These are the products I've been reaching for this week -
Natural Wisdom Rosehip & Pomegranate Facial Cream Cleanser 100ml - I wanted this cleanser after reading Danny's review. It is one of my favourite cleansers. I chose Rose Floral Blend with notes of bergamot, rose de mai, palmarosa, petigrain, geranium, benzoin and rosewood.
Natural Wisdom Rose & Pomegranate Antioxidant Hydrating Toner 50ml - I love this beautiful hydrating toner. You can see my review here.
Bodhi Rosemary Chi Reviving Body Moisturiser 40ml - areviving and invigorating body lotion. Smells simply heavenly with rosemary, geranium and cedarwood essential oils. You can see my review here.
Sprout Vegan Peppermint Lip Balm - packed full of cocoa butter and peppermint essential oils. I also love the Cocoa version. See my post here.
Clarins Eau Ressourcante Balancing Fragrance 100ml - love this relaxing and calming scent. You can see my thoughts here.
Diptyque Philosykos Perfume Oil Roll on - simply love this fruity fig scent. Reminds me of summer evenings. Gorgeous!
Tom Ford Indian Rose Lipstick - simply love this wearable pink. My only Tom Ford lippy!
Have you used any of these? Are you shopping your stash this week?
Semple & Sempleare a chain of pharmacies which are based in Scotland - they also have an online store - see here. They recently tweeted #bbloggers asking for people to review Carishea Double Whipped Body Balm* (100ml - £7).
Carishea was founded by Trev & Denice Gregory and is part of Trade Right International (TRI), a social business which works with recovering drug & alcohol addicts in Scotland and shea nut pickers in Ghana. Profits are returned to Ghana to help with aid and development. You can read more about TRI here.
Women in Ghana harvest and collect the shea fruits. The fruit is peeled, boiled and dried within 72 hours and the kernals are then ground, roasted, milled and mixed to a paste which is then boiled to extract the shea butter. The shea butter is then shipped to Scotland and the workers transform the butter into beauty products - bar soaps, body balm and hand and body washes. These are then sold and the profits returned to Ghana.
Ethically produced and fairly traded the balm is simply packaged in plastic pots. The body balm is gorgeous! I was sent Shea Scot - a "glocal" body balm made with 80% shea butter, lavender essential oil and local Scottish honey. The balm is double whipped making it light and fluffy. No water is used in production so the balm is really rich. I've been warming it in my palms so it melts to a rich oil before before applying to my body. I've been using it just before bed and have found that the calming lavender scent with soothing honey is a real pampering treat.
Other scents in the range include: Shea Joy - Geranium, Lemongrass & Patchouli Shea Life - Lemon Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus & Rosemary Shea Spice - Ylang Ylang & Cinnamon Simply Shea You can buy Carishea products here.
The Blood of Crows by Caro Ramsay - This is Caro's fourth book featuring DI Anderson and DS Costello. A great plot with interesting characters set in and around Glasgow. The book starts with incidents which appear unrelated - a gangster torched alive, a paedophile released from prison, a suicide of a cop who worked on an unresolved child kidnapping in 1996, a young girl tied to the riverbank and left for the tide and a young man thrown from a bridge. They find out that the crimes are indeed linked to a criminal known as The Puppeteer. A really fab read with loads of twists and turns. Had me guessing right until the end.
Keeper of the Light by Diane Chamberlain - this is my first Diane Chamberlain book and I really enjoyed it. It opens with Olivia, a doctor on an A&E ward operating on a patient with a gun shot wound. A little while later she finds out it is her husband's mistress. Annie was a well loved member of the small community and the story follows memories and truths which come out about her as well as how her family and friends are coping with her death. When I started the book I didn't realise it was the first in a trilogy but it could be read alone too. What have you been reading this month?
I was doing really well in week 6 until I spotted that Latest in Beauty were offering luxury samples of Caudalie The Cream and The Eye Cream (15ml & 7ml) for £14.95 (worth £50) plus P&P and I caved! ooops. Then after reading The Simple Things magazine I came across a company called Remedy...for and two Organic Body Butter Bars slipped into my trolley...And then on Sunday I saw April's Beautylishious spoiler and caved again as I really wanted to try the Lola'sApothecary mini bath oils which feature in April's bag - so not a good week! A total spend of £41.20 - although I might ask for the Beautylishious bag for my birthday.
Here are the products I'm "wanting" this week -
Saaf Face & Body Kit - the products sound interesting and are all organic and free from chemicals and from a brand I've heard of before but not tried any products.
Dr Periccone No Concealer Concealer - already love the No Foundation Foundation and have seen reviews of this on several blogs recently - to name two - Sam's post here and Evelyn's here. It looks amazing and it looks like it really works!
Ancienne Ambiance sent me their soaps* for review. I'm a huge fan of bars of soap and these ones are gorgeous. Available in six scents - Rosa, Meli, Jasminum, Amandula, Lavendula and Goddess Argan. The company was founded in 2004 by Adriana Carlucci. Her first products were a collection of six candles each scented with fragrances reminiscent of ancient times.
The soaps (100g each) are sold in sets of three (all the same fragrance) for £14. The Goddess Argan Soaps are £16 for three. They are handcrafted and wrapped in cellophane and Ancienne Ambiance branded purple paper sleeves.
Made with shea butter, natural vegetable oil, coconut oil and essential oils. They can be used all over the body and are free from parabens, synthetic ingredients and chemicals. I have found the soaps to lather up well leaving the skin clean, moisturised and delicately perfumed.
My favourites are Rosa, Jasminum, Amandula and Goddess Argan.
Rosa Soap - warming rose adds warmth to the soul
Meli Soap - moisturising honey which is made with honey from Provence
Jasminum Soap - sweet jasmine is uplifting
Amandula Soap - made with almond milk softens the skin
Lavendula Soap - made with stress relieving lavender
Goddess Argan Soap - made with Ancienne Ambiance's best selling Argan Oil
You can see full details at the website - see here.
Dr Bronner's Magic Soaps Peppermint Pure Castille Soap 59ml - simply love this 18-in-1 uses soap. I usually use it to clean my make up brushes. You can see my post about it here. I've also used the soap to clean the bath/floor! I love a multi-purpose product! Smells great too. Already have a back up of this.
Bodhi Jasmine Falls Relaxing Bath & Shower Therapy and Palmarosa Verde Purifying Bath & Shower Therapy both 50ml - already a huge fan of Jasmine Falls, see here. Would buy both of these again.
Lush Ponche Shower Gel 100g - this was a limited edition out at Christmas time. A fruity punch spiked with tequila. Really loved this fruity scented shower gel. Would pick it up again next Christmas.
REN Moroccan Rose Otto Body Wash 50ml - love REN Rose Otto. I seem to always have one of these in my stash!
Noble Isle Willow Song Bath & Shower Gel 30ml - this is quite a nice scent but I prefer Summer Rising Cornish Hedgerows scent. So probably wouldn't buy this again.
Aromatherapy Associates Relax Deep Bath & Shower Oil 3ml* - simply love these bath oils. A full size one of this is definitely going on my wish list - you are guaranteed a great sleep if you use this at bedtime - gorgeous! With essential oils of vetivert, camomile and sandalwood.
Dr Hauschka Rose Body Moisturiser 10ml and Rose Body Oil 10ml - these came in my Amarya box - loved both of them and would buy.
Pure Fiji Nourishing Exotic Coconut Oil- trial size - simply love this coconut scented super moisturising oil. I picked up this mini at Gemma'sblog sale. I'm sure to buy the full size again as I love this product when I received it in Joliebox.
Natural Honey Body Lotion 75ml - this came in Joliebox. Nice to use and smelt good but it is a Spanish drugstore product so will be unable to purchase here.
Doctor Duve Lifting & Firming Hand & Decollete Cream sachet - absolutely loved this! Got a couple of sachets in Joliebox - but its super expensive at £79 for 200ml. Probably wouldn't purchase.
L'Occitane Desert Rose Hand Cream 30ml - this was a freebie with Marie Claire magazine. Love L'Occitane hand creams shame this was a limited edition as the scent is lovely.
Caudalie Vinexpert Eye & Lip Serum 1.5ml - this is really nice and I'd consider purchasing it.
"World Book Night is a celebration of reading and books which sees tens of thousands of passionate volunteers gift specially chosen and printed WBN books in their communities to share their love of reading".
World Book Night encourages volunteers to give a book to people who don't read books to encourage them to start enjoying reading. "It's about people, communities and connections, about reaching out to others and touching lives in the simplest of ways, through the sharing of stories".
I'm giving away a The Queen Bee Luxury Body Bar, a solid moisturising bar which is suitable for massage/moisturising the skin. I picked it up last Sunday at a local market. You can see my recent post about it here.
All you need to do is follow me on GFC. If you follow me on Twitter and Tweet about the giveaway this will give you two extra entries. The mini giveaway will end on Thursday 28 February at 7pm. I'll choose a winner using Random.org. Please leave your email address and tell me what you favourite product has been so far this year (not essential but I love finding new things to try!)
This is my last Birchbox from my yearly subscription and I'm kind of pleased. I loved last month's box but this one didn't WOW me.
It's London Fashion Week theme and includes: Gerda Spillmann Bio Fond Cream Foundation 4.5g Shade 03 Bijou - in a shade which is way too dark for me - boo! Cute compact though. Birchbox says "light, creamy base is easy to apply, offers great coverage and sets to a powder finish". Full size retails at £20. Korres Guava Shower Gel 50ml - received Korres in Boudoir Prive previously. A brand I like and this has a nice scent. Probably my favourite thing in the box. Nick Chavez Beverley Hills Pump N'Thick Leave-in Thickening Mist 59ml - received a volume boosting mist in last month's box. A brand I've not tried before so happy to give it a go. Vichy Thermal Spa Water 50g - have used the Avene version of this which can be used as a toner, to set make-up or to refresh - always handy.
There are two extras included this month: EBOOST Natural Energy Booster sachet (received this in a Latest in Beauty box) Eyelash Curler - Birchbox branded and worth £10. I am disappointed the foundation is too dark and that Korres (much as I love it) has been included in a beauty box...again. What are your thoughts?
Jo Loves Orange Tulle 30ml - I knew Jo Malone had her own range out and had fancied the Gardenia scent for a while. I read a review on Thom's blog Manface and knew I'd love this citrus fruit based scent - with notes of orange flower, mandarin, mint leaves, neroli, petigrain and musk.
Another product that Thom reviewed recently was Jo Loves Lemongrass, Amber, Tiare Flower Candle - it sounds gorgeous - lemongrass burns first, then amber and then tiare flower. Expensive though at £75 for 255g jar. The packaging and actual product look very luxurious though.
OV Naturals Petal Soft Skin Rose Hamper £35 - look how gorgeous this hamper is! Stuffed full of gorgeous mini OV Naturals products - Rosy Glow Moisturiser, Triple Rose Face Oil, soaps, a toner, a hair decoration and a beautiful Fairtrade rattan basket - great for storing beauty item.
The Edinburgh Natural Skincare Company is a small Scottish Company who make hand crafted soaps and natural body care products which are made with no artificial ingredients, preservatives, parabens, SLS etc.
Scented with "St Clements" - Sweet Orange, Lemongrass, Lime and Honey - its absolutely gorgeous! Great for massage or for using as a body moisturiser. Retails at £6.50 for 60g.
Made using East Lothian Beeswax, Cocoa Butter, Eco Sustainable Palm oil, essential oils and honey.
To use: rub onto the hands, body or face. It comes packaged in a tin making it easy for carrying about in your handbag or for holidays. It leaves the skin super moisturised and beautifully scented.
I received a sample tube of Oxygen Purifying Honey Masque in my January Amarya Beauty Box. I'd never heard of this brand before receiving it in my box. I'll definitely be looking into trying some more of the products at some point. The masque is suitable for all skin types.
Oxygen is a natural skincare brand which is based in New Zealand and was set up by Alana Riley and her husband Colin Oldham. The products are free from parabens, SLS, mineral oils, artificial fragrances and colours etc.
Oxygen skincare is made of natural ingredients and essential oils. This masque contains Manuka honey and it smells good enough to eat.
Apply to the skin after cleansing and leave on for 10 minutes before removing with a damp muslin cloth. The product is a runny gel and it smells heavenly. It hardens on the skin (like a peel off mask does) but is easy to wipe from your skin after the 10 minutes is up. It leaves my skin, soft, smooth and radiant.
Just before Christmas I took out a subscription to Top Sante Magazine - which is a magazine packed full of interesting & thought provoking articles, health, beauty, food, wellbeing, celebrity interviews, keep fit, make-overs, reviews, advice and travel.
This wheaten soda bread the easiest and the yummiest to make - no yeast involved! The recipe came from an old Tesco magazine a few years back.
Prep: 15 mins
Makes: 1 loaf
Cooking: 50-60 mins
350g strong wholemeal flour
175g strong plain flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 x 284ml cartons buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 200 C/400 F/G6. Butter a baking sheet. Sift the wholemeal and plain flours, the salt and bicarbonate of soda together in a large bowl.
Add any bran left behind in the sieve from the wholemeal flour to the bowl and stir well. Mixing quickly add sufficient buttermilk to form a soft dough. Be careful not to over knead or your loaf will be chewy.
Shape the dough into a round and place on the baking tray. Sprinkle the top with a little extra wholemeal flour for a nuttier top.
Cook at the top of the oven for 30 mins then reduce the temperature to 180 C/350 F/G4 and cook for about 20-30 minutes.
Remove when risen and crusty on the surface and hollow-sounding when tapped on the base. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy!
We ate it with our M&S Valentine Dessert - Baked Emmental Gruyere Bake - which was yummy - although we thought more of a starter dish than a dessert!
These are the products I've been reaching for this week:
Balance Me Radiance Face Mask 75ml- one of my favourite masks. This contains ground walnut shell to exfoliate, kaolin clay to rid the skin of impurities and fruit acid complex for radiance. It smells pretty good too! You can see my full review here.
Rosy Glow Luxury Organic Moisturiser is simply gorgeous. I reviewed Triple Rose Luxury Organic Facial Oil last year and you can see my review here.
A light textured moisturiser which is scented with damask rose otto - simply divine! It hydrates the skin and the essential fatty acids found in the Rosehip and Starflower oils nourish, protect and help to smooth out fine lines and wrinkles.
Retailing at £7.50 for 15ml or £28.99 for 60ml. There are also try me sizes of cleanser, face oils, moisturisers and soap - a great way to try before you buy the full size or great for small gifts. Contains Soil Association Certified Organic Damask Rose Otto, Soil Association Certified Starflower Oil, Organic Soil Association Certified Rosehip Seed Oil, Organic Rose Geranium, Organic Ylang Ylang, Damask Rose hydrosol, Organic Coconut, Organic Sunflower Oil and Vitamin E. To use - massage onto skin day or night or if your skin needs a radiance boost. Use in conjunction with the Triple Rose Luxury Organic Face Oil for a truly pampering treat. Free from parabens, SLS, lanolin, artificial perfume and colours and petrochemicals. I'll definitely be adding this moisturiser to my ever expanding wishlist as quite simply it is lovely and using it makes my skin soft, smooth, moisturised and smelling of roses. Have you used any OV Naturals products before? Website see here Twitter @OVnaturals Facebook here *complimentary