When I was a teen I thought nothing of whacking on a bright turquoise or purple eyeliner to match with my top of choice that day. Back in the late 90s / early 00s it was perfectly acceptable. Somewhere down the line, a few years later I've find myself both stuck in a makeup rut and too chicken to try anything different than my standard black cat eye. Even days without winged eyeliner are a bold step for me, it's definitely become my comfort blanket of makeup. I thought it was about time I at least tried to step outside my comfort zone and gave a my usual makeup look a bit of a shake up. 

My first foray into 'daring makeup' and product of choice to experiment with, is this beautiful green eyeliner. This eyeliner is the SoulTree Kajal in shade Fern Green (001)*

SoulTree is a completely new brand to me and I was intrigued by the design of their products and the colours available. These Kajals are made with a  blend of organic Ghee and oils such as castor and sweet almond. This blend of oils and butter make the formula very smooth, soft and creamy and it's very easy to apply without any drag on the eyes. Colour payoff is incredible, opaque bold colour is achieved in a second with a light hand. The final effect is a flat matt without any hint of shimmer or wetness. On the other hand it's not at all chalky. Due to the formula being so creamy it applies on really smoothly and crisply but it can smudge quite easily but it doesn't crease. 
This shade 'Fern Green' is quite an emerald green colour and is the right balance between bold without being too bright.
When trying this out I opted for my fail-safe winged liner with very natural eyes and natural face. I wanted the green to be the focal point of my look without anything else detracting from it. To see pics of it on my eyes, scroll below.
I was not expecting to like the look on me and while at first I was unsure I actually grew to like the look over the day. I think the green draws out the slight tint of green that i have round the edge of my eyes, usually they look very brown but they are actually flecked with green hazel tones too. I have to admit this isn't a look that I'd be reaching for everyday but I wouldn't be too nervous wearing it out every now and then for a bit of variety. I've been playing with this a fair bit and I think green eyeliner has more potential than I first thought. 
Would you give the colourful eyeliner trend a try?

SoulTree Kajal (3g) - £13.90 . BDIH certified natural.

Stepping out of my comfort zone with: SoulTree

Catch your breath, this bottle of gold gloriousness is Zoya's Nail Laquer in 'Goldie'* holy cow it is stunning! I'm so used to seeing cool toned golds, that when I saw this richly yellow based gold nail colour, I had to have it. It was a gamble but it sure did pay off!

I tried to take this polish in a number of different lights so you can truly appreciate the colour. It was tricky but hopefully you get the full scale of how incredible this colour is!

Now I love Zoya as a brand and I have several of their polishes. They have a huge range of colours and are free from Formaldehyde, Toluene, DBP and Camphor.
I find Zoya to be really high quality in their formulas, long lasting quite chip resistant and they always have great colour and coverage.
This Goldie polish is no exception. One coat give a good patch-free finish with strong colour, but two coats really makes the colour pop and  make an impact.
Goldie as I said and as you can see, is a very yellow based gold shade, so unique and unusual. When I first applied this polish I really wasn't keen but after letting it dry and spending time doing that hand-out-in-front-wiggling-fingers-in-the-light thing we girls always seem to do to admire our nails, I fell for it. Hard.

I love the super metallic look it has, and it is a slight shimmer effect. It's shimmery, metallic and has a slight shine all in one. Gorgeous! It's not glittery though which is good. On my nails below I'm wearing two coats- badly applied, I'll admit but it is quite easily to apply, I just have zero skills or patience. There is a tiny bit of streaking in the effect, but not streaking so badly that it leaves gaps, simply there's a brush stroke effect in the polish, I know partly due to my appalling application and I think just due to the metallic nature of the polish. It doesn't detract from the overall effect though.

For the wear, this polish holds up as well as any of the other Zoya shades. It lasts a good 4-5 days with a slight hint of tip wear after day three and chipping after five if you have it without a top coat. Another great factor about this polish is that it doesn't have a very strong scent which is great for me and for anyone in the room when I'm painting my nails.

In short this polish is exactly as luxurious as i hoped it would be! It's become rather a staple on my nails now. Oh and i is also worth noting that it doesn't stain your nails at all, even when you wear it without a base coat. See it truly is perfection.

The specifics: This polish really is worth it's weight in gold! It's £10 and available from LoveLula. Currently as I write this, it is sadly out of stock, but I feel sure that this will be back in stock soon -if you are really an eager beaver, you can sign up to be notified when this pot of gold comes back into stock. I would highly advise getting one. You'll just fall in love. Really you will.

The Pot of Liquid Gold // Zoya 'Goldie'

Sometimes I get stuck in a rut of only using certain brands, so lately I'm making a really conscious effort to step out of my comfort zone and explore other brands, both new ones and others that have been around for sometime. 

Laidbare may be a brand you guys are familiar with, but to me, they are completely new. If I'm honest it was 50% the gorgeous packaging and 50% the brilliant product name that drew me to them and made me pop this Laidbare Clean As A Whistle Body Wash* in my cyber shopping basket!

I know I am a total packaging geek...but uh how lush is it?! So classic but quirky, white and clean and simple but colourful and vibrant and fun. I LOVE this packaging design. And as for the product names. Brilliant. Not pictured but this body wash also has a double lid. It has the main applicator clip open-close mechanism, but there is also a larger clear cap that clips over the top which protects from any spills etc. Nifty design work.

Anyway enough of the packaging love, onto the product inside:

It's quite hard to talk about a body wash as it's not designed to have long last effects or dramatic results. I like this very much. I will buy it again. The end. No no I  joke, I do have much more to say. This is a great all-rounder body wash, and by all-rounder I mean it works well for both me and my BF without causing him to whinge as he can sometimes do over 'natural' products (he famously once said about a natural product, 'I don't trust it, I don't know what's in it' and proceeded to use some horrendous traditional 'manly for men with manly masculine muscles' type of brand. Oh the irony!) The scent which is described as the Laidbare Unique Tranquil Flower  100% Natural Fragrance is very much a typical natural peppy earthy scent that I can never quite put my finger on and both the boy and myself really like it. I say it's peppy as it is, I guess what you would describe as quite an invigorating scent, ideal for waking me up in the morning. Actually, It's quite a warming scent, if that makes sense.  

The formula is almost gel like liquid that has an almost honey like texture to it, without the stickiness. You don't have to use too much of this, but I find I actually use a lot because I really enjoy the formula. It's surprisingly hydrating and after checking out the ingredients I put that down to the Aloe Vera content which is the first ingredient listed aside from water. Definitely doesn't strip your skin at all but you do still feel lovely and clean after using it. The added Grapefruit seed extract adds in extra anti-bacterial properties to give you a super dose of clean.
This body wash also has a lot of different coconut-derived surfactants so it does have a slight lather to it, but no major foaming. I would say that perhaps it doesn't really need the lather at all, but I'm no chemists so who knows.

Overall, in terms of body washes, this one is a good'un. It's comes in a just under the £10 mark for 250ml which is perhaps on the slightly higher end of mid-range pricing. 
It's been a great introduction to a brand and I'm keen to explore more of the brands offering, they have quite a wide selection of products and a few surprises in there too, so watch this space.

NB// this product is cruelty free and free from: petrochemicals, parabens, synthetic fragrances, TEA, DEA, synthetic colours and glycols.

Discovering a brand // Laidbare

It's been such a long time since I've had a LoveLula Beauty Box*, and I have to admit I was totally excited to get this box through the post this month! There literally is nothing better than knowing you are going to get a box of goodies to play with. Plus the added element of suspense not knowing what is going to be in it, then the surprise when you final unveil it! 

My first thoughts on this box where happy ones as I noticed how many of the products were certified organic, ideal for Organic September and Organic Beauty Week. It's great to see the 'green' and 'natural' beauty industry really make a definite shift to being organic as well as 'natural' to really enhance the 'clean' and 'toxic free' ethics. 

This month offered four full or trial size products and two little sample sachets. I was kindly sent this box to review as part of the Love Lula blogger scheme but to purchase it would cost £12.50 per month to receive this box. This month's box worth came to well over £45!

So lets take a look at some of the goodies included!

I know I've said this time and time again, but I love a facial waster/mist. I tend to shy away from Rose based products as often I'm not keen on the scent but this one smell just like the fresh petals of roses, with none of that 'old ladies knitted sweater' type of smell (you know what I mean). The ingredients are very simple. Rose Flower Distillate...that's it. Super pure. Super clean. 
As most floral waters this is a versatile product you can use as a toner or simply to freshen up. 
This spray is Soil Association certified organic, 100% natural, cruelty free (Leaping Bunny certified) and carries the RBM (Real beauty Manifesto) logo.

So OOH! has been a brand that has been on my radar for a while, but like many many brands it's just never made it's way into my stash. That's why I love beauty boxes, they introduce me to brands I haven't tried before and products I might never have picked up. I love facial oils, but I'm quite dedicated to those I am using lately, but this one really intrigues me. I've never used a product with Baobab before. I've used it in smoothies but never in skincare. Intrigued to see if it really is a transformative as it claims. As they say it is rich in Omega-3s i'm keen to give this a whirl on my scars and pigment spots. 
Although not certified this oil is purely (100%) made from organic Adansonia Digitata Seed Oil (Baobab). Again OOH! is part of the RBM and carries the logo. This product is also PhytoTrade Africa certified.

I've recently just used up a FOM anti-ageing hand cream and loved it so I have high hopes for this serum. This serum is designed to be used both days and night to give your skin a super hydration boost. The main base of this serum is rose water formulated with other powerful ingredients such as silk protein and fig extract among others. There's a lot of science based explanation surrounding the workings of this serum, but essentially it is to boost hydration, support collagen and help reduce pigmentation and even out skin tone. Pretty much everything I need for my skin after a long summer and heading into a cold dry winter.

Love Madara as a brand! I've used a lot of their products and always been impressed. I've noticed that lately they have really stepped up their offering and product/ packaging design and it's definitely kept me interested in them as a brand. I'm loyal to their comforting toner and skin tints so I'm hoping, fingers crossed this peel mask will prove to be just as good. Funnily enough I've just got back into exfoliating/ peel masks after not using them for years after a bad experience. The poor texture of my skin lately has mean that I've been experimenting with them more lately so this has come at the right time. AHAs have seen a surge in popularity in skincare of late especially with traditional skincare so it's great to see a natural skincare brand embracing this too.
This mask is 99% natural and ECOCERT organic certified (7% of total ingredients are from organic farming)

I have a love hate relationship with sachets, I love the idea of having them and think 'perfect for travelling' but then I forget about them or I open and then only use half of them and have to chuck them. However luckily these are from two of my fave brands so I'm popping these straight in my makeup bag. Again the MADARA Micellar Water is ECOCERT certified (13% of total ingredients from organic farming)  and is 99% natural origin. The Kimberley Sayer Cleansing Lotion is also made with certified organic ingredients (I'm not familiar with the logo so unsure if it is by a  particular body or not.)

And that my friends, rounds up the total collection of goodies in the LoveLula Beauty Box for September. While I'm really pleased with this box, I would like to see some makeup bits or body care products in future boxes, just to mix things up a little bit, I'm sure there will be.

LoveLula Beauty Box // September 2016

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

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