HOLIDAY BODYCARE ESSENTIALS

I'm going on holiday!! I am so flipping excited to get some sunshine and get out and about a bit, I actually can't wait. I've needed a holiday for ages and I've been slowly prepping my beauty stash to accommodate my holiday needs! Here's a little overview of some of the great products that I'm packing with me on  my holiday! Some of the products are old favourites and some are new and unexplored! What better excuse to try products than for health and beauty on holiday!

SUN LOTIONS
I'm quite pointed about always using suncream and always take a massive stash with me! First up, I have the Green People Sun Lotion in SPF15, I also have the factor 30 but couldn't find it anywhere when I was photographing (i've found it now) I've been using Green People sun lotions for a few years now and really like them. The consistency is quite thick but as long as you work them in they don't leave too much residue. Both the SPF15 and SPF30 are UVA&UVB protective. Another favourite is the Lovea Bio SPF15 spray lotion which I find so handy for taking in my bag while exploring as they spray makes it much easier to apply. It's very easy to work in but I do feel a little sticky after using this. Stepping up the SPF factor, I've got a Lavera SPF20 Sun Spray that I've never tried out before. I love Lavera products so am keen to test this out (plus it sprays out in a peach colour which is wicked!) Last but not least is the Aesop SPF50 Protective Body Lotion* which I coveted for ages as it smells like mint! I'm hoping to do mini reviews of all of these after my holiday too so I can let you know how I found them!


AND EVERYTHING ELSE
Of course, sun lotions aren't the only products I'll be taking and while this isn't all of the extra products that I'll be taking with me, they are some key ones that I've been planning on packing.
A recent addition to my absolute favourites is the Zk'in Hydrating Mist*, which I have reviewed here. I found this utterly brilliant for cooling down and calming my red sun exposed skin and anything that helps with UV damage is a must on holiday! Keeping up with the hydration theme, I like to take a summery moisturiser with me to skin my skin hydrated and soft. This Lavera Exotic Body Lotion* is perfect, I've been using it sparingly so I can save it for my holiday and it has the most perfect summery scent- Vanilla and Coconut- total bliss! Now, there's nothing worse than mosquitos ruining your tan and glowing summer skin with their blasted bites, so I'm arming myself with this Jason Quit Bugging Me repellant spray. I used this last year and my family were all very skeptical until I didn't get bitten like they did ha! The best part of this being natural is that it is DEET free so better for the environment and better for me. Lastly, I'm a girl of planning and last year the sun didn't shine so bright and this time I thought if it happens again, then heck i'm going to fake it if I must! I've tried this TanOrganic Self Tanning Oil before for nights out for added glow on my pasty whites and find it wonderfully easy to apply, it dries fast and smells ok! So this is my back up plan, but finger's crossed I wont have to use it (you'll soon know by whether I'm able to review to or not!)

Obviously, there's a whole bundle of other products that I'll be taking along including my makeup products, bath/shower, face cleansing and haircare products which I might write about in another post but I wanted to cover the main body essentials and see what you guys think of the products I've chosen!

Summer Beauty Packing

BOCA BOTANICAL TOOTHPASTE
Tooth care isn't always on my top priorities list and that really isn't the best attitude to have. I have switched my toothpaste to natural formulas and bounce between fluoride free and natural fluoride formulas as I like to make sure I have the balance. I've definitely seen an improvement in my oral health since switching, my teeth I think tend to be whiter, stain less easily and I get a lot less mouth ulcers etc but I always had slight bleeding gums, nothing dramatic like i've cut myself, just a bit when I spit. This has changed since I have been using BOCA Botanical toothpaste*, and I'm as surprised as anyone. 


I was going to do a general review of this toothpaste like I usually do, listing pros and cons but always with the fact that it's more of a like/love/dislike thing rather than oral health overhaul results. But with BOCA much to my surprise I find that actually these toothpastes have really really made a massive difference to my oral health, which toothpaste have never done for me before. I didn't notice it as a dramatic change but slowly over time I noticed that my gums stopped bleeding, never got sore or had those pale marks on them anymore. They stayed nice and pink and my ulcers almost never occurred. The only thing I changed was my toothpaste, I was using the same toothbrush (I like to replace my every few months), the same brushing 'technique', brushing for the same amount of time and using the same water and my diet was still the same. So I'm chalking this up to the effects of BOCA.

With BOCA you have two formulas, one for day and one for night. I think this is genius. Just like our skin, our mouths are going to be different during the day and the night so why treat it with the same products for both? The two formulas contain different active botanicals, the day formula has blends of mint, rose, aloe vera, valerian and chamomile, while the night formula includes mint, rose and ginseng among others. The different formulas are said to help prevent bacteria building up a tolerance to the toothpaste and the ingredients in them. Keeping them at their optimum performance. BOCA call this 'Active Cycling Technology' (ACT) You might scoff and think it's baloney but after using this for over two months I'm really sold on this idea. It's the same with skincare and guess what - your mouth is part of your skincare!

BOCA toothpastes are SLS free and free from microbeads, triclosan, hydrogen peroxide, parabens and preservatives. They DO contain sodium fluoride.
Also a nice little note on the ingredients is that they are also chosen to help with the rest of your day/night too. The valerian in the night formula is incorporated t also help promote relaxation and sleep and the ginseng and caffeine in the day formula added to give you a morning boost! Cool. 

The set of toothpaste is said to last 8 weeks (each tube is 75ml), but what with travelling and staying at other places, they have lasted me a lot longer than that. I've kinda used this as like a treatment or a course of toothpaste. I was massively wincing at the price- a breath catching £20 (1 of each formula without a box) or £29 (1 of each formula with display box) but they are described as a 'luxury toothpaste' and for a toothpaste the results for me have been very evident. Now I've finished these and using a different paste I have noticed a difference again with ulcers on my tongue occurring (even though it is SLS free). Proof is in the mouth of the beholder! 

As I said I viewed this paste like a treatment course, rather than a lifelong change, and at this price I think that is the way I will keep doing it. Using a less luxury toothpaste and then swapping to an 8 week 'course' of this to keep my mouth (and purse) in balance. 


Day Formula Ingredients:
Siberian ginseng, caffeine, mint, rose, aqua, pentasodium triphosphate, glycerin, sorbitol, xylitol, sodium fluoride, potassium citrate, hydrated silica, titanium dioxide, cellulose gum

Night Formula Ingredients:
Chamomile, aloe barbadensis leaf juice, valerian root extract, mint, rose, aqua, pentasodium triphosphate, glycerin, sorbitol, xylitol, sodium fluoride, potassium citrate, hydrated silica, titanium dioxide, cellulose gum

BOCA Botanical Toothpaste Review


A few weeks ago I was very lucky enough to be invited to the Cult Beauty exclusive launches event which introduced three great American brands into the wider UK market. These brands are W3ll People, Skin Owl and Odacite.

I've heard about all these brands before but didn't know a lot about them so I was really eager to learn more about the who, what where and when etc. Some were available through niche online sites catering strictly for natural/organic beauty but it was so good to see a more mainstream and less niche beauty site like Cult beauty embracing more natural and organic brands and also smaller brands as well.

The event was based around afternoon tea where press and bloggers etc got to have a Q&A session with the founders of each brand. Sadly as this was during the afternoon I wasn't able to attend this part. However, I was able to join the pop in sessions in the evening, which in the end worked out to be a massive blessing as I got to sit down and have a one-to-one with each of the founders myself. I got to chat personally with each of the amazing ladies behind the brands and really get a great feel for the brand, the products and hear some exciting exclusive news!

I managed to snap a few pictures on my phone (sorry about the bad quality!) and share some of the interesting stories behind each of the brands!


 SkinOwl 

SkinOwl is founded by Annie Tevelin, who suffered for years from acne and bad skin. While building her career in the beauty industry she started a Facebook group supporting and helping other women with advise for beauty, makeup and skincare. This group was called SkinOwl. When I asked Annie 'why SkinOwl?' she had the most sweetest reason. She described herself and the group  as 'the beauty messenger of wisdom in a confusing industry' hence the 'wise' owl. 
Annie shared that while she was helping others she wasn't feeling great about her own skin and decided to take matters into her own hands. She went back to school to study a post-graduate course in cosmetic chemistry at UCLA. Through her studies she began to realise not just how important certain ingredients were, but also the quality of ingredients and ingredients that weren't actually so great for the skin. The SkinOwl group grew and after time and a lot of research and hard work SkinOwl the brand came into fruition. Always Scientifically based and 100% proven SkinOwl products are designed to give women a clean, natural alternative to conventional products that are proven to work with a solid base of scientific research behind every product, ingredient and formula.

Currently available at Cult Beauty, SkinOwl has a small but highly prized collection of products on offer, ranging from Beauty Drops  including Lavender (oily acneic skin), Clary Sage (ageing skin) and Geranium (dehydrated combination skin). There also Body - an unscented (it genuinely is!) nourishing and lightweight body oil that you can use from top to toe for a flawless finish to your skin (thanks to the pearlescent light reflecting properties of apricot kernels), Eye+ a very cooling eye jelly that tackles everything from wrinkles, dullness, dark circles and more. Finally the most cult product the Beauty Drops PM Mangosteen- this smells divine and is a skin super charging overnight treatment. 
More products are to come and we were allowed to learn a little snippet of these but we'll all have to wait until next year!


 Odacité 

Odacité was created by Valerie Gradury who started the brand after being diagnosed with breast cancer  back in 2004. The diagnosis lead Valerie to reevaluate her life and start to focus on removing toxins from her lifestyle and environment. She went on to study to be a health and wellness coach, and after struggling to find products that met all her requirements, started blending her own skin oils in her kitchen. Using her contacts and connections around the world from her previous job, Valerie sought out the best, most powerful and cleanest ingredients to form a wide range of oils that could tackle any skin problem, soon family and friends were taking note and demand grew for her oils. 
Odacité also has a story to it's name, I asked Valerie about this and she told me that it was a friend who one day said to her 'you need to just have the audacity to make this a proper company!' And so she did, and, as a play on words the name Odacité came about. The O is a nod to the organic values and ingredients, and the É a hint of her French heritage.

There are 18 oils in total, one for every skin need as Valerie understands that your skin is ever changing and your skincare should change with it. I got to test a few and Valerie helped me identify some that would be most beneficial for my skin including the Clogged Pores Serum Concentrate and the Combination Skim Serum Concentrate, with the note that you don't have to use just one for all areas you can use specific oils on each area to do a full treatment!
The oils can be used separately or blended with another product that will be launching sometime in September (it took 2 and half years to formulate, and its worth the extra wait!) All the oils are available now at Cult Beauty too!


 W3ll People 

Behind this well know brand is Shirley Pinkson, a pro MUA and the former creative consultant for NARS (yep! you'll see its influence all through the brand with names like 'Orgasm' etc) Shirley quickly came to realise that there was a wide area in the market that women were struggling in- natural, clean cosmetics that work! And, with her extensive experience and skills, she teamed up with a cosmetic dermatologist who is a self proclaimed 'tree hugging entrepreneur' to start building W3ll People into the cult brand that it has become today! Shirley aims to create a brand that can cater to everyone, some products are vegan, some aren't but all have strong research behind them, making it a performance driven brand that doesn't compromise on quality or ethics while avoiding all the traditional 'unwanteds' often found in conventional brands such as fillers, propylene glycol, parabens etc.

Now available at Cult Beauty is a wide range of the W3ll People products, from foundations (powder and cream formulas) to brushes and bronzer stick (Shirley taught me the best way to apply this is through a tapping method that helps blend and build the product exactly where you need it!) Again there are a few products that are currently in development and fingers crossed will be launching in the future!

All these brands were amazing to learn about and it was such a wonderful experience to get to meet and chat with the incredible founders and creators behind each brand. They all have an inexhaustible amount of knowledge and were so happy to go through everything, even after their long long day and in some cases, serious jet lag! Thanks to Cult Beauty I not only have an ever growing wishlist but also another great online destination to buy these products easily!

Cult Beauty Event ~ Welcoming natural USA brands to the UK!


The more I shift my lifestyle to being more natural and green, the more I learn and discover! This is especially true for finding new brands that are safer and cleaner in formula, but which aren't necessarily marketed as such. Brands like these don't make it their sole aim to wave and shout about their formulas or ethics etc, they simply display themselves and beautiful products and just casually throw in there that they are actually very great 'clean'/'green' etc brands/companies/products! At the same time I'm also finding new brands that do shout it out there for everyone to see! They do boldly state their great formulas and credentials but without all the  flowery, green and dare I say it, 'hippy' vibes that often adhere to natural products and companies.  

Lately, Ive been coming across lots of beautiful nail polish brands that I've discovered, after a bit of noseying around,  are great 5-free or 3-free formulas. These brands are a mix of well known 'green' brands and some that I had no idea where anything 'free' at all until I really checked them out!

ONLY FINGERS + TOES (O.F.A.T)

This is a brand that I first heard about through the lovely Ria from Naturia Beauty. Ria has nails that put me to shame and ever since I've seen her review of these polishes, I've been dying to try them. They look so quality and glossy, also I'm a sucker for great packaging, details has gone into every aspect and the modern and slick exterior doesn't scream natural at all! O.F.A.T polishes are created with a 5 free formula and the brand is part of Positive Luxury so they tick all the right boxes for me! Priced at £16 each these are a little pricey and are more what I would call a premium/high end splurge/ treat product!
onlyfingersandtoes.com

KURE BAZAAR

A much more obvious choice of brands here, you don't get far into exploring the natural, green beauty offerings without coming across Kure Bazaar and great reviews about them. Saying that I've never tried one of their polishes. Kure Bazaar is a french brand that really tout their natural ethos. They are 5 free and 85% natural and focus on not only being 'toxic free' but also healthy for your natural nails. Again these are a little on the steeper price side at £15 each.
kurebazaar.com

SOIGNÉ

A very recent discovery for me! I heard about the brand and saw it pop up a few places but never recognised it as a 'toxic free' brand until I very quickly realised it after researching the brand for my job. Now I laugh at myself because despite how chic and modern the packaging looks, pretty much everything points to them being 'clean' formulas! For starters the full name is Soigné Botanique and second the French word Soigné translates to 'to take care of' in English, it couldn't get clearer than that! Like Kure Bazaar, these polishes are 85% natural and have a  5 free formula! Soigné polishes are a little less pricey at £11 each.

TRUST FUND BEAUTY

Another brand that I discovered through blogging and the lovely blogger Lauren from The Fig's Heart. Lauren also has enviable nails and I'm always cooing over her latest nail polish reviews, especially for Trust Fund! Again these polishes are 5 free and they really are all about being edgy and on trend and staying away from the 'hippie' flowery image that often is associated with 'natural' and 'green' products! Pricewise these are again a little less depending on the exchange rate but these retail at $12- $15
trustfundbeauty.com

SMITH & CULT

Ah finally I can rave about these polishes! I have known about these coming available in the UK for aaages, but couldn't say anything until it was announced officially. They were available but hard to get, now they are launching properly in the UK this month and I'm thrilled! LOOK AT THEM, are they not the most beautiful polishes you have ever seen?! Packaging-wise Smith & Cult have blown all other packaging out of the water and guess what… they are 5 free too! Oh yes! However these again a very much  premium product, topping the price list at a scorching £19 a pop! (but they are so so pretty!)
smithandcult.com

Which of these brands has caught your eye the most?

Explore & Discover ~ Nail Polish

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