Saturday, 30 January 2021

January: Lately I've Been Loving

I've struggled through this lockdown (hence the reason I've hardly posted all month). Hopefully with the first signs of Spring (crocuses, snowdrops & buds on the trees) I'll begin to feel a bit better and more focused on better things ahead. What's kept me going is - friends online, re-connecting with an old friend, books, good food and shopping online!  Here are my January loves:

*I've fallen totally head-over-heels for Balm Balm's new Lavender Face Balm (30ml - £9.50)* which I received in January's Love Lula Beauty Box. It's perfect to use before bed for restful slumbers as well as being an aromatic delight. A review is to come for this one! (I received it free of charge (in the monthly beauty box) as a Love Lula Accredited Blogger.

Picking up a second Naturisimo starter kit. See my review of the first one I bought - Moisturisers - HERE. What swayed me this time was the eye wateringly expensive range Kypris having a product in the Night Care Starter Set (£20, worth £68). The kits are presented in a reusable branded pouch (you also get a code for 10% off an item in the box).

Inside is: Kypris Ad Astra Eye Cream Emulsion 2.5ml (see pot below) which is a decent enough try me size (it's seriously lush) - Unfortunately full size 14ml is £173! I'm happy to try and savour this little pot! (I can always buy another starter kit for another hit!). I'm also loving Grown Alchemist's Regenerating Night Cream 12ml which smells heavenly and glides onto the skin. I've tried a few of their products before - see HERE so know I'm going to enjoy this. Rounding up the kit are two products I've tried before - BYBI Babe Balm 10ml - see my review of this multi-tasker HERE and INIKA's Phytofuse Renew Resveratrol Rich Night Cream 4ml. Have you picked up a starter kit yet?

A beautiful surprise box of chocolates (rose and violet creams) from an old friend through the post who I've recently reconnected with was such a joy giving treat! Aren't they just gorgeous! 

Holly spotted on a daily walk - so glossy and pretty!

I normally make Marmalade every two years, this was the year but I knew I'd be unlikely to get to Waitrose to pick them up. Total joy to find them in our local greengrocers. I really enjoyed making it - gave me such a buzz - must make more preserves again!

A little Blended by Mama order always makes me smile. I ordered The Mill on the Moor beeswax melts just after Christmas (this one is available until the Spring Equinox) and is inspired by Bronte country. These ones have a slightly different formula as they have infused coconut oil and cocoa butter in the mix! The melts have a deliciously orangey (blood orange essential oil), vanilla-y (benzoin) and spice (turmeric and black pepper) aroma (break each melt into three).

What have you been loving this month?

Friday, 29 January 2021

Blog Tour: Before She Disappeared by Lisa Gardner

*I received an e-copy complimentary to enable me to take part in the blog tour. Today I'm on the blog tour for the fantastic Before She Disappeared by Lisa Gardner.

From the Sunday Times bestselling author Lisa Gardner, a gripping thriller featuring an ordinary woman who will stop at nothing to find the missing people that the rest of the world has forgotten.

Frankie Elkin is an average middle-aged woman with more regrets than belongings who spends her life doing what no one else will: searching for missing people the world has stopped looking for.

When the police have given up, when the public no longer remembers, when the media has never paid attention, Frankie starts looking.

A new case brings Frankie to Mattapan, a Boston neighborhood with a rough reputation. She is searching for Angelique Badeau, a Haitian teenager who vanished from her high school months earlier.

Resistance from the Boston PD and the victim's wary family tells Frankie she's on her own. And she soon learns she's asking questions someone doesn't want answered.

But Frankie will stop at nothing to discover the truth, even if it means the next person to go missing will be her ...

My thoughts?

This is my first book by this author and I'm sure it won't be my last. I absolutely loved the heroine of this tale, Frankie Elkin, a middle aged ex-alcoholic with demons of her own. She's made it her life's mission and crusade to look for the missing people once the police stop looking.
The story is set in tough Mattapan, a neighbourhood in Boston and to help her survive while she's looking for missing Haitian teenager, Angelique Badeau she takes a job which comes with a room in a local bar. The locals are suspicious of this white stranger and it takes a while for her to be accepted.
The Police understandably are unhappy and say they're leaving her to it. The lead cop in Angelique's investigation helps her out from time to time and they become friends of sorts. I found the story action packed with very interesting characters and I felt the author really knew the Mattapan area well. I love how once Frankie starts a job she just doesn't stop. I'm hoping this is the first in a long line of Frankie Elkin stories. I absolutely loved it.

Tuesday, 26 January 2021

January Empties

Here's what I've been using this month. If a product is marked * it means I've been given it for review purposes. 

*Micheline Arcier Aromatherapie Richesse D'Or Bath & Shower Crystals - I absolutely loved this aromatic treat for the bath, body and mind. See my review HERE. I'm sorry to use them up as they're just perfect for lockdown times! Definitely on the wishlist.

ZOJO The Bikini Body Formula 35g - I find this supplement helps supports my digestive system the most, although it does a whole host of things. See my review HERE. I'm sure I'll stock up again soon as it's a must-have in my stash!

*I absolutely loved Evolve's Pomegranate & Goji Aromatic Wash 250ml - it's perfect for your morning shower - uplifting and super fruity. See my review HERE. It's on my wishlist for when my stash reduces. Loved it.

Molton Brown's Frankincense & Allspice Liquid Handwash 300ml - it's only available from October each year until it sells out in the sales. See my review HERE. Unfortunately, I was unable to stock up for the year as it sold out!

I simply love Bodhi & Birch's Mint Thé Bath & Shower Therapy 200ml - it's the one I keep buying again and again - such a staple. See my review HERE. It'll be bought again soon.

*The Dr Hauschka bits are from the advent calendar - Almond Soothing Body Cream 10ml - nice enough, wouldn't buy. The two toners - Clarifying & Facial Toner (both 10ml) were really nice and effective - I'd buy both these again.

I just love Lush's Sleepy Body Lotion - it's on the wishlist - I'm likely to stock up soon! Perfect to use before bed for a restful night's sleep.

I picked up the little sample size bottle of Hand & Nail Oil Serum at Blue Labelle when we visited the shop in the summer. It was soo good to meet Pascale despite having to mask up! A beautiful aromatic product - full size is on the wishlist.

My final item this month is Zing Organic's Ah There! Body Oil 25ml which was nice to use but I prefer their Elevate Body Oil with Frankincense & Clementine so wouldn't buy this.

What have you been using up this month?

Monday, 25 January 2021

*The Evolution: Happy Planet Beauty Box: Winter 2021

*AD - gifted item As you'll know I'm a huge fan of The Evolution's Happy Planet Beauty Box* (£25 plus p&p). Winter's box is absolutely stuffed full of zero waste treats for the skin (as well as an edible treat!). I truly think the boxes are fantastic, carefully curated and great value for money. See my thoughts on previous boxes - (click to see) AUTUMN and SUMMER

Inside the box is a very informative personalised leaflet telling you about the items and brands in Winter's Happy Planet Beauty Box. So, will we take a closer look..

From new to me brand(s) Mad About Nature there is a Green Clay Face Mask (£4.50) which is packaged in a reusable/recyclable aluminium tin. I'm looking forward to trying this powdered mask (mix with water or hydrosol) and a review will come!

A second, new to me brand is Lamazuna and from them there is a boxed solid Facial Cleansing Bar 25g (£11) which is suitable for combo and oily skins. It's black (from charcoal powder) and shaped like a little cloud. I love the look of this zero-waste brand and again, a review will come.

Also included is a Muslin Face Cloth (£2.50) by Cosy Cottage which will be perfect for removing the clay mask - lets face it you can never have enough face cloths! This one feels really soft and is on the large side - which is always a plus!

I've had the pleasure of trying this cute little sample pack of face creams (£10) from White Rabbit Natural Skincare before. They're the perfect try-me set and I love the reusable packaging. See my review HERE.

It's always nice to see chocolate in a beauty box and this bar of Dark Chocolate with Ginger (£3.20) by CocoPzazz is delicious - it's also Vegan.

Rounding up this fantastic box are 4 samples from fushi - 2 x Argan Oil 3ml and 2 x Rosehip Oil 3ml which are perfect moisturisers for dry winter skin (great to pop in the travel bag too).

I think it's an absolutely fantastic box again this season - useful, pampering and zero waste. Pick yours up HERE.

Friday, 22 January 2021

Recent Buys: Balneaves, Lavish Peach, Local Selects, Blended by Mama & Hells Bells Homemade Soy Candles

I know, I know I was meant to be good in's some recent buys:

Having loved Blackcurrant & Licorice soy wax melt from my Balneaves Monthly Subscription Box (£15 on the 1st of the month - 12 small melt pots) I couldn't resist a small order. Night Blooming Jasmine had come back in stock so be rude not to!

Instagram ads really work! I couldn't resist Lavish Peach's stunning hand poured Peppermint Sea Soy Wax candle which is studded with tiny seashells. So pretty.

Just my sort of thing! The Local Selects The Stockholm Box is absolutely stuffed full of tasty treats from Stockholm. The company is a small start up based in Port Glasgow. My eyes of course alighted first on that beautiful bottle of gin! The box contains: 50cl Stockholms Branneri Gin (which is delicious), 2 x bottles Swedish Tonic, 2 x Beerbliotek, 1 x Renjer Jerky variant, 1 x Malmo Chokladfabrick Chocolate variant (I got a delicious white chocolate with passionfruit which was incredible), a local selects magazine & reusable gift box (I paid for my own box although received 10% off - you can get 10% off also with BEAUTYBALMLS10). Can't wait to see what city they visit next! It'd make an excellent Valentines Day gift (get your orders in before the 8th!)

Just after Christmas I placed a little Blended by Mama order for The Mill on the Moor - which is inspired by Bronte country. It's made with beeswax, cocoa, honey and vanilla infused coconut oil and cocoa butter (and looks almost edible) with zesty blood orange, turmeric, black pepper and benzoin (it smells incredible). It'll be available until the Spring Equinox. I so love Siobhan's melts - they're that little bit different (you receive 3 bars which you should slice into 3 to melt).

I'm always happy to support a new wax melt business. Helen from Hells Bells Homemade Soy Candles followed me on Instagram and I realised "I know her". She's a twitter friend who got made redundant earlier in the year. So I just had to support her growing business. Do check it out! All the melts smell great on cold sniff, there's a good choice of scents and postage is very reasonable! Catch my thoughts when I get the chance to try them out on an Instagram post.

What have you been buying lately?

Wednesday, 20 January 2021

*Blog Tour: One Chance: Surviving London's Gangs by Terroll Lewis

Today I'm on the blog tour for the incredible One Chance: Surviving London's Gangs by Terroll Lewis* (I received a proof copy of the book to enable me to take part in the blog tour).

It’d be easy for me to go back to my old life, but I know where that old life leads you. You’re either behind prison bars or six feet underground.”

Born and raised on Brixton’s notorious Myatt’s Field and Angell Town estates, Terroll Lewis has lived a crazy life. Surrounded by gang culture from an early age, like so many other young inner-city people, he found it hard to resist the lifestyle.

By the time he was 15, he had already joined a gang, been stabbed, shot at, and was selling drugs. A chance to play professional football at Stevenage offered him a way out, but the short-term allure of a glamorous street life — the promise of girls, money, and cars —compared to the £50 a week he was being paid to play football, led Terroll back to South London and the notorious OC, or Organised Crime, gang.

Violence and drug dealing were the norm in OC, and in 2009, aged 20, Terroll was accused of being involved in an extremely serious crime. After spending 11 months inside Thamesmead’s Belmarsh prison, he was acquitted of all charges and released back into mainstream society, which signalled the start of a new life.

Having used fitness, and calisthenic exercises in particular, as a coping mechanism while in prison, Terroll soon realised that there were other people like him who couldn’t pay for a gym membership, but still wanted to keep fit. Determined to spread the word further, he created a YouTube video demonstrating his workout regime. The views and messages quickly began rolling in, which encouraged Terroll to start conducting classes in local parks. As his client base grew, so did his ambition and self-belief. Leveraging his rapidly growing social media fame to reinforce his case, Terroll was granted a spot – a converted depot on Somerleyton Road in Brixton – to turn the newly titled Block Workout into a fully-fledged street gym.

Through Block Workout and Brixton Street Gym, Terroll is now able to give something back to the community he was raised in, offering young people an opportunity to follow a different road to the one he took during his adolescence — helping them to develop their minds as well as their bodies — and the chance to live a better life.

Not only is One Chance a truly authentic guide for the urban youth, steering them through the world we live in today – from education and relationships, to jail, social media and mental health issues – it also has the power to educate wider society on the experiences that this frequently demonised demographic face. Whichever form it takes, the aim of the book is to increase understanding on both sides, leading to a more harmonious, progressive, and positive society.

About the author:

Terroll Lewis is the founder of the Brixton Street Gym, a charity-based community gym that has gained a huge cult following in the short time that it has been around. He also founded the BlockWorkOut Foundation — the charitable base that supports this amazing gym, making it accessible to everyone regardless of income — and The ManTalk, an online platform that promotes male positivity.

Terroll had been embroiled in some of the most serious street gang warfare even seen in London, leading a band of armed and dangerous young men through the streets of the city, a wild time that ended in him being accused of murder. He was eventually acquitted of the crime and proven innocent, but is thankful for his time in prison, as it enabled him to re-evaluate his life and come out a better man, the man he is today.

My thoughts?

I was totally engrossed in Terroll's story from the very first page. He grew up on tough Mayatt's Field North Estate in South London (otherwise known as Baghdad!) Luckily for us, he shares a much needed glossary of gang speak at the beginning of the book.

His younger years were spent with his drug addict mum Jakki (who has been clean now for years) and her chaotic lifestyle before he tells his grandparents he can't cope with that life – he moves in with them and lead a reasonably normal life – going to school, playing football and meeting up with his friends.

Always on the fringes was their awe of The Olders (older gang members) and what they got up to. It seemed to be such an exciting life – the lure of easy money, respect, cars, guns and girls is what drew Terroll and his friends into the feared OC (Organised Crime) gang. He gets a tattoo “OC” One Chance when he becomes a fully-fledged member of the gang, which he still has to this day.

Terroll had the chance to get out and become a professional footballer and he gives it a shot but finds he misses the estate, his friends and having money in his pocket. He shares with us anecdotes of gang life, vicious fights with other gangs, the drug dealing, day to day life on the estate and the tragic loss of friends.

It's the loss of a really close friend which makes him decide he wants to leave the gang. He's going straight when he's arrested for a crime he didn't commit and does time in HMP Belmarsh. Upon release, he's determined to turn his life around. He used fitness as a coping method in prison, even using furniture in his cell to help him create a routine. 

His YouTube video showing his workout routine goes viral which in turn sees him taking classes in local parks. As his client base and his social media profile grows he's offered space in Brixton to create Brixton Street Gym, which helps young men choose a different path, developing their minds, bodies and giving them “the chance to live a better life”.

I found Terroll's story absolutely fascinating. It's a powerful read which I recommend to everyone.

Tuesday, 19 January 2021

*Love Lula Beauty Box: January 2021

*I receive the Love Lula Beauty Box free of charge as a member of the Love Lula Accredited Blogger Program for an honest review. The Beauty Box is £14.95 a month recurring in the UK (see all subscriptions available HERE). This month the contents of the box are worth £35.

The box contains useful items this month - there are 4 full size items, 2 travel sizes and a sachet inside. I was excited to see Balm Balm's new Lavender Face Balm 30ml which is worth £9.50. It's a luscious balm with a hint of lavender. I'm looking forward to trying it - a review will follow!

Also new to me is Moi Vert's Lemongrass Liquid Soap 250ml (£8) I'm always needing soap in the current climate and this one can be used for cleaning too! Excellent, I love a multi-purpose product. 

From Natura Siberica is their Oblepikha Hand Cream 75ml (£4.50) which I've had the pleasure of trying before. It's rich and nourishing and perfect for winter.

The Hurraw! Lip Balms were various and I received their Baobab Banana 4.3g (£4.99) which is as super-nourishing treat for the lips. It actually has a nutty banana like flavour (this isn't a flavour I've have picked but it's lovely).

From Ayumi Naturals is a Shampoo & Conditioner Duo (travel size 50ml each) in Hibiscus & Turmeric. These are ideal for holidays - if we're ever allowed to again! 

Rounding up this stuffed full box is a sachet of Madara's fantastic Hydra Firm Hyaluron Concentrate Jelly. See my review of this HERE.

Another great box, are you a subscriber? What are your thoughts?

Saturday, 16 January 2021

*Love Lula: SLEEP: ila spa The Big Sleep Bath Salts + Inner Senses DREAM Body Oil

*Sent to me free of charge as a member of the Love Lula Accredited Blogger Program. Lately I've had trouble sleeping and end up reading till the wee small hours (I think this will resonate with a lot of you!) I think it stems from lack of normal everyday life i.e. walking to work, a walk at lunchtime, the gym etc and the reality of being in the house more, moving less and lazying about too much. (I added £6 to enable me to try both of these sleep inducing products).

ila spa's The Big Sleep Bath Salts* (400g - £32) have been on my radar since I spotted the brand arriving at Love Lula. I recently tried the matching The Big Sleep Drops - see my review of these HERE. The aromatic salts are in a large pouch and are a gorgeous coral shade.

The Big Sleep Bath Salts contain Magnesium and Himalayan Salts, Homeopathic Gold Powder, Liquid Amber, Orientalis Balsam extract, Vetiver, Patchouli, Petitgrain, Lavender and Jasmine essential oils. The scent is incredible - deeply aromatic and relaxing. I've fallen head-over-heels for these beautiful salts which make bath time into a lovely ritual.

To use: sprinkle a handful under the hot tap, swirl to distribute, jump in and relax

These salts are an indulgent treat but are so care-giving. They really do help to calm and relax both the body and mind. 

I'm also a huge fan of lovely award winning Inner Senses, having tried them as a customer and as a Beauty Shortlist Judge. I selected their DREAM Body Oil (100ml - £24)* which was awarded an Editor's Choice Award in 2019 to continue my SLEEP theme this month. This luxurious blend smells incredible, just like a cozy blanket, nurturing and comforting and it's perfect to pair with ila spa's salts. 

Formulated with skin loving Apricot Kernel, Jojoba Seed oils, Vitamin E and scented with relaxing and unwinding Lavender Flower, Clary Sage and Sweet Marjoram oils. 

To use: massage onto back, neck, shoulders and chest inhaling the beautiful aroma for instant relaxation

It's a gorgeous aromatic oil which instantly calms and relaxes and it's perfect to use just before bed for restful slumbers.

This duo has definitely helped me to relax and chill out before bed. Pick yours up at Love Lula.

Friday, 15 January 2021

*Blog Tour: There's Only One Danny Garvey by David F Ross

Today I'm on the Blog Tour for the fantastic There's Only One Danny Garvey by David F Ross. I received an e-copy free of charge to enable me to take part in the tour. 

Danny Garvey was a sixteen-year old footballing prodigy. Professional clubs clamoured to sign him, and a glittering future beckoned.
And yet, his early promise remained unfulfilled, and Danny is back home in the tiny village of Barshaw to manage the struggling junior team he once played for. What’s more, he’s hiding a secret about a tragic night, thirteen years earlier, that changed the course of several lives. There’s only one Danny Garvey, they once chanted … and that’s the problem.
A story of irrational hopes and fevered dreams – of unstoppable passion and unflinching commitment in the face of defeat – There’s Only One Danny Garvey is, above all, an unforgettable tale about finding hope and redemption in the most unexpected of places.

About the Author:

David F Ross was born in Glasgow in 1964 and has lived in Kilmarnock for over 30 years. He is a graduate of the Mackintosh School of Architecture at Glasgow School of Art, an architect by day, and a hilarious social media commentator, author and enabler by night. His debut novel The Last Days of Disco was shortlisted for the Authors Club Best First Novel Award, and received exceptional critical acclaim, as did the other two books in the Disco Days Trilogy: The Rise & Fall of the Miraculous Vespas and The Man Who Loved Islands. David lives in Ayrshire.

My thoughts?

I devoured this book in two sittings! Ex-Star Player, Danny Garvey is coming back to Barshaw to manage the Barshaw Bridge Football Club. He never thought he'd come back having left just before a big match - have the townsfolk really forgiven him for turning his back on them on the eve of the Cup Final? Well, he's about to find out..

Coming back was always going to be hard. The team aren't the best and need to be licked into shape, his mother is dying and he needs to now make time for her and her needs, thankfully his controlling brother Raymond is still inside, family friend and football daft Higgy, is always on his side and of course, Nancy and his nephew Damo, both of whom he'd like to get to know.

He finds himself revisiting the past more and more often now and finds out things which help him make more sense of things which happened in his past. 

There are however some moments of humour like when he and Nancy end up at the house party! But, he realises however much he likes her she'll always belong to his brother. 

It's a story of the joy of football, families, community, small town life, secrets and loss and I absolutely loved it (it's always the sign of a good read when you're still thinking about the storylines and characters long after you finish the book).

Thursday, 14 January 2021

Farryn Amber Skincare: Superfruit Face Milk

I received Farryn Amber's Superfruit Face Milk 50ml (£29.50) in my November Natural Wellness Box - the last time I picked up one of the boxes was when there was a Farryn Amber product inside! See HERE.

The face milk, which is suitable for stressed/combination skins is presented in a frosted glass bottle and comes as it is (no excess outer box) I love the simple but stylish branding too. 

Hand blended with potent raw botanical plant oils, natural minerals and rose quartz crystals to brighten, detoxify and soothe. Formulated with Calamine to protect and soothe, Grape Seed tones, soothes and helps prevent breakouts, Calendula extract in Sunflower oil contains 65.7% Linoleic Acid and is high in Vitamins A, B, D and E. Prickly Pear Seed Oil contains high levels of hero Vitamin E. It's scented with a blend of grapefruit and sweet orange peel oils and Vanilla Fruit extract. Mineral separation is normal - make sure to shake before use.

To use: on cleansed damp skin massage 3-6 drops onto face and neck (avoiding eye area). Tip: it can also be used as a beard oil or for cuticles. 

Well, yet another Farryn Amber product I've fallen head-over-heels for. It's lovely to use, smells great, feels silky on the skin, smoothes, softens and nourishes. What are your favourites from the brand?

Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Agent Nateur N4 Holi Rose Deodorant

I've only tried a sample of Agent Nateur's Holi Oil Ageless Face Serum from the brand before. The luxe deodorant (I've never bought a boxed deo before!) has been on my to-try list for a while and I recently picked it up when I got a 20% off code with Naturisimo, making it less ouchy price wise! It retails at £22 for 50ml.

The deodorant is 100% natural (it's formulated with beeswax and bicarbonate of soda) as well as Organic Coconut oil, Sunflower & Avocado Butter, Castor Oil and Rose & Sandalwood essential oils.

The aromatic rosey scent is lovely and I've found the deodorant keeps me fresh all day. It feels gentle on the skin and is suitable for all skins, even sensitive. 

To use: gently rub a small amount to clean and dry underarms

It's definitely in the high end of deodorants and in the treat-me category. Are you a fan of the brand?

Monday, 11 January 2021

*Westlab SLEEP: Epsom & Dead Sea Salts with Lavender & Jasmine

*sent for review. I adore Westlab's Vegan bath salts which I believe really do what they say they will. I was recently sent their SLEEP salts with Epsom & Dead Sea Salts which are scented with Lavender & Jasmine (£7.99 for 1k)* and also contain sleep inducing Valerian.

Upon opening the bag you get a huge rush of Lavender with a gentle touch of Jasmine - the scent is instantly calming! The salts will help you ease into restful sleep (just make sure you don't fall asleep in the bath!).

Magnesium relaxes the mind and body, the blend of essential oils calm and soothe and Valerian promotes restful sleep. They are perfect to help you get into a ritual before bed (I've recently had trouble sleeping so have found that they help immensely). 

To use: add 2-3 handfuls to the warm water to create a mineral rich scented soak. Swirl to make sure the salts are dissolved before jumping in....and relax!

I've loved using these salts and think they really work in helping me have restful slumbers. I'd buy these again. Are you a fan of Westlab salts?

Saturday, 9 January 2021

Malin+Goetz Bergamot Hand Treatment & Sweet Chef Skin Sampler

Malin+Goetz's Bergamot Hand Treatment 30ml and Sweet Chef  Skin Sampler were on my wishlist so I was delighted to unwrap them on Christmas morning.

The Hand Treatment is presented in a slimline recyclable tube and has a simply stunning uplifting Bergamot scent (it's classed as unisex if you want to share!)

The cream nourishes, repairs, protects and absorbs instantly leaving no greasy residue (it actually feels quite matte on the skin). Formulated with ingredients such as shea butter, almond oil, Vitamin B5, glycerine and honey. I tend to use it at night before bed but it can be used throughout the day too (that scent is just glorious and lingers a while). 

I also hinted for the little sampler featuring best sellers from Sweet Chef which includes 4 minis and a full size mask. Inside the kit are mini serum shots of BEET+ Vitamin A (pore minimising + resurfacing), KALE+ Vitamin B (quenches the skin) and GINGER+Vitamin C (even skin tone and lighten dark spots) - these are all 7ml. The SUPERFOODS+ Vitamins Moisture Boost (10ml) is rich yet lightweight and deeply nourishes. Rounding up the kit is GINGER+ Vitamin C Fresh Pressed Sheet Mask which is good for dark spots and uneven skin tone. So far I'm loving trying them and will let you know my final thoughts in an empties post.

Did you receive any gifts from Cult Beauty at Christmas? 

Wednesday, 6 January 2021

Shopping my Stash #117

It's been a while since I last shopped my stash but as I'm on a low spend this year (although I have had a few splurges recently after finding out about lockdown again and feeling low about it) I'm planning on shopping my stash a lot more. I'd like to spend this year on operation use up, mainly enjoying what I have. If an item is marked * I've been given it to review.

My Avon rep, Alice gave me a sample of newish perfume Lucky Me EdP and I fell head-over-heels and had to buy a full size bottle! The perfume is woodsy and warm and contains notes of sparkling fizz accord, vanilla orchid and sandalwood. It's one of my favourite Avon scents, so easy to wear as well as lovely.

BOUCLEME's Toning Drops are absolutely fantastic. They banish brassiness and bring back vibrancy to your colour. Add to your shampoo or conditioner to lift and brighten blond, silver or highlighted hair. My only bugbear is the drops are so slow to come out of the bottle otherwise, it's a fantastic product.

rahua's Enchanted Island Salt Spray* is perfect for tousled beachy waves (and perfect for lockdown hair!). See my review HERE. I also love that it's presented in glass rather than plastic.

I'm a huge fan of DESAVERY's Stellar Daily Serum (truly life changing - see my musings HERE). Their LIT! Daily Serum* is also fantastic and I'm using up my last few drops. See my review HERE. Since discovering it last year it's one of my all time favourite brands.

I love beautiful Plenaire Rose Jelly which I also discovered last year. I'll be sad to see this little beauty go! See my review HERE.

Have you tried any of these products?

Monday, 4 January 2021

The Nue Co Functional Fragrance 10ml

I'd given David a list of things I had my eye on for possible Christmas surprises and The Nue Co's Functional Fragrance 10ml was one of the gifts I was lucky enough to open on Christmas morning. 

I've previously tried the company's Regularity Relief, which really works although it is very much an acquired taste (quite bitter). Their Functional Fragrance thankfully smells glorious! The company was founded by British-born Jules Miller who had struggled with IBS and finding a supplement which worked. This led her to create her own high quality and results-orientated solution. The range is now vast - check it out HERE.

The Functional Fragrance is presented in an easy to tote spray bottle and is designed to help you reset and re-centre at times of high stress. It's been "developed using data insight and research into the connection between cognitive function and the olfactory system". It's quite unique - an anti-stress supplement delivered as a unisex fragrance.

Formulated with notes of Palo Santo, Green Cardamon, Bergamot, Myrrh, Iris, Jasmin, Cilantro, Violet, Musk, Ambrox, Cedarwood and Guaiacwood. It's very woody, spicy and calming.

To use: use daily, or at moments of high stress to reset and recentre. Spray onto wrists and neck, inhale for 8, hold for 4 and exhale for 8. 

It's simply stunning as a scent in its own right but perfect to calm and relax in times of stress. 

Saturday, 2 January 2021

Natural Wellness Box: Comfort Collection

Happy New Year to all my readers. This year I'm going to be doing operation use-up as I've got tons of products in my stash and really need to buy nowt! I'm sure I'll be swayed by a few things however! The only paid subscription box I'm keeping is my Balneaves Monthly Subscription Box. I'll be shopping my stash more and enjoying what I have. I'm also planning on posting less - but there will always be at least 3 or 4 blog posts a week.

My first review of the month (and year) is of November's Natural Wellness Box entitled "Comfort Collection" which I received from my mum and dad at Christmas. When the box arrived I must admit I did have a quick peek (and liked what I saw) before wrapping it up and putting it away until Christmas. (founder & curator, Catherine gives two reveals each box - the next box is this month if you're interested).

The box is available on a rolling bi-monthly basis and this costs £38, a six month (3 boxes - £109), a twelve month subscription - (six boxes - £218), or a one off box (which I chose) costs £42). See more info HERE

Inside are a variety of different items - food, wellness, home scent and beauty. I must admit I was swayed by the two reveals but found I loved everything in the box when it arrived.

From Farryn Amber is their Superfruit Face Milk 50ml (£29.50) which is fantastic. It had actually been on my wishlist. It's perfect for stressed and combo skin types. Hand blended with skin loving plant oils, natural minerals and rose quartz crystals it'll brighten, detoxify and soothe. Expect a review when I've had the chance to try it out properly but so far my skin's loving it.

fais botanicals is a fairly new to me brand (I loved their Kiss It Lip & Skin Balm which I received in my September Skin Organics Clean Beauty Box - see my review HERE). Nourish It Scented Soy Candle smells glorious (Ylang Ylang + Bergamot) and costs £18 for 180ml, I'm so looking forward to lighting it, and again a review will come!

I've heard of Life Armour but haven't (until now) tried anything from their wellness range. Inside the box is their Drops of Immunity (£22) which help to support your immune system (perfect for COVID-19 times!) Again, a review will follow when I've had the chance to try them out.

From Nourish Skincare is a 15ml pot of their Anti-Oxidant Multi-Tasking Super Balm (£12) which I've had the pleasure of trying before. It can be used as a cleanser, a moisturiser or a treatment mask. I've also used it on hands and cuticles and flyaways. 

From new-to-me LBB Skin is one of their single use Take Off - Touch Down XL Face & Body Cleansing Cloths which are perfect for travel and holidays. Use when you are unable to get to the sink to clean, refresh and revive the skin and body - it'd also be perfect for the work to night out routine. I'll share my thoughts in an empties post.

Rounding up the box are two sweet treats - Popcorn Shed's award winning Butterscotch Vegan Gourmet Popcorn (£4) which has a rich, sweet and buttery flavour and Cocoba 53% Dark Chocolate Hot Chocolate Spoon (£2.75) which creates an indulgent luxury hot drink.

Did you get November's box? If so, did you love it too?