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Saturday, 31 May 2014

Empties May 2014

For the first time in absolutely ages, I have some make up items to include in my empties. Make up always seems to take so much longer to use up.

The little pencil is a Brow pencil by Inika. This came in a LoveLula box ages ago and is in the shade Brunette. This was too dark for me as a brow pencil, but the chocolate shade worked nicely as an eyeliner. It was firm, without being too hard or scratchy and lasted well through the day. It does come with a sharpener in the lid, but I lost that a while ago. I have been impressed by the few things I have tried by Inika and will buy other things from them in the future.

The Essential Care mascara gives a nice natural look. It had good staying power and didn't smudge or flake. Although I liked this I don't feel like I have found my perfect natural mascara. I want something that will give me more volume. 

I am really sad to have used up my little blusher from Avril. The shade Rose Nacre was a lovely warm peachy shade. Although not easy to find in the UK I think it is really good value for money and will buy this again.

Skin Saviour Waterless Beauty Balm by One Love Organics is as the name suggests a multi-purpose balm. This is quite possibly my favourite cleanser. It smells gorgeous and works a treat. I have a full size and a couple of samples to tide me over for a good while.

I am such a big fan of Ren's Glycolactic Radiance Mask. It contains fruit acids and I found it very gentle on my skin. It always makes my skin feel lovely and soft and looking very fresh faced. The full size is on my wish list.

I have loved everything I have tried by Melvita and this Rose shower gel is no exception. It's very gentle and feels very moisturising. I loved the smell of this and will buy again in the future.

 There is nothing guaranteed to end a sunny spell faster than bringing out the sun cream, that and buying your Summer clothes. I found the Sun Lotion by the Green People to be very effective. I wanted something that I could use when I am running that isn't going to break me out or run into my eyes and of course give me good all round sun protection. I have a couple more samples of this, and plan to buy the full size.

 Weleda's Sea Buckthorn Creamy Body Wash is another product that makes me think of Summer. I think the fragrance is so bright and cheerful, and feels so uplifting. Love this and will buy again.

I seem to have used up quite a few Aromatherapy Associates samples this month. I love their bath oils. Both the Relax Light and De-Stress Mind are perfect for unwinding and are both on my wish  list for the future.

You may have seen that Marie Claire were giving away sample sets of the cleanser, moisturiser and mask this month. More than one copy may have fallen into my shopping basket. I really liked the Renewing Rose Cleanser and Triple Rose Renewing Moisturiser. They had a nice subtle rose fragrance and felt very luxurious.

The bigger sample is of their Revive Body Gel. This is more of a cellulite treatment, as the sample is only 40mls I can't comment on that. I did enjoy using this on my legs when it was hot. This is great when you have been on your feet all day as it is very soothing and cooling.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

May 2014 Books.

                                                               Does the Noise in My Head Bother You?

 Obviously I chose this as I am a huge fan of Aerosmith and their music. I have to say I really struggled with this book. Much as the Aerosmoith fan in me wanted to love it, I just couldn't get in to it.  Have you ever watched an interview with Steven Tyler? I find it hard to keep up with his thought process. Does The Noise In My Head Bother You is written in the same way. He begins a tale, but then drifts off to something else, and then off in another direction. I couldn't quite grasp what he was trying to get across and it was lost on me. Such a shame as he has had such an interesting life, and that didn't come across as well as it should have done.

                                                              It's So Easy: And Other Lies

 In sharp contrast, It's So Easy and Other Lies by Duff McKagan is incredibly well written and I really enjoyed this. There are plenty of tales to be told, but Duff doesn't glorify all the drugs, alcohol or excess that other rock stars do. It covers his experiences, both good and bad. This isn't your average tale of the rock star who has blown it all. This is very much the story of a man who has achieved a huge amount, who has turned his life around. He comes across as a man who is very self aware and acknowledges the experiences that have made him the man he is. A large proportion of this centres around the music, but Duff is so much more than that. This book shows him to be warm, funny, determined and articulate.        
                                                             Nine Lives (Sam Archer #1)
  Nine Lives by Tom Barber is another book I have really enjoyed reading this month. I chose this after a recommendation from a book group. I do tend to gravitate towards Crime and Thriller genre's, and this is very much my kind of book. Nine Lives is set in London, around New Year's Eve and is based on the Armed Response Unit's race against time to prevent a series of terrorist attacks. I thought it had some good twists and turns, was well written and fast paced.
                                                          The Getaway (Sam Archer, #2)

 The Getaway is Tom Barber's second book. This sees Sam Archer going to New York for the funeral of his estranged father. Whilst searching for answers to the murder of his father, Sam is drawn into a group responsible for a number of highly successful bank robberies. Are they responsible for the death of his father or is Sam being played. Another good read. I like Tom Barber's style of writing and I will definitely be reading more from him.

Monday, 26 May 2014

My Birthday Haul

 This post is long overdue. Considering my birthday was the end of March and my birthday money has been spent a long time ago.

Firstly a little purchase from Naturisimo. I have Weleda's SeaBuckthorn hand cream that I was lucky enough to win in a twitter competition and I love the bright cheery fragrance of this. I like this a lot.

As you can see I made the most of the sample offer from Naturisimo and ordered the maximum five samples you can pay for. I think it is fair comment that you can only order samples if you buy a full size product but I do wish you could order more samples than five.

I chose a 15ml sample of Elemental Herbology Cell Plumping Moisturiser SPF8 and a 15ml sample of Elemental Herbology Facial Glow Radiance Peel. I have to confess that I haven't got around to trying the moisturiser yet, but the mask I really like and will review soon.

I bought a mini Salt of the Earth deodorant to go in my gym bag.

The little pot is a slice of a Vapour Siren Lipstick in the shade Tempt. It is lovely to be able to try makeup samples. Much as swatches online and on blogs are really helpful, nothing beats trying it for yourself and seeing how it looks in person. I would love to see Naturisimo relax the number of samples you can order and have more make up samples. Especially mascara.

The last item is a sample of Bodhi and Birch Desert Rose Rejuvenating Face Oil which I seem to have bought twice. I do like to be stocked up.

Moving on to Aromatherapy Associates which are another brand I really love. Undoubtedly a luxury brand, but a Birthday is the perfect excuse to spoil yourself. I have had a couple of samples of the Inner Strength bath & shower oil, so now was the time to get the full size. They also allow you to choose 3 complimentary samples with your order which is much appreciated.

Finally I bought the full size Bodhi and Birch Desert Rose Rejuvenating Face Oil as they had a promotion of 20% off at the time. This face oil is lovely and I wouldn't want to be without it. They very generously included the sample of Ylang-Ylang Incensa body moisturiser, which I will also review soon.

Speaking of special offers as most of you know Bodhi and Birch have recently rebranded and currently have a sale on their website. I have been very naughty indeed and ordered not once but twice this week from it. If you have chance the newly launched Bodhiluxe website is well worth browsing. It is an online magazine and I can't wait to see how it blossoms.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Sachets #4

Time for a few more of the sachets I have used up recently.
The first two on the top row are sachets of showergel by Sante. The yellow is Coconut dream and the orange is Bio Goji & Lemon. Each sachet was single use really. Prior to receiving this in my LoveLula box I didn't realise Sante did body care, so it was nice to try these out. These are lovely gentle showergels, with only a very subtle fragrance. I didn't find them drying in anyway. Personally I do like a bit more fragrance, the Coconut Dream having just a hint of coconut and the Goji & Lemon a slight citris scent. I think these would make great products for children and they are pretty reasonably priced too around the £6 mark.

The Madara Time Miracle Advanced Anti-Aging Day Cream is one where my opinion is really divided. The product itself I really liked. It was moisturising enough for my dry skin, whilst still feeling nice and light. I really liked the subtle glow it gave my skin. Obviously I can't comment on how effective it's anti-aging claims are as I only had a few days uses from it. Where it goes wrong for me is the fragrance, I just couldn't take to it. So for that reason I wouldn't buy the full size.

The final sample is another one I have mixed feelings about and that is purely because it is not the right product for my skin type. Melissa Day Cream by Dr Hauschka is really intended for combination skin whereas mine is dry. I knew this before I tried it, but curiosity got the better of me especially as we have had some warmer weather. I love the light citrusy fragrance of this. It gives a matte finish and left my skin nice and soft. I could get away with using this for a few days over Summer, but I know it wouldn't be quite moisturising enough for my dry skin longer term. Still, there are other moisturisers by Dr Hauschka that would work better for me.

I am coming around to the idea of sachets as they give you a gut feel for a product. I don't mind paying for sachets as it can be quite a cost effective way of testing the water. However I still tend to feel a bit cheated if sachets are all that come in a beauty box.


Tuesday, 20 May 2014

SoukSouk Beauty Box May 2014

I always look forward to the arrival of my SoukSouk Beauty Box.
I am really pleased with this month's selection.
The first Item is a 15ml sample of Organic Avacado Replenishing Cream by Essential Care. My skin loves Avacado oil and as this is aimed at dry/mature skin this suits me nicely. I have liked everything else I have tried by Essential Care so am looking forward to trying this.
The next two items are from SpaRitual. My Nail polish is a full size and is in shade Ebb & Flow. I have seen this brand on one or two blogs, but it is a new brand to me. It is a lovely Summery colour and will definitely get used.
The other SpaRitual item is a 7.4ml sample of their Handprint Hand Serum. I am always pleased to receive hand care products in my beauty boxes. They are probably the product I am most obsessed with. This is an anti-aging formula. It smell lovely and has a really silky texture.  I can't see this one hanging around for long.
The final two items are from Mistral Soap which is a brand I haven't come across before. There is a 50g Verbena Petit French Soap and a 60ml sample of their Extra Rich Body Lotion in the same fragrance. Both have a beautiful lemon fragrance and again feel quite Summery The body lotion seems to have a slightly stronger fragrance.
DO you subscribe to SoukSouk? What did you think to this month's box?

Friday, 16 May 2014

Jane Iredale Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream


  In last month's Love Lula beauty box I received a sample of Jane Iredale Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream. I was curious to see how it would compare to Ren's BB Cream.

 Jane Iredale describe their BB cream as one that offers broad spectrum SPF 25, UVA PA++. It claims to combine concealer, foundation, sunscreen and moisturiser and so is able to cover blemishes, minimise pores and wrinkles, leaving the skin brighter and smoother. It uses natural minerals and botanicals and adjusts to your skin tone. The BB Cream comes in 6 shades (mine was BB5 Light-Medium skin) and lists all the ingredients on the website.
As you can see from the photo it wasn't an exact match for my skin tone, but after application it did look a closer match than the swatch does. In terms of texture, this is more like a liquid foundation. It feels heavier and stiffer than other BB creams I have tried. Jane Iredale suggest applying small dots of Glow time to areas of the face and then blending out. I found it difficult to apply like this, and struggled to get it to blend very well. I had much better look warming it a little on the back of my hand before applying. This helped to get a better finish and reduced the feeling of it pulling on my skin.
For my dry skin, I still need to apply a moisturiser underneath this. I also felt that it settled in the fine lines around my eyes, so I am not convinced that it lives up to it's claim to disguise wrinkles. Overall I felt it evened out my skin tone nicely, improved the appearance of my dark under eye circles, and lasted for most of the day.
Glow Time is priced at £39.95 for 50mls, and so falls into the luxury price bracket. I can't justify spending that amount on the full size product as I just don't wear BB creams or foundation regularly enough. In all honestly I still prefer Ren's BB cream, as it is a better match for my skin and is much easier to apply and blend. I also like being able to buy the sample sizes as it is much less wasteful for me (not to mention cheaper). I suspect that the BB1 (fair) would have been a better match for my skin tone, but I think I would still have the same overall opinion.

Monday, 12 May 2014

A Beautiful World S/S 2014 Samples Box

As many of you will undoubtedly know last Thursday saw the release of A Beautiful World S/S sample box. Priced at £20 (+£3.95 postage), this was a selection of samples and some full sized products. I have to say I knew they would sell quickly, but I was still taken aback by just how quickly they went. My box arrived safe and sound and very quickly on Saturday morning.
Here is what came in my box.
A full size Bee Venom Face Mask by Nature's Beauty. Although I have used products with bee venom in before, I have more recently taken a closer look at how Bee Venom is obtained and for that reason I will give this to a friend.
A sample of Chocolate Sun Cocoa Glow which is a natural fake tan. It smells lovely in the bottle, but the proof is in the application (and I am certainly not the best at applying fake tan). I am looking forward to giving this a whirl, it would be lovely to have some colour in my very pasty skin.
A 10ml sample of Light Facial Emulsion by The Body Deli which promises to moisturise and neutralise blemishes. I look forward to trying this as this feels a very exciting brand.
A full size MU London White Chocolate Elbow, Knee and Heel Cream. This has been on my wish list for ages and I am thrilled to finally get my mitts on it. It leaves the skin oh so very soft.
A Naisture Collagen Mask Pack. I have used these before and love them. Very pleased to receive another.
A sample of Bee Yummy Skin Food. I have heard so many good things about this and can't wait to try it myself,
A sample of Marble & Milkweed Spring Tonic Facial Serum which sounds very luxurious and a tea sample (not pictured) which has been claimed by Mum.
The final item is a Tili Bag which is a very useful zip lock bag which would protect your makeup bag from spillages.
I am pleased with the contents of my box, there are lots of brands featured that I have wanted to try and I will use the vast majority of this box. I hope there will be another one come Autumn.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

What's In My Back Yard?

As promised here is my round up of brands that are local to me. Although I live in Nottinghamshire, I am only a stones throw away from Derbyshire and Leicestershire. It is here that most of my choices are based.


 My first choice is from Derbyshire Pure Thoughts who use traditional methods to produce their stunning range of soaps, balms, scrubs and butters. The website lists ingredients used in each product and there is a nice section about the properties of the ingredients they use. I love the Foot Repair Balm, it is so rich and nourishing. They also have a good range of try me sizes, which always pleases me. I am slightly obsessed with samples.

  Botanicals are based in Melton Mowbray and are certified organic by the Soil Association. I heard from Ana Goes Green that they are celebrating their 10th Anniversary and are having a make over. The results look very sleek. I love their Rose & Camilla Facial Oil. Again they have very clear information about their products and ingredients. I think they make such high quality products at very affordable prices.            

   Eve of St Agnes comes from Derby and is another brand that has recently undergone a make over. I really like the new style packaging and website. Products are made in small batches and are clearly made with love. There is lots of information about the ingredients they use. I have tried the Bamboo Exfoliating Polish and the Hydrating Facial Silk and have been very impressed with them both.       
                                                        Luxury Cleansing Balm Gift Bag, natural cosmetics, facial cleanser, organic skincare, organic facial care, pinks boutique         
My final brand is Pinks Boutique and this is brand that is firmly on list to try. This brand gets a lot of love from bloggers and I didn't realise they were from Derby until I started putting this post together. They are without a doubt a luxury brand, but what girl doesn't love a spot of pampering. This goes to show that there many fantastic brands we have in our back yards just waiting to be discovered.

 Being the nosey devil that I am I would love to know what is local to you. If you fancy posting your picks please do, or leave me a comment below.


Thursday, 8 May 2014

April Books

Here are the books I got through in April. I have to say I don't feel as though I have had much reading time last month. I am now slightly behind in my Goodreads challenge.
                                                                The Fragrant Pharmacy by Valerie Ann Worwood

 I have always been interested in aromatherapy. When I day dream of changing jobs I think this is the kind of path I would choose. The Fragrant Pharmacy by Valerie Ann Worwood was recommended to me on twitter by Ali from Tea & Lavender This is a pretty comprehensive book about aromatherapy and it's uses. It has a sections according to symptoms rather than being an A-Z of oils, and caters for all age groups. This is a really useful reference book and is something I will come back to time and time again

                                                               Aromatherapy Workbook by Shirley Price

Aromatherapy Workbook A complete Guide To Understanding and Using Essential Oils by Shirley Price is another really useful reference book. This focuses a little more on the history and chemistry of aromatherapy. It does contain information about the properties of essential oils and a helpful section on massage technique. This is another book I will refer back to regularly.

                                                               Ravage by Iain Rob Wright

Ravage by Iain Rob Wright is not the type of book I would usually go for, as I not much of a zombie fan. The story is based on a few that are lucky enough not to be affected by the release of virus and their struggle to find a place of safety and survive.

                                                                Savage by Iain Rob Wright

Savage is the follow on book, and the one I enjoyed the most. It becomes apparent that the original characters were not the only ones to escape with their lives. There are several large ships at sea packed with those who managed to get out. The survivors find the barely alive victim of a shooting and bring him back to the pier. This attracts a whole lot more attention than they bargained for as the victim stands accused of attempting to blow up the man credited with the mass rescue. Their refusal to hand over the victim sees them in even more peril and facing a different battle. Is the man behind the rescue of so many people genuinely a hero, or does he have a completely different agenda.

 Overall I really enjoyed these book, even though they are not my usual genre. Although to some extent they were fairly predictable, there were some nice twists and turns and I found the characters engaging. I would certainly look to read more from Iain Rob Wright.

Saturday, 3 May 2014

April 2014 Empties.

 I am a little late with this month's empties, but I got there in the end.

First up is a 35ml sample of Fresh Micellar Water by Melvita. I like this as a first step for removing heavy eye make up, and is a good natural alternative to Bioderma. It's is lovely and refreshing and smells wonderful. I have been very impressed with everything I have tried from Melvita. I have another sample of this stashed away.

I was very generously sent this 5ml sample of Desert Rose Rejuventing Face Oil by Bodhi and absolutely love it. Reviewed in more detail last month. I already purchased this as part of my Birthday Haul (coming soon) as I couldn't bear to be without it.

I won the Mary Elizabeth Frankincense and Rose Moisturiser (50ml) in a giveaway by Charlie from Sophia's Choice and have really enjoyed using it. This is a lovely rich moisturiser which was particularly good over Winter. Their hand cream is on my wish list.

S5 Skincare Restore Cream (15ml) has been my most recent day cream, and again I have reviewed more recently. I love S5 skincare and will buy from them again.

I have quite the obsession for products with Frankincense and have loved Frankincense Deep Cleansing Balm by BalmBalm (30ml). It's rich and nourishing and super gentle on the skin. Even better it only costs £7.99. BalmBalm is another brand I love and will come back to time and time again.

This 10ml sample of Living Nature Vitalising Cleanser was from a recent SoukSouk box and I enjoyed using it. I would consider repurchasing in the future.

The Green People Gentle Cleanse & Make up Remover (25ml) is so gentle on the skin. This is a lovely cream cleanser and is very effective at tackling eye make up. I have a full size of this thanks to the giveaway from Sophia's Choice. I am saving this for when the weather (hopefully) warms up.

Fragonia & Sea Buckthorn Instant Hand Therapy Cream by Pai has been on my desk for a good while. This is a very good hand cream indeed. My only criticism is that because of the size of the pot it is a bit big to go in my handbag. It is very moisturising without being heavy or greasy and you only need half a pump. This has lasted me ages. I think hubby will have a dicky fit if I buy anymore hand cream just yet, but I will buy more Pai products in the future.

I have used Ren's Neroli and Grapefruit Body Cream (50mls) before and really like it. I have a gift set with this and the rose fragrance still to use.

Madara Refreshing Soap (250ml) has been a joy to use. It is very kind to my hands and has a lovely fresh peppermint fragrance. I would buy this again.

50ml samples of Grapefruit and Cedarwood Body wash and lotion by Concious skincare were also from a recent SoukSouk box. These have a lovely subtle fragrance and were another very gentle product on the skin. Would consider repurchasing.

Inner Strength by Aromatherapy Associates (7.5ml) is one of my favourite bath oil by the brand. I bought a full size as part of my Birthday Haul. On the website this is listed as a special edition, but I do hope this is going to be part of the permanent range.

My final product is Lavendula Bath & Body Oil by Ancienne Ambiance (30ml). I have been using this as a body oil before bed and find the lavender scent very calming. It absorbs well and leaves my skin very soft. I quite fancy trying some of their floral waters next.