Wednesday, 17 January 2018

BYBI Beauty: Babe Balm

Formula Botanica Graduates, Elsie & Dominika, of Clean Beauty Co have formulated a gorgeous range of Certified Vegan & Cruelty Free skincare products made with 100% natural ingredients which can be bought DIRECT or where I picked up mine at Content Beauty & Wellbeing. You can also buy their fabulous book Clean Beauty Book which is packed full of recipes to make your own natural beauty products at home.

The gloriously scented babe balm (£18 - 30ml) is the perfect multi-tasker - use it as a highlighter, moisturiser, dry skin saviour, cleanser, on brows, cuticles, lips, elbows, knees, hands, feet and flyaways! It really is a girl's best friend. It's the one you must pack for your summer holidays as it really is invaluable.

It's said to "look like peach sorbet" and is made with pink sweet potato extract, monoi, Brazillian Pequi oil, pink and white clays and tropical butters. The scent is incredible exotic, tropical and heady. Packaging is in a simple squeezy tube (two sizes), the smaller one being perfect for your handbag or hand luggage!

See the full range HERE. Have you used any BYBI Beauty products? If so, what are your favourites?

Ingredients: Garcinia Indica (Kokum) Seed Butter, Rhus Verniciflua Peel (Berry) Cera, Squalane (Olive), Camellia Oleifera (Camellia) Seed Oil, Helianthus Annus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Caryocar (Pequi) Coriaceum Oil, Calendula Officinalis (Flower) Extract, Gardenia Taitensis (Monoi) Flower Extract, Vanilla Planifolia (Vanilla) Fruit Extract, Hibiscus Sabdariffa Seed Oil, Kaolinite (Rose Clay), Kaolinite (White Clay), Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Ubiquitone 50 (Coenzyme Q10), Distarch Phosphate, Anthocyanins, Citric Acid

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Cîme Skincare: Magnificent Mandarine Body Scrub & Bath Salt

I've been testing out the glorious Cîme Magnificent Mandarine Body Scrub & Bath Salt* (from Sujet de Vert) which is a gorgeous treat. It was in the sale recently at £19 (for a huge 450g pot).

Inside is a blend of Himalayan Salts and pure essential oils. You can use as a bath salt (throw a couple of handfuls into a warm tub) or use it as a body scrub (I love a multi-use product!)

The scent is a blend of green mandarine, palmarosa, lemongrass, cedarwood, patchouli, ylang ylang and rhododendron leaf extract making the product fruity, floral and spicy and a real treat for the skin and senses.  

See the rest of the range HERESee my previous Cîme reviews HERE and HERE. Have you tried any products from the brand?


Monday, 15 January 2018

Love Lula: FIRM BELIEVER Definitive Body Serum

As you'll know I'm a huge fan of Jane Scrivner having recently tried her amazing SKIN DRINK Frankincense Hydrating Mist* and ROSE GOLD Ultimate Facial Serum*. See my review HERE. I'm currently testing out the luxurious NOURISHING CLEANSER Luxury Cleansing Balm**.

I've been trying the award winning FIRM BELIEVER Definitive Body Serum* (100ml - £49) which is fantastic!

The body serum is a luxurious and rich blend of Organic Apricot, Avocado and Jojoba which conditions, softens and deeply nourishes the skin. Red Mandarin, Bergamot and Neroli give the serum an almost "perfume" like scent.

To use: give your body a deep exfoliation before using the product for the first time. This helps to ensure that the oils absorb and don't just sit on dry dead skin. Apply the serum liberally both AM and PM - it's likely that you'll use half the bottle in the first week!

You are now at the "turning point" your skin is loving the ritual and "skin transformation". My skin feels super smooth, nourished, toned and firmer. The remaining serum should last a few weeks (as you won't need to use quite so much and likewise with subsequent bottles).

It's been a beautiful product to use. I've enjoyed the ritual of spending time looking after my body and the scent is stunning - citrussy and floral.  I've used it all over my body including neck, arms, stomach and legs and I've noticed a difference in the way my skin looks and feels - more nourished and firmed (and I will be sad when I've finished it up!)

Pick yours up HERE.

*sent to me as part of the Love Lula Accredited Blogger Program. My post contains a few affiliate links. All thoughts are genuine - I love Jane Scrivner products - they just work!

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Love Lula Beauty Box: January 2018

January's Love Lula Beauty Box* is absolutely fantastic! It's worth over £71 this month! The first thing to jump out at me is my favourite MOA Fortifying Green Bath Potion (100ml - £27.50) which I absolutely adore. See my review HERE.

Laidbare's Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow! Hair Minimising Cream (125ml - £6.99) had already been on my wishlist so I'm looking forward to testing it out.  It's a daily moisturiser which acts as an anti-inflammatory to help the skin protect itself from the potential rigours of hair removal. "No more unsightly bumps from shaving and waxing, with no burn!". A review will follow.

From Madara we have their Total Renew Night Cream (20ml - £20) which is the perfect try me size or for travel. I've used this before and loved it. It softens, nourishes and recharges the skin while you are sleeping.

The final item this month is Brightening Eye Gel (15ml - £16.95) from PHB Ethical Beauty which I've used before. It helps to target dark circles and puffiness whilst lightening and hydrating.

An absolutely brilliant box this month (I've just finished my MOA so delighted to have it back in my stash!) What are your thoughts on the contents this month?

*the beauty box is sent to me as part of the Love Lula Accredited Blogger Program. All my thoughts are genuine and my post contains a few affiliate links.

Friday, 12 January 2018

Formula Botanica: Accredited Online Learning in Organic Cosmetic Science

As you'll probably know I recently embarked on Formula Botanica Diploma in Organic Skincare (you can join up from 16-23 January (that's from next week!) (see HERE). I'm a little bit behind in my course due to illness, Christmas and the day job but raring to go! I'll keep you updated as to how my course is progressing.

On embarking on the course you will be starting your formulating journey and after completion will be able to create your own organic facial, body and spa skincare to sell to the public. You can read more about the format of the course and the modules taken HERE.

The course should take roughly 6-8 months to complete studying one day a week. Formulations are graded by a tutor and "Ask our Tutor Forum" can help with any questions. There is also a very helpful Facebook group that you can join where current and former students offer advice and help. There is a lot of resources for each student's use within the website but you will also need to do your own researches.

The course(s) have been followed by 2000+ people and has launched many careers and businesses in the industry including - BYBI (I adore their nourishing Babe Balm), LILFOX Miami (which you can buy at a beautiful world in the UK - I'm currently testing their Prickly Pear Illuminating Nectar* and Cleopatra Milk & Honey Beauty Mask*), Handmaids Cosmetic (which I know Ana of Ana Goes Green has reviewed) and Alexa Sky Botanicals to name a few.

I'm looking forward to sharing my journey! 

*complimentary - sent to me for review by a beautiful world

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Only & Eve: Naples Grove Luxury Diffuser

I've been testing out a beautiful luxury reed diffuser* (£29) by Only & Eve. They would make a fantastic gift as they are package in a gold foil gift box (and who doesn't love a diffuser!)

The diffuser oil is in a 200ml glass jar with a gold coloured cap and it comes with natural rattan reed and is available in 6 signature scents. I chose the mouthwatering and zesty Naples Grove which has notes of grapefruit, lemon and lime with subtle underlying notes of melon, jasmine and rose.

I've been using mine for a month now and less than a quarter of the oil has been used. I'm very impressed and I'll definitely purchase at a later date. Which scent would you choose?


Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Buff Natural Body Care: NAKED Sea Salt Body Scrub Lovers' Blend

I received this beautiful "scrubby" scrub in my Pure Natural Box - Luxury Christmas Edition - Edition 10. It's honestly one of the best body scrubs I've used.

100% natural it can be used as an exfoliating body scrub, as a sumptuous bath soak and moisturiser. It leaves the skin silky soft, delicately scented and smooth.

The scrub is handcrafted in small batches with Certified Organic Coconut oil, Grapeseed oil, hand harvested sea salt and a blend of essential oils including Clary Sage, Rosewood, Ylang Ylang & Sandalwood which is a "sensual and seductive blend".

To use: stir before use and use as it is or place in the fridge for a firmer hold scrub before use. 

Pick yours up (£9.50 - 60ml, £19.50 - 170ml or £35 - 500ml)

I'm definitely keen to try more products from the brand such as their massage oils and candles.

Monday, 8 January 2018

Ishga Scottish Seaweed Organic Skincare: Bodycare & Haircare

As you'll know I'm a huge fan of Ishga's skincare range. See my review HERE. I've had the real pleasure of trying their new(ish) launches for the body and hair.

Their Invigorating Body Oil (100ml - £35)* which is a winner of The Beauty Shortlist Awards 2017 - Editor's Choice is truly gorgeous. It featured in my recent shopping my stash #95 along with the body wash. It's packed with "sustainably sourced Scottish seaweed, and provides a great way to moisturise dry skin whilst stimulating, revitalising and aiding self-repair".

I'm in a great place to actually review it (as I just finished it the other night #sadface). The oil aids blood circulation, increases the skin's moisture content, firms, regenerates, detoxifies and nourishes. It also has a glorious uplifting scent which lingers on the skin and calms the mind. (the aromatic blend is made with essential oils of Lavender, Geranium Rose, Lemongrass and Juniper Berry).  To use: apply to damp skin after showering or bathing or add a few drops under a running tap as you relax in the bath.

Meanwhile, their Invigorating Body Lotion (100ml - £35)* which has a light and easily absorbed texture melts onto the skin deeply nourishing and leaving the skin soft and delicately scented (it's got the same scent as the body oil). To use: apply liberally to the skin concentrating on drier patches like hands, knees, elbows, legs and feet.

I've had this trio beside my shower for the last few weeks. I've found the flip top lids really handy.

The Organic Seaweed Body Wash (250ml - £17.50)* which I like to use in my morning shower. It has an uplifting scent and an organic coconut oil base. To use: massage onto damp skin before rinsing. This also featured in my recent Shopping my Stash post.

Organic Seaweed Shampoo (250ml - £17.50)* and Organic Seaweed Conditioner (250ml - £19.50)*. The shampoo has a detoxing plant-derived base which cleanses the hair and scalp with Aloe Vera to strengthen and soothe. I did find my hair was a little dry after using the shampoo (I think this may be caused by the sea-water added to the formulation). However, the conditioner also uses sea-water in it's formulation but I found it nourished and smoothed my hair.  Have you tried any products by Ishga Scottish Seaweed Organic Skincare? If so, what are your favourites?


Sunday, 7 January 2018

Blog Tour: That Girl by Kate Kerrigan

You can escape a place. But you can't escape yourself.
"Hanna flees the scene of a terrible crime in her native Sligo. If she can just vanish, re-invent herself under a new name, perhaps the police won't catch up with her. London seems the perfect place to disappear.
Lara has always loved Matthew and imagined happy married life in Dublin. Then comes the bombshell – Matthew says he wants to join the priesthood. Humiliated and broken-hearted, Lara heads to the most godless place she can find, King's Road, Chelsea.
Matthew's twin sister, Noreen, could not be more different from her brother. She does love fiancé John, but she also craves sex, parties and fun. Swinging London has it all, but without John, Noreen is about to get way out of her depth.
All three girls find themselves working for Bobby Chevron – one of London's most feared gangland bosses – and it's not long before their new lives start to unravel".

Kate Kerrigan lives in County Mayo, Ireland, with her husband and children. Her novels include Recipes for a Perfect Marriage, shortlisted for the 2006 Romantic Novel of the Year Award and Ellis Island, which was a TV Book Club Summer Read.

My thoughts?

I absolutely loved this un-put-downable read. It's the swinging 60s in London and three very different Irish girls leave Ireland for very different reasons and set up home in London. They end up working for gangland boss Bobby Chevron and while living above the club find out all about the seedier side to life.

Hanna had to flee her home and is forever looking over her shoulder. Lara was expecting to marry her sweetheart Matthew before he dropped the bombshell he was going to become a priest and Noreen, Matthew's twin is desperate to live a little in London before settling down with her fiancee. 

It's a story of everyday life, friendships, love, with a little bit of heartache and tragedy thrown in. It's one of the best books I've read in a long time and I keep recommending it to everyone!

*complimentary kindle copy from Netgalley & the Publisher

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Review: Exuviance Skincare

Exuviance Skincare is a dermatologist developed line which was created in 2002 by Drs. Van Scott and Yu who are recognised as leaders in the field of cosmetic dermatology.

The are the creators and original patent holders of the first glycolic peel. The range of products correct the visible signs of ageing, help to promote a healthy skin barrier, improve the skin's texture and tone, firms, helps to reduce pore size, reduces fine lines and wrinkles, help with age spots and hyperpigmentation, moisturises, enhance the skin's ability to retain moisture and helps to manage oily skin.

The "line contains the best clinically proven, state of the art technologies available today".  I've been testing out a few of the products from the range:

Gentle Cleansing Creme (£39 - 212ml) which gently cleanses and cleans the skin. It has a rich cream texture which melts onto the skin removing make up and impurities. The formulation is blended with an anti-ageing PHA along with conditioners and nourishing botanicals. The cleanser is soap free making it ideal for sensitive and dry skin types.

To use: apply to damp skin massaging in before removing with warm water/warmed damp muslin cloth.

My favourite from the three products I tried is the Sheer Daily Protector SPF50 (£34 - 50ml) which I found great to even out the skin tone and to use alone or under make up. It has sheer mineral UVA/UVB protection which enhances natural skintone and is suitable for all skin types.

To use: shake for 15 seconds before applying to the face. 

I found the Triple Microdermabrasion Face Polish (£57.50 - 75g), which is a "The Best Bridal Beauty Buys 2017 winner" pretty amazing. It gently but thoroughly polishes the skin using professional grade crystals, glycolic acid and papaya enzymes to dissolve impurities and dead skin. The skin is left looking bright and radiant with pores reduced and dark spots minimised. 

To use: apply a thin layer to a clean wet face lightly massaging for 30 seconds. Leave on for a maximum of 2 minutes before rinsing. Follow with serum and moisturiser.

These products are not natural but I find my skin sometimes needs something more science led.


Friday, 5 January 2018

JOIK Advent Calendar: Top Picks

I really enjoyed the JOIK Advent Calendar* which I chose in November as my #LLABP pick (partly paid by me).

I've got 17 top picks which out of 24 is pretty good going! (and right now it's still on sale if you fancy it (£85.60). The products I wasn't so keen on were - Raspberry Bon Bon Shower Oil 50ml, Luxurious Citrus Bath Milk (because it had opened in transit and covered most things in a light powder), Micellar Water 50ml, Juicy Apple Shower Foam 50ml, Deep Moisturising All Over Balm 15ml, Oriental Night Soap 40gr and the Vanille scented sachet 30gr I thought was only ok as I didn't find the scent very long-lasting.

Onto the products I loved:

Rejuvenating Eye Contour Cream 8ml which I've been enjoying using. It helps to reduce wrinkles, puffiness and dark circles. The cream is stuffed full of ingredients which help smooth out wrinkles, add moisture, help with collagen and elastin production, nourish and plump. I'd buy full size.

I also love Exfoliating Facial Scrub 15ml which has a rich creamy texture and citrus scent. Bamboo stem and olive granules gently exfoliate along with AHA fruit acids of bilberry, cane sugar, maple sugar, orange and lemon. Coconut oil, shea butter and sunflower oil moisturise and nourish.

Cleansing Facial Foam 50ml is really lovely to use and refreshing in my morning shower. I love the light as air foam which I find gives a really good clean and refreshes the skin. It also has fruity scent which is uplifting.

I love using the Moisturizing Day Cream 30ml in conjunction with both the Regenerating Night Cream 30ml and the Silky Facial Serum 10ml. I've found the trio work very well together. I'll do a full review shortly on the trio.

I thought the Spiced Cranberry Soy Wax Candle 145g was a great addition to the calendar. I love it's gentle spicy Christmas aroma with notes of cranberry, cinnamon, cardamon, nutmeg and clove.

Citrus & Bergamot Body Butter 50ml absorbs instantly and leaves the skin with a beautiful citrus aroma and deeply nourished. While Raspberry Bon Bon Body Butter 50ml smells good enough to eat! It has a sweet and slightly fruity raspberry scent.

Sweet Orange & Mint Body Oil 50ml also absorbs instantly and leaves the skin smelling fresh, fruity with the skin hydrated and nourished. A special blend of nurturing oils are used and I like the spray bottle top too! I like to use the body oil in conjunction with the matching Sweet Orange & Mint Body Scrub 75ml which has the same delicious scent with for me personally, the perfect amount of scrubbiness.

Rose & Red Clay Soap 40g smells just glorious. I'm a huge fan of bars of soap (hopefully full sizes will land at Love Lula soon!) Apple & Elderflower Foaming Handwash 50ml is again a favourite. I love the foamy texture and the uplifting fruity scent.

I absolutely adore JOIK's White Chocolate Bath Truffles see my review HERE.

Illuminating Passionfruit & Mango Body Milk 50ml and Green Tea & Cucumber Body Lotion 50ml which I think would be perfect for packing for your summer holidays.

The final item I loved from the Advent Calendar was the fantastic Velvety Red Silky Lip Balm which adds a pop of nourishing colour to the lips.

Do we share any favourites? What are your overall thoughts on the JOIK Advent Calendar?

*partly funded by myself and partly by the Love Lula Accredited Blogger Program 
**my post contains affiliate links

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Shopping my Stash #96

I can't get enough of beautiful Burt's Bees lipsticks and this one (Blush Basin) which I chose as a Latest in Beauty pick is fab (Sunset Cruise is also gorgeous). The lipstick is moisturising and gives the lips a nice pop of colour. Definitely want to try more shades.

As you'll know I just love Awake Organics and their Frankin-Sense Divine Face Serum is just fantastic. I've been reaching for it a lot recently. See my review HERE.

Tea Tonique EdP by Miller Harris is refreshing and uplifting with notes of bergamot, petit grain, lemon, smokey tea, nutmeg, mate abs, birch tar and musk.

The best dry shampoo I've tried is by Aster & Bay (mini review) as it just works!

From the JOIK Advent Calendar one of my favourite items is their Silky Facial Serum*. It's really lovely to use and it's one I'd buy full size. A review will be forthcoming of the products I loved the most.

Rounding up my favourite picks this week is Corinne Taylor's exquisite Spirit Aromatherapy Room & Linen mist with Palo Santo, White Sage & Cedarwood Essential Oils. See my review HERE.

*sent to me as part of the Love Lula Accredited Blogger Program - my post contains one affiliate link

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

HENNÉ ORGANICS: Lip Exfoliator Rose Diamonds

I was so excited when Ana at Ana Goes Green flagged up that Henné Organics was now available to buy at Naturisimo. Their Rose Diamonds Lip Exfoliator (£21 - 10ml) has been on my wishlist like forever!

The brand is American and Swedish inspired and was launched in 2015 to add a little luxury to everyday living.

The packaging is simple and stylish and the pot looks perfect on my dressing table! 96% organic, made with Vegetarian beeswax and free from parabens, PEG, phthalates and synthetic fragrance/colour. The brand is certified organic by A Bee Organic.

Other ingredients include Organic Coconut oil, Lingonberry, Vanilla, Shea Butter, Vitamin E, blush petal pink crystals with a beautiful Rosa Damascena scent.

Lips are left soft, smooth and nourished with dry flakey patches removed. It's best to apply lip balm after a treatment to lock in moisture and nourish.

To use: apply a small amount to the lips in circular motions before rinsing. Use 3-4 times a week.

It's as good as I was expecting it to be and a real treat for the lips. Have you tried anything from the range?

Monday, 1 January 2018

Giveaway: Zing Organics Velveteen Facial Serum - it's over!

As you'll know I'm a huge fan of lovely Zing Organics and have an extra special New Year giveaway for a UK reader which will run until the middle of January (if you are the lucky winner it's a perfect treat to chase away the winter blues!)

Up for grabs is the fabulous Velveteen Facial Serum which I reviewed HERE. It's one of my favourite facial serums ever!

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Blog Highlights 2017

You can see my highlights posts for 2015 (HERE) and 2016 (HERE). Here are my 2017 highlights:


In January, I tried Tropic Skincare again and have totally fallen for every product I've tried. I just love Super Greens Nutrient Boost Serum* which I reviewed in January. See my review HERE.


In February, I discovered the wonderful Aster & Bay (who are now Edinburgh based) and totally fell for the glorious Rosewater Mist. See my review HERE.


In March, I collaborated with the fabulous Mary Paulson-Ellis to giveaway a copy of her amazing book - The Other Mrs Walker (link). My review featured in my September 2016 round-up.


In April, I took part in the Best of Skincare Tag (link) which was fun to do.


We had a night away in North Berwick (one of my favourite places to be). It featured in my May loves (link). It may only just be down the road but it feels like I'm on holiday when I'm there.


In June, I finally got round to trying the Votary Rose Maroc & Sandalwood Facial Oil which I received in the Liberty Advent Calendar. It lived up to all my expectations! See my review HERE.


July saw me feature my top reads for the first part of the year (link) so hard to pick!  I also loved Esse Probiotic Skincare Gel Cleanser** which came to me as a member of the Love Lula Accredited Blogger Program (which I'm both thrilled and delighted to be a member of). See my review HERE.


In August I discovered the exquisite Juno Skincare. See my review HERE.


In September, I sampled a Zing Organics - Zing Lover's Subscription Box which I think is one of the best subscription boxes out there! See my review HERE (and my review of the Eco Marine Algae Facial Cleansing Masque HERE).


As you'll know I'm a huge fan of the beautiful and gorgeous Skin Organic Clean Beauty Boxes. This light as air, fluffy and exquisitely scented Poppy's Natural Skincare Super Moisturising Organic Chia Seed Hand Butter (neroli) came in the  October - Autumn Glow Box. See my review HERE.


In November, I'm delighted to say I've embarked on Formula Botanica - Diploma in Organic Skincare which I'm so excited about!  I've not really had time yet to throw myself into it due to my day job being manic and having the flu. I'm looking forward to starting it seriously soon (enrollment opens January 16-23 if you are interested!) Expect an initial post early in January.


I'm totally honoured and incredibly proud to be a judge for The Beauty Shortlist Awards 2018. I've been testing out lots of amazing products - some already known to me and some which are totally new.

It's been a brilliant year! What are your highlights?

**sent to me as part of the Love Lula Accredited Blogger Program

Saturday, 30 December 2017

My Top Reads: July to December 2017

You can see my top reads January to June HERE which includes Secrets we Keep by Faith Hogan, Sealskin by Su Bristow, Brighton Belle, the fantastic first book in the Mirabelle Bevan Mysteries by Sara Sheridan (I've loved them all!), The Sewing Machine by Natalie Fergie (can't wait for your next book Natalie!) and Then she was Gone by Lisa Jewell which kept me on the edge of my seat throughout!

Moving into the second half of the year these are the books which stood out for me:


In July, there were two standout books for me (link) which were We've come to Take you Home by Susan Gandar* and Together** by Julie Cohen.


In August (link) my top read was Jo Malone - My Story.


In September (link) I loved The Health of Strangers by Lesley Kelly (this is the first of a trilogy) Yah! The second photo was taken at the book launch! (which I think belongs to Kelly at Love Books Group Blog).

I also couldn't put down the wonderful The Phantom Tree by Nicola Cornick which is a richly drawn, un-put-downable historical novel.


In October, (link) I read The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. I'd watched the TV adaptation and wanted to see if the book matched up. It's a great read (which I may read again - something I don't say about many books) and I found the TV series is very similar to the book.

I also enjoyed The Angel in the Stone by R L McKinney which is Rebecca's second novel. Again, this is another book which left me thinking after I'd finished it so it's likely one I'll read again.


In November (link) I totally adored The Girl I used to Know by Faith Hogan**. I took part in the blog tour and you can see my review HERE.

I also loved the witty It Started with a Tweet by Anna Bell** which made me laugh out loud in moments. It really is a great read.


In December (link) my favourite books were Shelter by Sarah Franklin**, Cold Christmas by Alastair Gunn**, That Girl by Kate Kerrigan** and The Confession by Joanne Spain** (look out for my spots on the blog tours for That Girl** and The Confession** in January) And of course I love a bit of Mirabelle Bevan..

What have been your favourite books this year? Do we share any?

*copy from the author
**copy from Netgalley