Tuesday, 27 October 2020

October Empties

Here are my October empties, products marked with * I've kindly been gifted for review.

HASK Rose Oil & Peach Color Protect Deep Conditioner 50g - this was a LIB pick and I got two uses from the sachet. Nice to use and does what it says on the tin (beautiful scent too). Will pick up again.

rahua Shower Gel 22ml - nice enough but hasn't got the wow factor of some of their other products. Wouldn't purchase.

*Desavery DREAM Oil Cleanser 10ml - I first tried the brand as a Beauty Shortlist Judge last year and fell head-over-heels. This cleansing oil was no different. See my review HERE. I'll definitely buy at some point. An absolutely stunning brand.

Zing Organics Ah There! Body Oil 25ml - I love Zing and their quirkiness as well as their hardworking and effective products. This body oil was lush! See my review HERE. My bodycare stash is huge but I'd buy this again.

Avon Cannabis Sativa Oil Restore & Calm Hand and Body Balm 150ml - nice to use with a fresh herbal scent. It has a cream-balm type texture which melted onto the skin quickly. I've already bought another!

Avon Zen Mandarin & Jasmine Handwash 280ml - cheap as chips with a glorious scent. This is my favourite Avon handwash which I buy again and again. I'd love if they'd consider doing a refill pack.

Sol de Janerio Coco Cabana Cream 25ml - nice-ish to use (it has a gel type texture rather than a cream) but not a patch on the original bum bum vanilla-y cream. Wouldn't buy.

rahua Leave-In Treatment 5ml sachet - this is one of the rahua goodies. Absolutely gorgeous product (you only need a tiny bit). I got four uses out of this sachet. Full size is on the wishlist!

My final item this month is a 0.7ml sachet from Decleor - their Aromessence Neroli Amara Oil Serum. I used to use Decleor so it was nice to revisit! 

What have you been using up this month?

Monday, 26 October 2020

*UK Giveaway: Bare & Bond Subscription Box + your chance to get your 1st Subscription box FREE (pay p&p)

 This is the first giveaway I've run in a long, long time! I've got a fantastic prize for one of my UK readers - you can win one of Bare & Bond's subscription boxes (one month which is worth £14.95). Read on, to find out how you can win....

Inside the box you'll find an 8.5ml spray bottle of Wash me in the Water EdP from niche Perfumer, Sarah McCartney of 4160Tuesdays. The boxes are beautifully presented (and letterbox friendly). You can read my thoughts on this actual box HERE (the outer box design has changed since then, but the subscription is just as incredible).

If you're not the lucky winner, I've got an incredible offer for you - get your first box for FREE, yes, that's right - all you need to do is pay for P&P (£3.50). Use this LINK and enter code BEAUTYBALM

To enter the UK Giveaway please enter via the Rafflecopter below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, 25 October 2020

*Love Lula: JOIK Organic Chocolate & Pink Clay Firm & Lift Facial Mask

 *sent to me as part of the Love Lula Accredited Blogger Program for an honest review. I'm a huge fan of lovely JOIK and it's featured many times on the blog. My blogger picks for October had a sort of "chocolate" theme this month - see my review of Skin Alchemist's The Chocolate Cove HERE.

JOIK Organic's Chocolate & Pink Clay Firm & Lift Facial Mask* (£23 - 75ml) has a delicious mouthwatering chocolate aroma! It's really lovely to use and takes masking to a whole new level! Rejuvenating, firming, lifting, toning, tightening and illuminating, it's perfect for tired and stressed skins although it's suitable for all skin types. 

Formulated with organic Cocoa Powder which is rich in Vitamins and helps with environmental damage, tightening and firming (and gives the mask the chocolate scent which fills you with "happy hormones" and it also helps to relieve tension and stress), fine textured White and Red Clays purify, Nordic Herbal extracts illuminate and tighten while Shea Butter and Sunflower Oil hydrate and nourish.

To use: apply to clean skin and leave on for 5-10 minutes before removing with a warmed cloth. Use once or twice a week - it doesn't dry hard but stays moist and the delectable chocolate aroma definitely satisfies any chocolate cravings!

My skin looks healthy, radiant and rejuvenated with fine lines and wrinkles smoothed. I've really enjoyed using this mask and would recommend! 

I don't think I've met a JOIK Organic product I've not enjoyed, what are your favourites from the brand?

Saturday, 24 October 2020

*Blog Tour: The Nesting by C J Cooke

 Today I'm on the blog tour for The Nesting by C J Cooke:

The grieving widower. The motherless daughters. A beautiful house in the woods. And a nanny comes to save the day...So what if Lexi isn’t telling the truth about who she is? Escaping to the remote snows of Norway was her lifeline. And all she wanted was to be a part of their lives. 

But soon, isolated in that cold, creaking house in the middle of ancient, whispering woods, Lexi's fairytale starts to turn into a nightmare. 

With darkness creeping in from the outside, Lexi’s fears are deepening. Lexi knows she needs to protect the children in her care. But protect them from what?

About the Author:

C.J. Cooke is an acclaimed, award winning poet, novelist and academic with numerous other publications under the name of Carolyn Jess Cooke. Born in Belfast, she has a PhD in Literature from Queen’s University, Belfast, and is currently Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow, where she researches creative writing interventions for mental health. 

She also founded the Stay At Home Festival.

My thoughts?

Lexi needs a new challenge, a fresh start. When she hears the girl on the train talking about a nannying job in Norway she finds herself quite randomly pretending to be "Sophie" and heads off to be nanny to little Gaia and baby Coco. When she gets there she finds herself in the middle of nowhere, with a reluctant housekeeper, a distant employer and two lovely little children, whose mother sadly and quite tragically recently died, having taken her own life.

Their dad, Tom is determined to finish Aurelia's dream home even though it's tearing him apart. What are the noises Lexi keeps hearing in the basement? Is there more to Aurelia's death that anyone's letting on? The diary Lexi finds makes her want to reach out - but to whom..

I loved the folklore and stories the author created interweaved between the pages, the icy and remote Norwegian setting, the stillness of the forest and the feeling that the house is alive. The story jumps between then and now so the reader gets the whole picture. I really enjoyed the story which had a few twists and turns I wasn't expecting. Would recommend.

Thursday, 22 October 2020

*Blog Tour: The Exiles by Christina Baker Kline

Today I'm on the blog tour for the fantastic The Exiles by Christina Baker Kline. I received an ARC to enable me to take part on the tour. I absolutely loved this book!

London,1840. Evangeline lost more than just her position as a governess when she was accused of stealing, realising she was pregnant by her employer’s son. Having languished in Newgate prison for months in her condition, she is now destined for a prison ship heading to Australia.

On board, Evangeline befriends Hazel, sentenced to seven years’ transport for theft. Soon Hazel's path will cross with an orphaned indigenous girl. Mathinna is 'adopted' by the new governor of Tasmania where the family treat her more like a curiosity than a child.

Amid hardships and cruelties, new life will take root in stolen soil, friendships will define lives, and some will find their place in a new society in the land beyond the seas.

About the Author:

Christina Baker Kline is the author of seven novels including the #1 New York Times bestseller Orphan Train. Her essays, articles and reviews have appeared in the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, Money, More and Psychology Today, among other publications. She lives in New York City and on the coast of Maine.

My thoughts?

The story is set in London in 1840, aboard a boat bound for Australia and in Australia itself. It's richly drawn and the author has thoroughly researched real life history effortlessly incorporating it into the story.

Governess and former Vicar's daughter, Evangeline finds herself pregnant and accused of theft and attempted murder. Before her eyes she's shipped off to Newgate Prison where her nightmare really begins.. She's sentenced to 14 years transportation and becomes friends with another convict, Hazel whom she teaches to read on the long hard voyage and Hazel in return shares her herbalist skills. She also becomes a friend of sorts to the ship's surgeon. When disaster strikes onboard (this part of the book really saddened me) Hazel is there to lend a hand.

Life is hard in Australia and at the Cascades Female Factory on Van Diemans Land in Hobart, Tasmania where the convicts do their time. Hazel meets aboriginal girl, Mathinna who is the Governor's wife's plaything until she grows tired of her. She thought nothing of tearing her away from her tribe and all that she knew just to please her.

When Hazel is betrayed she asks the doctor for help with Ruby, although the sailor from the voyage is biding his time for revenge.. I thought the ending was quite apt and I felt Ruby finally got closure. I really enjoyed the story which was sometimes heartbreakingly sad, interesting and had well rounded characters who I grew to care about. Would highly recommend.

Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Crush Body Fragrance Mist

I've got a huge love of Sol de Janeiro's original bum bum cream - I love it's delicious smooth texture and its creamy, buttery and sweet vanilla scent. I really want the perfume (they've now got an 8ml size, so it's definitely now affordable - £26, as opposed to £78 for 50ml). I've also got my eye on Biggie Biggie Bum Bum Cream 500ml - £72 (!) which comes out for Christmas (wonder how long that'd last!)

The Brazilian Crush Body Fragrance Mist (90ml - £18) has the exact scent of the bum bum cream (pistachio, caramel, exotic fruits, vanilla) making it a pleasure to use.  Just spritz and go! I find the smell really lingers all day long and makes me happy.

To use: spray over the body, on the hair or on clothes and lingerie! 

Are you a fan of the scent and products?

Tuesday, 20 October 2020

INIKA Organic: Phytofuse Renew Resveratrol Serum

I tried a sachet sample of INIKA Organic's Phytofuse Resveratrol Serum and fell in love and knew I needed full size! During a beauty box monthly promo I got 20% off the full price plus I used some points (£59 - 30ml), I paid £44.70 (which I earned 44 points for which I used on my next purchase - Love Lula offer such generous incentives!)

The serum is from INIKA Organic's latest launches - a 100% natural certified natural, vegan and organic botanical skincare range powered by Phytofuse Renew, which is a powerful extract from Rose of Jericho clinically known for it's healing and regenerating properties. The range has 5% active botanical ingredients (a percentage usually reserved for salon treatments only).

Phytofuse Renew Resveratrol Serum is a "miracle in a bottle" and contains 14 precious botanical oils which intensely nourish. Use under face oils and moisturisers to boost skincare results and revitalise your skin. It'll firm the skin, helping to improve collagen production, is anti-ageing, as it contains powerful bioactives which boost skin-cell regeneration as well as smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles, is anti-pollution as powerful antioxidants neutralise pollution induced free radicals during the night cycle.

To use: apply one-two pumps of the cream-serum onto face, neck and decolletage after cleansing before following with moisturiser or oil. Use AM and PM.

I love how glowy and luminous the serum makes my skin look. It's one of my favourites from the RANGE.

Monday, 19 October 2020

*Heavenly Organics Skin Care: Lavender Hand Balm

*I received Heavenly Organics Skin Care Lavender Hand Balm (worth £8 - 15g)* in the fantastic Autumn Happy Planet Box. See my initial musings HERE. I love the presentation in a cute little reusable tin.

The little flower shaped balm (isn't it cute!) is formulated with organic cocoa butter and shea butter and scented with soothing lavender essential oil. It's perfect to use on the go too! 

To use: take the balm out of the tin and rub over dry hands. The balm melts onto dry hands instantly making it easy to massage in. 

I'm really enjoying this! It's perfect for dry autumnal and winter hands, smells glorious and deeply nourishes. I've tried the foot version before (which is fabulous too!)

Sunday, 18 October 2020

Aromatherapy Associates - Revive Shower Oil

I was over the moon-and-then some when I received Aromatherapy Associates REVIVE Shower Oil 250ml (worth £26) in Latest in Beauty's (affiliate link) recent Stella Smart Beauty Awards Edit which I recently bought (it was one of the reasons I snapped up the box!)

I'm a huge fan of this luxurious brand and the shower oil is just fantastic. Aromatherapy Associates say "gently cleansing, luxuriously hydrating, powerfully therapeutic". It really does take showering to another level! 

To use: inhale deeply then apply to dry skin before stepping into the shower. Upon contact with water the oil becomes a milk and the scent awakens both the body and mind, leaving it feeling clean, nourished and smelling oh so good!

The scent awakens and enlivens and it's great to use in your morning shower to bring a spring to your step! Grapefruit, Rosemary and Juniper Berry essential oils give this shower oil a truly uplifting and aromatic scent. 

I'm totally smitten. What are your favourites from the brand?

Friday, 16 October 2020

*Odylique: Calming Rose Super Tonic

*AD-Gifted (as part of Odylique's blogger programme). I was so delighted to have Odylique's gorgeous award winning Calming Rose Super Tonic (50ml - £15)* back in my life! It really is one of the best rosy tonic/toners I've ever tried!

Odylique say "there is nothing quite like the refreshing feeling of organic rose petals misting onto your face" and that is exactly what it feels like when you try this tonic!  The Calming Rose Super Tonic can be used daily to tone or to refresh and cool down the skin in hot weather. 

Vegan, cruelty free and certified organic by The Soil Association the tonic cleanses, tones and balances the skin. It can also be used to moisturise the skin during hot spells of weather. It's extra-strength (not diluted with water) to enable the skin to really benefit from the special concentrated distillation of rose petal hydrolat which has been fortified with rose otto essential oil. It's also packed with antioxidant polyphenols and phytonutrients. 

It'll rejuvenate and revive both the skin and senses, stimulating cell regeneration, calming redness, hydrating and soothing the skin. 

To use: close your eyes and spritz over the skin after cleansing. The tonic can also be used to refresh on hot days or during a plane journey

It's been a real joy to revisit. What are your favourites from the range?

Thursday, 15 October 2020

*Vilana Natural Beauty

AD-gifted - I was recently sent a variety of products from Vilana Natural Beauty, a range of products created by Vilana Bagdone to her own recipes in Dunfermline, Fife.

Inside my package was their Purity Natural Shampoo Bar (£9.60 - 70g) which is in a heart shape. It'll gently cleanse and moisturise the hair leaving it clean, healthy and shiny. It's enriched with silk, Vitamin E and oat. Peppermint and Lemon essential oils give it a zingy scent as well as having antibacterial and antiseptic properties. 

To use: wet hair, rub the bar between wet palms to create a lather before massaging into the hair and scalp (this bar should last for at least 50 washes). I found my hair was smooth and tangle free.

Their Silk Appeal Hair Conditioner (£13 - 200ml) deeply nourishes the hair leaving it soft, smooth and healthy. It contains Lemongrass which I'm not hugely a fan of along with Lavender and Rosemary Essential Oils. The conditioner has a fluffy and creamy texture.

To use: spread over the hair concentrating on mid lengths and ends, leave on 2-5 minutes before rinsing. It can also be used as a treatment mask (leave on 15-20 minutes before thoroughly rinsing).

Their 'Luxurious Droplet' Natural Face Serum (£18 - 30ml)* is suitable for all skin types but especially dehydrated skins. Formulated with Hyaluronic Acid, ProVitamin B5, Vegan Glycerine, Essential Oils of Peppermint (it gives the serum a slight tingling feeling on the skin), Lavender and Ylang Ylang. It'll restore, regenerate and rejuvenate, reduce redness and irritation.

To use: Apply 3-5 drops in the evening (I found the serum had a thicker texture than most serums I've used) gently massaging onto the skin.

I'd definitely like to explore the range more as their Rose Cream and the Essential Oil Synergy Blends have caught my eye! Have you used anything from the range?

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

*Love Lula: Skin Alchemists The Chocolate Cove Nourishing Body Exfoliate

*Sent to me as a member of the Love Lula Accredited Blogger Program for honest review. I've tried several of Skin Alchemists lovely products before. I'd heard so many good things about The Chocolate Cove I was desperate to try it for myself! I'd tried The Gorgeous Soldier previously (review), so was expecting it to have the same almost edible scent but The Chocolate Cove (£28 -180g)* is spicy rather than chocolatey, although it does contain the same skin loving butters. The product is presented in a screw top recyclable/reusable pot.

What a gorgeous texture it has! Almost like sand. I love how easy it is to scoop out the pot (as opposed to The Gorgeous Soldier). The scent is spicy and aromatic. Essential oils of Ginger, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cardamon and Peppercorn oils are used in the formulation along with Pink Himalayan and Dead Sea Salts, Sweet Almond, Sunflower, Macadamia and Coconut Oils, Cacao Seed Butter, Coconut shell powder, Cacao Seed powder, plant derived Vit E and Vanilla extract.

To use: massage onto dry or wet skin before rinsing, or scrub it over your body before lying down in a warm bath for an indulgent treatment. I've also used it as a luxe hand scrub.

This is a lovely product, the perfect touch of luxury to your everyday routine. What are your favourites from the brand?

Tuesday, 13 October 2020

*Love Lula Beauty Box - October 2020

 *The Love Lula Beauty Box is sent free of charge to me as a member of the Love Lula Accredited Blogger Program for review. This month the box is worth £55 and contains 4 full size items including a lipstick and a sachet sample.

It's always nice to see a make up item and inside this month is Emani Vegan Cosmetics Hydrating Lip Colour (in various shades). I received Ava, a nude shade, which isn't really one I'd pick but it feels nice on the lips and is long-lasting. This is full size and costs £19 (8g).

Brand new to Love Lula is Moi Vert, a brand I've never heard of before. Inside is a pot of their Unfragranced Natural Deodorant 60ml which is worth £9.95. If I'm honest I'd say I'd prefer a fragranced deo, but I'll give it a try! It has a lovely natural shea butter aroma. 

There's a full size of Balm Balm's Little Miracle Rosehip Serum 30ml which is worth £15.50. This is a best seller which I've had the pleasure of using before. It's perfect for Autumn skin! See my review HERE.

Also inside is a brand (and product) which has been in Love Lula Beauty Boxes often. Laidbare's Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow! Hair Minimising Moisturiser 125ml which is worth £10. 

Rounding up the box is a sachet sample (5ml) of Antipodes's Baptise H2O Ultra-Hydrating Water Gel which I bought as soon as it launched - I love it. See my review HERE.

Are you a subscriber? What are your thoughts on this month's contents?

Monday, 12 October 2020

Wax Melts Subscriptions: Balneaves, The Ghost Family Haunts & Little Bo's

Oh how I love my soy wax melts subs! Balneaves's October box has some nods to Halloween but I love how it's not solely for the season. So far I'm loving Red Delicious Apple, Eucalyptus & Cedarwood and Fresh Ginger & Green Tea. The subscription costs a very afforable £14 including p&p. Can't wait to see what November brings!

Little Bo's Halloween Box for October is lots of fun! I love the different themes founder and creator, Becca does each month. The wax is really excellent and the scents are strong! You can dip in and out of this subscription depending on whether that month's theme appeals.

This month my The Ghost Family Haunts - The Ghost Family Flame soy wax melt subscription (£18.60) is in pots! It's normally little wrapped nuggets of joy. The theme this month is The Glory of October and inside are Halloween inspired scents. There's also a print, a sticker and a cute little wooden pumpkin (which I've got pinned up in my kitchen already!)

Do you subscribe to any Soy Wax Melt boxes?

Sunday, 11 October 2020

*Review: Charlie Miller Haircare & Styling Range

*AD - productsamples I was recently very kindly sent two new styling products in the Charlie Miller haircare line (Volume Spritz & Volume Mousse) as well as their Hydrate Shampoo & Conditioner. The range of products are available direct from one of the salons, online or from Amazon. Charlie Miller is a long standing and much respected Edinburgh Hairdressing Salon(s) which has been in the business for 50 years. Joint Managing Directors and brothers, Jason & Josh Miller are behind the haircare range. 

My products arrived beautifully presented with lots of tissue and ribbon in a large branded box:

The sulphate and paraben free Shampoos and Conditioners are available in HYDRATE, VOLUME and as a shampoo - SILVER. I selected HYDRATE as I thought that range would be best for my coloured hair which could sometimes be dry.

I have to say right now I've loved trying all the products - they are absolutely fantastic and really do exactly what they say they will. As well as being functional, they are definitely in the treat category - the scents are luxurious and the products a joy to use.

HYDRATE Shampoo (250ml - £17.95) is presented in a flip top bottle, making it ideal for use besides the shower. It's sulphate and paraben free and the range is formulated with Jasmine extract, Organic Calendula Flower extract, Organic Sage Oil, Green Tea, Orange, Rose, Lily, gentle herbs, Musk & Oakmoss - the scent is luxurious and refreshingly floral and it turns hair washing into a luxe treat (I'd love this scent as a perfume!)

It'll hydrate, moisturise and comfort the scalp and really is one of the nicest shampoos I've ever used. To use: massage into the scalp creating a rich foamy lather before rinsing. Hair is left feeling comfortable and nourished.

The matching HYDRATE Conditioner (250ml - £18.95) is presented in a pump top bottle and has the same delicious scent. It has a cream like texture and feels really luxurious, almost like a treatment conditioner. It is the perfect detangler and leaves the hair feeling deeply nourished and looking smooth. To use: apply to damp hair, concentrating on mid-lengths to ends, leave on 2-3 minutes before rinsing.

Again, I've fallen head-over-heels for this and I think the haircare range is fantastic. My hair looks healthy, shiny and cared for. 

The Styling range helps you to achieve the Charlie Miller in Salon results at home. They'll help to add volume, shine and smoothness (I was very impressed with these two, although my blow drying skills will never ever beat the hairdresser!)

My favourite from these two is Volume Spritz (250ml - £19) which truly is fantastic! It just seems to give the hair so much lift and volume, as well as making the hair appear thicker with more natural bounce. The spritz is presented in a spray bottle and scented with Grapefruit, White Nectarine, Rhubarb, Apple, Jasmine, Orange Blossom, Warm Woods and a hint of Musk and it's also Sulphate and Paraben free, Vegan and Gluten free. 

To use: work into towel dried hair from roots to tips before styling.

The second styling product I was generously sent was their Volume Mousse (200ml - £19).

Volume Mousse is Paraben and Gluten free and is presented in a pump bottle. It'll add natural body and lift to your style without weighing the hair down. It has the same delicious scent as the haircare range. The Volume Mousse provides heat protection, conditions and de-frizzes and promotes a glossy natural shine.

To use: work into towel dried hair from root to tip before styling.

I've been really impressed with how lovely and effective these hardworking haircare products are (as well has having incredible scents, textures and results). They really do take home hair care to another level and I so recommend. Pick yours up HERE and watch the Masterclass HERE

Thanks very much to Yvonne at Charlie Miller for sending me these hair care and styling products for review.

Thursday, 8 October 2020

New In: Kiss the Moon: Aromatherapy Drops & Eye Pillow

As soon as I saw this wee beauty on Love Lula I knew I had to snap it up! As my order was over £40 (the set costs £45) I received 10% off, I also had some points accumulated so used them too! As with all Kiss the Moon products, the Aromatherapy Drops & Eye Pillow is exquisitely packaged and a true joy to open. Shall we..?

And for a closer look..

WOW! So gorgeous! You can choose either DREAM or LOVE Aromatherapy Pillow Drops (although DREAM is only available currently at Love Lula).

I tried the set last night for the first time and what a good night's sleep I had. It's perfect to calm and relax both the body and mind before bed. 

To use: take the pillow out of the Liberty Tana Lawn cover and apply a few drops to the pillow, massaging them in before putting it back in the cover. Place on your eyes, lie back and relax...

It really is one of the best things I've bought recently! How do you relax before bed?

Oh.... and I just spotted Soy Wax Melts over at Kiss the Moon - I'll definitely need some of 'em!

Tuesday, 6 October 2020

Naturisimo: Starter Kits: Moisturisers Starter Kit

 Naturisimo have brought out a clever range of Starter Kits. Of course, I had to pick one, didn't I! The one which spoke to me the most was their Moisturisers Starter Kit (£20). They give you a QR code to get 10% off a full size from the collection which is a nice extra. I'm pretty impressed with it all round - the products come in a cute drawstring branded bag (perfect to use for other bits/reusable cotton pads/weekends away etc).

So what's inside:

For Thirsty Skin: Antipodes Baptiste H2O Ultra Hydrating Water Gel (5ml x 3 sachets). I'm a huge fan of this moisturiser. See my review HERE (I'll be popping the sachet samples in my travel bag, although I'm not sure when my next trip will be!)

For Tired, Sensitive Skin: Dr Hauschka Rose Day Cream 5ml the cult classic which has stood the test of time. This beautiful rose scented cream protects and replenishes and is lovely to use.

For Unbalanced Skin: Neal's Yard Remedies Palmarosa Moisturiser 15g from a brand I know and love. This is a product I've not tried before. My skin is combo and it'll balance, minimising the appearance of pores and mattifying the skin. Oh yes, I'm looking forward to trying this 'un!

For Mature Skin: Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Anti-Wrinkle Moisturiser 15ml which comes in a pot where the cream is dispensed via a hole in the middle - no fingers in the pot! Again, looking forward to trying this one, it feels lovely on the skin.

It's a great set in my opinion, what are your thoughts?

Monday, 5 October 2020

Ffern Organic Small Batch Perfume: Autumn20

I've had my Ffern Autumn20 Organic Small Batch Perfume (£69 a quarter) since the Autumn Equinox on the 22 September and have enjoyed taking time to enjoy it rather than rush to review. See my thoughts on Summer20 HERE.

As ever you receive a sample to try before slicing open the paper seal on the full size bottle. And you know, I thought I could never like summer more, but this season is a delight. As ever, you receive a numbered bottle with the names of the noses on the label. It's all these little attention to details which make my heart sing.

This season the Ffern team wanted to recreate how the air smells after the rain: Petrichor "air washed and heavy with new scents, holds within it something of the landscape. When it rains within a wood, the result is perhaps the most compelling of all"

Following on from Autumn19 which was set in a Scottish pine forest. Autumn20 is set in "wilder woodland. Older, darker, richer. More alive. Here the sky hangs low and the woodland floor, dampened by fresh rain, is varied and intimate, with lush green shoots emerging from the shade of a once-great oak"

The wood notes have been rebalanced and softened and oud has been added. Red cedar and guaiac blend with it to create smokey and sylvan notes. New growth is captured in Bay leaf and Davana.

Rose Absolute, Cognac oil and Oak Moss adds honeyish, floral tones capturing "the heady fullness of the air after the rain, we were missing the fresh, sweet burst that appears just as the rain has passed". That came in the form of Rosewater which enhances the rose note (and which makes me love this perfume so).

The Perfume is formulated with organic Italian grain vodka and Rosewater and:

Top: Davana - Karnataka, India, Bergamot Rind - Calabria, Italy, Nutmeg - Banda Islands, Indonesia

Mid: Rose - Isparta, SW Turkey, Olibanum - Gulf of Aden Somalia, Bay rum leaf - St Thomas, Caribbean, Patchouli - Java, Indonesia, Black Peppercorn - Malabar coast, India, Ceylon Cinnamon Bark - SW coast, Sri Lanka, Balsam Fir - East of Calgary, Canada

Base: Cognac oil - Transylvania, Romania, Vetiver root - Les Cayes, Haiti, Guaiacwood - Gran Chaco jungles, Paraguay, Boya Oud Tincture - Assam, India, Oakmoss - Samokov, Macedonia, Red Cedar - Virginia, North America

I simply adore Autumn20 it's woody and warm with ever lingering rose notes (it's pure perfection). 

That's me now had my first year - Winter20, Spring20 and Summer20. I'm planning a round-up post of all four. Are you on the ledger? If so, what are your thoughts?

Sunday, 4 October 2020

*Westlab RECOVER Epsom Salts with White Willow & Eucalyptus

*Recently I was very kindly sent a variety of Westlab Salts to try (AD-gifted). I'm already a huge fan of their MINDFUL Bathing Salts. See my review HERE. I've been testing out RECOVER (1kg - £7.99) which are designed to soothe tired and overworked muscles. They are formulated with Magnesium which assists muscle recovery, Arnica which soothes daily aches and pains, essential oils and Epsom salts.

The salts are Vegan, natural and cruelty free. To use: add 2-3 handfuls to warm water, jump into the tub and relax. I've found these salts very effective as well as lovely to use - they revive both the body and mind, soothing and aiding recovery after exercise. Pick yours up HERE.

Saturday, 3 October 2020

*The Evolution - Happy Planet Box: AUTUMN 2020: Prepare for Winter

*AD - Gifted Item Founders Aga and Vineet very kindly asked me to review AUTUMN's Happy Planet Box. I was delighted to do so having loved the SUMMER edition - see my musings HERE. Everything is carefully chosen to suit that month's theme, this month Vineet chose what went inside under the heading "Prepare for Winter". The box costs £20 plus £3.50 p&p.

Everything inside the box is eco friendly with boxes easily recycled or composted and the tins and jars reusable or recyclable. As ever all items are Vegan, Cruelty Free and made from natural ingredients. There's also a very informative leaflet explaining why the brands and items were chosen. I think the selection this month, like last is carefully curated and perfect for the season.

From White Rabbit Skincare is their delicious Chocolate Orange Lip Balm (£7 - 15ml) which comes in a cute little tin. It's deeply nourishing and quite lovely. It'll mend and care for chapped and dry autumn and winter lips!  This Scottish brand was founded in 2004 and choose to create high quality products with minimal plastic using planet friendly production techniques. 

From Heavenly Organics is their cute little flower shaped Organic Lavender Hand Balm in a tin (£8.00 - 15g) (I've tried the foot version which was glorious). This deeply nourishing and comforting balm is a delight. It'll hydrate and soothe dry Autumn hands and is the perfect addition to the box.

New to me brand is 
Pura Cosmetics and inside is their Revitalising Raspberry Lip Scrub (£4.99 - 24g) which comes in a little glass pot and smells fresh and fruity. The scrub is made with sugar, coconut and apricot oils and flavoured with raspberry oil. It's the perfect product for dry flaky lips and the perfect companion to White Rabbit's Lip Balm!

From Friendly Soap there is their Peppermint & Poppy Seed Soap (£2.25 - 95g) which smells incredible - very mint and uplifting. Perfect for dark winter morning. Vineet says "with the mornings getting darker, waking up can be a bit of a challenge. But instead of coffee, this time give peppermint a try". The soap is handmade from natural ingredients and will leave you feeling clean and refreshed. The soap is packaged in a recyclable/compostable box. I'm looking forward to this one!

Rounding up this fantastic AUTUMN Happy Planet Box is Peppersmith's English Peppermint Mints (£1.99) which are free from artificial colours and flavourings, preservatives, sugar and plastic. Delicious!

Again, I think it's a fantastic box which is carefully curated with useful products which will also bring you joy. Pick your box up HERE.