Sunday, 18 April 2021

*Amphora Aromatics Whipped Shea Butter Moisturisers: Vanilla & Jasmin + Mimosa

*productsamples - AD Amphora Aromatics very kindly recently sent me a couple of their very affordable and luxurious Shea Butter Moisturisers (120ml - £9.70). They came beautifully boxed and tied with good quality ribbon (both of which I'll be using again for gifting!) The amber glass jars are easily reusable or recyclable - the perfect kind of packaging!

 The Shea Butter Moisturisers are nestled inside the boxes on shredded tissue.

The moisturisers are whipped which gives them a smooth and creamy texture. I've been trying their Vanilla Absolute and Jasmin & Mimosa Versions and I love them both! Vanilla Absolute Whipped Shea Butter has a gentle vanilla aroma which is lovely. Both the moisturisers have a creamy texture and melt easily on warm skin. Formulated with Shea Butter, Beeswax, Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Essential Oils and Vitamin E. Jasmin & Mimosa has a gorgeous exotic floral aroma which lingers on the skin. 

To use: apply sparingly onto the skin to condition and nourish

I've loved using the butters which are effective and affordable luxury. I'd definitely buy them again. I now have my eye on Frangipani and Frankincense & Rose. Pick yours up HERE.

Saturday, 17 April 2021

*Love Lula: BLOSSOM: Green People, Therapi Honey Skincare & JOIK

*Received free of charge as a Love Lula Accredited Blogger - AD. As you'll know, I've been theming my blogger picks this year with Love Lula and for April I chose BLOSSOM. I'm a huge fan of springtime blossom so it was a natural pick. See my previous reviews - SLEEPLOVE and AWAKEN.

I chose Green People's Moisturising Shower Gel with Neroli & Marshmallow (£13 - 200ml)* (which is free from SLS/SLES, parabens, methylisothiazolinone, methylchloroisothiazolinone, phthalates, alcohol (ethyl alcohol, ethanol), colourants and artificial fragrances) making it one of the purest shower gel that nature can offer. It has a gorgeous neroli blossom scent and creates a rich and silky foamy lather. 

To use:
apply a small amount to wet skin, massaging before rinsing. Skin is left feeling clean and nourished with a light floral aroma. I like this a lot!

My second pick this month is Therapi Honey Skincare's Orange Blossom Hydrating Toner (£25.50 - 100ml)*. It balances normal and sensitive skin types and has a beautiful orange blossom aroma. My skin has recently felt like it has needed a bit more hydration and this beautiful toner revitalises, hydrates and balances. It really is a joy to use!

To use: spritz onto the skin after cleansing or any time your skin needs a hydration boost. Happiness in a bottle!

My final pick under the Blossom theme is JOIK's new-in Apple & Elderflower Foaming Handwash (£15 - 250ml)* with a nod to Elderflower blossoms. It's enriched with aloe juice and apple extract. The liquid becomes a foam the instant you pump some from the bottle and has a divine fruity/floral scent. It quickly and easily cleans the hands leaving them delicately scented and feeling nourished. I absolutely love it and although it is on the pricey side for a hand wash I'll definitely repurchase as it's so nice to use.

To use: pump a small amount of foam onto damp hands and wash as normal. Rinse. 

Another joy giving month. I've really loved trying this trio which are effective, luxurious and nice to use. Have you tried any of these products?

Wednesday, 14 April 2021

*Love Lula Beauty Box: April 2021

*I received the Love Lula Beauty Box complimentary as a Love Lula Accredited Blogger for an honest review. The Beauty Box costs £14.95 in the UK on a rolling subscription making it excellent value for money. This month the contents are worth £59! As ever, there's 20% off the brands in the box in the form of a code for subscribers which is valid until the 10th May.

I was especially excited to see the new Ooh! Oil of Heaven nestling inside as well as J.R. Liggett's Mini Shampoo Set - both of which had been on my wishlist!

Inside is a full size (30ml - £19) of the latest Ooh! Oils of Heaven - Organic Jojoba Face Oil, which I'm looking forward to trying. It closely mimics the skin's own sebum and is suitable for acne/oily skins. It can also be used to stimulate the scalp - I love a multi-use product. 

I came so close to buying this dinky little Assorted Sampler Box of mini shampoo bars from J.R. Liggett's (6 x 18g, £12.99). Being a huge solid shampoo fan I'm looking forward to testing them out - Original, Herbal, Tea Tree & Hemp, Moisturizing, Jojoba & Peppermint and Virgin Coconut & Argan). They are the perfect try-me set or for travel.

From Inika, is a full size Long Lash Mascara (8g - £23) in Black which will give you long and luscious lashes with no flaking or clumping. I'm sure I've used this Vegan mascara before. It's always nice to see a make-up item nestling inside.

Rounding up this month's box is a delicious Black Cherry Lip Balm from Crazy Rumors. This is full size (4g - £3.99) and is fruity, tangy and sweet. It'll nourish and care for dry and chapped lips.

A great box in my opinion, what are your thoughts?

Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Weleda Arnica Cooling Gel

Weleda Advisor, Rosaleen very kindly gifted a few people over on instagram a tube of Weleda's Arnica Cooling Gel (25g). I was one of the lucky ones she chose to receive one. Thanks Rosie!

I've found since working from home for over a year (with the odd day allowed into the office during August to December last year) that I have developed aches and pains - I did spend a lot of time working at the kitchen table sitting on a normal kitchen chair. I have found since I requested an office chair my posture is better (less hunching over!) which has helped a lot.

The Arnica Cooling Gel is a light and cooling with a herbal scent and is made from biodynamically grown organic Arnica extracts. It's great to use pre and post sporting activities or to soothe tired limbs and other aches and pains. It's really easy to use - just massage it onto affected areas as often as needed. It feels super soothing and absorbs instantly. 

Pick yours up HERE.

Friday, 9 April 2021

*Top Reads 2021: January to March

Like beauty I decided to do Top Reads for the first three months of 2021. Books marked * I've very kindly been given free of charge for review either directly from the publisher or from the author. I've read circa 30 books so far this year and these are my top reads for January-March.  So, shall we begin..

The Resident by David Jackson - after having seen this book on many top reads of 2020 I immediately bought it and devoured it in a couple of days. Check out my review HERE.

*The Perfect Liar by Beverley Harvey - how I loved this twisty tale (I really hope there's a sequel - as I'd love to meet up with some of the characters again as well as to hear what happens to a couple of the others!) See my review HERE.

The Visitor by Terry Tyler - which is set during a pandemic in the future. If you pick it up you are in for a fast paced and sometimes terrifying ride! See my review HERE.

My final January top read is *A Crooked Tree by Una Mannion - which has a surprising opening. It's a summer of change and coming of age. Check out my review HERE.

Moving into February I was thrilled to read Laura Shepherd-Robinson's, *Daughters of Night which features strong-willed and plucky Caro whom we met in Blood & Sugar. See my review HERE.

I fell totally head-over-heels for *Circus of Wonder by Elizabeth MacNeal which publishes in May. It's a must-read. I'm still thinking of it now.

*While Paris Slept by Ruth Druart - a richly drawn story with characters who stole my heart and made me cry. I took part in the blog tour. See my review HERE.

*The Rift by Rachel Lynch - this is a departure from Rachel's normal books the fantastic Detective Kelly Porter books. It's very, very good. It's published on 22 April so catch my review in my April books round-up.

Moving into March reads I adored Kathleen Hart's *Devorgilla Days which doesn't publish until near to the end of May. Kathleen's memoir is well worth a read and is an absolute gem. It charts her recovery from breast cancer and associated illnesses and her move to Wigtown, the Scottish Book Town.

*The Fair Botanists by Sara SheridanI'm a huge fan of Sara's so was delighted to read her latest novel which is set in Edinburgh in 1822 and features the moving of the Botanical Garden to Inverleith. There's also a rare plant - the Agave Americana set to flower which draws the interest of many. It's not published until early August so I'll share my review in my August books round-up. The story is richly drawn and meticulously researched and I absolutely loved it!

Do we share any favourites?

Thursday, 8 April 2021

The Herbal Soapmaker: Calendula & Patchouli Soap, Whipped Butter + Cotton Wash Cloth

I first came across The Herbal Soapmaker on instagram after seeing Ginette's beautiful flower shaped sunny Calendula & Patchouli Soap! You know the drill... I went to look and made a few small purchases including that soap. The range is handcrafted with love, care and attention to detail and brings so much joy! The range is "as nature intended" and beeswax and honey from their own bees is used in some of the products. Ginette has a herbal medicine background and infuses her own calendula oil.

I had to also have a hand made Cotton Wash Cloth (£2.50) which is lovely and soft as well as colourful - I use it to remove my cleansing balm and masks - it washes up great in a gentle wash. 

The soap - Calendula & Patchouli (75-95g) £5.25 is a natural soap handcrafted with soothing calendula oil and sprinkled with the flower's petals. Essential oil of Patchouli gives it an earthy and sweet smell. This soap is gorgeous - softening and gentle with a creamy lather. Pure heaven.

As you'll know, I'm a huge fan of whipped body butters so I had to have Ginette's Lavender & Neroli version (100ml - £5.50) which is presented in a reusable aluminium tin. The butters are made to order and are totally indulgent. Formulated with skin loving butters and oils which have been whipped together to create a light and fluffy butter which melts on contact with warm skin leaving it smelling of Lavender and Neroli. Just lush!

Have you bought anything yet from The Herbal Soapmaker?

Wednesday, 7 April 2021

*Odylique Offer of the Month: Silk Touch Cleanser

*product sample - AD for the month of April get 10% off Odylique's Silk Touch Cleanser 95g* (£18, instead of £20). 

The award-winning cleanser is presented in a pump action recyclable bottle and is boxed. It has a oil-gel texture and a pleasant light floral aroma. It's the perfect double-action treat for dry or mature skin types - it easily cleanses away make up and daily grime as well as hydrating and nourishing the skin.

To use: splash your face with warm water before massaging a pumps worth of product onto the skin being careful around the eye and lip area. On contact with water the gel will turn into a soothing milk. Rinse away with water or a warm damp cloth. The skin is left feeling clean, silky soft and nourished. 

Pick yours up HERE.

Tuesday, 6 April 2021

*Saach Organics: Bath Time Bundle

*gifted products - AD I first tried Saach Organics way back in 2015 - see my posts HERE and HERE. I was delighted when founder, Harvinder got in touch again asking if I'd like to try more products from the range (I've got a review of their hair treatment masks upcoming). The bundles are great value, do check them out.

Inside the Bath Time Bundle* you'll find their Mint & Rosemary Shower Gel 200ml* and their Avocado, Jojoba Butter & Canola Oil Hair Nourishment Conditioner 200ml*. You chose any shampoo (inside my package was their Henna Orange Oil Shampoo 200ml* which colour protects. I've used this before and found it worked very well).

The Mint & Rosemary Shower Gel* has a rich lather and a very fresh herbal scent. It'll awaken the skin and senses and gently cleanse the skin, soothing aches and pains while refreshing and revitalising the skin. To use: shake well and then squeeze a small amount onto a sponge or hands, massage over the body and work up a foamy lather. Rinse. I've enjoyed using the shower gel in the morning to awaken and refresh.

Henna Orange Oil Shampoo* has a distinctive orange aroma with herbal undertones. It'll gently cleanse while nourishing dry and coloured hair. To use: shake well before massaging a small amount onto wet hair before rinsing. 

Follow with Avocado, Jojoba Butter & Canola Oil Hair Nourishment Conditioner* this conditioner is very rich and leaves the hair silky smooth (I wasn't keen on the neutral scent) but the results are worth it! It's formulated with hair loving oils which nourish and care. 

To use: after shampooing massage through the hair concentrating on the ends, leave on a few minutes before rinsing.

I've been really impressed with this bundle, pick yours up HERE.

Saturday, 3 April 2021

Top Products 2021: January to March

Products which are marked * I was very kindly gifted for review. Last year I broke up my "top" stuff into manageable chunks rather than yearly and decided to do the same this year. This is a rather long post so grab that cuppa or glass of wine!

I dropped numerous hints to hubby that I'd love The Nue Co's Functional Fragrance which is available to buy at NaturisimoSee my review HERE (their newish Forest Lungs Fragrance is on the wishlist).

I fell head-over-heels and then some for ila spa's glorious The Big Sleep Bath Salts* which I reviewed as a Love Lula Accredited Blogger in January. See my post HERE. These are the ones to get for r&r!

Beauty Cleanse Skincare Mean Green Superfood Drops & Carrot Algae Marine Drops* which are multi-use and fantastic. See my review HERE. Founder, Saman is currently crowdfunding - see more info HERE to launch a Superfood-Powered Multipurpose Face Mask which will brighten, refine pores, soften, detoxify, hydrate and offer an antioxidant boost - sounds like an absolute must have!

I love everything from Evolve Organic Beauty. Their newish Super Berry Body Oil* is just sublime. See my review HERE.

And then, I fell head-over-heels for Love Absolute's Mulberry Milk Jelly Cleanser, which quite honestly is one of the most joy giving products I've ever used (I love the easily re-usable packaging too). See my review HERE.

Silvan Skincare Balance Face Cream is just sublime. I'm a huge fan of the brand having tried a few of their balms in the past. See my review HERE.

I initially tried the Dr Hauschka Rose Nurturing Body Cream* in their Advent Calendar which I partly received as my November pick as a Love Lula Accredited Blogger and fell head-over-heels - see HERE. I loved it so much I selected it and the matching Bath Essence* as my February picks. See HERE

I received Balm Balm's Lavender Face Balm in January's Love Lula Beauty Box* and fell hard. I've now got a couple in my stash thanks to lovely friends - you know who you are! See my review HERE.

Reacquainting myself with UpCircle Beauty (I've always been a fan of their peppermint coffee scrub from their early days). I'm now a huge, huge fan of the skincare line. Check out my review HERE.

Dr Hauschka Moor Lavender Calming Body Oil (which I first tried via the aforementioned Advent Calendar). I loved it so much I bought full size as it's instantly calming. See my review HERE.

Of course I had to have an Antipodes latest launch! As soon as I saw it land at Naturisimo it was in my basket! Check out my review HERE. It's truly gorgeous.

Tam Mason's Nourishing Sugar Hand Scrubs had been on my wishlist. I took the plunge recently and fell head-over-heels. Check out my review HERE. I've recently been sent one of their new sugar Body Scrubs* which I'm sure already will feature in my next favs!

Another product I can't imagine not being in my stash....always is Nudge Boutique's May Chang & Pink Grapefuit Whipped Body Butter. It has the perfect scent to uplift both the body and mind as well as being a luxe and affordable treat. Check out my review HERE.

I truly love all the products* I chose as a Love Lula Accredited Blogger for March. Check out my review HERE. They uplifted me so much with their scents+textures and made me happy. One already has been a re-purchase!

Neal's Yard Remedies Frankincense Intense Cleansing Melt had been on the wishlist. I was happy to receive this 30ml in a Naturismo Discovery Box. Check out my review HERE. One of the best cleansers I've used.

Rounding up my January to March top picks is Balance Me's fantastic BHA Exfoliating Concentrate* which I reviewed HERE.

Do we share any favourites?

Friday, 2 April 2021

Latest Buys: Sofia Latif, Hauntingly Crafted, Verdekin, Raven Botanicals, Organic Works, Lucky Cloud Skincare, Fushi, NEOM + Papier

I can't believe that's us into April already! Where is this year going?! I had my first vaccination on Wednesday and felt quite poorly overnight. Luckily, like most people it just seems to be a 24hr thing. Today I'm sharing my latest buys..

I couldn't resist Sofia Latif's The Mini Edit (£35) having tried and loved her award winning face oil (review) and multi-award winning under-eye oil. New to me are the Nourishing Body Oil and Soothing Scalp Oil. Inside the kit is: Face Oil 5ml, Under-Eye Oil 5ml, Nourishing Body Oil 20ml and Soothing Scalp Oil 10ml. 

Discovering Hauntingly Crafted on Instagram. I immediately put an order in as Memento Mori was calling my name! (unfurled roses, petal dew, iriswood, rosewater, pink geraniums and wild violets). It's the best rose soy wax melt I've ever used! The packaging is so perfect and founder, Mandy pops in a free sample with your order as well as a hand-written note - it's the little things. Recommend highly.

I blame Hannah entirely for this purchase! As soon as I saw Verdekin's Hibiscus & Mallow Cleansing Melt I knew I had to try it. Check founder and formulator Polly whipping up a batch HERE. Review to come soon! (nice to receive a free sample as well with my purchase).

Raven Botanicals have a brand new website and you can collect rewards with purchase if you #jointheconspiracy. I hadn't tried Starlit Purifying Clay Mask or Solstice Facial Oil so their cute Discovery Set was for me, which you'll find under Gift Sets. A review will come for the whole set soon!

I fell totally head-over-heels for Organic Work's Bergamot Hand Wash which I received as a Love Lula Accredited Blogger in March. See my review HERE. I loved it so much I needed more. While I was shopping I came across Lucky Cloud's soaps so picked up their Orange & Ylang Ylang one. 

While browsing Naturisimo I came across a new body wash from Fushi - Bringer of Peace and NEOM's Great Day Magnesium Body Butter had been on my wishlist. Reviews to come! I'm not sure how long it's lasting but they currently have 15% off a £50 spend with code AWAKEN.

I needed a new notebook and it was the perfect time to pick up a personalised one from Papier. I absolutely love it (I use Papier for my blog planners too). What have you been buying lately?