Sunday, 29 June 2014

June Empties

This is what I've been using up in June. My smallest amount of empties ever I think!

Argan Dew Miraculous Argan Oil 3.5ml* - a rich and luscious oil which leaves the hair smooth and shiny. I'd maybe purchase.

Jane Iredale Just Kissed Lip & Cheek Stain in Forever Pink - I simply love this moisturising tinted lip balm. I've already bought a replacement.

Jo Malone Lime, Basil & Mandarin Bath Oil 30ml - love this scent and this luxurious bath oil. I received this one as a gift but would definitely buy.

Aromatherapy Associates Breathe Bath & Shower Oil 3ml - this was ok. Not my favourite scent so wouldn't buy.

bodhi Neroli Luce Revitalising Face Oil 15ml - love, love, love this face oil. I've got a 5ml mini to use up. Will definitely re-purchase as I find its a great product to use in Spring and Summer.

Neom Real Luxury Organic Bath Oil 5ml - this was lovely. Sure to pick it up again.

Lucy Annabella Organics Cloud Nine Bath Milk 125ml - I received this partly used from Sam at Honey Go-Lightly - thanks Sam! Was lovely to use but it is very expensive so unlikely to purchase.

Maddi Alexander Evocative Bath Oil 10ml - this was nice to use. Unsure if I'd purchase as there are other bath oils I prefer.

Mendill Eucalyptus Organic Towelette* - love these wipes sure to buy again.

Tata Harper Love Potion sample vial - this was nice enough but didn't love it enough to buy full size.

Bamford Geranium Bath Oil 30ml - love this! Just cracked open my last mini one. Will probably buy full size at some point.

Pure Thoughts Tangerine & Jojoba Whipped Shea Butter 10g - received this in the S/S Green Beauty Swap. This is one of my favourite Pure Thoughts products so sure to buy again.

Peppy Galore Diva Cleansing Oil 48g - love this vanilla scented oil.  See my review here. Will definitely buy when I reduce my cleanser stash a bit.

John Masters Organics Rose Foaming Face Wash 5ml - this was ok wouldn't buy full size.

Argan Dew Replenishing Hair Mask 10ml* - this left my hair looking great but didn't love the scent of the hair mask.

Bloom Remedies Sweet Orange & Cedarwood Shower Gel 50ml - received this from Ailsa in the S/S Green Beauty Swap. Loved it so much I bought full size!

Dr Bronner's Peppermint Pure Castile Soap 237ml - my favourite Dr Bronner's scent. Have already re-purchashed.

Apivita Body Euphoria Bath & Shower Gel with Jasmine & White Tea 300ml* - love this gorgeous scented shower gel. Sure I'll pick this up at some point.

*pr samples

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Foodie Penpals - June

I took part in my first Foodie Penpals swap this month which was originally dreamed up by Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean who launched it in September 2011 for residents in USA and Canada.  Carol Anne at This is Rock Salt arranges the swaps in UK and Europe.  You can sign up here.

Basically how it works is you get someone to send to and someone else sends to you. Anyone can join in - it's not just for bloggers. Pairings take place on the 5th of the month. You chat to your penpal regarding likes and dislikes, go shopping and post your parcel on the 20th of the month.  Spend is £10 not including P&P and you must include something handwritten.

Paul  was buying for me and I bought for Kat  

My parcel from Paul arrived yesterday. He'd sent a postcard telling me why he'd chosen each product (I forgot to do this! Sorry Kat!).

I was really pleased with everything Paul had chosen for me (this is his first swap too so I hope he got a great parcel as well!)  I love tea so it was nice to get an unusual tea bag from Rishi Tea - Pu-erh Ginger Tea and a can of Oolong tea.

There was a bag of traditional Welshcakes which are nice to eat on their own or warm with jam - yum.  Rum & Raisin Fudge, Pocky Double Choco Chocolate Biscuit Sticks, some sweet and salt popcorn and a delicious box of artisan chocolates (Rose Fondant, Pear & Ginger, Champagne & Cognac and Lemon).

Paul also added some Spice of Life products - Victorian Cake Spice, Curry Powder and Rose Petals which came from a local spice shop.

Thanks again Paul, I love what you chose for me.

Here's what I sent Kat -

Kat told me she is a Vegetarian who loves baking. 

I chose some Brodies Edinburgh Tea, Pinnies & Poppy Seeds Vanilla Elixir, Stag Seaweed Water Biscuits, a jar of homemade Apple Chutney, a Hello Chocolate! lolly and a handmade porridge, seed & honey bar from a company called Your Piece.  My written item to Kat was a pretty card and my great, great grandmother's recipe for Praline Cake (a much loved cake!)

I've really enjoyed giving and receiving this month and I am already looking forward to next month.  Thanks again to Carol Anne for organising.

p.s. you are meant to do your blog post on the last day of the month but I couldn't wait to share!

Friday, 27 June 2014

June Books

Here's what I've been reading this month:

Never Look Back by Clare Donoghue - a debut novel which I couldn't put down! Three women are brutally murdered in South London and DI Mike Lockyer is frantically trying to link the killings and solve the crimes. The murderer is getting more and more confident.  Sarah Grainger, an outgoing photographer fears that someone is stalking her and becomes afraid to leave the house. A fast paced book with twists and turns and which keeps you guessing until the end. Looking forward to the next book already.

Eeny Meeny by M J Arlidge - I was on the edge of my seat as I raced through this book. Can't wait for Matthew's second book which is out in September! Pairs of Victims are abducted and imprisoned and face the choice of kill or be killed. DI Helen Grace who is in charge of the investigation is driven and is a fascinating character who never lets anyone get too close.  A brilliant story with interesting and believable connections. You just can't wait to find out what's going to happen next and how the story will end. One of my favourite books this year.

A Sea Change by Veronica Henry - a quick read which I read while in the bath. A light and easy reading story about boy meets girl at a seaside setting.

Birdman by Mo Hayder - the first Jack Caffery thriller. DI Jack Caffery is called to a horrific murder scene where five young women have been murdered and dumped on wastland near the Dome. Post mortems link the women and the race is on to find her killer.  I wasn't blown away by this book and unsure if I'd read any more in the series.

The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriaty - this book features three different women whose lives are intertwined.  Cecilia, married with the family she has always wanted and with the perfect husband who she knows inside out.  She accidentially finds a letter written by her husband and on the envelope is written "to be opened only in the event of my death".

Tess's husband has fallen in love with her cousin and best friend. She is distraught and upset and takes herself and her son to go and stay with her mum back home in Sydney.  Rachel's daughter was murdered as a teenager many years before and she can't move on with her life until she knows who killed her.  Full of twists and turns I loved this book.

The Bodies Left Behind by Jeffery Deaver - A couple are having a weekend away from the city at their quiet and remote lake house in Wisconsin. Something happens and they call the police but the call is cut short. Deputy Brynn McKenzie goes to find out and arrives to find that people have been murdered.  Before she can call for back out she finds herself on the run with the sole survivor of the crime in the deep woods.  With lots of twists and turns I couldn't put this book down.

The Sunrise by Victoria Hislop* - I was sent this book to review by Love Reading. It is due for publication in September. I'm a huge fan of Victoria Hislop so was excited to read her latest novel.  It is set in Famagusta in Cyprus in 1972 which is the holiday resort to be seen at. Long stretches of golden sands, fine hotels, shops and sunshine.

The Greek and Turkish cypriots live and work side by side mainly at the big hotels which line the beach. In 1974 following a Greek Military Coup Turkey invades the island to protect the Turkish Cypriot minority. Famagusta is left as a ghost town when everyone flees apart from two families - one Greek and the other Turkish.  A really fantastic read with brilliant characters. Highly recommend.

The Madness by Alison Rattle - my first kindle read! This is book of love and obsession.  Marnie lives in the coastal town of Clevedon. She was crippled when a child by polio and helps her mother as a 'dipper' helping fragile female bathers into the sea in Victorian England.  She meets Noah, son of the local Lord and they become friends.  She sees their friendship as something more and becomes obsessed with Noah.  We hear what Noah thinks of it all from his diary excerpts. It has a couple of twists, one of which I saw before it happened. I didn't realise at the time but this is a book for young adults! I did enjoy it though.

Somewhere to Hide by Mel Sherratt (Estate Book 1)
- I raced through this great book and now I'm nearly finished the second one.  It follows the lives of those who live on the tough Mitchell Estate.  Cath, following the tragic death of her husband helps young women in trouble by offering them a bed and a sympathetic ear which in turn helps Josie the local Housing Officer.  Cath has a secret which catches up with her with dramatic results.  The book features interesting characters and has many twists and turns.

What have you been reading this month?


Thursday, 26 June 2014

Dermaoil Skin Repair & Anti-Stretch Mark Oil

Chemist Direct is the UK's largest online healthcare and pharmacy business. They stock health & beauty, wellbeing products, babycare, pet care as well as offering Pharmacy advice. Their HQ is in the Midlands they offer worldwide shipping. 

They very kindly sent me a bottle of their best selling Dermaoil Skin Repair & Anti-Stretch Mark Oil (200ml - £15.99)* to try and review.

The oil is quite thick in texture and absorbs easily and has a light citrus scent. It's a multi-purpose product - the kind I love - it is anti-ageing, helps with scaring, stretch marks, evens out skin tone, use it after sunbathing, to help with sun damage, for hands, nails and cuticles and for any dry skin areas.

Dermaoil is free from wheat, yeast, preservatives, colourings and synthetic fragrances.  Suitable for all skin types.

It contains Collageneer (made from lupin seeds) which is clinically tested and proven to be effective in anti-ageing skin treatments.

This is a really lovely oil which super moisturises the skin leaving it soft and silky.  See more details here.  

Follow on Twitter  

*pr sample

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

AEOS Gentle Exfoliant - Blue

Baobella Boutique is an online beauty community which helps women find beauty products suitable to their needs.  Membership to the online store is free. It offers huge discounts and savings on well known and new to the market beauty products. 

They very kindly sent me AEOS (Active Energised Organic Skincare) Gentle Exfoliant - Blue (30ml - £35.98)* to try and review.

A super gentle scrub which contains natural and biodynamic plant extracts, essences and waveforms of colour.  Products are created with care and awareness of the Mineral Kingdom (crystals & gems), the Vegetable Kingdom (herbs, plants and trees) and the Human Kingdom (light & colour).

Every product in the range contains pure biodynamic Spelt Oil which is rich in Vitamin E and Essential Fatty Acids.

The scrub is also rich in Seed Oils, Roman Chamomile and Lavender, Jojoba, Hazelnut, Avocado, Argan and Sweet Almond oils along with Roswater, Calendula and Lemon Myrtle.  It smells mainly of calming Lavender.

The blue colour reflects peace, serenity, nurturing, stillness and calming.

Apply to damp skin after cleansing massaging in circular movements before rinsing. A creamy scrub with gentle exfoliating particles it helps remove dead skin cells and leaves the skin radiant and renewed.

Have you tried any AEOS products before?

You can see the current offers available in the Baobella Boutique here.
Follow on Twitter @Baobella

*PR sample

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

June: Lately I've Been Loving

We spent a rainy Saturday afternoon in Tonic having a few cocktails. I fell in love with the very delicious Porn Star Martini - so delicious I had to have two! It contains Stoli Vanil, Passionfruit, Caramel & Lemon served with a shot of Prosecco on the side - yum!

I enjoyed a fab afternoon tea at the Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh (formerly The Caledonian Hotel) with my mother-in-law. It was gorgeous. If you are ever in Edinburgh I'd highly recommend!

I read Eeny Meeny by M J Arlidge and I can quite honestly say it is one of my favourite reads this year. Super creepy I raced through it. Matthew's second book is out in September - I seriously can't wait!

We spent a great afternoon at Savour - a foodie event organised by Sharon at Bite Magazine. We ate delicious food and drink.  

I especially enjoyed a pulled pork roll from The Hanging Bat, the delicious jams and chutneys and a cheese platter from The Edinburgh LarderPickerings Gin (served with tonic & lemongrass), Zukr Boutique (super delicious luxe teacakes), smoked salmon & gravlax from George Campbell & Sons  and the refreshing and fruity Idun's Elderflower Cider.

June's Souk Souk Beauty Box has been my favourite box...ever. It could have been made for me - I simply love it!  See my mini review here.

I tried the newly launched Dahliana Wildflower Youth Serum* and simply adore it - you'll see it's already a firm favourite (and halfway done!).  See my review here.

What have you been loving this month?

*PR sample

Monday, 23 June 2014

Love, Honour & Be True Lipstick

Kitty and Helen recently got in touch with me to ask if I'd like to try one of their beautiful new lipsticks especially for brides.

Love, Honour & Be True make five shades of lipstick which suit all skin tones. The lipsticks are lightweight, moisturising, long lasting and photograph well. The lipsticks are made in England and there is no animal testing.  Kitty has worked in the beauty industry for many years and owns two successful salons while Helen studied Events Management at University.

The packaging is simply exquisite. Each lipstick comes in a little organza bag with little paper hearts.

The shades available are Just Married (nude), I Do (pinky nude), Kiss the Bride (bright pink), Love Story (red) and the one I chose Blushing Bride (pink)*.

Blushing Bride (£12)* is a rich pink tone which suits all skin types and is very long lasting and feels nice on the lips.

Here's a wee photo when I got married....a magical day.

See Love, Honour & Be True's website here
Follow on Twitter @LoveHonourBeTru

*complimentary sent for review

Sunday, 22 June 2014

A Closer Look: Moisturisers

Here is my moisturisers and night cream stash. I actually have more than I thought!

The Earth Works Cosmetics Face Moisturiser for Normal or Combination Skin 45g* - a lovely light moisturiser which smells gorgeous. See my review here. Get a super generous 25% off with code BB25.

Apivita Wine Elixir Anti-Wrinkle & Firming Day Cream SPF15 50ml* - this nourishes the skin and contains red wine and beeswax.  See my review here.

Suti Honor Coconut & Roses Face Cream 50ml - one of my favourite moisturisers. A new-ish launch. See my review here.

Trilogy Rosapene Night Cream 25ml - I got this in the YOU Advent Calendar. A really lovely cream which nurtures and cares for the skin. Contains Rosapene oil blend which is antioxidant rich, goji and manuka honey.

Nuxe Nuxellence Jeunesse Youth & Radiance Revealing Fluid 15ml - a light textured fluid which leaves the skin soft, radiant and plump.

Caudalie Polyphenols C15 Anti-Wrinkle Protecting Fluid 15ml - this came in a Latest in Beauty box. Full review to follow.

urbanveda Purifying Day Cream 10ml - a great light daytime moisturiser suitable for oily/combination skin types.  See my review here. Urbanveda Radiance Day Cream 10ml is another enjoyable cream to use.

Super Facialist Rose Hydrate Radiance Day Cream SPF15 75ml - a gorgeous rose scented day time moisturiser although I've not used this a lot recently.

Kimberly Sayer Ultra-Light Facial Moisturiser SPF30 - I love this light as air and citrus scented moisturiser. Perfect for summer time with the SPF.

JULVAL Resilience 24hr Firming Cream 50ml* - a luxe cream which helps with fine lines and wrinkles, firms, moisturises and re-energises the skin. Can be used AM or PM. Absorbs easily into the skin.

HealGel Intensive 30ml* - this is multi-purpose - the type of product I love! See my review here.

Blossom & May Honey & Calendula Moisturiser 50ml* - a heavenly scented moisturiser which is easily absorbed. See my review here.

Omorovicza Intensive Hydra-Lifting Cream 5ml* - a luxe cream which lifts and firms. See my review here.

Therapi Orange Blossom Honey Moisturiser 50ml* - a super light whipped moisturiser which has the most delicious scent.  I've mentioned it here and here.

Aurelia Probiotic Skincare Cell Revitalise Night Moisturiser sample - every Aurelia product I've tried I've love and this is no different. A gorgeous light cream which soothes, regenerates and hydrates. Full size is already on the wishlist!

Caudalie Vinexpert Night Infusion Cream 3ml & Vinosource Moisture Recovery Cream 3ml - I've yet to try these!

elemental herbology Cell Plumping Facial Hydrator SPF8 15ml - I've bought this again and again. It plumps, moisturises and nourishes the skin. I'd like to try more from this brand.

Ole Henriksen Truth Creme Advanced Hydration 7ml - I simply love this light citrus scented cream. It brightens and moisturises the skin.

Bee Yummy Skin Food 2oz* - a gorgeous rich cream which smells delicious. See my review here.

Yours Truly Organics Face Base Face Balm 100ml - a rich moisturiser which helps with blemish prone skin.  See my review here.

And I forgot two...

herbfarmacy Mallow Beauty Balm 15g - I love this rich balm which I tend to use at night (and in wintertime). See my review here.

dahliana Overnight Fruit Lift Creme* which is a gorgeous fruity night cream. See my review here.

Have you used any of these?  What's your favourite moisturiser?

*PR samples

Saturday, 21 June 2014

de Mamiel Rosey Lip Balm

As you'll know I'm a huge fan of this delicious lip balm - I've mentioned it hereherehereherehere and here.

Founder Annee de Mamiel, an Aromatherapist, Acupuncturist and Holistic Facialist suffered a health scare in 1998 and when she was unable to source natural beauty products she decided to create her own luxe artisan range.

Botaniques is a superior skincare range which uses the finest ingredients which soothe, balance, feed and protect the skin.

The rosey lip balm costs £12 for 10g and you can buy it direct see here or from Content Beauty & Wellbeing see here. I've had this little pot since April and use it a few times a day (see third picture hardly a dent in it!). I think it would make a great gift for a friend or gift to self!

The balm is stuffed full of good things to moisturise and nurture the lips.  It contains Camellia, Monoi, Mango Butter, Evening Primrose, Calendula, Beeswax, Manuka Honey, Rose Otto, Rose Geranium with a Rose Wax heart.

It is simply gorgeous! Sweet and uplifting with a deep rose flavour and scent. This is one product which will always be in my stash!

Have you tried this or any other de Mamiel products?

Friday, 20 June 2014

Souk Souk June Beauty Box

I am so excited about the contents of my June Souk Souk beauty box. Everything in it I love!  It includes a brand which I've heard of but not tried any of their products before...until now - Mel Millis - I definitely squealed lots when I opened the box! It's just my kind of box!

Mel Millis Organic Neroli Hydrolate Mist Tonic (10ml - £5) - this smells simply gorgeous! It contains Neroli Flower water to refresh the skin and stimulate cell growth. Use after cleansing or as a spritz on hot days. The boxes contain wild flower seeds so I'm going to tear up the boxes and plant in my veggie plot for the honeybees.

Mel Millis Organic Phytonutri Neroli & Baobab Re-Energising Face Oil (10ml - £7) - a luxe face oil which combines pumpkin, baobab and rosehip oils with Neroli, Immortelle and Sea Buckthorn to stimulate collagen production and reduce inflammation. Again, it smells delicious. I'm a huge fan of anything which contains Sea Buckthorn oil so looking forward to trying this out.

Yours Truly Organics Fix Me! Repairing Serum - this is a full size product worth £28 (30ml). I've used this lovely serum before.  See my review here.

FOM Revitalising Hair Serum (10ml - £4.50) - I've tried a couple of FOM's products before but not the ones included in the box.  This serum is packed full of good things for the hair. Love that you can use it as an intensive treatment or just everyday.  Looking forward to testing this out.

FOM Antioxidant Facial Mask (5g - £4) - a detoxifying facial mask which you mix with water. You can use it either as an exfoliator or a mask. It contains Vitamin C, Rosehip, Chamomile, Lavender and Olive Leaf. Again, can't wait to try.

This is my favourite box so far! Did you get this month's box? What are your thoughts?

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Organic Surge Super Fresh Awakening Body Wash

Over the last few hot summer days I've been having an extra shower when I come straight in from work to cool down and the most perfect product to use is Organic Surge's Super Fresh Body Wash (250ml - £5.99)*.

It refreshes and energises the skin as well as helping to targets odour creating bacteria. Scented with spicy May Chang and upifting Bergamot it rejuvenates tired skin as well as dexoxifying and softening.

I've found the shower gel helps with all day freshness, awakening and invigorates the skin. This is one of my favourites along with Tropical Bergamot Shower Gel

The wash is 99% natural and is certified by ECOCERT.  To use: apply to damp skin or sponge in the bath or shower, lather then rinse.

Have you used this body wash?  What's your favourite Organic Surge product?

*PR sample

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Docteur Renaud Mango Hand & Nail Cream

This Docteur Renauld Mango hand & nail cream (75ml - £13.30)* smells good enough to eat! It is packed full of deliciously fruity Mango Butter, Shea Butter, Jojoba, Mimosa and Sunflower vegetable waxes.

Suitable for all skin types the cream absorbs quickly softening and repairing dry hands and nails.  You only need the tiniest amount for super soft hands. Use as often as required throughout the day. This is the first Docteur Renaud product I've tried before and I'm impressed!  Have you tried any products from the brand?

See more details on the website here.

*PR sample

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

The Body Shop Rewards Card

Last week I picked up a couple of birthday bits for my sister-in-law at The Body Shop. The assistant talked me into buying a Rewards Card which costs £5 for a year. 

With the card you get 10% off every purchase for a year, £5 off a product in your birthday month, a free product worth £5 with your 4th stamp (you get one stamp on the back of your card each time you make a purchase), a free product worth £10 with your 8th stamp and a free gift when you buy a Rewards Card - a very generous deal!

Of course I had to treat myself to something too!  I'd been spraying the very pretty Early Harvest Raspberry EDT (30ml - £8.50) the last few times I've been instore (it reminds me of Bath & Body Works Sun Ripened Raspberry). It is a light, refreshing, sweet and fruity scent and perfect for summer. 

The free gift I received was Peppermint Cooling Foot Spray (100ml - £6) which is just perfect for this sunny weather we are having. It instantly cools and refreshes tired and hot feet leaving them cool and smelling minty.

Have you treated yourself to anything from The Body Shop lately?

Monday, 16 June 2014

Favourite Foot Balms

I've been trying to look after my feet and these are my current favourite foot balms -

Simply Bee Heel Balm 125ml* - this is a rich balm which leaves the feet super soft.  See my review here.  

MuLondon White Chocolate Elbow, Knee & Heel Cream 60ml - this came in my recent S/S a beautiful world box. It is super fabulous. Rich and deliciously scented my dry feet lap this up. Gorgeous. One I know I'll buy again and again. I reviewed MuLondon's White Chocolate Truffle Moisturiser* here.

Margaret Dabbs Foot Hygiene Cream 100ml - I received this via a buy on a Facebook group and I couldn't be more delighted. This is a luxe balm which deals with sore, scaly, dry and cracked heels (nice!)  It smells of strongly of Tea Tree but luckily this disappears on the skin. It leaves the feet deeply moisturised and smooth.

Bathing Beauty SOCK Fabulous Foot Salve 30ml* - this is gorgeous!  Smells minty and leaves the feet feeling great.  See my review here.

And finally, Bloom Remedies Peppermint & Lemongrass Footbalm sample size* - one of my favourite products this year. A rich and deliciously scented balm which is packed full of good things for the feet.

Do you use any of these?  What's your favourite foot balm?

*PR samples

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Vivid Matcha Drinks

I was recently sent a selection of Vivid Matcha*, a delicious range of drinks made with Matcha Tea to try and review.

Founder James discovered Matcha while working at an artisan tea company in Japan.  At home he blended a drink of Matcha, Lime, Ginger & Honey for his brother and it tasted so good. With a few adjustments to the recipe Vivid Matcha was launched in 2013 along with two other flavours - Pear & Rhubarb and Grape & Elderflower.

Matcha is the world's most powerful form of green tea. It combines L-Theanine, natural Caffeine and antioxidants which help to improve concentration and wellbeing. I've been drinking Vivid Matcha in the afternoon as it's a great pick me up. (I've ditched the chocolate!)

The drinks cost £1.85 for 330ml and contain 3/4 of a gram of Matcha.  You can buy from a whole range of stockists - see here.  The flavours are fantastic and I can honestly say I've not got a favourite!  Make sure to chill before drinking and once opened keep in the fridge and drink within 24 hours.

Lime, Ginger & Honey - a delicious blend of matcha, zesty lime, warming ginger and soothing honey. A great little pick me up.

Pear & Rhubarb - with matcha, sweet pear and tangy rhubarb - yum.

Grape & Elderflower - I took this one over to the plot with me last weekend. It has delicious fruity floral notes.

Have you tried Vivid Matcha?

Follow on Twitter @VividDrinks

*PR samples