I have an obsession right now, and it's over something I never thought I would be gushing over- Face Sprays!
There's a few that I have been adoring and the first one to start it all is this Hydrating Mist Toner * from Trilogy.
When I first got my hands on this, I was pretty nonchalant about it. Then I tried it and the scent alone had me hooked! The scent/ active ingredients are rose, geranium and lavender (you all probably know by now I hate lavender but in this it's not a single note but blended beautiful with the others) and the only way I can describe the smell is like floral sherbet! Oh my it smells sensational! The scents just blend and almost fizz as they hit the air and literally nothing can pick me up and relax me more than a couple of sprays of this!
I use this throughout the day, and always give my face a healthy spritz or two (sometimes three!) when I wake up in the morning, after and during my work outs (it's very cooling thanks to the aloe vera in it) and right before bed! This is perfect on clean skin and makes it feel fresh and pepped. I can't say it overly makes it feel super hydrated as you're not actually spraying that much onto your face. It's also described as a toner which is why I like to use it before bed after I've cleansed my face and first thing in the morning but again I can't overly say I've seen any drastic benefits but I like to think it's helping with my pores and protecting my a face a little.
I'd say the best results are actually to help refresh makeup a bit after a long day as it helps stop make makeup running too much and clumping. Sometimes my foundation can start looking a bit dull but a spritz of this really helps to bring back the dewy glow I like!
The packing is beautiful I'm very appreciate of a lovely glass bottle and like that it's a brown glass to help protects the essential oils. The spray also is excellent, its not too focused and forceful or too wide and weak, you get a good, well distributed spritz. Only down side is that I think mine bottle is a little duff as after a couple of spritz the solution tends to forth up the sides of the button/trigger/pump bit and it makes a mess. I also quickly learnt not to shake it!
This is what I would call more of a high end product as it is bit pricey - £17.50 for 100ml but it seems to be lasting me quite a while and I really do get such a mental, mood pick up from using it, it's like having a treat when you use it, that I think it's actually worth it!
Lavera has got to be one of my favourite brands and I haven't yet found a product that I don't love! Recently I was offered the chance to review this gorgeous Exotic Body Wash* (& the Exotic Body Cream*, not pictured - review to come soon) and with Summer now in swing I knew that the Coconut & Vanilla ingredients and scent of them would be the perfect way to get the summer vibes going!
In a (coco) nut shell, this is exactly how it is named and described! A seriously sweet and mouth watering blend of fragrant Coconut Fruit and Vanilla! It smells divine!
I was expecting a white creamy milk like wash but this is actually a colourless, clear gel that is runny enough to get out of the tube easily but not so runny that it makes a mess. It applies really well, very silky and a little 10 pence sized 'dob' is enough for your whole body (baring in mind i'm a very small person!). The scent is pretty strong and heady in the tube but not overpowering and mellows a little as you use with water. The scent also lingers gently on the skin for a while but does fade as you would expect. I can't decide it this smells more Vanilla or more Coconut, but I do know that is smells like a fabulous fruity vanilla yogurt! Which I know sounds odd, but honestly it's so so gorgeous!
As mentioned this contains organic Coconut fruit extract but it also contains a little sea salt and Sodium PCA, which I think is the main combo of ingredients that is leaving my skin feeling pretty soft and smooth lately!
It's worth noting that this does contain some Sodium Coco-sulfate so give it a tiny hint of foam, but I honestly don't think it foams at all and that isn't a problem for me, this works just fine without any foaminess!
As with all Lavera products this product has great ethical ad eco credentials! It's free from synthetic preservatives and parabens, silicone, paraffin and mineral oils. It is also vegan and cruelty free (Lavera is against all animal testing) and the organic ingredients (extracts and oils) are from certified organic agriculture!
If you're loving all things Coconut this summer then this Exotic Body Wash is a serious must have!
So today is Summer Solstice! That means summer has finally arrived (if only in terms of dates rather than weather!) and I thought it would be the perfect day to do a round up on all the latest SPF products that are on my radar at the moment, from new ranges, new products and whole new brands available in the UK!
Neal's Yard Remedies Organic Sun Care collection
This new collection to NYR features brand new SPF products for body and face. The Lemongrass Moisturising body range consists of SPF 15, 30 and 50 (50ml & 150ml) all in a delicious Lemongrass scent, 100% natural and UVA/UVB and water-resistant! There is also a Wild Rose Moisturising SPF specifically designed for the face which is SPF 30 (50ml) which provides UVA/UVB PA+++ protection! I'm really excited about this collection as I'm always using and loving NYR products so this is really great news!
Green People Scent Free Sun Lotion SPF 30
This is a bit of a relaunch for Green People, originally this formula was SPF 25 and smelt a little like play dough! I have several bottles of this in both travel and full size and I didn't mind the scent! I loved the protection this gave me and have been using the original for years so I'll be super interested to see how both the protection and the 'smell-factor' have improved with this new formula! Again both UVA/UVB protection, this is also suitable for sensitive skin!
A very exciting American brand that has now launched in the UK thanks to the amazing team at abeautifulworld! COOLA offers a huge range of amazing products for the whole body for sun care from your typical sun creams, to aftersun and BB Creams! It is worth a note that they do have some ingredients that you may want to look into first as they aren't the 'cleanest' of products - but if they were selected by abeautifulworld then I'm happy! I've really got my eye on the Environmental Repair Plus Radical Recovery After Sun Lotion!
Aesop Protective Body Lotion
This Aesop Protestive Body Lotion was launched at the beginning of the year and I've been waiting eagerly to get on my summer holidays for months now to test it out! This body lotion provides SPF 50 UVA & UVB protection and can provide water resistance for up to 80 minutes. The formula is also infused with Spearmint so it has an incredible scent, I adore anything minty! Again some of the ingredients are not 100% clean but it's pretty close! Available in 150ml.
Have any of these new products or brands caught your eye?
In the past few years I've really got into having baths, I'm really working on getting my tension and stress levels down and learning to relax- something that doesn't come that easily to me.
Not only do i find them a way to mentally relax and switch off, but also I've been using them to relax my muscles and body for a bit of a refresh, reboot and generally TLC.
I've been playing about with a few soaks, oils and salts but nothing really grabbed me until I got myself a big tube of this Muscle & Joint Pain Epsom Salt Bath Soak from The Eco Bath.
Now I've used epsom salt a lot in the past, they are a strong memory from my childhood, but what makes this one special is that it is infused with essential oils including Lemongrass (Cymbopogon Citratus), Ecalyputus (Eucalyptus Globus), Peppermint (Mentha Piperita) and Black Pepper (Piper Nigrum). Potent and beautifully fragrant stuff!
I find this works wonders on both my mind and body. Using this really does help me relax in all ways, the fragrance is calming but 'peps' you up at the same time. I often find my mind's a lot clearer and my thoughts more rational and easier to form after soaking in this. My muscles also are definitely soothed and it's been fabulous on my knees after a work out! If I've got a fair few bruises a good few soaks of this really does help reduce the swelling, colour and tenderness for me.
What's more I find this stellar at helping with my period when my cramps and back ache are getting too much. I hate and avoid painkillers at all costs so this is a lovely alternative and I personally find it very effective- the warm water obviously helps too but the magnesium in epsom salts is proven to be effective for this! It's also very good if I've been having trouble with leg cramps!
On top of that I would recommend using this if you have the flu or a cold to everyone! A few months ago I had the worse flu I've ever had in my life! I was knocked out for over a week and was literally at the point where I thought my bones were breaking inside and I was so physically and mentally exhausted I would just lay on the floor not being able to move. I would climb into a warm bath with a generous scoop of this and it would rapidly soothe a good portion of my muscle (whole bloody body!) ache. I was still in pain but it provide a great amount of relief. The scent of the essential oils also helped improve my breathing and clear my sinuses so i could breathe easier which in turn helped with my headaches.
This 1000g tube was about £8.50(ish) in Holland & Barrett so it is by no means cheap but I would purchase this over and over again! And you do get loads and it lasts a while even when like me you use very 'generous' scoops to your bath!
It's true in this day and age there literally is an app for everything, and it's brilliant!
I've been discovering as many apps (new and old) as I can that are focused on making life easier for 'going green.'
Finally the journey into this lifestyle is becoming easy to navigate all with a little help from a good internet connection and a few little apps on your phone! Check out some that I've discovered so far!
Probably the most well known of all the apps, this one has had a lot of attention, and it really is worth the publicity. This is a funky looking app that helps you check out the toxicity and safety of your products. You use a barcode scanning system to check products against their database of over 300,60 products!
The results give you can overall colour coded score, White = Neutral /0-2, Yellow = Half N' Half / 3-6 and Red = Dirty / 7-10. So the higher the score the worse the ingredients/product is. The score is also broken down into more specific ratings and details based on ratings for Carcinogenicity, Developmental & Reproductive Toxicity and Allergies & Immunotoxicities. It also provides a break down of all ingredients included in each product, each ingredient colour coded by the scale mentioned above.
Products scanned can be added to your Bathroom Shelf or other lists (favourites) and you can even check out similar product recommendations. If the product isn't in the database it will record it for you and add it at a later date, and you can add imagery too!
What is more is that this app is linked to Amazon USA and Canada so you can shop the products easily! Sadly this isn't available for the UK!
On top of all this you can even create your own profile, share favourite products, review items, earn points and connect with friends!
EWG'S SKIN DEEP
Another well known app for beauty products to check out ingredients and toxicity scores. Again you use the scanning a barcode system to check out specific products. Scores are based on a traffic light colour system for hazard Red (High / 7-10), Amber (Moderate / 3-6) and Green (low Hazard / 0-2) or None. Results also break down into scores for categories for Cancer, Developmental/Reprotoxicity and Allergy. You can use these to filter and see which individual ingredients are flagged for each category too.
This app features great History and Favourites sections so you can see previously searched or scanned items and products and save others you want to buy in future!
This app has a great system where if you scan a product they don't have it will be recorded in the system for them to check out and add! Plus you have the option to search for a product by name incase its in the system under a different barcode or without a barcode!
This app also has a lovely simple Tips section which has concise quick tips on ingredients to avoid in certain products to products that are most problematic.
(Also special shout out to EWG'S Food Scores App - www.ewg.org/foodscores)
G/G - GOOD GUIDE
An amazing 'all-rounder' this app covers not just beauty but home products (which include cleaning products and items like toys) and food too! Like the others it follows an easy to use system of scanning a barcode to bring up a guide to thousands of products. You can also search directly for certain products or browse through over 210,000 products!
Results show in three categories, Health, Environment and Society (how it's manufactured etc) so you can judge it's impact on all three areas and find the best products for you! Super green!
GoodGuide ratings range from 0 to 10, unlike Think Dirty and Skin Deep, the higher the score, the better the product is in that category. You can get a summary score and also delve deeper into the specifics.
You can read reviews and recommendations and even create shopping lists of products - really handy when you're out shopping!
Like all the apps this again is more USA based on products but it's still good for products that are available in both USA and UK. Also you can't add your products to the database like you can with ThinkDirty and EWG Skin Deep.
A few more I've yet to fully check out yet:
Cosmetifique / Cosmetics Ingredients / Ingredient Watch
Have you checked out any of these apps, what do you think?
Yes, snail gel. Like me I'm sure you've heard lots of stories about snail gel facials etc but never thought it would be something you'd opt for or even have the chance to experience. I mean snail secretion doesn't exactly scream beauty, luxury or pampering!
Lucky for us Dr. Organic have a range of snail gel products that can tempt even the most squeamish! Packaged in stylish glass bottles and blended with bioactive organic ingredients they sure don't look like the slime you'd imagine!
Snail gel is actually not as gross as it sounds, its the natural secretions of Helix Aspersia Muller which is high in Collagen, Elastin, Glycolic acid and complex proteins that is used by the snails to repair their cells. So it can have the same effect on our skin cells!
I've been using this Dr. Organic Snail Gel Facial Serum* for quite a while now and it's become my absolute staple! I'll be honest, Ive never been that great at moisturising my face regularly, I always dip in and out of using moisturisers in cream formulas and mostly oils but never made it routine. Serums weren't really something I experimented with either but now I'm always reaching for it!
The formula is a very light and thin serum, very smooth and easy to apply, not a hint of gooey sticky slime in sight! I don't find it heavy and thick like a cream, neither is it greasy like an oil. It's a dream to apply and sinks in so quickly!
Like anything you apply to your skin there is an initial tackiness to the skin but this disappears very quickly ready to apply moisturiser straight after. At night it suggests using this after moisturiser but most of the time I feel that this serum is enough to hydrate my skin through the night on its own.
My skin literally drinks this in and it makes it so soft. I stopped using this serum this past week as I was trying to get through my sample stash and I can already see my dry patches coming back!
I've heard a lot of people including my boyfriend and one of my best mates (who's also tried this serum out) say how much they hate the smell. It is very strong, lemongrass and citrus and something else I can't quite put my finger on, but I love love love the smell. For me it's part of the joy of using it, it's so fresh and vibrant and is a real pick me up in the morning!
If you look closely you can see by the light through the bottle in the pictures that I'm a good third of the way through this serum and i'm pretty sure I'll make this a repurchase! I have got other products from the range but so far this one has hit the right mark for me.
Pai Camellia & Rose Cleanser
I've reviewed this lovely little Pai face wash in full here, so you can check it out in full there, but in a nutshell I loved this cleanser and my skin loved it too! Definitely need to repurchase!
balance Me Pure Skin Face Wash
I never got round to reviewing this face wash I I din't get along with it overly well! I found that it was very effective at cleansing my face and taking off makeup but I just didn't find myself reaching for it as much as I should and I think part of that was that my skin almost felt too clean. One of the few products that I haven't been a big fan of from balance Me, usually I adore their stuff!
NYR Mineral Foundation
This one's a funny one, I didn't love it for coverage as i found it harder to blend and build on than other owners. However, I loved the colours available. The shades i found really easy to match to my skin and the ladies in the store are mega helpful and knowledgeable! I also love the glow it gives you from the Mica, at first I first I thought it was too much but I grew to love it! It stays put well and doesn't cling to dry patches!
Bodhi Jasmine Falls Bath & Shower Therapy
You can tell I've had this ages as the name is still the original (now Bodhi & Birch) I'm a big fan of Bodhi & Birch products and just loved this Jasmine Falls scent, it made baths heavenly! Like the label says it really is therapy using it! I would certainly purchase a full size!
Lavera Beauty Balm
Depending on how well my skin was doing, this was either a dream or a nightmare. On good skin days this glided on easily, blended well and gave lovely boost of colour and hydration. I wouldn't recommend it for people with fair skin as it comes out and applies pretty dark! Coverage is light but actually quite buildable! On bad skin days it would slide of patches of my face and cling to others. Despite this I always felt it hydrated my skin and never broke me out. Smelt great too! If they had a lighter colour I would buy again. (Another mini review of this here)
Cowshed Cow Pat Hydrating Hand Cream
This was my second tube of this hand cream because I loved it so much the first time! Full review there but I always find this a really great staple hand cream and it's been carried around with me everywhere. I have a few other Cowshed hand creams to try so i'm holding off buying another one of these until I've given them a whirl!
REN Rosa Centifolia Hot Cloth Cleanser
Ah REN their products never let me down or fail to amaze me! I got this sample yonks ago as a freebie with a magazine and stashed it away and forgot about it until recently. I've been travelling about a bit and found it hidden away waiting to show me what I was missing! I loved this, I love hot cloth cleansers anyway but this was super effective and gentle! It was creamy and smooth, actually a lot runnier in consistency than a lot of cleansers which I found made it a bit easier to work with! Only down size was the cloth is so tiny, i don't know if the non sample cloth is bigger, but it was so small- but beautifully soft, and probably my favourite cloth to use! I would repurchase this however I think I still prefer the Express Make Up Remover from the same Rosa Centifolia line.
Faith In Nature Grapefruit & Orange Shower Gel & Foam Bath
My first foray into Faith in Nature products, I think it was a nice body wash, smelt fabulous (the two most amazing smells combined!) and left me lovely and clean and definitely didn't strip my skin at all. But I can't say I was wowed by this. I have the shampoo and conditioner from the same set to try, maybe they will have more of an impact on me!