Back in June I went on holiday. I headed to Morocco for a week and as you can imagine it was scorching, averaging temperate was about 35 degrees, sometimes plus. As a result, I got a fabulous tan (using all natural sun protection of course!) What with my mixed ethnicity, I tan quite easily and develop quite a nice golden colour. I love being tanned, everything about it makes me feel better, and when it starts to disappear, I genuinely get quite sad. So I decided that I'd 'fake it til I make it' (to another holiday). In the past I've dabbled in different natural tanning oils, creams and lotions, but by the the best one for me has been this Biosolis one.

I got this Biosolis Self tanning Spray* through BigGreenSmile, the online natural products retailer. It's a new brand to their site and I had never heard of it before. After checking out the brand and seeing that suncare products and tan were their USP I thought I would be in good hands. After all I've had some disasters in the past.

This tanning spray is ECOCERT certified, Cosmebio certified and FDA certified, 99% of the ingredients are from natural origin and 83% are from organic farming. The tanning factor of the formula is achieved with DHA (Dihydroxyacetone).

So how good is it really? Well, last time I headed home I was chilling out with my mum and sister, trying on clothes and whatnot when my sister suddenly pointed at me and shouted 'Why are you so tan?!' I looked at my legs and they were indeed glowing gorgeously. I told her it was fake tan and she was genuinely surprised! Neither she nor my mum could get over how natural it looked in colour and how streak free it was. They both thought it was my real tan. That is how good it is on me. In fact they both insisted I send them the link, which I dutifully did, because they want to buy it too.

The application is amazingly easy, the easiest I've ever tried. the formula is a milk and very thin and fluid. This makes it really easy to blend and control when you apply it to your skin. As it's not thick , it doesn't congeal or gather in nooks and crannies, it glides over your skin and sinks in fast but not so fast that you have to work like a mad man. The packaging comes with a spray which is a pretty decent spray but I actually found for me the easiest and fastest way to apply was to spray it directly into my hand and then apply to my body**. This way I know how many pumps each part of me received and required. Simple. I think the fluidity of the formula is why it is so amazingly streak free and even, no patches or overly dark marks. 
I can apply this to my whole body in a matter of minutes and be dry and able to sit down and head to bed etc within 10 mins of application. Also only once did it slightly mark my white sheets and that was after a super hot and muggy night. It washed out of my sheets without a problem too. The tan develops after three hours but after 24 hours it has intensified which is why I like to tan before bed so I wake with a glow and keep on glowing throughout the day. By the end of the day, I'm golden!

On me this tan lasts about three days before it really fades so I apply about every three to four days. Like a traditional tan, after application the top layer as it were, does wash away a little but it helps reveal the true tan underneath. Unlike a traditional tan I don't really need to exfoliate before hand. Another effect of this tanning spray is super soft skin. The formula is blended with Aloe Vera,  Avocado oil, Shea butter amongst other ingredients and by gosh do they make my skin feel smooth and soft and very supple! It also includes beeswax so may not be suitable for vegans.

For me this tanning spray is a total winner and when it runs out I will definitely by purchasing it - It's £12.99 for 150ml from BGS.

**Just a note, as I said I apply this with my bare hand and have never tried it with a tanning mitt. I can't imagine a mitt making things easier, actually I reckon it would make things harder and more fumbly. I don't know.

Topping up my Tan Organically // Biosolis

Transitioning from traditional products to natural ones is quite a daunting task in itself, but to add the specification of organic into the mix, well that's actually quite a big task. When you look at all the areas that we've covered this month on going organic, it's pretty huge. But with beauty it doesn't need to be too hard. There's a lot of focus on going organic with the actual beauty products and the ingredients they are made with, but lets not forget the extras in your beauty regime too! There's a wonderful market of organic cotton products to cover all your beauty needs and replace the traditional options. 

Below I have created a pretty little infographic with a snapshot selection of some of my fave picks to make things easier. This is by no means the be all and end all list, rather it's a good starting point to ease into the transition. The majority of these picks are Soil Association certified or ECOCERT certified so you know they really are organic.

Why switch to organic cotton? Check out my post HERE.

Organic 'Beauty Essentials' Swaps

Can we all just take a moment to appreciate how beautiful this lipstick is? The packaging, the colour, the shape. Gorgeous. This beautiful lipstick is from Living Nature and it is the first of its kind (along with another shade) to be fully COSMOS certified organic.

I was very kindly sent this Living Nature Lipstick* by Botanical Brands and I knew it would be perfect for Organic September and better yet Organic Beauty Week. The fact that I've got a growing obsession with lipsticks in every shade and variety going, just made it that much easier to give this a whirl. This particular shade is called Pure Passion and it is the darker more vampy shade of the two available.
They surprised me with the shade, but as I had seen this lipstick and it's partner on other lovely blogs, I knew that either would be right up my street!

 In the tube Pure Passion looks like a very deep rich dark vary red. A perfect autumn colour. As with most things, depending on the light this can look very different. I find on me the colour comes out a lot brighter and lighter than expected but still has a lovely deep rich cherry red hue to it. This is definitely not a pillar-box red. I actually think the colour is much truer to the colour sticker on the lipstick time than what it looks like in its unapplied form. I have to say I am very much in love with this colour.
With my mixed skin tone it can be hard to match the right red, I'm not pale but I'm not dark toned either. My skin is also a mix of both yellow/olive and pink undertones and for me it's not as simple as always opting for warm or cool undertones. Both can look flattering and unflattering in equal measure. Personally I think this is a really flattering shade on me and I love it. I took it on its first outing at a friends wedding and it really pulled my look together, striking without being over the top!

The formula of the lipstick is wonderful. It is super creamy and applies very easily, not a hint of chalkiness in sight. For staying power, as I mentioned I wore this to a wedding and I only had to re-apply a few times throughout the day. The info describes it as long lasting and I can certainly attest to that. A great aspect of this lipstick is that it doesn't tend to smudge too easily and doesn't bleed at all, so you can maintain a fairly crisp outline. When swacteched this lipstick does look semi-matt but I do find that once on my lips it loses its semi-matt finish and becomes a little more silky looking.
Luckily for me it is also very hydrating and doesn't highlight any dry patches too much, which as someone who is constantly battering dry lips is a real blessing in both aspects. To help them moisturise while being worn, this lipsticks is formulated with organic coconut oil, organic carnauba wax and organic beeswax.

Which brings me nicely onto one of the most important factors about this lipstick. It is 100% natural and 90% organic. Fully COSMOS certified. Organic makeup is hard to find and the fact that this is certified by the biggest and strictest organic certifying body out there is amazing!

Additionally these two organic lipsticks are cruelty free and gluten free. Just a note they do contain beeswax so are not vegan.

Organic Lipstick // Living Nature

It's been a very long time since I've purchased a beauty box, but when I saw that YOU Beauty had collaborated with the Soil Association on a special organic beauty box I knew it was one I would be scooping up quickly!

As expected all the products within the box are certified by Soil Association and includes a mix of skincare, makeup and health. I know all of the brands in the box, but I've only actually used two of them which was part of the reason I was so keen to purchase this box. 
Here's what it includes:

 Terre Verdi GoodOils Cleansing Oil 

I've never tried a Terre Verdi product before and with this being a cleansing oil it the perfect introduction to the brand. This oil is a blend of jojoba, camellia,castor and organ oil.

 Skin & Tonic Rose Mist 

Another brand I am very familiar with but have never used. I love a face mist, but I'm not a huge rose fan so we will see how I get along with this one. formulated with aloe vera and glycerine along with the rose water, this spray is designed as multi-purpose spray for cooling down, toning and even as a makeup setting spray.

 Botanicals Radiance Facial Serum 

Yet another brand I know a lot about but for some reason haven't tried out.  This serum is suitable for all skin types and is a blend of avocado, grapeseed oil and reship oil so it sound like it will be super hydrating. 

 NYR Wild Rose Beauty Balm 

I've used this balm before in other samples and it's really lovely, I'm pleased to have a bigger sample to give it more a lengthy trial. However, what I didn't realise is that this can be used as a face mask! Time to get playing around with this some more!

 Odylique Organic Eye Liner 

I was so pleased to see a makeup item included in this box, especially because it's all about certified organic products. More often than the not the focus is on skincare and it's great to see that makeup is being highlighted too especially as the area of organic makeup is growing each year.

 Natracare Cleansing Make-up Removal Wipes 

My favourite wipes. I've used these lots and always grab a pack if I find them. These single ones are going to be perfect for popping in my handbag.

The final product is a totally different product that focuses on beauty from the inside out. This is the Kiki Health Acai Berry Powder; Baobab Powder; Camu Camu Powder; Maca Powder and Wheatgrass Powder bundle of sachets. They also come with recipes so you can have a tasty explore into superfoods.

I think this is a lovely box, a great mix of brands, and quite refreshing to see some 'food' and makeup in there also. My only point would be that it would have been nice to have one of the products more of a body focused one. However for only £20 for a collection that is worth over £75, I think it's certainly a bit of a bargain! You can still grab one for yourself here!

What do you think of this box?


Happy Organic Beauty Week!

This is the part of Organic September where I can really delve into beauty much more and share some amazing products, brands, tips, tricks, ideas and thoughts with you!

The Soil Association have a lovely little hashtag going this year for their Organic Beauty Week campaign - #LookForTheLogo. The message being if you are unsure on whether something is organic or not, then check to see if the product has their logo...if not then the chances are it isn't - unless of course there is another real certification on there.

Keep up to date with the Soil Association's wonderful #LookForTheLogo campaign this year through the Soil Association's Beauty instagram >> @soilassociationbeauty

You can also check out their OBW page online here.

Don't forget to also check out:

Enjoy a week of pure organic beauty!

Organic Beauty Week // 2016

Ah tea! The most favourite of British past times. I'll admit I'm a tea fan, and was raised on the stuff. I have fond memories of being snuggled in bed in the morning drinking a 'little cup of tea' which was just the last mouthful or two of my mums cup of tea, when I was a little one. This end of the tea was super sweet and sugary and I loved it. As I got older my tea habit grew as did my sugar consumption. It was scary how much sugar I had in my tea. Then I started getting wise and reducing and then cutting out sugar from my tea. Next came exploring herbal teas and now at the final height of tea love comes the organic teas!

And my go to choice for organic tea is always Pukka
I first tried Pukka when I got samples in health boxes and they were a brill introduction. Now my two go-tos at the moment are Pukka Supreme Matcha Green and Pukka Detox.

I choose the Detox tea, not for it's cleansing properties as I'm not overly into the whole 'detox' thing, but because it tastes like a lightly flavoured bobbly sweet from allsorts (you know the pink and blue bobbly ones) a little bit of aniseed and fennel. Delicious.  
The Matcha tea gives me an amazing boost when I'm feeling drowsy but doesn't give me the shakes like coffee does.

Why Pukka? Because I think they are one of the best organic tea brands available, they leave no little detail untouched. 
They are Soil Association and USDA certified, and when they say they are organic and GM free they mean more than just with the plants and herbs that they use. Even the cotton used to make the teabag string is organic!

Pukka teas are also made with sustainably grown herbs and plant ingredients and the company are part of the FairWild scheme which guarantees sustainable growing and harvesting methods as well as being fair to the workers with fair pay and working conditions etc. Going forward Pukka are also working towards having all their teas certified as 'Fair' by the Fair For Life scheme. Many of their teas are already certified FairTrade.
Even all of the Pukka packaging is sustainable and eco. As I mentioned the string on the bags is made from organic cotton and they don't use staples so the bags are 100% biodegradable. The bags themselves are made from wood pulp and Acaba /Manila hemp (they never use bags made from oil derived nylon or GMO Corn Starch)
The boxes are also made from FSC renewable wood sources and full recyclable. The ink used on the packaging is also non toxic vegetable ink. 

And there's more. Pukka earn extra brownie points with these little extras:

Did you know...? 'Pukka' means 'real' in Hindi. And we often use the term to mean 'good' or 'perfect'. Jamie Oliver loves using the term! You can see why the founders chose it can't you? 

If you want more info on Pukka you need to check out their website as it is literally overflowing with amazing information everywhere you look. They are so passionate and involve din every aspect it's really inspiring! If you are London based then also try to grab a copy of Balance magazine - I couldn't believe it when I saw the article on Pukka in there. I had to re-setup my photo background to include  snap of the magazine in this blog post too!

Go organic with your whole tea routine and make sure you also choose organic milk if you use it and also opt for Fair Trade Organic sugar ( try Equal Exchange Raw Cane sugar!) if you can.

Would You Like a Cup of (Organic) Tea?

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