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Thursday, 29 January 2015

Empties January 2015

Here are the products I have finished in January. I don't feel like I have used very much up though as most of these are sample sizes. 
TEWC Grapefruit Facial Exfoliator is a product that I used on my hands rather than my face. I love the fragrance of this, but found it a bit too scrubby for my face. Love the brand, but wouldn't repurchase this particular item.
Pure Thoughts Winter Wonderland Soap was lovely to use. Super gentle on my skin, and the fragrance is gorgeous. I have a lot of soaps to use, so not an immediate purchase for me.
Weleda Citrus Creamy Body Wash is my only full size empty this month. I wanted to try this to see how it compared to the Sea Buckthorn body wash. The Citrus is sharper and more lemony. I will buy this again.
The Naked Skin Care Company Evening Relax Moisturising Body Oil is absolutely gorgeous. Left my skin feeling baby soft and adored the fragrance of ylang-ylang and sandalwood. Full size is going on the wish list as is the Morning Zest.
I reviewed Mel Millis Organic Neroli Hydrolate Mist Tonic and Neroli & Baobab Re Energising Face Oil last week here and suffice to say they are both on the wish list.
I am a massive fan of Aromatherapy Associates. Light Relax is one of my favourite bath & shower oils. I love the blend of Lavender, Ylang Ylang and Petitgrain. I have a couple of their oils to use, but will buy the full size of this in the future.
I reviewed The Body Deli Creme De La Rose this month too and am very sad to have finished this off. I need to whittle down my stash before I can buy the full size.
The Naked Skincare Company Orange & Frankincense Hydrating Skin Balm was another stunning product. Deeply hydrating without being greasy. Loved the bright and cheerful fragrance and the full size is very affordable too.
Living Nature Nourishing Hand Cream was reviewed in December. Although I really liked this hand cream it costs more than I want to pay for a hand cream so won't be repurchasing.
Nourish Skin Care Kale Enzymatic Exfoliating Cleanser. What I really like about Nourish Skin care is that they make very affordable products with very good ingredients.  I really liked how this made my skin look. I have another sample to use.
I have mentioned Skin & Tonic's Steam Clean lots lately so I don't really need to tell you again how much I love this cleanser. I have a couple of samples of this stashed and will buy the full size when I run out.
Ambre Botanicals Bath Oil was a lovely comforting blend of Rosemary, Thyme and Mint. This sample lasted me ages and I really enjoyed using it. I have my eye on both of their miniature sets as I would love to try more from this brand.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Cleansing Balms

Cleansing Balms
It is no secret that I am guilty of hoarding my beauty products, and cleansers are one of the products I am most drawn to. Over the cooler months, I tend to favour a cleansing balm for that little extra nourishment. These are all products that leave mu skin feeling soft and pampered. It also helps that a balm tends to be multi-purpose too. I thought I would share a few of my current favourites.
Balance Me is one of my favourite brands. Their products just work for me. Cleanse & Smooth Face Balm is a cleanser I use when I want to exfoliate at the same time. It was reformulated a little while ago, so that the particles of oat powder are finer. I have to say I much prefer this texture, although I still wouldn't use it to take off eye makeup. The formula is very rich and nourishing as it contains camellia, kukui nut and rosehip oils with cocoa, mango and shea butters. It isn't suitable for vegans though as it does contain beeswax. The fragrance is citrusy. I love how bright and cheerful this smells on a miserable Winter morning.
I am sure it won't come as much as a surprise to see this little gem pop up from Skin & Tonic, as I seem to have mentioned it lots on twitter and on my instagram feed lately. Steam Clean is one of my favourite discoveries from last year, and probably one of the best cleansers I have used. Made with 6 ingredients: Beeswax, Grapeseed oil, Thistle oil, Borage oil and essential oils of Eucalyptus and Spearmint. Fresh and minty, but incredibly gentle.  I have also used a little of this on the kids chests when they have been full of colds. Simply divine.
Cleansing Balms
I think BalmBalm produce wonderfully affordable and high quality products, and their Rose Geranium Face Balm is a complete steal at just £6.99. It has a very subtle Rose Geranium scent, making this an ideal choice for someone who prefers less fragrance. Again this has a simple ingredients list; made with just Shea butter, Sunflower oil, Beeswax, Calendula oil, Jojoba oil and Rose Geranium oil.
Cleansing Balms
Beauty Balm by Lyonsleaf is one of the newest additions to my collection. This has the firmest texture of the balms when in the jar, but easily melts into oil when warmed between your fingers. It is rich in fatty acids and antioxidants thanks to the Babassu, Macademia nut, Jojoba and Sweet Almond oil. Most of these cleansing balms are better suited to dry skins, but Beauty Balm also works for oilier skins. The ingredients have been carefully chosen for their ability to rebalance the skin and the non pore blocking properties. I wish I had discovered this sooner.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Mel Millis Organic Neroli Hydrolate Mist Tonic & Organic Phytonutri Neroli & Baobab Re-Energising Face Oil.

 I received these samples by Mel Millis in a SoukSouk box over the Summer, and I have to say these are one of my favourite brands I have tried through SoukSouk. Mel Millis is a luxury skincare brand, who have put using the purest and most therapeutic ingredients at the centre of their philosophy. Product are made in small batches, using certified organic ingredients, and are cruelty free. It is worth mentioning that the original boxes for these samples had seeds in them, so that you could grow the flowers. This is a lovely touch, which I think speaks volumes about the company.
Organic Neroli Hydrolate Mist Tonic is a wonderfully light and refreshing hydrolate. A hydrolate is obtained through the distillation process of Essential Oils. Used after cleansing and before moisturiser or oil, it helps to restore the pH of the skins acid mantle. It
prepares the skin for the next step by helping it to absorb nutrients. As you would expect of a product extracted from it's essential oil, the fragrance is of Neroli. It's fragrance has sweet and spicy notes, with Neroli oil being produced from the blossoms of the bitter orange tree.
The Organic Neroli Hydrolate Mist Tonic is a good choice for all types of skin as it is both balancing and rejuvenating. It would work equally as well on someone with oily skin as it does on my dry skin. I have really enjoyed using this. 
 Citrus Aurentium Flower Water, Citrus Aurantium,
Naturally Occurring In Essential Oils,
Farnesol, Geraniol, Linalool, Limonene, Citral.
Much as the toner is lovely, I have to confess that it is the Organic Phytonutri Neroli & Baobab Re-Energising Face Oil which has truly stolen my heart. This rich oil is designed with mature or dry skins in mind.It suits my skin perfectly and is exactly the kind of product I am drawn to.
Again the fragrance comes from the Neroli, but as before, it isn't overpowering. The Face Oil is made with Seabuckthorn C02 plant extract, Neroli and Immortelle, as well as Pumkin
, Rosehip and Baobab oils. These are all ingredients that my skin loves, and I have been enjoying using this as part of my night time routine. I think this is quite simply one of the best facial oils I have used. It is nourishing, without being too heavy, absorbs well, and makes my skin look really healthy.
Cucurbita Pepo,  Rosa Canina, Simmondsia Chinensis, Oenothera Biennis, Punica Granatum, Argania Spinosa, Adansonia Digitala, Hipophae Rhamnoides CO2  Extract, Tocopherol, Helichrysum Italicum, Citrus Aurantium, Boswellia Carterii, Cymbopogen Martinii, Rosmarinus Officinalis

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Souksouk January 2015

Today I received my SoukSouk box. Two of the brands are new to me. I am happy with this month's box, but sadly this will be my last box from SoukSouk for a while as I really need to use up some of the masses of products I have accumulated.
The first two items are by Bentley Organics and are 50ml travel sizes of their certified organic Frequent use shampoo and Conditioner. The shampoo in particular smells gorgeous and the full sizes are very reasonably priced too. I think hair care has been one of the hardest things to find good, clean and affordable replacements for. I am really looking forward to trying these.
I think the product I am most excited about is this Nourishing Seawood Mask by Mungo Murphy's. This mask is high in minerals and vitamins. I don't have anything like this in my stash. I can't wait to use it. 
Afyna are a brand that have appeared in our SoukSouk boxes a while ago. This month I have received a 30ml sample of their Organic Detoxifying Body Lotion. This is divine. Although the body lotion is quite thick it has the most wonderfully light silky texture. I love the fragrance too, it is a lovely mixture of citrus and spice. 
The final product is a 25ml sample of The Green People's Gentle Cleanse & Make Up Remover. This is one of my favourite cream cleansers so I am pleased to have another sample of this. 

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Love Lula Beauty Box January 2015

I collected my Love Lula Beauty Box from the post office today and was really pleased to see how jam packed with goodies January's box is. It is a nice mixture of familiar and new brands. 
I have seen Ecotools appear on many a blog, but have yet to try them for myself. I am very impressed with how soft these are, and these mini brushes are a perfect size for travelling. I am looking forward to trying these. 
Vinali is a brand I have not come across before and is in fact a new brand to Love Lula too. This Spanish brand harnesses the power of grapes. Included in January's box is a sachet of their day cream and a 25ml tube of their body Lotion.
The other sachet contains a sample of BB Cream by Funny Bee. This is another brand I haven't tried before. Look forward to seeing how it compares to Ren's BB cream.
I have tried a few things by Madara and you can't beat a good face mask for a spot of pampering. There is a generous 12.5ml sample of the Detox Ultra Purifying Mud mask. 
Although I don't use facial wipes very often, they are handy to have in a travel bag. I have tried the Yes to Carrots (and liked) previously so am curious to see how the Yes To Cucumbers compares.  
I had another sample of Nourish Kale Enzymatic Exfoliating Cleanser and have to confess I haven't got around to using it yet. I really like Nourish as a brand, so I will definitely use it. 
The final sample is from another favourite brand Balance Me and is a 30ml sample of their Rose Otto Hand Cream. I loved their Body Cream in this fragrance so am really pleased to have the hand cream. This is a great size for sticking in your bag too.
I am very happy with this month's box. I really feel I have had my moneys worth and will use everything I it. 

Saturday, 10 January 2015

The Body Deli Creme De La Rose.

The Body Deli Creme De La Rose.
I received this sample of Creme de la Rose by The Body Deli in my Autumn/Winter sampler box from A Beautiful World. I have wanted to try this after I found their Light Facial Emulsion wasn't quite the right product for my skin type.  

The Body Deli use organic superfoods and raw ingredients in their products to preserve the integrity of the micronutrients. The Body Deli report that Crème de la Rose is their most popular product and takes being handcrafted to a whole other level. Each small batch is hand blended for 3 hours and takes over 24 hours to make.
This rich and luxurious cream is aimed at someone with either dry or mature skin, and is very much the kind of product I am drawn towards. As someone with dry skin and in my mid thirties I had high hopes for this product. Crème de la Rose is designed to speed up cell turn over, improve skin elasticity and firmness and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
Crème de la Rose is made with Bulgarian Rose, Goji Berry and Macademia Nut Oil, and has a subtle Rose fragrance. I have to say that given the name I did expect there would be a stronger fragrance, this is a minor detail. As you can see from the photo, Creme de la Rose is a thick cream and has a pretty baby pink colour. It has a lovely silky texture thanks to all that hand blending. This super luxe moisturiser absorbs well, making it good for both day and night use.
 I would need to use this cream for a longer period of time to comment on it's anti-aging properties but I have thoroughly enjoyed using it and will be sad when I finish my sample. Crème de la Rose has done a fantastic job of keeping my skin soft and supple. I always struggle with my skin in Winter, and I feel that this moisturiser has kept the effects of the cold and central heating at bay. When trying a product that has been on my wish list for a while (especially if the price tag is higher) I am always a little apprehensive as to whether it will live up to my expectations. I am pleased to say that this does, I am really happy with how healthy it has made my skin look.
Antioxidant Micro-Clustered Ionized Water, Rose Damascena Hydrosol, Aqueous Solution of Rosemary, Lavender, Rose, Nettle, Macadamia Nut Oil, Meadowfoam Seed Oil, Virgin Coconut Oil, Cetearyl Olivate and Sorbitan Olivate (Olive Oil Emulsifier), Shea Butter, Kukui Butter, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Coenzyme Q10, MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane), Olive Leaf Extract, Goji Berry (Lycium Barbarum) Rose Hip Seed Oil, Carrot Seed Oil, Brown Rice Amino Acid Complex, Calendula, Comfrey, Xanthan Gum, Guar Gum, Vitamin E (Alpha-Tocopherol), Tocotrienols (Rice Bran), Vitamin A (Retinol Palmitate) - Lecithin Phospholipid Emulsion, Allantoin, Squalane, Borage Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, Tamarind Seed Extract (Tamarindus Indica), Lactobacillus/Kelp Ferment Filtrate, Colloidal Oat Flour, Beta-Glucosamine, Citric Acid, Rose Damascena Bulgaria (Otto), Sandalwood, Rose Geranium, Ylang-Ylang, Zeaxanthin, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate (Natural Preservative System).

Monday, 5 January 2015

Empties December 2014

I hope you all had a wonderful time over Christmas and the New Year. I begin 2015 with my final empties post of 2014. After looking back through my Empties posts I realise I have used up 155 products, which are a mixture of samples and full size products. The scary thing is this has barely made a dent in my stash. Definitely time to concentrate on using things up. Maybe I need to put my beloved beauty box subscriptions on hold for a while.
Bodhi and Birch become one of my favourite brands in 2014, and their products have appeared in a large number of my Empties posts. I love Ylang-Ylang Incensa Bath & Shower Therapy (50mls). I find it a very calming fragrance. I have a full size of this still to use.
Rosa Rosa Mini Trio are on my wish list to buy. I reviewed them here. I absolutely loved this little set, but I really need to use up some other things before I buy the full sizes.
Pep Noir Bath & Shower Therapy (50mls) has been a pleasure to use in the bath, especially in the cold weather or after exercise. The spicy aroma is great for tired and cold muscles. I have another sample of this.
Speick Balance & Freshness Oily Hair (200mls). This shampoo is very affordable and I liked how shiny and soft it left my hair. I still needed to wash my hair daily, so can't say it helped with the oiliness of my hair. My hubby also liked this, so this is a good family shampoo. I would repurchase this again.
The Earth Works Cosmetics Lemon & Geranium Body Melt (80g) I am really sad to have finished this up. I love the cheerful citrus fragrance. This is deeply moisturising and a little goes a long way. I really feel I have had my moneys worth from this. The next product I will buy is the Orange & Lavender.
As.Ap Cleansing Oil #5 (5mls) this cleansing oil is simply gorgeous. It is very gentle and left my skin feeling very nourished. You really only do need a few drops. Another product to add to the wish list.
FOM Antioxidant Facial Mask (5g) is one of my favourite samples from my SoukSouk boxes last year. It really brightens my skin. I love this and have already repurchased.
Balance Me Radiance Face Oil (10mls) I really enjoyed using this. It is nice and light making it good for day time skin care. I love the rollerball applicator. I would buy again once I have used up a few other oils.
Elemental Herbology Deep Cleanse (50mls) I can't find a link for this, so I am not sure if it was a special addition. This was another sample from a SoukSouk box. I have mixed feelings about this.  I liked the fragrance and the formula didn't irritate my skin, but there are one or two ingredients in here that I wouldn't want to be using on a regular basis.