthy joints and muscles to improving skin, hair and nails. Again, I always suggest purchasing a product which is high-quality and 100% natural such as KIKI Health MSM Flakes* (100g, £9.95, link) and these are easy to dissolve in a glass of juice or a smoothie. They are an 'acquired' taste though so if you don't find them palatable, stick with the MSM Cream above or try the 'pinched nose' technique when you take them!

Have you returned to the gym since they re-opened?

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