Sunday, 30 March 2014

March Empties

Lets get to it then...

S.W Basics Cocoa Lip Balm - Ahhh, such a beautiful creamy lip balm. Such simple ingredients, such brilliant results. Love this.

Balm Balm Ylang Ylang Eau de Parfum sample - I found this a bit much for every day as it is quite a heady scent. Great for big nights out though!

Abahna Mandarin & Sicilian Bergamot Eau de Parum - I really liked this scent. I kept it in my handbag for freshening up during the day. Everyone said how lovely it was. I'd buy this again.

Peppy Galore Dive Cleansing Oil - My first dip into the world of oil cleansing and I love it. Used this at night time and it was so gentle on my skin. The vanilla scent was a treat too.

Kris D'Amour Balancing Facial Oil sample - This was a good sized sample but it didn't come close to the bodhi facial oils for balancing my skin.

Faith in Nature Seaweed & Citrus Conditioner - This had a runny formula and wasn't thick enough to really condition my thick hair. Review here.

Savonnerie French lavender Body Wash* - Loved this shower gel, left my skin feeling clean and soft. Lavender is one of my favourites. Full review here.

Biona Coconut Oil - I picked this up in December and have used it every day since. Such a great multi-purpose oil; I love it! 

Salcura Hand Hydrator - I liked using this hand cream, it was great for hydrating my hands over the dry, cold Winter. Full review here.

What have you been using this month?

Saturday, 29 March 2014

CLOSED - 100 Bloglovin' followers giveaway!

This week marked a very special occasion for my blog and I. 
We reached 100 followers on Bloglovin'! 

To celebrate, I'm running a giveaway for one lucky winner to get their hands on a fantastic prize....
Bodhi Assemblage Bath & Shower Gift Set!

Photo taken from

Over the last 6 months, Bodhi have become one of my favourite brands and several of their products are ones that I can't be without (see here, here and here).
I wanted to give you the opportunity to see for yourself why Bodhi is universally loved in the beauty community!

Thank you so much to each one of you who takes the time to visit, read and comment. I wouldn't have got here without you.

Please note, this giveaway is open to UK residents only.
All you have to do is enter using the Rafflecopter widget below and a winner will be picked at random and announced on Monday 28th April at 8pm.

Good luck to you all!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is run by me and the prize was bought out of my own pocket.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

The Very Inspiring Blogger Award

I'm a bit late publishing this as I was away from home last week but better late than never, right?

I'm was so happy to be nominated for this Very Inspiring Blogger Award by Annie over at Hello Purple Clouds. Annie's blog is one that I have read pretty much from the start and I love it. I feel that we like similar things so whenever I see something new on her blog, I often go and have a look for myself!
Another Annie nominated me last week, this time from the great Small But Mighty Redhead. I'm sure people must have been running out of people to nominate for me to have nominated twice!
Thanks ladies :)

The Award Rules ......
1. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.
2. Display the award on your blog sidebar or awards page.
3. Share 7 random facts about yourself.
4. Nominate about 15 other bloggers for the award.
5. Let your chosen bloggers know they have been nominated and link to your post.

7 Things About Me ......

1. I have a fear of dolphins

2. I love tennis. I don't play it, I'm not coordinated enough for that but whenever the big tournaments come around I'll be glued to the box for weeks on end.

3. I spent three years assisting the set up of a specialist Further Education College for young people with Autistic Spectrum Conditions/Asperger Syndrome in South Wales. It meant a 3 hour round trip daily - I've moved on now but the College is still thriving.

4. I love music but am ashamed to say that I'm a bit of a snob about it! I have an eclectic taste but if I don't like something, there is no changing my mind.

5. My cat Friday is just the best thing. She's a perfect reflection of me in cat form - fiercely independent, loves to sleep, stubborn and affectionate (on our own terms!)

6. My husband and I keen cooks and love to experiment. I love long weekends where we spend all afternoon in the kitchen cooking up a storm.

7. I'm a total sucker for period dramas.

Thank you again to Annie and Annie for nominating me! I hope you enjoyed finding out a bit more about me.

I'm sure my nominations will have already been nominated but I wanted to shout them out again.
Tania - Bow Tied Beauty
Annie - Hello Purple Clouds
Sarah - Sugarpuffish
Sandra - Beauty Balm
Ana - Ana Goes Green
Hephzibah - Good for Me, Good for You

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Mid Week Travel

I was away for work this week so I packed up a little bag full of minis to take with me. This is what I took...

Bodhi Rosemary Chi Bath & Shower Therapy and Body Moisturiser - This lovely duo kept my skin clean and moisturised whilst giving me a sensory boost in the morning! 

Neal's Yard Remedies Rose Facial Wash - When I revealed my stash for No Buy January, I had soooo many sample sized face washes that I was worried I'd never get through them all. Alas, this NYR Rose one is the last to be used! Cleanses the face without drying or stripping away the natural oils. 

Neom Real Luxury Bath Oil - This mini bath oil is perfect for travelling and means I get to have a long hot bath in the evening without being disturbed. This Real Luxury is a heavenly experience, the oil conditions the skin and the scent is so deeply relaxing.

Salt of the Earth Deodorant - Love this deodorant. So simple but it really works at keeping me odour free all day.

Bodhi Dessert Rose Facial Oil* - The newest addition to my ever growing Bodhi collection. I've been using it for about a week now and just love it. I'll do a full review once I've been using it for a few weeks.

Dr Bronners Peppermint Soap - I take Dr Bronners with me everywhere as it is so useful. I tend to use it as a hand soap and shower gel when travelling. This peppermint version was really great so I'll probably pick up a bigger size.

Coconut Oil - I brought this along for the purpose of removing eye make up and for keeping my underarms nourished during the night.

What do you take with you when you travel? Do you tend to take your daily products or do you pack a load  different of minis like me?

*Competition win

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Review: Odylique Tea Tree & Green Clay Cleansing Bar and Tea Tree & Herb Shampoo

Pre-warning - this has turned into a bit of a long post and I may yet turn it into two!

I was contacted by Essential Care at the beginning of February to see if I would like to try anything from their new Odylique range.
Essential Care have been going for about 30 years, creating a range of products based on natural ingredients that are loved by people all over! Over the last few months they have launched Odylique - an eco-luxe range of organic skincare. Some Essential Care products have been revisited and updated and others are completely new. 
I was kindly sent the Tea Tree & Green Clay Cleansing Bar and the Tea Tree & Herb Shampoo to see how I got on with.

I was keen on trying the Tea Tree & Green Clay Cleansing Bar* as you can 'use this on face and body for the ultimate deep cleanse. It also provides a silky shave experience'. A multi-purpose soap then! The soap's ingredients are very clean - with olive oil for hydration, coconut oil to create a rich lather and also to hydrate, green clay for purification, and tea tree and lemon grass for their antimicrobial properties.

The soap is an earthy green colour and you can really smell the tea tree & lemon grass which I love. I've been using it in the mornings to wash my face and I feel that it's done a good job. It cleanses and refreshes the skin without drying it out, which I always worry about with a bar. The tea tree and lemon grass work a treat on my oily/combination skin.

I have to say though, it really comes into it's own when using it to prepare the skin before shaving. I have incredibly sensitive skin under my arms and have historically found that mainstream shaving gels would only irritate it further.
I've found this Cleansing Bar lathers beautifully (thanks to the coconut) which allows a very smooth shave without pulling or snagging the skin. The skin gets added hydration and a bonus cleanse from the tea tree oils, without drying it out or further irritating it.

The one thing I will mention, and it may just be because of my tiny, steamy bathroom, is that the bar got bit slimy after the first few uses. This isn't a huge problem, it just means it sticks to the soap dish and requires a bit of effort to remove! 

Overall I'm really happy with this cleansing bar and I think for £6 it is a bargain. I would certainly buy this again.

The other product I was sent was the Tea Tree & Herb Shampoo*
If you are on a journey to use more natural products, then shampoo is generally considered to be a difficult one to master. I know I've tried about 5 different ones over the last couple of years and none of them have really wow'd me.
I've been using this shampoo for a few weeks now and to be honest I'm still trying to find a fault with it because so far it ticks all the boxes.
The shampoo lathers well, although I do still need to double wash due to the amount of hair I have. The scent is perhaps a little medicinal due to the ingredients, which might not suit all but wasn't really an issue for me.

The texture is a little funny and much thicker than conventional shampoos but I appreciated the pump action as I was able to get what I needed without using too much.

The idea with this shampoo is that is acts as a bit of a conditioner too. Once massaged into the scalp, leave the shampoo on for a few minuets and then rise it out. This ensures that the herbs and oils have chance to work their magic.
My scalp is free from flakes and feelings healthy again. My hair is not particularly any softer or shinier than my previous shampoo BUT what I have noticed is that my hair stays cleaner for longer. I usually wash my hair every third day - with this shampoo I'm washing it every four days and that is still without the need to dry shampoo on the last day. I suppose the tea tree and rosemary oils are combating my oily scalp?
Whatever the reason, I'm smitten with it. It costs £11 for a 200ml bottle which is perhaps a little steep, especially when my previous shampoo was about £8 and was for 400ml.

You can view the Odylique range on the Essential Care website here.

Have you tried anything from Odylique yet?

*PR Samples

Friday, 7 March 2014

Going Green Tag

Rachel of All Natural Aspirations created this Going Green tag, which is a fantastic way of getting to know others in our Green Blogging community. Such a brilliant idea, Rachael!

1. What started it all off for you?
A trip to Neal's Yard Remedies! (now can you see why I love them so much?). I remember looking at everything in the shop - picking things up and putting them down again, sampling all the creams and sniffing all the lotions. The labels on the bottles have a list of products that are not included - No Parabens, No Mineral Oils, No DEA - that kind of thing. During this time, a family member was diagnosed with breast cancer and once I started looking at the ingredients that NYR avoids, I really started to worry about what I was using. The links between chemicals used in cosmetics and cancers frightens me.

2. What was the first thing to go? (Ingredient or product)
Parabens and mineral oils. The thought of using Vaseline now makes me feel ill and when I see family &  friends using it I beg with them to change! I can't believe I used to go through tins of the stuff. Yuk. 
Parabens went out next - not as easy to do without chucking or giving away a load of things so this was a bit more gradual phasing out. Didn't take long though as I didn't have a stash of products like I do now!

3. What are you/did you struggle to let go of?
My Naked 2 palette! I love it. I really should let go of it though but I just don't want to! The colours are brilliant - from a simple daytime look to a dramatic eye for a night out. It does everything.

4. What has been your best find or change? (i.e a green product or a tip that you're really glad you've found/learnt)

Coconut Oil - such a simple thing but it does everything I want. I use it to remove make up, as a cleanser, facial moisturiser, lip balm, hand & nail cream, hair mask, body lotion, foot cream and anything else I can think of. It is so versatile; even my cats love it!  

5. What has been the worst thing about going green? What has been the hardest to transition or find an adequate green replacement of?
Deodorant and shampoo & conditioner. I struggled for a couple of years with finding a natural alternative to Dove deodorant but it had to go. I'm currently using Salt of the Earth's classic deodorant and it is the best I've used - lasts for months & months too.
I'm still searching for a good quality, natural (reasonable priced!) shampoo & conditioner, if you have any suggestions let me know!

6. Anything else to add? Any tips or tricks to pass on?
I have oily/combination skin and had always stayed away from using facial oils but finding the right one can do wonders for your skin.
My favourite is bodhi's Neroli Luce - it has totally transformed my skin.

I tag anyone who would like to do this! Please let me know if you do as I would love to read your answers.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Candle Envy

Somehow my candle stash is almost out. 
I'm almost out of tea-lights, down to one small candles and out of large candles - how has this happened?!

It's my birthday at the end of the month and so I've made a list of candles that I would like to open up on the day.

First up is the IW Natural Candle Company - Lavender & Bergamot medium candle at £10.50.
Two of my favourite scents blended together to create a balancing, relaxing and uplifting candle - perfect for these gloomy, rainy evenings. My one remaining candle, and actually my tea lights, are from IW Natural!

Heartwood Candle Company has been on my radar for a while but I have yet to try anything from them. The Rosemary, Lemon & Frankincense candle, £18, comes it it's own little poem created by Laura & Dominique, the founders of this fantastic company. 

The 'Indigo' candle, £22, from Blossom & Jasmine captured my attention straight away. Lemon & Basil come together to boost energy levels, revitalise and uplift your mood. I love the black glass, this just looks so sleek.

Ahhh, M&J London. Just look at that logo! Onto the candle though, I've picked English Summer £23, from the range and why? Cucumber, mint, strawberry & champagne, that's why! Perfect for summer evenings and the promise of garden parties.

I found this Uplifting candle,£25, from Blend Collective whilst browsing LoveLula. Apparently it Calms, Indulges & Delights! With Sandlewood, Frankincense, Ceaderwood, and Neroli, it sounds like heaven to me.

Last but certainly not least, Neom Restore candle, £39.50.  Restore is a beautiful blend of Jasmine, Ginger & Sandlewood essential oils to improve mental focus and create a feeling of peace.

There we have it, my candle Birthday wishlist. Hopefully I'll be opening some of these at the end of the month!

Have you tried any of these before? Which candles do you use?

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Review: Savonnerie French Lavender Body Wash & Body Lotion

I've been after the Savonnerie French Lavender Body Wash and Body Lotion for months. In fact, the Body Lotion was in a wishlist I made way back in September!
For Christmas, I received two Savonnerie Body Lotions from my now late Mother-in-Law, the French Lavender and Sicillian Orange Blossom.

Savonnerie was created in London in 1997 with the aim of creating a line of botanical products inspired by nature that make you look and feel special. 
17 years later and they are still remain true to this philosophy. All products are handmade in the UK, blended with the finest essential oils for effective formulas to create a truly luxurious bathing experience. 
All Savonnerie products are free from synthetic fragrance & colours, sulphates, silicones, parabens, petrochemicals and SLS/ALS. They do not test on animals and all products are suitable for use for vegetarians.

An Young, the creator of these fine natural body care products, very kindly sent me the French Lavender Body Wash to go with my Body Lotion. 
The Body Wash* £11.95 is incredibly soothing and non-drying for my skin. I use it with a shower puff (poof?) and apply a small amount, the wash develops into a rich lather which washes off and leaves my skin feeling soothed and pampered. I use this in my morning shower but especially like to use it after a long day as the warmth of French Lavender, Geranium and Bergamot is so relaxing!

I follow up using the body wash with the glorious French Lavender Body Lotion, £13.95. You only need to apply a tiny bit as whilst the lotion is light, is goes a surprisingly long way! It absorbs beautifully into the skin to restore hydration and improve texture. The essentials oils mentioned in the body wash are combined with Jojoba, Rosehip and Camellia Seed oils. I adore this lotion, it was well worth waiting for!

Do go and check out the range over at the Savonnerie website and let me know what you think!


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