Thursday, 23 September 2021

Cult Beauty: The Cult Conscious Edit

I can never resist a Cult Beauty box and their recent one - The Cult Conscious Edit is fantastic! At time going to press there was still some left! Costing £40 with 10 items both full and travel size and with 8 of them being new to me items with 4 new-to-me brands - excitement much!

It's absolutely stuffed full! Reviews to come.

15ml @versed The Shortcut Overnight Facial Peel
50ml @disciplelondon Juicy Mist
30ml @omorovicza Cleansing Foam
30g @sandandskyresults Superbounce Mask
15ml @aurelialondon Revitalise + Glow Serum
5.5g @hourglasscosmetics Caution Extreme Lash Mascara
3g @danessa_myricks Beauty Dew Wet Balm
15ml @officialmedik8 Illuminating Eye Balm
180ml @larrykinghaircare Liquid Hairbrush Conditioner
50ml @renskincare Overnight Glow Dark Spot Sleeping Cream

Did you pick one up?

Saturday, 18 September 2021

Good Housekeeping - The Green Beauty Box

As a subscriber of Red magazine they recently offered their subscribers Good Housekeeping's The Green Beauty Box for £48 instead of £60 with free p&p. It's such good value! Inside is 18 full and travel sizes. The box is worth a whopping £274. (there is of course a few items I won't use which I'll pass along). You also get a digital 12 month access to Good Housekeeping mag.


I was especially excited to see Earthkind's Organic Oats Conditioning Bar (full size - 50g - £8.95) as I'm a huge fan of the brand + this had been on my wishlist. Also inside the box is their Shampoo Bar Dry + Coloured Hair (Bergamot + Sage) (full size - 50g - £6.95). Always happy to have a back-up. See my review HERE. There's also a full size of Scentered's De-Stress Aromatherapy Balm (5g - £14.90). I've tried this before and it really does calm a stressed mind!

I'm a huge fan of Floral Street perfumes, my fav is Electric Rhubarb). Inside is their Mini Discovery Set Light (5 x 1.5ml £9) which is the perfect try-me set. See my review HERE.  From Temple Spa is a 30ml AAAHHH! Foot + Limb Moisturising Cream Balm worth £4. There's also pocket tissues from The Cheeky Panda which are plastic free and made of bamboo. These are worth a quid.

There's a Bellapierre Brown Eyed Girl Palette which is full size and worth £28.99. All the shades look pretty wearable. I especially like the sparkly one - perfect for Christmas parties! I don't use liquid liner + am quite fussy about my mascaras so these two will be passed along. The eyeko Skinny Liquid eye liner is 1.2g and worth £9. The Body Collection Big Volume Black Mascara is full size 12ml and worth £2.50.

From Lumene is their Nordic Ageless [AJATON] Radiant Pressed Serum 15ml which is worth £13.50. It smell really nice and has a gel like texture. Looking forward to trying it. I recently tried Florena Fermented Skincare and inside the box is their Regenerating Facial Oil 30ml (full size) worth £24.99. Totally new-to-me is Neo Sephiri and inside is their Pure Kalahari Melon Facial Oil 5ml which is worth £19. Looking forward to trying it!

From Codex is 20ml of their Bia Skin Superfood 20ml which is worth £12.80. Nice to see Skin & Tonic's Plump Up Hydration Serum 20ml £18.60 in there too. REN's Overnight Glow Dark Spot Sleeping Cream mini 10ml is worth £9.80. It was also fab to see Ecooking's Fragrance Free Day Cream 50ml (full size) which is worth £32. From Balance Me is 10ml (£10) of their fantastic Hyaluronic Plumping Mist. Rounding up the box is (another one I'll pass on) is Garnier's Organic Rosy Glow 3-in-1 Youth Cream 50ml (full size) and worth £8.99. Also some of the brands are offering discount codes, some of which are valid until the end of the year (and in some cases beyond). Pick yours up HERE.

Friday, 17 September 2021

*Love Lula: Organic September - Neal's Yard Remedies

*Sent to me as a Love Lula Accredited Blogger for an honest review. As you'll probably know I've been theming my picks this year:

January - SLEEP,  February LOVEMarch - AWAKENApril - BLOSSOMMay - FORAGE


This month it had to be Organic September - a month long campaign which raises awareness of the many benefits of organic food, farming and beauty. Read more about it here. This month I picked Neal's Yard Remedies, a brand which has been around since 1981! Organic + Soil Association Certified (and one of the 1st Green beauty brands I tried). I chose two products which are new in at Love Lula:

I love the iconic blue glass bottles! The first item I selected was Wild Rose AHA Toner 200ml - £18* which gently refines the skin. It's formulated with a natural source of AHA and can be used daily. Formulated with organic wild rose rosehip seed oil, caviar lime fruit extract + citric acid to exfoliate while organic aloe vera + glycerine hydrate. Skin is left soft, smooth and glowing.

To use: use AM and PM after cleansing using a cotton pad in a sweeping motion, avoiding the eye area

I've been really enjoying using this gentle AHA toner. It's got a nice rosy floral scent, it feels comfortable on the skin and I've found my skin looks brighter, softer and less dull. It's a winner for me!

I also selected Wild Rose Glow Facial Oil 30ml - £28* which while a light textured oil intensely nourishes and replenishes the skin. Formulated with organic wild rosehip seed oil which restores + renews, naturally derived olive leaf extracts to replenish + hydrate along with light oils which condition + refine. Skin is positively glowing + healthy looking. 

To use: apply a few drops with your fingertips, massaging in with upward circular motions. Use alone or follow with moisturiser

My autumnal skin has been loving this delicious nectar which has a floral + herbal scent. My skin feels soft + hydrated with a radiant glow! What products have you been picking for Organic September?

Tuesday, 14 September 2021

*Love Lula Beauty Box: September 2021

My September Love Lula Beauty Box arrived on Saturday. This month is absolutely fantastic! I receive the monthly box free of charge as a Love Lula Accredited Blogger for an honest review (subscribers also get a very generous 20% off the brands in the box). The first item to jump out at me was a very wearable Cacao Lip Colour from Ere Perez  in shade "Sway", a pink/mauve nude which is absolutely gorgeous! This is a full size product (3.5g - £21). It adds the perfect pop of moisturising colour to the lips. It's total love!

It was also great to see a brand new product from Glossworks - their luscious and zesty Cuticle Balm (15g - £12). It'll nourish the driest of cuticles (and nails). Another win! A review will follow. 

So nice too to see a Madara product back in the box! Inside is a 20ml of their Time Miracle Total Renewal Night Cream Travel size (£18) which is rich and nutritious - perfect for nourishing autumnal skin! It'll rejuvenate and replenish the skin while you sleep.

Rounding up this fab box is Ayumi's Sandalwood Face Cream (100ml - £6.99) which absorbs instantly. It's got an aromatic spicy aroma and feels slightly soothing as well as moisturising on the skin. I'm looking forward to testing it out!

Are you a subscriber? What are your thoughts on the box this month?

Friday, 10 September 2021

nknaturals: Seasonal Specific Skincare: Summer

I'm still holding onto summer! The equinox falls on 22 September which signals the start of Autumn. I've been enjoying two products from nknaturals Summer range.

I'm a huge fan of nknaturals Botanical Mists and I've been enjoying Summer Copper Distilled Botanical Mist (50ml - £15) which has been specifically formulated for the summer months. I especially found it refreshing over the hot days in July and even into September too! It's got a beautiful refreshing neroli orange aroma and is perfect to refresh the skin, body and mind.

To use: spritz onto the skin after cleansing or the body to refesh.

Summer's Deep Steam Salt Infusion (120ml - £15) looks gorgeous and smells amazing. Use this mix of air dried rose petals, vanilla pod, seabuckthorn berries, Sea and Himalayan salts for salt steam distillation which removes pollution, drawing out bacteria and impurities from the skin. 

To use: boil the kettle and pour a small amount into a heatproof bowl then add a tsp of salt infusion. Lean over the bowl with a towel over your head and let the salts work their magic! See my fuller post on this product HERE.

As ever, a stunning range which cares for the skin and enlivens the senses. Looking forward to delving into the Autumn collection soon!

Tuesday, 7 September 2021

Latest Buys: Nudge Boutique, Abbey Perfumery, Hetkinen, Organic Youth Skincare + Noble Isle

Here are my latest buys from the end of August and into September:

I fell head-over-heels for Nudge Boutique's newest launch the glorious Saffron Glow Dry Body Oil Neroli & Vanilla which starts at a very affordable £10 for 30ml. Review soon!

I came across the amazing Abbey Perfumery on instagram and couldn't resist Kindled Rose EdP 10ml, which is so affordable. 10ml costs £8.50 plus p&p (free if you spend £40). Kindled Rose is an exquisite blend of rose, clove and oud and is perfect if you're partial to Jo Malone! A review to come.

Sadly Koti Lifestyle are closing their online doors to go onto different things. I saw on instagram they were having a half price sale. I bought two Hetkinen soaps with soap dish. Being half price I got two for the normal price of one! A steal!

I first tried Organic Youth Skincare when I won a giveaway - see my post HERE. I fell in love with their rich and aromatic Escape Organic Bath & Body Oil. It's a considered purchase as it's £42 for 100ml (get 10% off your 1st order if you sign up to their mailing list). A similar aroma to the body oil by Nudge Boutique but enhanced with a touch more vanilla, jasmine & sandalwood as well as sweet orange. Again, a review to come.

During the recent Bank Holiday and to celebrate their new website, Noble Isle were offering a special summer super pack of 2 x 250ml Hand Washes (Rhubarb Rhubarb! + Whisky + Water) and 2 x 250ml Bath & Shower gels (Summer Rising + Scot's Pine), presented in a gorgeous branded reusable box. This cost £60 instead of £80. If you spent over £50 you got a free 250ml of their Golden Harvest Bath & Shower Gel worth £21 plus a 30ml trial size of your choice - I picked Wild Samphire Hand Wash which I'll pop in my bag and use when out-and-about! 

What have you been buying lately?

Saturday, 4 September 2021

*Blog Tour: The Man on Hackpen Hill by J S Monroe

I received a copy of the book complimentary to enable me to take part in the blog tour. Today it's my stop for the fantastic The Man on Hackpen Hill by J S Monroe.

It isn't unusual for crop circles to appear overnight on Hackpen Hill. In this part of Wiltshire, where golden wheat fields stretch for miles, the locals have got used to discovering strange mathematical patterns stamped into the earth.

But this time, it's different. Not only because this particular design of dramatic spiralling hexagons has never been seen before. But because of the dead body positioned precisely in the centre of the circle. DI Silas Hart, of Swindon Police, is at a loss.

Only Jim, a scientist at secretive government laboratory Porton Down, knows the chilling truth about the man on Hackpen Hill. And he wants Bella, a trainee journalist on her first ever story, to tell the world. But Silas has other ideas – and a boss intent on a cover up.

As Bella and Jim race against time, dark forces conspire against them, leading them to confront the reality of their own past and a world in which nothing is as it seems.

An original, intelligent and twisty thriller set in rural Wiltshire. A dead body in a crop circle sends a coded message. Can DI Silas Hart uncover the chilling truth before it's too late?

About the author:

J.S. Monroe read English at Cambridge, worked as a foreign correspondent in Delhi, and was Weekend editor of the Daily Telegraph in London before becoming a full-time writer. His psychological thriller Find Me became a bestseller in 2017, and under the name Jon Stock, he is also the author of five spy thrillers. He lives in Wiltshire, with his wife and children.

My thoughts?

Unusual mathematical crop circles are found in the golden wheat fields on Hackpen Hill. There is a body placed in the middle of each one and that person has met their death in an unusual way. DI Silas Hart & his partner Strover have to carefully investigate these deaths and come up with more questions than answers.

Scientist Jim who works at secret Government Lab, Porton Down believes he knows what happened and is keen for rookie journo, Bella to write his story. What follows is a twisty tale which is told from the viewpoints of Silas, Jim and Bella. Nearer the conclusion to the story we find the characters of Jim and Bella are not all they seem...

An un-put-downable read which I really enjoyed.

Tuesday, 31 August 2021

August Book Round-Up

Here's what I've been reading in August. If a book is marked * I've kindly received it via the publisher or author directly or via Netgalley. 

The Source by Sarah Sultoon - the story is told over two time lines and are cleverly interwoven, even if the story is at times hard to read. We meet Carly, who is 13 and lives at home with her alcoholic mother and little sister, Kayleigh. Her brother is a squaddie at the local army base and he suggests that she and her pal Rach come over to the barracks and hang out. 

In the future we meet Marie, an adult who works in London as a TV reporter. When the Met reopen a historic case on a sex trafficking ring she finds she has to confront things from her past. A gritty debut which is difficult to read.

*The Killing Tide - Rhona MacLeod #16 by Lin Anderson - I took part in the blog tour for this fast paced read. See my review HERE.

*Finding Suzy by David Videcette - huge thanks to the author for the ARC. We all remember estate agent Suzy Lamplugh going missing after supposedly showing a house to a Mr Kipper in July '86.

David Videcette, a former police officer and Caroline, his fellow investigator have meticulously investigated and researched what happened to Suzy that fateful day and have come up with a conclusion. 

I found the book well written and was quickly caught up in the "true crime" investigation as to things the police could have done but didn't, interviewing as many people as possible who were involved in the case originally as well as coming to conclusions of their own over a number of issues.

Totally fascinating and thought provoking, it's a must read.

*Rough by Rachel ThompsonI found myself nodding at a lot of the scenarios the author explores in the book. She conducted research and shares the stories of 50 woman and non binary people. The book covers the sexual violence we don't speak about that happens in nearly all our lives "the grey area".

Although not easy reading it's informative and thought provoking and there are chapters which I may go back to read again.

*The Box Hill Murders by B L Pearce (A DCI Rob Miller Mystery #4) - having loved books #1 and #2 I found I didn't connect to the 3rd book in the series.  I was however willing to give the fourth book a try and wasn't disappointed - it's twisty and keeps the reader interested throughout. I wish Rob wouldn't constantly "bark" orders though!

A cold case of the murder of 4 men who were left with the same 5 pointed star carved into their chests is re-opened when a young girl is caught up in a robbery's DNA is a partial match to saliva found on one of the victims. The race is on to find the killer. The story is twisty and kept me on the edge of my seat! It was also nice to catch up with Rob's pregnant girlfriend Jo and Trigger the dog. Would highly recommend & looking forward to book #5.

*The Cottage by Lisa StoneJan Hamlin looses her job and her boyfriend finishes with her. She answers an ad to live in a secluded cottage backing onto woods for a low rent on the proviso of looking after the owner's dog while she's away. The cottage is lovely.... in the daylight but when the very dark nights creep in Jan gets scared. It's so quiet for a city girl and she when hears the slightest noise like the tapping on the window and the strange noises from the garden and forest send her imagination into overdrive.

Running alongside is a story about a couple called Ian and Emma who have tragically lost two children during childbirth. Ian plans to find out all he can about their DNA and why their children are stillborn. The stories are loosely interweaved and things become clearer as the story progresses.

I found it a creepy read and it's got a twist at the end I didn't see coming. Would recommend.

*The Man on Hackpen Hill by J S Monroe - I'm taking part in the blog tour in early September for this unputdownable & twisty read so catch my review then.

Awaiting publication:

*The Fair Botanists by Sara Sheridan - I fell head-over-heels for this book & Belle! It's the summer of 1822 in Edinburgh and King George IV might come for a visit in late summer. His right hand man, Johann is already there to oversee the possible programme of events which might take place. Also arriving is newly widowed Elizabeth Rocheid who has been invited to stay with her late husband's ageing Aunt Clementina at her home in Inverleith which borders the new Botanical Garden.

Much excitement is to be had with the move of the trees from the former gardens at Leith as well as the fact that the century plant - an Agave Americana is set to flower. The seeds have been promised to many and Head Gardener, Mr McNab is getting anxious. Elizabeth introduces herself and having drawn for Kew offers her services. She's over the moon about her new start and exciting adventures in Edinburgh.

Belle Brodie, is a beautiful young woman in charge of her own life, who apart from being a courtesan, has a keen interest in botany and creates and formulates perfumes and potions with the help of a promising young lad, Edzel, whom she's helping to get into medical school. She's also extremely interested in the blooms from the plant. I totally fell in love with fiery and determined Belle who knows exactly what she wants.

Belle and Elizabeth meet and form a firm friendship which has its good and bad times. Belle invites Elizabeth on a trip to Ratho (one which takes 2hrs there and back!) Blind Mhairi MacDonald also assists Belle with her big life changing project as she's got an uncanny sense of smell. I also liked how Elizabeth grows into her own as the story progresses.
It's a beautiful read with characters I grew to love, historical content I found interesting and I loved the real life characters whose lives are interwoven into the story. I absolutely loved this richly drawn and meticulously researched story and highly recommend it (I could actually quite honestly say it's my favourite book this year so far).

What have you been reading this month?

Monday, 30 August 2021

August: Lately I've Been Loving

So many August loves! We had a 4 night break this month which was lovely (though it rained most of the time!) Here's what I've been loving in August:

In my opinion, Tonic in Edinburgh make the best Porn Star Martini!

A two night stay at Northcote was simply amazing. The perfect start to our mini break. Our Junior Suite was lovely, very luxurious! Amazing food too!

We paid a visit to Holmes Mill in Clitheroe and enjoyed browsing the Food Hall. 

We also stayed two nights in the Scottish Borders and it was great to visit Main St Trading Co in St Boswells again! 

Hubby surprised me with a personalised Delicious Mag cookbook! It's stuffed full of wonderful recipes.

I was delighted to win Herbfarmacy's giveaway of their new Citrus Hand & Body Lotion. A review will come! It's lovey.

I couldn't resist Nudge Boutique's new product Saffron Glow Dry Body Oil. I picked the small size. You know the drill. Loved it and needed full size! It's a beautiful blend scented with Neroli, Orange & Vanilla. Simply sublime!

A new hairdo at Bau Hair - I absolutely love it!

Going to the 2nd Faldonside Farmers Market on Saturday - it was absolutely fantastic! The sun shone and squeals, I met Arabella & Charlotte from Raven Botanicals. It was So fab to meet them.

I picked up some gorgeous bits and pieces! I'm looking forward to lighting the tealights from Storm Coast, an East Lothian based candle maker who uses soy wax and essential oils - uhoh they all smell sensational on cold sniff!

What have you been loving in August?