Saturday, 28 December 2013


About a week ago, there was a Twitter conversation between a few bloggers about taking part in a spending ban during January - No Buy January was born and Paula from Naturally Paula quickly posted some suggested guidelines and a list of those taking part.

In the run up to Christmas, I stopped buying anything new as I knew that I had quite a few items on my wishlist and a whole load of products (mainly samples) to use up. I joined No Buy January both for support (who can resist January sales) and to get some ideas for posts during this time. 

So far we have the following guidelines (to read Pauls's full post click here)

Basically no buy, means no purchases of any kind in the cosmetics/beauty/personal care ranges with these possible exceptions:

Subscription boxes: a lot of us subscribe to these monthly/quarterly beauty/eco boxes.  In some cases it is already too late to cancel.

Run completely out of an item during the no-buy month: if you completely empty an item, then you should show the empty item prior to the repurchase (no secret stashes as this helps no one).

For those blogger/readers who have been on no-buy for months already: propose to allow a "treat" purchase for those individuals as they have already been doing what we aspire to do.

PR samples: if you receive a PR sample during no-buy month, full disclosure of said PR item as it should always be.  It is up to each individual blogger if they will accept PR samples during the no-buy month. 

. I already have a subscription to SoukSouk so I will keep this running for the month. Everything else is a no go.
I'll be starting January by exposing my current stash of items and I'll go from there.

Good Luck to all taking part - I look forward to reading about your progress x

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Christmas Green Beauty Swap - with Tania from Bow Tied Beauty

Back at the beginning of  November, Tania from Bow Tied Beauty and Ria from Naturia Beauty came together to host a Christmas Green Beauty Swap. Having loved the last swap I was part of, I signed up for it straight away.

I was actually paired up with Tania and after a few emails we decided on a price limit, post date and agreed to open our gifts on Christmas Day.

Now, I admit I took the first two pictures the day I received my parcel which is why they look different to the second two.  
The parcels were wrapped so beautifully! I love this candy-striped string and will definitely be picking some up for wrapping Christmas presents next year as I loved the simplicity of it.

I was blown away by everything that was inside, so many gorgeous gifts. Unfortunately I don't have a photo of the Christmas Cracker that the Weleda Skin Food came in as I was too excited and just ripped it open like a child.

Tania picked a fantastic selection of products for me, I'm over the moon with everything I received.
I'm so excited to try the Neom Three Nights of Peace and the mini Moa Balm as this was something I have wanted to try for a while now.
Tania also included some Kusmi Tea in Rose Green Tea - perfect for over indulgence at this time of year. The tin is beautiful however I did have a bit of an accident when opening it as the lid was a bit stiff ; I ended up with about a tablespoon of loose tea in my lap! No harm though as I was able to scoop it back into the tin.

A HUGE thank you to Tania for a brilliant swap. I'm so happy with everything you took the time to pick for me and I hope you loved yours too!

See what I got for Tania and her thoughts here!

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Faith in Nature Shampoo & Conditioner

I made an emergency trip to my local health foods shop a few weeks ago after running out of shampoo.
I picked up the Faith in Nature Neem & Propolis Shampoo and the Seaweed & Citrus Conditioner.

I have used them for the last three weeks or so and to be honest I have really mixed feelings about them.
The shampoo is (mostly) great - it lathers well so I get a good wash without having to do it twice. I like the smell, sort of like earthy floral, it doesn't weigh my hair down and it keeps my hair less oily for longer. Those are the positives. My negative? Scalp irritation.

My hair is really thick so rinsing shampoo out can sometimes be a struggle and very occasionally I don't get it all out so get a bit of a flaky scalp. These are usually on rushed days and it really doesn't happen that often.
I noticed that my hairline was a bit flaky the first time I used it so put it down to a rubbish rinse. The second, third and fourth time it happened I knew it wasn't me.

I tried to take a photo of my hairline but I just couldn't get one that showed it up well. I've said scalp irritation but it's not particularly itchy, just flaky. 

When I bought the shampoo I did a very quick scan of the ingredients and finding no SLS, I bought it. Looking at the ingredients now I can see that it has Ammonium Laueth Sulfate. After a bit of fishing on the internet, I found an article on The Green People's website which says that although ALS sound similar to SLS, their molecular structure is significantly different and do not have the same potential to irritate the skin. The molecules are larger than those of SLS and are therefore considered to be milder and safer alternatives. Read the full article here.

ALS may be a safer alternative but it still caused me a huge problem. This will be added to my list of ingredients to avoid.

Compared to the shampoo, the conditioner was really nice to use and I didn't have an problems with it. I found it a bit runny but it did appear to do a good job at conditioning my ends so I'm happy with it and will use it again. I still use my avocado oil as a pre-conditioner so I find that I don't need as much of an intensive conditioner as the oil works so well.

Which shampoo & conditioner do you use?

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Green Beauty Characters Tag

I saw this on Amber's Beauty Talk a couple of weeks ago and decided that I would give it a whirl.The tag was created by Sonja over at Life in Blush and you can read Amber's answers to the tag here.

On my nightstand you’ll find: Lip balm, hand cream, a book, music, glass of water and tablets. See my post here. Essentials for an end of the day/easy wake up routine.

The literary character I'm most like is:  According to this quiz I'm Hermione from Harry Potter. I am smart, witty and love a challenge. This made me chuckle a bit - mostly because I have mad hair like Hermione did at the beginning.

I'm currently obsessed with: SoukSouk boxes. I joined up in July and every month I get a box of goodies to my front door for a really reasonable price. I've been able to sample so many different brands, brands that I have not even heard of. It's a great scheme and one I will be part of for a very long time.

My favourite superhero is: Hmmm - Batman or Iron Man. Men with money rather than radioactive spiders or super powers.

Favourite beauty product of 2013: I've tried so many amazing things this year but I think I have to say NYR Wild Rose Beauty Balm. It has made a real difference to my skin and is such a good multitasker.

If I could have dinner with anyone dead or alive it would be: All the people I have lost - either from falling out of touch or those important people who have passed on. My Grandma passed away earlier this year and I feel like I only ever knew her as "Grandma" rather than as a individual and a woman.

Winter is coming – how do you prep your skin for battle? Balms and oils. My evening skincare routine is taking longer as I really want to be able to give my skin back what it has lost during the day with cold winds and central heating. Its a really soothing process.

My perfect date night makeup consists of: I'm not a big makeup wearer so I usually just exaggerate my day time look. This means a shimmery neutral eye shadow with a bit of shading, thick black cats eyes, a couple of coats of mascara, a bit of blusher and a slick of lipstick. Ready to go!

My go-to skin-beautifying snack/drink is: Water water water. 

My TV boyfriend is: 

Jonny Lee Miller - in anything! He is a fantastic actor and a total babe; currently in Elementary as Sherlock Homles but my favourite as Mr Knightly from Jane Austen's Emma. 

If my evening clutch could only hold one beauty item it would be: Some kind of lip colour - tint, stain, gloss, stick, balm - something to keep those lips looking good all night.

One beauty tip I would pass on to my fictional daughter is: Drink plenty of water. It will flush out a lot of those nasties and keep your brain focused. 

The most nostalgic item from my childhood is: It's been great putting the Christmas tree up as I get out all my old ornaments from when I was a child. My favourites are an egg that my Mum decorated when I was about 7 and a little tubby angle. The bring back so many good memories.

My favourite TV show of the moment is: Elementary on Sky Atlantic. The Tunnel, also on SA, is a very close second. I'm a total dork really, but Doctor Who is a Big Deal in my family so we always watch it and I can't wait for the Christmas Day episode. Bye Bye Matt Smith.

My favourite quote is: "Experience is merely the name men gave to their mistakes" Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

I'm not going to tag anyone specifically but do take part if you would like! Let me know in the comments section if you post about it :)

House Rules:

1. Be sure to tag others
2. Title your article in the same way
3. Mention that this originated on

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

What I've got in my handbag...

So about a week ago I posted about what I have by my bed and today I'll be writing about what I have in my handbag...

Apivita - Handcream with Aloe & Honey - I only need a light moisturiser for my hands and this really does the job. It is easy to apply and absorbs quickly.

bodhi - Mint The Temple Balm - A true saviour for headaches and tired limbs. I keep this close by at all times. See my full review here.

Bentley Organic - Hand Sanitizer - I can get a bit funny about germs sometimes, especially when out and about where lots of people are so I need something that will clean my hands on the go. This sanitiser is alcohol, paraben and perfume free and also 90% organic!

Herbfarmacy - Lip Conditioner - Love this lip balm - it smells great and lasts for ages on the lips. I'm actually just about to come to the end of it but will be repurchasing.

Neal's Yard Remedies - Remedies to Roll in Travel & Energy - Again, these two are really handy. I don't travel well if I am a passenger in a car and this helps with the nausea. I usually have GinGins in my bag too but appear to be out at the moment! The Energy is so useful and really gives me a boost if I find myself flagging.

The Body Shop - Tea Tree Blotting Tissues - My skin can get a oily as the day progresses so I keep these to hand to take some of the shine off. Saying that however, I can't actually remember the last time I used them which must mean something in my skincare routine is working!

Bach Flower Remedies - Rescue Remedy Spray - I worry, I panic, I have high anxiety. Just having this close by is helpful! I find the spray much easier to use than the oil drops, it is instant rather and fast working.

What do you have in your bag?

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Review: bodhi Neroli Lucé Revitalising Face Oil

One of the many brilliant things I received from Sandra for our Autum Beauty Swap was a bodhi Neroli Lucé Revitalising Face Oil.

Until I received this, I had only tried their Mint Thé Shower Therapy but boy had my collection grown since.
Anyway, onto my review...

I had been a bit dubious about facial oils, having never found one that worked for my skin. Until now!
This facial oil is incredible. Suitable for most skin-types but particularly good for combination skin, this oil absorbs quickly without leaving a heavy or greasy feeling behind. 
It hydrates and nourishes, it brightens the complexion and fights free radicals which can damage the skin and boosts skin elasticity and resilience.

The oil is a beautiful orange colour, thanks to the Seabuckthorn Oil and the Tunisian Neroli Oil provides the oil with an uplifting scent. Other active botanicals include Frankincense (another one of my favourite smells), Grapeseed Oil, Jojoba Oil, Evening Primrose Oil and Apricot Kernal Oil.

I have used this after cleansing and toning as part of my evening routine over the last few weeks - just two pumps needed to cover my neck and face and I have loved every last drop. When there wasn't enough left in the bottle to be able to pump out, I opened it up and swirled a cotton bud around to make sure I used it all! 
My skin was left feeling and looking brighter, more toned and even. I had less red spots and I think I generally had less actual spots. 

The full sized oil is now on my wishlist for Christmas because now I have started using it, I don't ever want to stop.

You can buy bodhi Neroli Lucé Revitalising Face Oil from the bodhi website here for £12 for 5ml or £32 for 15ml.

Which, if any, facial oils to you use? 

Friday, 13 December 2013

My Christmas Wishlist

I wanted to share with you my personal Christmas Wishlist and hopefully my friends/family will see this too! It's a mix of beauty and non beauty.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman - can be brought from Amazon for £9.38. Neil Gaiman is a brilliant writer and one of my favourites. This book was published in the summer but I've held off buying it as I think it would be a perfect read for dark, Wintery nights.

Belkin Desktop Charger - can also be brought from Amazon for £28. This cute little stand will look perfect on my bedside table. I used to charge my iPhone on my DAB docking station but the new iPhones have this weird lighting charge so I have to get something new.

Frangelico Liqueur - £18.49 from Drink Supermarket. I love this drink! Usually on its own and often with sugar and lime. So sweet and hazlenutty.

The Office Season Eight - Another Amazon buy for £25. The season after Michael makes his departure. I missed this on Comedy Central and neeeeeeeeed to catch up!

Weleda Mini Body Wash Pack - from the Weleda website for £9.95. It's always great having mini products to be able to pick up whenever I go away. Also a good way to sample different scents.

Yarok Feed Your Shine Serum - from the wonderful ABW site for £22. Something to keep my hair protected from heat styling; I've read so many good things about this brand. I had the mousse in the ABW A/W 13 box but unfortunately the one thing my hair doesn't need is more volume! If anyone would like this, do let me know and I will send it to you.

Lastly, some of my real "wants"!

Heartwood Candle Co Sweet Orange, Clove & Cinnamon - £18 from the Heartwood Candle Company website. This just sounds like the best combination of Christmassy scents. I need it. I really do!

bodhi Intrepid Traveller Set - £48 from bodhi. On top of having a brilliant selection of travel sized bath & shower therapy and body moisturisers, it has a lovely eco cotton flannel and an absolutly gorgeous tweed bag. If this isn't under my Christmas tree then I'll (have a strop) have to buy it for myself!

Aurelia Relax & Repair Night Time Gift Set - £65 from Aurelia. This is a bit of a push budget wise but it just looks amazing. I collect vintage china trio sets (usually 1870-1920 with a few later sets in there too) This cup & saucer set looks beautiful, the scalloped edges are a real draw for me. The specially blended night-time tea and the Cell Repair Night Oil are just the icing on the cake.

What is on YOUR Christmas list?

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Swindon Pulse - Whole foods haul

I popped into my local whole food store Pulse after work yesterday to pick up some shampoo. I ALWAYS get carried away in this little gem of a shop, especially if I see things that I have read about!

So this is what I got:

Faith in Nature Neem & Propolis Shampoo - The only thing I went in for. I haven't used this shampoo before so will do a full post once after a couple of weeks. I went for the normal/oily choice.

Faith in Nature Seaweed & Citrus Conditioner -I had run out of conditioner too. They didn't have conditioner in Neem & Propolis so I went for Seaweed & Citrus instead as it was for normal/oily hair too. 

biona Coconut Oil - Good to cook with, good to add to coffee, good to my hair, good for my skin. What's not to love?

Freedom Mallows in Vanilla & Strawberry - I've spotted these on a few blogs recently and I am a sucker for marshmallows. I looked at buying them on-line but I am tight and didn't want to pay more for postage than the actual sweets. Anyway - these are INCREDIBLE!

VegiDeli Seasonal Sausage Style Rolls - A brilliant mix of little vegi sausage rolls that are also wheat & dairy free. I have stocked up on these for Christmas emergencies!

inSpital Raw Purple Corn Kale Chips - These really appealed to me - crispy kale with cashew nut dressing? Yum. Reality? Yuk. Gave me really stinky breath and were just not nice. I didn't even finish the packet; my colleague took a few to try and disliked them too. 

Chi Chocolate Coconut Milk - A favourite treat of mine, I'll always pick one up when I am in the shop.

Booja-Booja Hazlenut Crunch Chocolate Truffles - I have seen loads about these on Twitter recently and when I saw these I had to get them. At £7 for 9 truffles they are expensive but honestly they are worth every penny. I have only eaten the one but each bite was an explosion of pleasure! Dusted with cocoa power and filled with smooth truffle with sweet roasted hazelnuts. Ingredients? Chocolate (cocoa solids 55%, cane sugar, vanilla), Coconut Oil, Hazelnuts & Cocoa Powder. Vegan, dairy free, organic and gluten & soya free. I will be buying these again!

What treats do you like to pick up from your local whole foods shop?

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Review: Neom Tranquillity Travel Candle and Pillow Mist

I've had my eye on Neom's Perfect Night's Sleep set for a while but couldn't really justify spending £55 on myself just before Christmas!
After an unrelated visit to the QVC website, I found they had a mini Tranquillity set - £19.50 for a 50ml Tranquillity Pillow Mist and a travel Tranquillity candle. A mega bargain so of course I picked one up!

Tranquillity Pillow Mist 50ml - A beautifully scented mist with a clean and relaxing scent, the English Lavender, Sweet Basil & Jasmine are perfect companions to aid a peaceful sleep. I spritz this onto my pillow and the top of my duvet before I climb into bed. I found that I needed to do this a few moments before I actually got into bed as I am very sensitive to the scent of the grain alcohol. It only lasts a few moments really and after that I can really appreciate the essential oils that create this spray.

Tranquillity Travel Candle 75g - The candle has the same delightful fragrance as the mist but better still, as the candle smells glorious even when unlit. It needs at least an hour of burning to really 'set the mood' I guess I could say! I find myself going up to bed earlier now, lighting the candle and going through my evening skincare routine before settling with a book for half an hour. After this, I really feel relaxed and ready for a good rest.

Both the candle and the mist have good lasting power; if I am having a particularly bad sleep, with lots of turning, I can still smell the scent throughout the night.

You can buy this mini Tranquillity Set on the QVC website here for £19.50.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

What I've got on my bed-side table

I thought I would do a couple of posts on what I am currently using. Today is what I have on my bed-side table and next week I will do one about what I have in my handbag.

I'm a huge music lover and have this rather old but faithful DAB radio with iPod docking station within easy reach. I will usually have BBC 6Music on but I love that I can dock my iPod at any time and listen to whichever new album has taken my fancy that week.

Leading nicely into my current book, Morrissey's Autobiography. The Smiths are my all time favourite band and I just love Mozza. The Autobiography has been a long time coming but was eventually published last minute by Penguin Books, which I think is fantastic and just like him. The book is very lyrical and reads just like a song, it makes it quite difficult to really get in to but I am enjoying reading small chunks at a time.

I always have a hand cream and lip balm on my bed-side table, the brands change constantly but I love what I am currently using. bodhi Cocoa Cacoon Lip Treatment is the perfect night time lip balm as it works at a really deep level of the skin, see my full review here. For my hands, I am loving Gwdihw Hand Balm which I got in a SoukSouk box. This is such a rich, nourishing balm with a zingy lemon scent.

I take Viridian High Five Multivitamin & Mineral Formula daily and the reason I buy these ones in particular is that they are free from any fillers, including talc, and are vegetarian. 

From Neal's Yard Remedies (they had to be included!) I have a Remedy to Roll in Night Time. I have repurchased this time and time again and especially love it when I am away from my own bed. 
Also from NYR I have an intensive Nail Balm. Another really zingy balm that I use mostly for my toe nails.

Lastly, a very recent addition to my bed-side table are NEOM's Tranquillity Travel Candle and Room Mist. I will be posting a full review later this week but these are really luxurious products and I just love the room mist. 

So that is it! What do you keep on your bed-side cabinet? 

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Review: Myroo Lemon Body Butter

I came across Myroo Skincare on Twitter (wonderful Twitter) and got chatting with Rachael, the founder and creator. Myroo is based in Harrogate, North Yorkshire and also the place I was born and raised. Rachael kindly sent me a Lemon Body Butter to try, just to confirm that the people of Harrogate truly are the best!

This body butter is just sumptuous. The shea butter, coconut and sweet almond oils have been whipped up to give a really luxe texture, light to the touch but deeply nourishing. The light feel of the butter can be misleading - one might think that lots is needed but this isn't the case. The butter melts into a clear oil and a little goes a long way. 

Shea butter is renowned for its healing properties, coconut oil is used for moisturising and soothing and the sweet almond oil adds Omega 6 and vitamins into the mix.

My favourite part? The lemon essential oil. Lemon is one of my all time favourite scents. I use it on a hot stone with lavender and peppermint when my head needs cleansing as it is uplifting and refreshing. 
This body butter smells like lemon meringue pie, the butter certainly could pass for the meringue topping!

Myroo's Lemon Body Butter is perfect for using after the shower in the morning to really give you a spring in your step. 

You can buy the Lemon Body Butter from the Myroo website here for £15.
Have you tried any Myroo products?

Monday, 2 December 2013

Review: REN Rosa Centifolia 3-in-1 Cleansing Water

I picked up REN's Rosa Centifolia 3-in-1 Cleansing Water at the end of October from M&S as part of an in store promotion they were having (you can see what else I got here) I mostly went for this as I was just out of make-up remover and heard that this did the trick.

The cleansing water is beautifully scented with Rosa Damascena flower water and Rosa Centifolia flower extract. Combined, they give a light and refreshing rose fragrance but not enough to overpower or for it to last on the skin. The cleansing water works to calm, soothe and tone the skin as well as removing make-up.

My main use for this has been to use it to remove eye make-up at the end of each day. I only really wear eye liner and mascara and I haven't had a problem with it removing either of them. I find I have to get the cotton pad quite wet with the water first and apply this to the eye area for a few moments before being able to remove the make-up, but I am able to do with without having to tug or pull the delicate skin around my eyes.

I have also found myself using it as a refreshing toner when my skin needs a bit of a pick me up. I decanted some into a mini spray bottle and find the mist really relaxing after (sometime during!) a busy day.

I'm really glad I picked this up as it really works for me.

You can buy REN Rosa Centifolia 3-in-1 Cleansing Water from their website here for £13.

What do you use to remove make-up?

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