Christmas Gift Guide 2022: Engravers Guild of London Personalised Gin Glasses review

Friday 16 December 2022

To round off Christmas Gift Guide week, I have a special feature on Engravers Guild whose last orders for Christmas delivery can be made on 18th December. This one is perfect for all you last-minute online shoppers who are still looking for that unique gift!

Engravers Guild of London can add a sophisticated personalised message to a wide range of high-quality items so that you can create your own bespoke gift. From hip flasks, photo frames, and personalised gin glasses to perfumes, handbags, and jewellery, you'll find something for everyone thanks to their extensive online shop. Quality is at the forefront of what they do, and you'll find gifts at various price points from under £40 to over £200 to suit everyone's budgets this Christmas.

I was delighted to have the opportunity to receive one of their personalised gin glasses to share with you all so that you can see what they specialise in. The Dartington El Classico Gin Glass is a large balloon gin glass that's made by Dartington Crystal. It has a fashionable on-trend thin stem, but it's not too thin if you catch my drift so it looks elegant but I don't live in fear of breaking it!

The complimentary engraving offers up to four lines of text (max 22 characters per line) and you can choose between three fonts. If you want something different, you also have the option to get in touch directly with the Engravers Guild of London for an entirely bespoke engraving and they will reply in less than 90 minutes during working hours.

Purchase yours from

Christmas Gift Guide 2022: FOSS Candles - Icelandic Christmas & Icelandic Café Gift Sets review #ShopSmall

Thursday 15 December 2022

 Foss Candles - Icelandic Christmas & Icelandic Café Gift Sets review

What's that you say, a second candle feature in this year's gift guide?! Well, who can blame me - candles just scream Christmas and I wanted to throw a special spotlight on this small company called FOSS Candles.

FOSS is an interesting indie brand as it's been created by a half-British, half-Icelandic couple from Lancaster. Their natural, vegan-friendly, soy wax candles are handmade in their studio and inspired by the nature and beauty of Iceland. In fact, 'foss' means waterfall in Icelandic, and these beautifully scented candles will transport you to the wild wonders of the land of ice and fire. 

I have truly fallen in love with FOSS as I adore Iceland - it really doesn't get any more Christmassy does it?! They have lots of scents to choose from, however, these two gift sets below are just perfect for the festive season.

Foss Candles - Icelandic Christmas & Icelandic Café Gift Sets review
FOSS Icelandic Christmas Gift Set (£18.95)

Comprising of three 60ml mini candles, FOSS' Icelandic Christmas Gift showcases their most popular seasonal scents so that you can fill your home with the most Christmassy vibes possible. Each candle has a burn time of around 10 hours so it's a good value-for-money option too.

Jólagõgg is the name for Icelandic mulled wine and this candle is bursting full of juicy Berries, uplifting Orange, and warming Festive Spices. It's a proper hug-in-a-mug type of fragrance to keep you cozy on a cold winter's night. 

Jólataré means Christmas Tree in Icelandic so you can expect notes of the freshest Pine and Nordic Spruce. If you love revitalizing outdoorsy scents, this is the one for you.

Jól is the name for Christmas in Icelandic and this candle is basically that! It's the most traditional festive scent of Christmas Spices with an exquisite blend of Orange, Cinnamon, Ginger, Clove & Nutmeg.

Foss Candles - Icelandic Christmas & Icelandic Café Gift Sets review
FOSS Icelandic Café Gift Set (£22.95)

Coffee culture is a big part of the Icelandic lifestyle and Reykjavik is home to some of the cosiest cafés and bakeries that you'll ever find. Naturally, I was drawn to the Icelandic Café Gift Set as I love sweet & coffee scents, and of course, it didn't disappoint!

This duo has larger 120ml candles which boast a burn time of 24 hours each. Bakarí is a delicious fragrance of sweet Honey blended with Cinnamon and spiced Vanilla - it smells just like cinnamon rolls which you'll find freshly baked in abundance in Icelandic bakeries. Kaffi is a classic Coffee & Vanilla scent that's instantly comforting - it's hard to pick a favourite here!

Foss Candles - Icelandic Christmas & Icelandic Café Gift Sets review
FOSS Lava Melt Samples (£1 each)

I was pleased to see that FOSS offer some of their bestselling candle scents as soy wax melts as well and they have a handy try-before-you-buy sample range. For just £1, you can pick up one 5g soy wax melt which has a burn time of around 6-8 hours. It was difficult to not want to fill my basket with one of every scent, however, I opted for just five in the end, including one Jól melt for a friend.

The other four are Valhalla (smoky Whiskey, Orange and spicy Black Pepper), Norðurljós (the Icelandic word for Northern Lights - Lavender, Eucalyptus and Pomelo), Blóm (Wild Fig, Cassis & Tomato Leaf), and Víðsýni (Icelandic for panoramic vista - an interesting blend of Coconut Leaf, Orange, Ginger, and White Tea).

Shop the full range at

Christmas Gift Guide 2022: Liz Earle Purify & Refresh Skincare Edit review (exclusive to Boots)

Wednesday 14 December 2022

 Liz Earle Purify & Refresh Skincare Edit review

Looking for a luxury & cruelty-free skincare gift that delivers some serious savings? Liz Earle's Purify & Refresh Skincare Edit is a bargain at just £34 (worth £85!), and with a saving of £51, you might want to treat yourself to one at the same time as doing your Christmas shopping. We won't tell anyone...

Exclusive to Boots, this six-piece gift set is one of the best value-for-money offerings that I've seen this year from a major retailer. Not only does it contain nearly everything that you need for a full skincare routine (it's only missing a moisturiser), but if you're a Liz Earle devotee, then you can save yourself some cash by purchasing this set and stocking up on your skincare faves.

So what's inside the Liz Earle Purify & Refresh Skincare Edit? Here's a handy overview.

Liz Earle Purify & Refresh Skincare Edit review
Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser & 2 Pure Cotton Cloths (full size)
The original hot cloth cleanser and still regarded as one of the best multi-purpose cleansers on the market, Cleanse & Polish is a thick and creamy number that removes all traces of daily dirt, impurities, and makeup including waterproof formulas and long-wearing foundations. I've used it on and off for many years and always like to have one in my skincare stash. 

Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic (full size) 
A brilliant alcohol-free toner, Instant Skin Tonic has a lovely gentle formula with extracts of Aloe Vera, Chamomile, Cucumber, Calendula and Vitamin E. It helps to soothe, hydrate, and brighten, so it's perfect for the colder winter months to keep your skin looking healthy and happy.

Liz Earle Gentle Face Exfoliator (travel size)
Use once or twice a week for smoother skin, the Gentle Face Exfoliator does what it says on the tube. I really like this for helping to unclog stubborn blackheads on my nose.

Liz Earle Eyebright Soothing Eye Lotion (travel size)
Typically, I personally only tend to use Eyebright during the summer when I have hay fever as it works so well at soothing my irritated eyes. However, it's also very useful for daily use to relieve tired eyes, particularly in the mornings if you have puffy eyes that need some TLC.

Liz Earle Deep Cleansing Clay Mask (full size)
Completing this edit is a full-size Deep Cleansing Clay Mask which is fantastic for oily and combination skin types like mine (but not suitable for sensitive skin). Featuring natural ingredients such as Manuka Honey, Green Clay, Propolis, and Aloe Vera, this thick clay mask draws out impurities within minutes, leaving your complexion looking clearer after just one use.

Liz Earle Purify & Refresh Skincare Edit review
As an extra bonus, there's a voucher where you can get 750 Advantage Card Points when you spend £40 on Liz Earle at Boots. This is the equivalent of £7.50!

Liz Earle Purify & Refresh Skincare Edit retails for £34 and is exclusive to Boots whilst stocks last

Christmas Gift Guide 2022: Gift Wild Organic Cotton Wash & Shopping Bags review #ShopSmall

Tuesday 13 December 2022


Gift Wild Organic Cotton Wash & Shopping Bags review
Shop small this Christmas with Gift Wild; an independent family and friends-run business which creates wonderful, unique eco-friendly cards and gifts that help to support conservation projects.

With 10% of all sales donated to conservation charities, Gift Wild is a feel-good business to make your ethical and sustainable purchases from this year. Whether you're looking for Art Prints, Cards, Cushions, Bags, or Notebooks, these nature-inspired gifts are a thoughtful gift for the receipent and the environment. Orders are sent without any plastic packaging to further help the planet which is always brilliant to see.    

I was delighted when Katy, the founder of Gift Wild, got in touch to ask if I'd be interested in including some of her products in my Christmas Gift Guide and she very kindly let me choose the two following gifts to feature.

Gift Wild Organic Cotton Wash & Shopping Bags review
Gift Wild Organic Cotton Wash & Shopping Bags review
Gift Wild Narwhal Washbag* (£17.99, link)

I always feel that toiletry and washbags are well received by fellow beauty and travel lovers, the latter of which sparks a little adventure as you can wonder where the receipent may take your gift on their next travels! Gift Wild have a lovely range of eco-friendly washbags which are made from organic, sustainably sourced and fair trade cotton. An intricate Narwhal illustration (original artwork by Penny Smallshire) adorns the front of the bag, whilst a gold-coloured zip finishes it off beautifully. Inside, the bag is kept simple and plain, with plenty of room for all of the essentials. 

Gift Wild Organic Cotton Wash & Shopping Bags review
Gift Wild Organic Cotton Wash & Shopping Bags review
Gift Wild Swift Bird Shopping Bag* (£19.99)

One of the most practical gifts is a good old shopping bag and you can never have too many of these to make sure that you're never tempted to pick up a plastic bag ever again! As seen in BBC Wildlife, this beautiful Swift Bird Shopping Bag features a large art print of two swifts by Penny Smallshire and would make a brilliant gift for an avid bird watcher; in fact 10% of the sale goes straight to the RSPB. This bag is an oversized A4 size with a thick, sturdy handle, so there's lots of space for your groceries, books or bird watching kit.

Like the washbag above, Gift Wild's Shopping Bags are made from the same organic, sustainably sourced and fairtrade cotton so they are excellent quality and are a far better option for the environment. 

Sign up to Gift Wild to get 20% off your first order and there's free shipping when you spend over £30. Shop the full range of gifts at

Christmas Gift Guide 2022: NEOM The Winter Wellbeing Wonders Candle Trio review

Monday 12 December 2022

 NEOM The Winter Wellbeing Wonders Candle Trio review

Candles are an instant way to bring new festive scents, light, and joy into someone's home, so it's no surprise to see them at the top of many people's Christmas wishlists! Treat a loved one to this gorgeous Winter Wellbeing Wonders Candle Trio from NEOM Organics for a luxury gift option this year.

NEOM The Winter Wellbeing Wonders Candle Trio review
NEOM always outdo themselves when it comes to their festive ranges, and its 2022 Christmas candles collection boasts a brand new fragrance, plus two returning fan favourites that are guaranteed to delight old and new customers!

You can purchase their Christmas candles in three different sizes so you'll find one to suit your gifting budget with prices starting from £18. For those who are looking for an extra special luxury treat, you can't go wrong with The Winter Wellbeing Wonders Candle Trio. Not only is this gift beautifully presented, but inside you'll find three travel-size 75g candles so that your recipient can experience the full range of exclusive NEOM Christmas scents.

Made from 100% natural ingredients, these hand-poured candles feature a clean-burning vegetable-based wax blend and 100% natural fragrance for the utmost purity in home fragrance.

Let's unbox this beauty, shall we?

NEOM The Winter Wellbeing Wonders Candle Trio review
Christmas Wish (75g)

Bursting with the fragrance of 13 pure essential oils, Christmas Wish is a wonderfully comforting scent with strong notes of fruity Mandarin, sweet Tonka Bean, and spicy Cinnamon. Designed to help you relax and unwind, it brings a moment of calm and peace to the often stressful festive season - which I'm guessing is everyone's Christmas wish!

NEOM The Winter Wellbeing Wonders Candle Trio review
Perfect Peace (75g)

Perfect Peace is what I would describe as a very classic and traditional Christmas-scented candle. With a sparkling and uplifting blend of 25 pure essential oils, it's a complex fragrance that includes refreshing Pine, aromatic Myrrh, and zesty Lime Peel. Breathe in this gorgeous scent and let all your troubles melt away.

NEOM The Winter Wellbeing Wonders Candle Trio review
Cosy Nights (75g)

My personal favourite from this trio is Cosy Nights and this truly is the ultimate 'snuggly' feeling candle to light when it's cold and dark outside and you want to create that ideal hygge-esque atmosphere at home. With a range of sophisticated pure essential oils which include Sandalwood, Frankincense and Nutmeg, it's sure to be a real crowd-pleaser when you have guests over.

NEOM The Winter Wellbeing Wonders Candle Trio (£45) is available from

Have you bought any candle gifts this year?

Introducing: Inclusev - Add Aqua Collection - Powdered Shampoo, Facewash, Bodywash & Handwash review #WaterlessBeauty

Thursday 8 December 2022

 Inclusev - Add Aqua Collection - Powdered Shampoo, Facewash, Bodywash & Handwash review

Waterless beauty has been a big trend this year and shows no signs of abating. These sustainable toiletries are the latest must-have for eco-conscious bathrooms and are fantastic for traveling with as they circumvent all of those tricky liquid rules.

Launched only in 2021, Inclusev is a new British brand to the eco-beauty market with all of its 100% natural, cruelty-free and vegan-friendly products made in London. With a company mission to change the beauty industry 'one product at a time', Inclusev has created an Add Aqua Collection of concentrated powder formulas that eliminate waste and use fewer emissions to ship due to their wonderfully lightweight nature. For example, just one 50g Inclusev bottle replaces four bottles of 50g liquid product, and with clean, natural and organic ingredients, you can be sure there are no nasties or toxins present.

How To Use

Using Inclusev's Add Aqua Collection couldn't be easier; simply wet your hands/face/body, sprinkle a little of the powder into your palm, massage into your skin for 30 seconds and then rinse and pat dry. The powder transforms into a light foam once in contact with water.

I've had the pleasure of testing out the collection over the past month and I'm so surprised by how much product I still have left in the bottles - they definitely do last a long time!

Inclusev - Add Aqua Collection - Powdered Shampoo, Facewash, Bodywash & Handwash review
Inclusev Powdered Handwash* (25g, £11)
Available in two scents, I've been enjoying using the Coriander, Lemongrass & Tea Tree Oil Powdered Handwash as the natural fragrance is so uplifting and refreshing. Initially, I thought it would be a bit of a faff to use considering how often I wash my hands at home, but actually, it wasn't a bother at all. Shaking the powder into my palms and adding a little water, gave me the feeling that I was spending more time washing my hands than I normally would, and thus, I felt my hands were much cleaner as a result.

Inclusev Powdered Bodywash* (25g, £11)
Also available in two scents, the Powdered Bodywash in Lemon, Lime & Rosemary was a delight to use and provided a far more luxurious pampering experience than I had originally imagined it would. I think the ritual of adding water to the powder and then massaging it into your skin, gives off such strong feel-good vibes that you begin to appreciate your daily shower a lot more.

Inclusev - Add Aqua Collection - Powdered Shampoo, Facewash, Bodywash & Handwash review
Inclusev Powdered Shampoo* (25g, £12)
If you've been struggling to find a natural shampoo that works for you, this Powdered Shampoo may be the answer you've been looking for. Featuring extracts of Amla and Nettle, this shampoo uses powdered Coconut Milk and Kaolin Clay to deep cleanse your hair, removing daily dirt and pollution. Willow Bark, Clove, Grapefruit, Orange, and Ylang Ylang are also added to further protect, nourish and balance the scalp, whilst the light foam texture is easy to rinse out. Highly recommended!

Inclusev Powdered Facewash* (25g, £12)
To round off the collection, there's a Powdered Facewash which is available in two scents; I tried out the Lemon & Spearmint one and felt that it suited my oily/combination skin pretty well. The powdered base of Coconut Milk and Kaolin Clay is infused with Rosehip, Orris Root, Hibiscus Flower, and Willow Bark, to gently cleanse and exfoliate without stripping the skin of its natural oils. I wouldn't personally use this as my everyday cleanser as it would be too much exfoliation for me, but I'd definitely include it in my skincare routine as a once-a-week treatment instead.

Shop the Add Aqua Collection at

Have you tried any powdered/waterless beauty products?

Refillable Beauty: Proverb Skincare Refillable Body Wash review

Tuesday 6 December 2022

Proverb Refillable Body Wash review

Did you know that the average British household gets through 24 bottles of body wash every year? If you think about how many families there are in the UK, that figure adds up to millions of plastic bottles! Thankfully, it's now easier than ever to find eco-friendly refillable options.

'Refillable beauty' has been one of the big consumer trends recently with more and more brands developing refillable versions of their best-selling products to help consumers cut down on their plastic waste. One such natural brand that's leading the way is Proverb Skincare which offers refillable deodorants, body washes, and a 'minimal waste' line of skincare to boot.

I was kindly sent one of their refillable Body Washes to test out, and the scent is to die for!

Proverb Refillable Body Wash review
Proverb Skincare Wild Mint & Eucalyptus Body Wash Refill* (250ml, from £8, link)
Made in England, Proverb prides itself on its namesake which means 'statements of truth'. In a world of greenwashing, Proverb promises no patronising marketing with their mission to create products that positively impact their customers and the planet, whilst pushing for change in how the beauty industry uses packaging. 

Case in point, their Body Wash Refills are made from a unique paper composition that you can compost at home where it fully biodegrades within 26 weeks at ambient temperatures. With no soil ecotoxicity, the refillable pouch basically reduces down to just water, CO2 and biomass, thus helping to create more healthy soil (something which the planet is severely lacking in!).  

The Body Wash itself is 100% vegan, natural and cruelty-free. Free from a long list of nasties including parabens, sulphates, silicones, artificial fragrances and mineral oils/petroleums, the Body Washes are available in four enticing scents and I absolutely love the fresh and uplifting fragrance of Wild Mint & Eucalyptus; the perfect scent to help wake you up first thing in the morning!

You can purchase the refills for £10 for a one-off purchase, or subscribe and save for £8. If you don't have a bottle with a pump at home, you can also purchase a Proverb branded 'keep' Bottle for £5, available in on-trend neutral grey and white to suit your bathroom decor. 

Shop online at

Are you cutting down on your bathroom plastic waste?

Beauty Empties: Products I've Used Up

Friday 2 December 2022

 Beauty Empties: Products I've Used Up

It's time for another Beauty Empties round-up where I share the products I've recently used up and say which ones I'll be repurchasing again. Well, you guys know the drill by now! Let's jump straight in.

Moi Vert Liquid Soap in Lemongrass(reviewed here)
There's always a liquid Castille-type soap of some kind in my bathroom and I love their amazing multipurpose qualities. From hand-washing to cleaning makeup brushes (and floors!), they are a concentrated and natural way to clean pretty much everything so a little goes a long way. I enjoyed the fresh Lemongrass scent of this one in particular. Repurchase? Definitely.

Beauty Empties: Products I've Used Up
Evolve Organic Beauty Micellar Water* (reviewed here)
I tend to wear a lot of waterproof eyeliner and mascara so a high-quality micellar water is a must-have. Evolve's version is 100% natural, vegan, cruelty-free, and doesn't cause any irritation. It simply feels like a gentle, but effective, water that removes all traces of makeup. The glass bottle is also a good option for those who are looking to reduce their plastic waste. Repurchase? Yes.

Absolute Aromas Soothe Epsom Salts* (reviewed here)
Another bathroom essential, I always have a bag or two of Epsom Salts somewhere! These magnesium-rich salts work like magic on tired and aching muscles; the perfect remedy post-workout or simply to help you relax after a long day. Absolute Aromas have a lovely range with some gorgeous scents including this Soothe blend. Repurchase? Yes.

Butterwhips Warmly Relaxing Body Butter* (reviewed here)
Only recently reviewed, I've fallen so much in love with this luxuriously thick and heavenly whipped body butter that I haven't been using anything else. With 97% organic ingredients, this cruelty-free beauty is plastic-free and delicately scented with bergamot and lavender essential oils for a relaxing natural fragrance. Repurchase? On my list!

Beauty Empties: Products I've Used Up
Holistica Balance Crystal Mist
I'm pretty sure that this came into my life via a wellness / natural beauty box of some kind? It's a fab toner spritz with lots of calming properties, making it ideal for red or irritated skin. Repurchase? I believe it's discontinued :(

Haruharu Wonder Honey Green Aqua Bomb Cream
I need to cut the tube in half to properly finish this off but I thought I'd sneak it into this Empties post as it's 99% done. This is a great daily moisturiser from a cruelty-free Korean brand, that's super hydrating and has a nice plumping effect. For a tenner, it's amazing value for money, although the ingredients are not 100% natural. Repurchase? I've gone back to using Skin & Me for now, but I may pick this up again in the future.

Balance Me Flash Cleanse Micellar Water (travel size)
This was good to try from a beauty box, but I prefer the Evolve Micellar Water above as it's more effective. I felt like I needed to use a lot of this product to properly remove my makeup. Repurchase? No.

Nourish Balance Nutritious Peptide Serum* (travel size)
A gorgeous balancing serum for combination skin that works a treat and helps to reduce the appearance of large pores. I was very sad to come to this end of this travel size bottle! Repurchase? Definitely.

Beauty Empties: Products I've Used Up
Bloomtown Botanicals The Meadow Infused Oil Roll On*
I'm a huge fan of Bloomtown Botanicals and their range of Infused Oil Roll-Ons are some of the best in the aromatheraphy beauty world. They're also an absolute steal at just £6 and last forever. The Meadow is the brand's sleep and relax blend, so it's lovely and calming to apply to your pulse points before going to bed. Repurchase? Yes.

Antipodes Avocado Pear Nourishing Night Cream (travel size)
Whilst this is a beautiful nourishing night cream, it's a little too rich and heavy for my combination skin unfortunately, so I ended up using the rest of it as a hand cream. If you have dry skin though, be sure to check it out! Repurchase? Sadly not for me.

Marcelle Curling & Lenghtening Mascara (travel size)
From a beauty box, I'm not sure this brand is available in the UK, but this is a really good mascara that holds a curl well and doesn't smudge or flake. Repurchase? If I can find it!

What beauty products have you used up recently?

Refillable Beauty: Salt Of The Earth Refillable Natural Deodorants review

Tuesday 29 November 2022

 Salt Of The Earth Refillable Natural Deodorants review

Refillable beauty is a great way to help reduce your carbon footprint, and these Salt Of The Earth refillable natural deodorants are absolutely brilliant for those who don't like the solid stick or bar formats.

Fun fact: Salt Of The Earth was the very first natural deodorant brand that I ever tried (in fact, you'll see them mentioned in an early Empties post from ten years ago in 2012 here!). Back then, they were famous for their crystal rock deodorants which you used to wet under the tap and then apply to your pits, and every single hippy and like-minded student that I knew used them.

Fast forward to the present day and I'm pleased to say that Salt Of The Earth has not only stood the test of time, but they have expanded their product range significantly. Their strong eco ethos remains as their deodorants are still 100% natural and of course, are certified cruelty-free and vegan-friendly too.

They have become popular in the refillable beauty market so let's take a closer look at these unique natural deodorants.

Salt Of The Earth Refillable Natural Deodorants review
Why Refillable Beauty?
If you think about how much plastic can be saved if everyone switches to refillable options, the planet would be in a far better shape than it is now! And even if only a handful of conscious consumers made the switch, we'd still see a huge reduction in the amount of plastic waste clogging up our landfill sites and oceans as one of these refillable roll-ons uses a whopping 65% less plastic than seven non-refillable tubes. Not only is it more eco-friendly, but purchasing refills is actually cheaper too so your bank balance will thank you as well!

Salt Of The Earth Refillable Natural Deodorants
I tried out the new roll-on versions of these refillable deodorants in the scents Peony Blossom and Vetiver & Citrus. Made in the UK, they feature an improved formula that boasts extra moisturising properties for quicker absorption and increased protection against body odour so they keep you smelling fresher for longer. The 100% natural ingredients formula contains key players such as Aloe Vera, Sodium Lactate, and Magnesium Chloride, and with no white marks, they are quick and easy to apply just like a regular roll-on. What's not to love?! 

Shop the full range at 

Are you a fan of refillable beauty options?

Foodie Friday: Hip Pop Organic Kombucha review #GutHealth

Friday 18 November 2022

 Hip Pop Kombucha review

With so many brands of kombucha on the market, health-conscious consumers are truly spoilt for choice so I would always recommend shopping from the huge variety of smaller indie brands. One such brand that I've fallen in love with is Hip Pop.

What Is Kombucha?
First things first though, if you have heard the name kombucha, but don't actually know what it is or you haven't tried it before, here's a quick rundown. Kombucha is the name for fermented tea that's naturally sparkling. It's been around for a long time, with some estimates suggesting 2,000 years with its origins coming from China. 

Why Is Kombucha Healthy?
Kombucha is made by brewing tea, usually black tea, with sugar and allowing it to ferment with the 'mother', or a SCOBY. This is a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast that contains lots of prebioticsprobiotics, antioxidants & enzymes which are useful for keeping the gut healthy. And don't worry about the sugar content; the sugar is only needed to 'feed' the healthy bacteria, so by the time it's fermented, the kombucha drink will actually be low in sugar.

Hip Pop Kombucha review
Why Is Hip Pop Kombucha Different?
As I mentioned earlier, the kombucha drinks market has exploded in recent years and the choice out there is simply astounding, plus it's a fun and interesting process to 'brew your own booch' at home too (I do this pretty regularly!). Hip Pop is brewed in small batches on a farm in Cheshire, in a traditional craft way (similar to artisan beers and ciders). It's also one of the few brands in the world which use a bacteria called Bacillus Coagulans which has undergone specific scientific studies to assess its natural gut-friendly properties, so you can be assured that there are plenty of live cultures in each can/bottle of their kombucha.

Hip Pop has a range of award-winning flavours available and all of their products are vegan-friendly, gluten-free, and dairy-free. They only use natural ingredients so you get a really lovely fresh and authentic taste with no added sweeteners.

Hip Pop Kombucha review
Apple & Elderflower
This one is the closest to what most people would describe as a 'tangy Appletiser' but without all the sugar. The subtle floral hint of Elderflower compliments the apple flavour perfectly.

Blueberry & Ginger
If you love blueberries and ginger, then, of course, you will love this. Delicately fruity with a subtle kick of ginger to liven up your tastebuds.

Strawberry & Pineapple
For those who are new to kombucha, I would recommend trying this flavour first as it's the one which is the least tangy in my opinion and tastes the most similar to a healthy fruity soft drink.

Ginger & Yuzu
A truly unique and interesting flavour, this is a strong and citrusy drink that's incredibly refreshing with a good balance of sour tanginess and fiery ginger notes.

Shop the full range at

Are you a fan of kombucha?

Beauty Tips: Adding Some Luxury To Your Nightly Beauty Routine

Thursday 17 November 2022


Having a nightly beauty routine can allow you to have a bit of pampering at home, while hopefully keeping you feeling good about yourself. This could involve paying attention to your face, skin, hair, or nails, as well as general well-being. Adding a bit of luxury could remind you that, no matter how busy you are, you are certainly worth the effort you put in. This could also allow you to enjoy your beauty routine even more, as well as to make certain aspects of it significantly easier.

Improve your bathroom fixtures

Being able to see what you’re doing, clean yourself, and even store your products can be incredibly important. The installation of a new vanity unit could help to tick all of these boxes. A new sink basin could allow you to brush your teeth, floss, and remove makeup and other debris from your skin. A mirror hung above it, matching its décor, could be ideal for checking that you haven’t missed anywhere, as well as dealing with trickier tasks such as administering eye drops. Matching cupboards affixed to the basin may help to really transform a small bathroom, allowing you to maximise the space available and keep your products out of sight.

Upgrade your products

To keep your skin fairly smooth, reduce wrinkles, and even promote more collagen, you may have a number of products you like to use. Keeping an eye on their expiration dates may help to prevent damage to your skin. When you want to replace products, you might want to look for some key active ingredients that can have more of an effect while feeling rather luxurious. Additions such as hyaluronic acid and even real gold could lead to a noticeable improvement in the quality of your skin. Buying known products, rather than knock-off brands that may be available at a lower cost, can be a good idea as you may then be able to trust in what you are using and reduce the likelihood of adverse reactions due to poor quality.

Think about your sleep

You may already have a sleep routine in place that helps to keep insomnia and stress at bay. While that is a great idea, it can also be useful to think about the ways you can maintain or improve your hair and skin while you sleep. Using standard cotton pillowcases may be comfortable, but this can also cause oils to become deposited within your skin. At the same time, the roughness of the fibres can lead to unnecessary breakage in your hair. Sleeping on a silk pillowcase could help to prevent this from occurring. You may find that, after a while of doing so, your hair may be less frizzy in the morning, especially if it is naturally curly, and your face is subject to far fewer breakouts than before.

Having a nightly beauty routine may be just as important as a morning one. By imbuing it with a bit of luxury, you may be able to feel more pampered before bed.

Currently Loving: Naturisimo - The Ultimate Makeup Discovery Box review

Saturday 12 November 2022

 Naturisimo - The Ultimate Makeup Discovery Box review

Earlier this week, the online beauty retailer Naturisimo, released The Ultimate Makeup Discovery Box which, unsurprisingly, sold out very quickly. I was lucky enough to get my hands on one and it's the best beauty bargain of the year so far!

Naturisimo - The Ultimate Makeup Discovery Box review
Naturisimo - The Ultimate Makeup Discovery Box review
The Ultimate Makeup Discovery Box is a special one-off 8-piece clean makeup edit which features some of the biggest brand names in the industry such as Kjaer Weis, Jillian Dempsey, ILIA, RMS Beauty and more. With four full-size products, the box is worth a whopping £161 and cost just £22 to purchase from Naturisimo.

I'm sure you'll all like to find out more about the contents and I've included some swatches of the main items as well - enjoy!

RMS Re Evolve Radiance Locking Primer
RMS Beauty Re Evolve Radiance Locking Primer (travel size)

First up, every great makeup look requires a good primer base and this travel size of RMS Beauty Re Evolve Radiance Locking Primer ticks all the right boxes. It has an innovative, weightless formula which not only helps to grip makeup and keep it in place all day long, but also locks in essential moisture. 

Pai Skincare The Impossible Glow in Champagne
Pai Skincare The Impossible Glow in Champagne (travel size)

I'm a sucker for a gorgeous liquid highlighter and they don't come much more gorgeous than Pai's The Impossible Glow. For the most beautiful dewy glow, simply mix a few drops into your moisturiser, or add directly to the skin for a more intense highlight. This golden champagne shade is universally flattering and perfect for the upcoming party season!

Jillian Dempsey Lid Tint in Peach
Jillian Dempsey Lid Tint in Peach (full size)

Jillian Dempsey is a celebrity makeup artist that I've come across many times, yet this is the first opportunity that I've had to try one of her products. These Lid Tints have something of a cult following and are packed full of organic ingredients. A peach shade is great for busy mornings when you just want a quick finger-swipe of colour across the lids, and given the creamy compact nature, I'm wondering if this will translate well as a lip and cheek product too?

Ere Perez Jojoba Eye Pencil in Black
Ere Perez Jojoba Oil Eye Pencil in Black (full size)

It may not be the most exciting item in this box, but you can't go wrong with a straight up black eyeliner pencil, nor can you ever have too many of them, can you? I've had the pleasure of trying out many Ere Perez products over the years and they are always fantastic quality. This eyeliner pencil is infused with Jojoba Oil for a creamy and easy application that doesn't drag on the delicate eye area.

ILIA Limitless Lash Mascara
ILIA Limitless Lash Mascara (travel size)

You guys know that I'm a massive mascara junkie so I was of course delighted to discover a travel size tube of ILIA Limitless Lash Mascara. ILIA are another clean makeup brand that I can't get enough of (their Lipsticks are particularly beautiful) and I have high hopes for this mascara which promises to lentghen, curl and volume, without flaking.

Kjaer Weis Flush & Glow Duo in Sunlit Glow
Kjaer Weis Flush & Glow Duo in Sunlit Glow (full size)

The star of the box is without a doubt the full-size Kjaer Weis Flush & Glow Duo which is worth £40 on its own! If you haven't held one of Kjaer Weis' weighty metal compacts in your hand, then I urge you to add it to your Christmas wishlist; they are true works of art and refillable so you can treasure them forever. Back to this product which features a cream blush and bronzer in Sunlit Glow, this compact is super easy to work with and blends like a dream.

Vapour Beauty Lip Nectar in Tempest
Vapour Beauty Lip Nectar in Tempest (full size)

A makeup discovery box is not complete without a lipstick and wow, what a beauty this one is! Vapour Lip Nectar is a moisture-rich lippy packed full of nourishing organic ingredients so it glides on effortlessly and feels wonderfully hydrated; a fab choice for Winter. The shade Tempest looks quite dark in the bullet, but it's actually very light and buildable as you can see in the swatches below.

Swatches! From top to bottom: Pai The Impossible Glow in Champagne, Jillian Dempsey Lid Tint in Peach, Ere Perez Jojoba Oil Eye Pencil in Black, Kjaer Weis Flush & Glow Duo in Sunlit Glow and Vapour Beauty Lip Nectar in Tempest

SBTRCT Makeup Melt
SBTRCT Makeup Melt (travel size)

A new-to-me brand, SBTRCT specialise in solid, plastic-free skincare and their Makeup Melt is a gentle but effective bar that melts away all traces of makeup when you add a little warm water to it. I love the smell of this and will definitely be checking out more from this interesting brand in the near future.

RMS Beauty Re Evolve Natural Finish Foundation Sample Card
RMS Beauty Re Evolve Natural Finish Foundation Sample Card

As an added bonus, there's an RMS Beauty Re Evolve Natural Finish Foundation Sample Card where you can try four shades of their latest foundation - 22 looks like my ideal shade!

Keep an eye out for future Discovery Boxes exclusively at

Health & Lifestyle: Revive Collagen - Premium Vegan Collagen Drink Supplement review

Thursday 10 November 2022

 Revive Collagen - Premium Vegan Collagen Drink Supplement review

A couple of months ago, I reviewed Revive Collagen Original Collagen Supplements, and I was asked by a couple of my regular readers if I knew of any vegan-friendly versions. Well, guess what?! Revive has recently launched the world's first clinically proven vegan collagen!

With more and more people turning to a plant-based diet for either personal, ethical, or environmental reasons (or all of the above), it makes sense for there to be a vegan version of pretty much everything out there these days. However, sometimes this takes time to come to fruition, but lo and behold, Revive have well and truly cracked it with a liquid vegan collagen supplement drink. This is currently the only product of its kind in the world which identically mimics human type 1 collagen.

Recommended by the famous consultant dermatologist, Dr. Alhia Ahmed and Harley Street nutritionist, Clarissa Lenherr, this new product has been clinically proven to work in trials with 80% of participants saying it made a noticeable improvement to their skin. In vitro trials also showed that Revive Collagen's vegan ingredients increased collagen production by 134.97% - that's pretty impressive!

What's In It?

Each liquid supplement drink contains 2500mg of Revive's VeCollal Blend which is a 100% vegan-friendly and sustainable alternative to animal-sourced collagen. There's also a whole host of essential vitamins such as Vitamin A (Retinol), B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7 (Biotin), B9, C, E, and D3, plus 10mg of Panax Ginseng to help support natural energy levels.

Revive Collagen - Premium Vegan Collagen Drink Supplement review

How To Use

Consume one sachet per day, either direct from the sachet or add it to a small glass of water. This supplement has a pleasant Raspberry flavour so I've been taking it straight from the sachet, first thing in the morning before I eat anything.

Overall Thoughts

I have seen so many people online ask about vegan collagen supplements that it's amazing to finally be able to provide them with a solution, and one that truly exceeds all expectations. Described as 'the most efficacious and bioavailable liquid vegan collagen that exists' – this liquid supplement drink has a 95% absorption rate compared to tablets (30%) and Revive Collagen Vegan’s ingredients bypass digestion so that you reap the rewards quickly and efficiently.

The addition of the Panax Ginseng, along with the spectrum of essential vitamins, makes this what I would call a 'Collagen plus' supplement, and is a worthy addition to anyone's daily routine for better overall skin and health.

Shop Revive Vegan Collagen* (14 sachets, £37.99)
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