Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Magical Tree: Eternal Beauty Anti-Ageing Face Serum

As you'll know I'm a huge fan of Magical Tree's glorious Body Butters* see my review HERE. I've been testing out one of their newish Face Serums*.

I selected the one which appealed to me most - Eternal Beauty Anti-Ageing Face Serum (£21.49)* others in the range include Free From Skincare Silver 2018 Winner Soft Cheeks Serum for Sensitive Skin and Glowing Glory Hydrating Face Serum.

The serum is Vegan and contains mainly certified organic ingredients. Free from chemicals, no animal testing and recyclable minimal packaging is used (I hate excess outer packaging, I'm all for less is more!)

The serum is formulated with natural oils and essential oils including Rosehip & Pomegranate Seed Oils which rejuvenate, regenerate, enhance elasticity and help to stimulate collagen production. Clary Sage helps to clear the skin while Frankincense reduces scars and is anti-ageing. Ylang Ylang and Helichrysum help with cell regeneration and leave the skin soft and delicately scented.

To use: massage a few drops onto the face and neck. Can even be used around the delicate eye area. The serum is light, herbal-floral scented and it absorbs instantly leaving the skin feeling nourished and looking radiant. It's beautiful!

Pick yours up HERE.


Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Sisley Beauty Subscription: July - On the Sizzling Sand

The theme for this month's Sisley Beauty Subscription is On the Sizzling Sands

Inside is:

Hydra Flash Formula Intensive Hydrating Mask 10ml 
Purifying Rebalancing Lotion with Tropical Resins 15ml
SUNLEYA.G.E SPF30 Age Minimising Global Suncare 2ml
Izia Moisturising Perfumed Body Lotion 8ml
Eau de Sisley No.3 EdT 1.4ml

Since I started the 6 month subscription back in March I've added 8 full size items to the wishlist.

Monday, 16 July 2018

Love Lula Beauty Box: July 2018 + Giveaway!

It's always an exciting day when my Love Lula Beauty Box arrives!

This month the box is worth £53 and nestled inside are 4 full size products!

The first item to jump out at me was My.Haircare Colour Treat Conditioner (£18 - 250ml) which is vegan, silicone and paraben free and will help prolong your colour. I've tried it before but found it didn't suit my hair. It is however a great inclusion in the box this month. 

And of course you know I adore ooh! Oils of Heaven and inside is the latest launch - Hemp Oil (£19 - 30ml). This earthy scented oil will hydrate and firm. Looking forward to testing it out.

From Balm Balm we have their Tea Tree Face Balm (£8.95 - 30ml) I love most from the Balm Balm range but I can't abide the scent of tea tree so this one shall be passed on!

From Apple & Bears we have a mini 30ml of their lovely Bergamot & Green Tea Hair & Body Wash. You can see my review of the range HERE.

From newish brand at Love Lula CHOBS we have their Aloe Face Mask (a single use mask which is worth £4.10. Looking forward to trying it out (I also have the Rose one which I bought a while back but haven't used yet!)

Rounding up this month are a couple of sachets (which are different box by box). I received D'Achemy's Spectacular Hand Therapy (fabulous) and John Masters Organics Geranium & Grapefruit Body Wash. I love sachets for try me or holidays.

*the Love Lula Beauty Box is sent to me as part of the Love Lula Accredited Blogger Program. My thoughts are genuine and my post contains a few Affilate Links. Thanks to Love Lula for providing the giveaway prize.

Now onto the exciting bit! One of my UK readers can win their very own July box! All you need to do is follow the rafflecopter instructions below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Antipodes: Juliet Skin Brightening Gel Cleanser

A while ago Love Lula had a promotion on with Antipodes Brightening Range and I snapped this Juliet Skin-Brightening Gel Cleanser up having recently loved their Hallelujah Lime & Patchouli Cleanser* which I reviewed HERE.

This one's my to-go-to morning cleanser and sits beside my shower. The flip top cap makes it easy to use and the packaging is recyclable. 

The gel cleanser is formulated with superfruit kiwi fruit extracts, exfoliating hibiscus flower, anti-bacterial manuka honey (which gives the cleanser its amber colour) and anti-oxidant rich Vinanza grapes to name a few. They work together to reduce and balance oil production and it leaves the skin with a healthy glow. It's scented with delicious green apple and cardamon.

To use: AM and PM (AM is preferrable for me) massaging a small amount onto damp skin before rinsing.

The cleanser smells glorious and deeply but gently cleanses leaving the skin feeling refreshed and clean. Pick yours up HERE.

*sent to me as part of the Love Lula Accredited Blogger Program

Saturday, 14 July 2018

A. Florence Skincare

I've had the real pleasure of trying some of the products* from A. Florence Skincare (which I can honestly say is one of my favourite finds of '18 - the skincare is just SO good - thanks so much for connecting with me on instagram!) The products are created and formulated by founder Tina Saunders who has a background in pharmaceuticals, spa and beauty and nutrition and are hand crafted in small batches in London. Packaging is recyclable with little branded re-usable bags used instead of boxes (love) and each formulation is fully assessed by an independent chartered chemist.

A lot of time is spent on research and development "our passion lies in creating intelligent formulations, including ingredients which have been supported by clinical studies and resonate with our holistic principles of skincare".

Ingredients used include Virgin cold pressed wild crafted oils, organic botanical extracts, prebiotics, probiotics, Vitamins B3 and B5, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, 24 Karat Gold, Silver and plant ceramides - you just know the range is going to be so special!

Balm-to-Milk Cleanser & Make-up Remover with Hibiscus+Rose+Zeolite (100ml - £29, 30ml - £12)* this organic waterless balm is rich in negatively charged zeolite which attracts and eliminates pollution from the surface of the skin. The rich balm melts on contact with dry warm skin and makes short work of removing make up and daily grime. 

This stunning cleanser is formulated with a mixture of skin loving oils, waxes and clay and lightly scented with Rose Otto, Blood Orange, May Chang, Cedarwood & Ylang Ylang.

To use: apply a small amount to dry skin and massage with your fingertips. Wet your fingertips and keep massaging and the cleanser will emulsify the oils into a delicate milk. Massage for 20 seconds or so before removing with a warmed damp muslin cloth.

It's absolutely beautiful and takes cleansing to another level. Add this to your cleansing ritual. Pick yours up HERE.

Best-selling Fragrance Free Hydration Booster Serum with Hyaluronic Acid+B5+Niacinamide (30ml - £36, 10ml - £14)* is one of the most amazing Hyaluronic Acid type serums I've tried. It plumps and brightens, helps to keep hormonal breakouts and inflammation at bay, tones and smoothes. 

To use: apply AM and PM for all skin types. Use on it's own or mix with any of the oil serums depending on your skin's needs.  

Intense Night Repair Oil with 0.2% Retinol+Alpha Lipoic Acid+CO-Q10 (20ml - £38, 5ml - £12)* this multi-correctional night oil contains potent and clinically proven anti-ageing actives. Retinol normalises and regulates and can increase cell thickness and the production of collagen from within. 

Use at night only (and apply SPF during the day). Suitable for all skin types but best for normal, dehydrated, dry, wrinkles, pigmentation and rough skin. Fragrance Free. To use: apply on its own or layered with Hydration Booster Serum.

The final item I tried from the range is their Skin Barrier Restoring Oil-Serum with Cholesterol+Ceramides+Oat (20ml - £36, 5ml - £11)* this fragrance free concentrated facial oil-serum has been formulated with skin building ingredients to deeply nourish and regenerate vulnerable and compromised skin which has lost the ability to protect and maintain itself due to a lipid deficiency, pH aberration, inflammation or harsh cosmetic overuse.

To use: use on it's own or mixed into your favourite skincare product or Hydration Booster. Add a couple of drops of Super Serum to create a nourishing daytime moisturiser.

As I said previously, I've just been blown away by how good and effective these products are. Pick yours up HERE.


Friday, 13 July 2018

Love Lula: O&M Hydrate & Conquer Shampoo & Conditioner

I really was so excited to see that Love Lula is now a stockist of OriginalMineral, an Australian hair care company as the brand had been on the wishlist for ages. As part of the Love Lula Accredited Blogger Program I picked their O&M Hydrate & Conquer Shampoo (350ml - £24)*. The products are presented in large flip top bottles - which makes them perfect to use beside the shower.

The creamy and nourishing shampoo & conditioner has a sweet, marshmallowy almost edible scent and is really pleasant.  The Hydrate & Conquer range is perfect for dry, damaged and coloured hair types and is formulated with nutrient rich ingredients such as Desert Lime extract and Tasmanian Sea Kelp.

The O&M Hydrate & Conquer Conditioner (350ml - £25)* gives the hair a daily dose of much needed nourishment. It's formulated with Tasmanian Sea Kelp, Organic Coconut and Macadamia Oil.

After shampooing apply the conditioner to mid lengths and ends and leave on for a few moments before rinsing.

I'm totally in love with these haircare products which are free from parabens and sulphates and leave my hair looking glossy, luminous and healthy looking. Have you tried anything from O&M?

*sent to me as part of the Love Lula Accredited Blogger Program. My post contains two affiliate links.

Thursday, 12 July 2018

AMLY Botanicals: Radiant Boost Silver Rich Face Mist

I was totally surprised and extremely happy when my friend Julie gave me AMLY Botanicals Radiance Boost Silver Rich Face Mist for part of my birthday (the brand has been on my wishlist like forever!) The revitalising mist revives tired and stressed skin (and smells amazing!)

Each hand-stirred blend is formulated with silver-rich spring water and blended with organic flowers, hedgerow fruit, British herbs and essential oils. The mist is deeply hydrating and strengthened with hyaluronic acid, skin perfecting Copper Peptides and nourishing plant probiotics. 

Silver is a powerful antioxidant which helps to promote tissue regeneration while hyaluronic acid deeply nourishes. Copper Peptides protect against cellular DNA damage and stimulate collagen production. Lactobacillus Ferment is a skin conditioning, anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory priobiotic while Pea Peptide hydrates and smoothes. Hibiscus flower brightens and plumps. Jasmine flower uplifts and improves skin elasticity while Frankincense is a great anti-ager. Neroli calms and regenerates and Rose Otto is anti-ageing and luxurious.

To use: shake before use and liberally spritz onto the face and neck breathing in deeply to allow the aromatic oils to "take you to another place" and stimulate the senses. The skin is left looking radiant and aglow. Can be used throughout the day to awaken and refresh (this will be replenished for sure!)

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Blog Tour: HellCorp by Jonathan Whitelaw - Guest Post: Inspiration to Write #LoveBookGroupsTour

Hellcorp sparkles like a blood-black diamond. Satan's got his work cut out in this darkly comic crime tale. A cracking read! - Mark Leggatt
Life is hard for The Devil and he desperately wants to take a holiday. Growing weary from playing the cosmic bad guy, he resolves to set up a company that will do his job for him so the sins of the world will tick over while he takes a vacation. God tells him he can have his vacation just as soon as he solves an ancient crime.
But nothing is ever easy and before long he is up to his pitchfork in solving murders, desperate to crack the case so he can finally take the holiday he so badly needs...
This is a perfectly-pitched darkly comic crime novel that is ideal for fans of Christopher Fowler and Ben Aaranovitch. 

I'm taking part in the blog tour for HellCorp by Jonathan Whitelaw (I actually know Jonathan very well having the pleasure of working with him earlier in his career).  Today he's talking about his inspiration to write: 

"I’ve always wanted to write. Even from when I first could do it I knew it was always something that I wanted to do. And as a result I spent the majority of my childhood doing three things - reading, writing and playing with Lego/Star Wars toys. Usually all three ended up banded together somehow.
I started writing longer fiction in my final years at high school. I’ve always loved sci-fi and fantasy, with the Lord of the Rings series a big favourite of mine. When I was 17 I finished my first full manuscript. It was high fantasy, 120,000 words and weighed an awful lot in my school rucksack. It wasn’t very good and looking back now it’s rather cringeworthy how unoriginal it was. But it taught me the valuable lessons of discipline and being able to just sit down and actually WRITE. Two important lessons for me.
I love stories and I love great characters. And my inspiration in my fiction work has always been to write novels that I would enjoy. With HellCorp - I know it’s something I’d pick up in a bookshop and go - yeah there’s something in this for me. Crime, thriller, fantasy, sci-fi, romance, it’s got the lot. I love challenging myself as a writer and that challenge inspires me to keep going, to keep writing and to keep enjoying what is a passion and a profession for me.
I also like to keep my eyes, ears and sometimes NOSE open for new inspiration and ideas. You never know when something happens, something you read or even a phrase somebody uses will start triggering those brain cells. I love it when this happens because you never know when it’s going to strike next. Even writing this post has gotten me thinking - about words, about inspiration and about the pleasure and privilege it is to be a writer in the 21st century.
When I’m asked about inspiration, a story always comes to mind. Shortly after I signed the publishing deal with Urbane for HellCorp an old friend asked me what I was doing one evening.
“I’m writing,” I said.
They looked surprised. “But you’ve just signed your deal, your new book is coming out.”
“I know,” I said. “That doesn’t mean I don’t have stories to tell.”
I know they only had my best intentions at heart but it always makes me smile. I love telling stories and I love to write. I’m at my happiest when I’m up to my neck in The Devil and his antics. The writing, editing, proofing, endless debates over plot twists and directions, everything. I’m inspired by the process of writing and the end result. And most importantly, getting there.
History and mythology and the art of storytelling are also inspiration for me. I love that we as human beings are telling stories that are hundreds of thousands of years old. The idea that we still read and listen to characters, settings, scenarios and lessons that existed centuries before we were born is both heartwarming and inspiring. I always have believed that if a story is good, it’ll last forever and be a success. It doesn’t matter if it’s in song form, a play, a novel, TV, film or a dance played out by a giant squid and a basking shark - if it’s good it’ll win out. Because we all love a good story with good characters and a good outcome.
That’s what inspires me. Telling stories and making up characters who let that story be told. And I’m humbled that I get to do that with my novels".
Thanks so much Jonathan for sharing with us why you've always wanted to write and huge congratulations on the publication of HellCorp!
Pick up your copy HERE.
Follow Jonathan on Twitter HERE and Urbane Books HERE.

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Miel Botanicals: Prosecco Shave Soap

I've had the real pleasure of trying Award Winning (won Gold in Janey Loves 2017 Platinum AwardsMIEL Botanicals Prosecco Shave soap and cruelty free Vegan Shaving Brush* (£25). You can also buy the shave soap on it's own for a tenner. I have to say right now I'd find it hard to go back to conventional shaving foam. I've been really impressed with the long lasting results and happily enjoying the pleasurable "ritual" of shaving.

The products including shave soap for men, soaps and an exquisite sounding Gentle Rose Balm (which just slipped into my shopping cart) are free from parabens, palm oil and chemical nasties are hand crafted in small batches with love and attention to detail.

The natural fruit sugars of Prosecco give the shave soap a silky lather while the French rose clay gives a luxe "slip" on the skin. Skin loving oils of olive, coconut, avocado, castor (and shea butter) offers the gentlest of shaves and the soap is scented with rose geranium essential oil.

To use: wet the gentle shaving brush with warm water, tap off excess water before whisking the brush across the shaving soap in a circular motion to create a silky lather. Apply to the skin in a circular motion before using a sharp clean razor blade to make light work of any hairs on the legs or underarm.  Rinse then pat dry. The skin is left feeling nourished and smooth.

My legs feel amazing after shaving and with no need to moisturise! This shaving soap will give you a year's worth of shaving making it excellent value for money. Pick yours up HERE.


Monday, 9 July 2018

Naturisimo Wishlist #1

While browsing at Naturisimo I made myself up a wishlist which was in excess of £600! I'm going to share some of my current wants:

NEOM's new Perfect Night's Sleep Cleansing Balm & Cloth (£32 - 100ml) which sounds totally luxurious. It'll help cleanse and soothe the skin while preparing the body and mind for a good night's sleep. Need!

Odacite Black Mint Cleanser (£39 - 100ml) which I received a mini of recently in Naturisimo's Healing Make Up Discovery Box. I totally fell for this refreshing cleanser and full size is firmly on the wishlist.

Bare Biology Lion Heart Pure Omega 3 Capsules (£28.50 - 120 capsules) I've read so much about these capsules which nourish the brain, heart and eyes. They are also good for healthy skin and caring for the joints (oh my creaky knees!)

Earth Tu Face Rosemary & Salt Organic Lotion (£31.50 - 236ml) I love the sound of this quickly absorbing lotion which has the scent of herbs and the salty seaside air.

MUN AYOUR Body Toning Serum (£64 - 100ml) I think this just sounds like perfection! A blend of skin loving oils and aromatics which deeply nourish and care for the skin. And yes neroli is there!

Maya Chia The Superblend Pressed Serum Concentrate (£100 - 50ml) an exciting new brand at Naturisimo!  This serum sounds wonderful!

VOTARY Clarifying Clary Sage & Peach Facial Oil (£65 - 30ml) I love the sound of the combination of ingredients which are excitingly new. This oil will soothe blemish prone skin, balancing and nourishing.

What's on your Naturisimo wishlist?

Sunday, 8 July 2018

Bespoke Aroma: Refreshing Peppermint Facial Mist & Peppermint & Lemongrass Pulse Point Oil

I'm always really happy with my Skin Organics Clean Beauty Box as every month there are at least a few totally new to me brands - this makes me SO happy! June's box was themed #Hydrate and two of the items inside were from new to me brand Bespoke Aroma.

The range is hand crafted and formulated by founder Jo Evans and products are free from parabens and preservatives and ingredients include pure essential oils, butters, plant oils and candelilla wax with most products being Vegan. Jo also offers a Bespoke Service for hotels and spas.

Inside June's Skin Organics Clean Beauty Box were two products from Bespoke Aromas - Refreshing Peppermint Facial Mist (£4.25 - 30ml) which has been perfect to cool and refresh during this hot weather - it really has been a godsend! It'd also be great to pack for summer holidays as the skin feels instantly calm and cooled when misted over your face and neck. 

The second item is Peppermint & Lemongrass Pulse Point Oil (£4.25 - 10ml) which is great to clear your head, enliven the senses and it helps to combat tiredness and stress. To use: roll onto wrists, temple and forehead when you need a helping hand.

I've been really impressed with this lovely range and now have my eye on a few things. Check out the shop HERE.

Have you used any products from Bespoke Aroma?

Saturday, 7 July 2018

Palm & Soul: The Beauty Serum Cocktail Bar: Beauty Serum Cocktail

I've loved Palm & Soul for a long time having fallen for their beautiful products as far back as 2012! See my review of their Three Rose Deep Balm for Face & Neck HERE.

Shopping at Palm & Soul should be a slow and leisurely experience so grab yourself a glass of wine, G&T or cup of tea and nestle down to be seduced by the gorgeous ranges. I had the real pleasure of picking my own bespoke Beauty Serum* from the Beauty Serum Cocktail Bar

Serums are presented in a 30ml pump bottle and range in price from £27-£59 depending on the ingredients selected. You can see selections HERE.

Choose 1 shot, 2 shots, 3 shots - STAGE 1 is The Mixers - Pure Raw Plant Oils - pick 1 or 2, STAGE 2 is The Shots - Active Powerhouse ingredients with high potency content to give your beauty cocktail a kick! STAGE 3 is The Twist - aromatic essentials which rebalance and enhance mood and wellbeing. Kathy, Palm & Soul's founder will select your chosen ingredients and blend, shake and pour them together before sending the finished product to you in the post!

I chose ingredients which appealed most to me and how my skin and mood was feeling at the time. My first pick in STAGE 1 was Watermelon Seed Oil which is a light oil which absorbs quickly, is nourishing and suitable for combination and sensitive skin types. STAGE 2 saw me pick Arctic Blackcurrant Seed Oil which is stuffed full of Omegas 3 and 6. It balances and gives dull skin a pick me up.

You can use the 2 shot serum as it is or add an essential twist. For STAGE 3 I picked Neroli which as well as smelling gloriously floral is uplifting, regenerating, calming and helps to soothe worries away. My second essential oil pick was Orange Peel which balances and uplifts. 

To use: on face at night after cleansing or as a body serum (you know how much I adore a multi-use product!)

My choice of raw plant oils and essential oils came in at £51 as I'd picked a ROYAL OIL (Neroli). The blend is exquisite and I absolutely adore it!  My skin feels more radiant, rejuvenated and balanced and that scent...just perfection!


Friday, 6 July 2018

Formula Botanica: Diploma in Organic Skincare Formulation Update

As you'll know I've been studying the fantastic online diploma with Formula Botanica in Organic Skincare Formulation*. You can see my initial post HERE and my first update HERE. I've been slowly working my way through the modules, taking loads of notes, researching different ingredients and creating products using my own formulations.

You can sign up to any of the courses right now - see the choices available HERE. Enrollment is open until 10th July 2018 for this intake.

At the end of my last post I was just about to blend a cold and warm blended cream. One of my favourite creations was a warm blended cream with Grapefruit & Vetiver.  As well as the essential oils, I formulated the cream with Shea Butter, Sweet Almond oil and antioxidant Vitamin E. Also in this module we learn how to formulate an oil blend before taking the module quiz which enables us to pass to the next level.

The next modules involve Facial Product Formulation - toners, cleansers and moisturisers. I picked up a few ingredients from several suppliers.

In this group of modules we learn how to formulate Facial toners with and without solubiliser, Facial gels, Bi-Phase Facial Cleansers, Cream, Gel and Foaming Cleansers, Micellar Waters, Anhydrous Facial Creams, Facial Oils, Facial Balm, Lip Balm and Facial Emulsions. It really is fascinating and the course is very easy to follow. Next up it's Body Cleansers, Moisturisers and Spa Exfoliators. 

I'm really enjoying the course and hope to share with you some more creations soon! Remember you can sign up until 10 July. See more details HERE.


Thursday, 5 July 2018

Naturisimo: Sensitive Soul Discovery Box

I find it very hard to resist a Naturisimo Discovery Box and Sensitive Soul Discovery Box just had to be mine! It's stuffed full of wonderful green beauty goodies worth £76 (the box only cost £17.95 with free p&p and it's now unfortunately out of stock). You can sign up to their newsletter to be one of the first to know of any offers (or follow them on Twitter/Instagram).

So what's inside:

Tata Harper Hydrating Floral Essence 15ml
Aurelia Probiotic Skincare Cell Revitalise Night Moisturiser 20ml
Pai Copaiba Deep Cleanse AHA Mask 10ml (REVIEW)
Meow Meow Tweet Baking Soda Free Grapefruit Deodorant Cream 28g
Scentered LOVE Therapy Balm 1.5g
A'kin Organic Rosehip Oil 3ml (REVIEW)
John Masters Organics Lavender, Rose Geranium & Ylang Ylang Soap 42g
Green People Damask Rose Facial Oil 5ml
Jurlique Herbal Recovery Advanced Serum 2ml
Jurlique Purely Age-Defying Nourishing Cleansing Oil 2ml
Antipodes Hosanna H20 Intensive Skin Plumping Serum 10ml
LOV Organic Love is Zen 1 x teabag

It's a fabulous box and I'm looking forward to trying it all. Meow Meow Tweet had been on the wishlist! Did you pick one up?

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

AA Skincare: Festival Picks

AA Skincare have a great range of products which are perfect for taking with you the next time you are at a summer Festival. How clever are these Tea Tree & Aloe Vera Cleansing Bodycare Wipes (currently on sale at £2.64). I picked these up via Latest in Beauty recently. They are great for top-to-toe cleansing. Tea Tree oil is naturally antiseptic and cleanses and removes bacteria while Aloe Vera cools and calms. The wipes are alcohol and free from artificial fragrances. To use: simply wipe over the body to freshen up. I'm not a huge tea tree fan so probably would prefer these in a different scent but they'd be fab for festivals where there may not be access to a shower.

I've used their Green Tea & Aloe Vera Soothing Cleansing Wipes* before (25 wipes - £3.30) which I first received in a YOU Beauty Box (link). I don't use wipes often but these are the ones I'd pick as they are pleasant to use, effective and super gentle.

The final item which I'd recommend (you do need access to a shower however!) are their shampoo bars* (£5.94) which are very long lasting and easy to tote about. See my review HERE.

What are your top picks for Festivals?


Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Rare Beauty: NAKIN Purifying Face Toner & Freyaluna Skincare Shampoo Travel Kit

Founder Corinne at Rare Beauty asked if I'd like to be a "mystery shopper". I was given a voucher code* to use and went to explore the site which is the UK's first women-led natural beauty store.

Current brands include: Nakin, Freyaluna Skincare, Mallow+White and Supernatural Beauty. You can see the full range of brands HERE. This is always evolving and growing so keep your eyes peeled for new brands being added.

Corinne's hobby was making her own natural skincare and last year had a lightbulb moment to create her own online shop with the products handcrafted in small batches by women.

There are also a small select group of Beauty Residents who honestly review all the products instore. Check them out HERE.

And so to the products I selected..

The products are beautifully wrapped (it's the little things..) 

I'd heard of NAKIN before but hadn't up to now tried any of their products. I selected their Purifying Face Toner (150ml - £15)* which comes boxed and has quite sleek but simple packaging. The toner will cleanse, tone and condition the skin. Aloe Vera cleanses while Witch Hazel detoxifies pores, Seaweed extract purifies and Hyaluronic Acid hydrates.  The toner has a pleasant naturally fresh scent and is suitable for all skin types. 

My second pick was Freyaluna Skincare's Shampoo Travel Kit (2 x 30ml bottles - £10)* which are great for try me or travel. I love the simple but pretty packaging (I'm already a fan of this brand having reviewed their Rose Petal Gift Box (link) (I think the nearest thing to that now is the Smell the Roses Gift Box) and their clever TRY ME Selection Box (link - although I reviewed this way back in 2012 and prices have understandably increased).

The bottles are nestled in tissue and inside the box is 30ml of Nourishing Nettle & Lavender Shampoo which is nourishing and strengthening and 30ml of Gentle Geranium & Ylang Ylang Shampoo which is formulated for normal hair types and leaves the hair soft and very shiny. There is enough in each bottle for six washes making them the perfect try me or for holidays. I've enjoyed using both varieties but I think Nourishing Nettle and Lavender just has the edge!

Have you bought anything yet from Rare Beauty yet?


Monday, 2 July 2018

Skin Organics Clean Beauty Box: Mystery Box

I'm always thrilled by the thought of a mystery beauty box. Skin Organics Clean Beauty Box are offering a surprise box with two items inside at a tenner including P&P - exciting! Making it an affordable treat, small gift or for those who live in England, an end of term teacher gift (Scottish schools broke up last week).

And so for a closer look.....


Inside is 90g "Feel Great" Mouthwatering Mandarin Coffee Scrub (worth £6.99) from Optait which has a zingy citrus scent. I find this coffee scrub great to use - perfectly scrubby and effective. I'm a fan of their "The Hungover" Coffee Scrub in Potent Peppermint. See my review HERE. I'm looking forward to trying this new scent.

My second surprise is TOSé Apothecary's gorgeous Wild Rose, Frankincense & Myrrh Facial Serum (30ml - £28) which is a brilliant second addition to the box. I've tried this beautiful serum before (REVIEW) and more than delighted to have it back in my life!

I'm very impressed with my great value "mystery box". Pick yours up HERE. If you decide to buy one please let me know what's inside!

Friday, 29 June 2018

June Book Round-Up

Here's what I've been reading in June:

Deep Fear - DI Kelly Porter #2 by Rachel Lynch - having loved the first DI Kelly Porter book I was very excited when I spotted book #2 on Amazon. DI Kelly Porter and the team are on the hunt for a serial killer who leaves similar typed prose scripts on their bodies and leaves them in specific areas of the Lake District. The race is on to find out why and who is behind the killings. I didn't for one moment see it coming! The story is fast paced and twisty and I loved it! I also liked how the characters are developing. Roll on book #3.

Her Mother's Secret by Rosanna Ley** - I took part in the Blog Tour for this amazing read. See my review HERE.

Anna by Niccolo Ammaniti - Anna and her brother have been living alone in the family home for four years since the virus killed her mother and all other adults. Her mother had the foresight to write instructions for them when she was no longer there to care for them. The electricity fails and food and water are now scarce. Anna keeps Astor safe from the outside and goes on scavenging trips alone often dodging packs of dogs and children. Astor disappears and she goes to search for him meeting a boy of similar age to her on the way who becomes her friend. Astor and Anna journey to the mainland to find an adult. The ending is rather sudden and I found I was left wondering. 

Watching You by Lisa Jewell* - this amazing roller-coaster of a read isn't out until July so I'll share my review in my July round-up.

Tubing by K A McKeagney* - Tubing is a fabulous twisty read which I loved (and is one of my favourite reads this year). Polly lives in London with her boyfriend Oliver who is a nice guy and he seems to love her. He's never spontaneous however. She works in a dead-end job on a free London newspaper and finds her life dull. 

She's been out for drinks with Oliver's bossy sister Charlotte and while slightly drunk on the tube meets a random stranger. The chemistry is instant and they passionately kiss which leads to other things. Nobody seems to notice on the packed tube and at the next station he disappears. Polly is left in shock but has the desire to see him again. She searches obsessively online for him and discovers what she's done is called tubing - silent sexual meetings with strangers...It's an absolutely thrilling read and OMG that ending! I loved it.

Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor - Rebecca, a tourist on holiday with her parents goes missing after walking in the hills. Everyone in the village turns out to help the search party. But life goes on and we see the seasons for the next 13 years in the aftermath of her disappearance. The narrative is exquisite and I was totally drawn into the lives and loves, deaths, secrets and friendships of the villagers. Highly recommend.

Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead - Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. She's an outcast, is coming into womanhood and her life's going to get harder. She's caught the eye of the owner's son a cruel and unforgiving man so when fellow slave Caesar tells her about the Underground Railroad they decide to escape.

Things don't go to plan and they are hunted. The journey isn't easy but they are helped by the engineers and conductors who operate the secret network of tracks to help slaves on the run. They arrive in South Carolina, a seemingly haven and decide to stay. However, Ridgeway, the slave catcher is on their heels and is desperate to capture Cora after her mother evaded him years before. A chilling but compelling read.

the map of us by Jules Preston* - Such a quirky read with endearing characters. It follows the North family and in particular Violet who was abandoned by her immediate family for being a cripple. She lives in a beautiful house with a rambling garden and is a bestselling novelist. She met her husband when he arrived at her door looking for work with his dog "dog". Tilly, her granddaughter is a statistician and compiles a compatibility test about her soon to be ex-husband. There are a whole cast of eccentric characters including her sister who collects designer handbags but never uses them (they have their own room in her house). Her brother is the world expert....on the colour blue! A great read which I really enjoyed.

Don't Look for Me by Mason Cross - this is my first Mason Cross Book (and the fourth in the series). I met him last year at a book event where he read a section of this book and I had to buy it! 

Carter Blake hasn't looked for his ex Carol in 6 years since she left him a note saying "don't look for me". Her neighbour and friend, Sarah and ex-crime desk journalist and now author wonders why they've vanished so suddenly. She sees men enter their house and remove a laptop and other things and calls the cops who don't seem bothered. She's the inquisitive type so goes to check out their home and finds a notebook with an emergency email address. 

Carter Blake meets up with Sarah and she shows him a photo of her and the couple at a neighbourhood BBQ. Despite the hair colour change he knows it's Carol and she's likely in danger and they set off together to look for her.

Trenton Gage, a hitman has been employed to track down the Freels as they have something the three men want. He'll  stop at nothing to reach his goal. A fast paced and twisty read which I thoroughly enjoyed.

The Quaker by Liam McIlvanney* - the story is set in Glasgow in 1969 and is loosely based on true life killer Bible John. The Quaker is a bible quoting killer who seems the perfect gentleman, courteous and polite. Three women are raped, beaten and murdered close to home after a night out at the Barrowlands Ballroom.

The police seem unable to catch him and the city is gripped by fear. DI Duncan McCormack, a leading light is drated in to close the case and write a report. There is a fourth murder which is similar and the police wonder if a copycat killer is at large.

Alex Paton, a peterman originally from the city but now based in London arrives to take part in an auction house heist. He's set up to lie low in an abandoned slum flat which will be torn down in a few weeks as part of the city regeneration. He seems to be in the wrong place at the wrong time as the police want to nail him as The Quaker.

McCormack is a brilliant and tenacious character, who I'm looking forward to meeting again in book #2. He's willing to risk all at great personal cost to see all those guilty sent to prison. A great read. Would recommend.

*sent to me by the publisher via Netgalley
**sent to me by the publisher