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Thursday, 20 September 2018

September is all about self care, so the launch of That Natural Hygge, the newest natural retailer to hit the internet, could not have come at a better time.  But this is not just your average beauty shop -- no, not at all!  That Natural Hygge expertly blends wellbeing, skincare, and self-love, making for a shopping experience unlike any other.

"Hygge, as we often share is the Danish term for creating that comfortable moment either alone or with friends and family, having a complete absence of life’s stresses, strains or frustrations. Often carried out with food, drinks, blankets and soft candle light."

And that is just what Lou, founder of That Natural Hygge, aims to achieve with the range of products she has hand selected to have on offer.  From cleansers to candles, every brand available matches the ethos and views of this eco-sustainable business.

Now, I received a special Blogger Box from the lovely Lou for the launch of That Natural Hygge, and I have to say I was completely blown away.  Perfection begins from the moment you open the box, as dried flower petals and lavender sprigs sprinkled throughout the package give off such a gorgeous scent from the get go.  Plus, all the products are tucked so snugly inside so they look stunning from the very start.

Everything about my box from That Natural Hygge is exceptional, from the presentation to the products selected.  Lou selected three deluxe samples and one full size product for me, and she could not have picked better treats for me to test out.  On top of everything being suited to my skin type, each item was part of a whole routine so I could have my own little hygge moment!

100 Acres Rose & Lavender Bubble Bath:
You all know by now how much I love a good soak in the tub, so this little sample bottle of bubble bath from 100 Acres was the perfect pick for me.  Ranked one of the top ten all natural bubble baths, this blissful formula is about more than just the foam.  Rose and lavender essential oils combine with chamomile, ylang ylang, and clove to create a dreamy scent ideal for relaxing and calming the nerves.

You need to use a fair amount to get a good set of bubbles going, but with how affordable this bottle is I can't complain.  And once you are laying back in the warm sudsy water, all you will be able to think of is closing your eyes and letting go of the day's troubles.

I have had a look at the rest of the 100 Acres range, and I am so looking forward to having a bit of a shopping spree when I am off my spending ban.  I have my eyes on both the bath oil and salts, plus one of their newly arrived candles -- now that will make for the perfect spa evening!

Ingredients: Aqua, Lauryl Glucoside, Sodium Cocoamphoacetate, Glycerin, Disodium Lauryl Sulfosuccinate, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Glyceryl Oleate, Coco Glucoside, Sodium Lauryl Glucose Carboxylate, *Pelargonium Roseum (Rose Geranium) Leaf Oil, *Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Oil, *Anthemis Nobilis (Roman Chamomile) Flower Oil, *Rosa Centifolia (Rose Absolute) Oil, *Citrus Reticulata (Mandarin Red) Peel Oil, *Cananga Odorata (Ylang Ylang) Flower Oil, *Citrus Aurantium Amara (Petitgrain) Leaf/Twig Oil, *Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Sweet Orange) Peel Oil, *Eugenia Caryophyllus (Clove) Bud Oil, Styrax Tonkinensis (Benzoin) Resin Extract, Parfum, Benzyl Alcohol, Dehydroacetic Acid, Panthenol, **Limonene, **Linalool, **Geraniol, **Citronellol, **Benzyl Benzoate, **Benzyl Alcohol, **Eugenol.    *natural essential oils, **potential allergens    

ISUN Lemon-Balsam Creamy Facial Cleanser:
ISUN is a brand I have wanted to try for a long while, so I was so excited to see a sample of their Lemon-Balsam cleanser included in my Blogger Box.  This Colorado based company is full of positive energy and has a unique approach to creating natural skincare:

"ISUN products have been consciously formulated to provide a ‘Quantum Healing Effect’ for total well-being – body, mind and spirit. This means, that beyond the obvious effects that support more youthful, balanced, radiant skin, ISUN skin care products also support overall physical and emotional health and well-being. There is a purpose in this. When we are better balanced physically, mentally and emotionally, our hearts are more open, we tend to feel better about ourselves and more loving with others.
A quantum healing effect that offers a sense of total well-being from a skincare product can only be fulfilled when the products meet the following criteria: 

1. They are created from inception with positive, clear intentions. 
2. They are made from pure, unadulterated, life and health-giving ingredients. 
3. They are made with living, high life-force ingredients. 

ISUN skin care products meet these criteria, providing a foundation for inner and outer radiance. This makes it possible to experience an inner feeling of total well-being and greater awareness of the true nature of self, others and nature.

How could you not want to try this brand with a message and practice like that??

The creamy cleanser is much more rich than what I am used to, as it contains both coconut oil and avocado oil/butter.  It will be fab for the cold and dry winter months when my skin needs more moisture, so I will be saving this for another few months before fully trying it out, as I want to be sure my skin will not become congested.

I will say, the sample product looks like it will be really tricky to get out of the vial, but I would much rather have to think of a simple solution (I will use a toothpick to get my first application out, then add a tiny bit of water to make the second one come out smoothly and cleanly) than have packaging that threatens the environment.  I really love that even the little sample size comes in glass, and this little detail has won me over completely to the brand even before I have tested out the cleanser.

Ingredients: Aloe barbadensis (aloe vera) leaf juice; sodium lauryl glucose carboxylate, lauryl glucoside, aqua (coconut/palm oils and plant starches); Cocos nucifera (coconut) oil; glycerin; Persea gratissima (avocado) oil, hydrogenated vegetable oil (avocado butter); Calendula officinalis (calendula) flower extract, Chamomilla recutita (chamomile) flower extract, Helichrysum arenarium (life everlasting) flower extract, Lavandula intermedia (lavender) flower/leaf/stem extract, Rosa centifolia (rose) flower extract; carrageenan (algae extract), squalane, saccharide isomerate (plant sugar complex), xanthan gum; Populus tremuloides (aspen) bark extract; Myroxylon pereirae (Peru balsam) oil; Citrus reticulata (green mandarin) peel oil; Leptospermum petersonii (lemon tea tree) leaf oil; Citrus limon (lemon) peel oil; Lavandula angustifolia (lavender) oil; Mauritia flexuosa (buriti) fruit oil; Lycium chinense (goji berry) fruit extract; Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract; xanthan gum

Bodhi  & Birch Super25 Botanical Serum:
I adore Bodhi and Birch, and love everything they stand for as a brand.  Made in England and packed with outstanding ingredients that have been ethically sourced from sustainable areas, each product I have had the pleasure of using has been incredibly luxurious, great for my skin, and warms my heart.  When they announced the Superfoods Series, my jaw dropped -- how could this brand get any better?  Well, this serum is the epitome of next level skincare.

With 25 super-powered seed, nut, fruit, and berry oils, this Bodhi and Birch oil is a masterpiece.

"Formulated with an impressive who’s who of nutrient dense superfood oils boasting potent actives, powerful antioxidants, polyphenols, phytosterols, EFAs and vitamins to target principal signs of skin degradation and ageing."

And it really delivers.  The formula is rich in colour (almost orange) but delicate, and it sinks into skin so well.  It absorbs fully, so you are not left with a heavy or slick feeling on your skin, and despite being so jam packed full of different oils, it does not congest or irritate the skin at all.  Everything is perfectly balanced, and even the smell elicits peaceful vibes -- it brings to mind tamanu, but is softer and has a sweetness behind it that calms the mind.

This is my second mini bottle of the Super25 Botanical Serum (review of the line coming soon!), and I could not be happier to have a backup!  I will be using this one as a mixer, as the blend is ideal for adding a few drops to anything you could think of.  My next face mask is going to be out of this world!

Ingredients: °*Prunus Domestica (Plum) Kernel Oil, °*Adansonia Digitata (Baobab) Oil, *Vaccinium Corymbosum (Blueberry) Seed Oil, *Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Seed Oil, *Coffea Arabica (Green Coffee) Seed Oil, °*Rosa Affinis Rubiginosa (Rosehip) Seed Oil, °*Opuntia Fiscus-Indica (Prickly Pear) Seed Oil, °*Passiflora Incarnata (Maracuja) Seed Oil, °*Macadamia Ternifolia (Macadamia) Seed Oil, °*Sclerocarya Birrea (Marula) Seed Oil, °*Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Seed Oil, °*Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil, °*Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, °*Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, °*Camellia Oleifera (Camellia ) Seed Oil, °*Moringa Oleifera (Moringa) Seed Oil, °*Brassica Oleraceae (Broccoli) Seed Oil, Squalane (Olive), Tocopherol (Vitamin E), °*Calophyllum Inophyllum (Tamanu) Nut Oil, °*Hippophae Rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) Oil, °*Nigella Sativa (Black Seed) Oil, °*Plukenetia Volubilis (Sacha Inchi) Seed Oil, °*Calodendrum Capense (Yangu) Seed Oil, °*Caryodendron Orinocense (Cacay) Seed Oil, °*Euterpe Oleracea (Acai) Berry Oil, Ubiquinone (Coenzyme Q10)
°Certified Organic *Cold-Pressed

Alteya Organics Illuminating Perfecting Serum:
One of my favourite floral waters is from Alteya Organics, but I had not yet ventured into their wider skincare offerings.  Lou chose the perfect scent for my introduction into the brand's facial care products, as I am currently obsessed with anything jasmine scented. I was immediately sold on my first sniff of the fragrant and seductive floral notes.

Along with simply smelling gorgeous, the product is meant to repair skin damage done during the day,  promote the skin’s youthful glow and texture, deeply nourish and hydrate, calm and soothe, and improve overall radiance.  The Natural Hygge explains the key ingredients and captures the essence of this product's qualities so well:

Rose Jasminium Rejuvenating Complex – a proprietary complex that enhances and beautifies skin and helps reduce visible signs of aging.

Red and Blue Algae – helps increase skin’s moisture capacity and provides essential antioxidant protection. It helps uniform skin’s tone, illuminates, and helps detoxify skin.

Pistachia tree oil – helps reactivate youth proteins in skin and restart cellular activity for a strong anti-aging and firming effect.

Hyaluronic Acid – a potent dose of HA to deeply revitalize skin and replenish it with essential moisture.

Better yet, it is suitable for even sensitive skin, so I get to enjoy it without worrying my skin will react poorly!  This has been one of my favourite additions to my skincare routine lately, and I am so thankful to have been sent this fab green goodie! 

Ingredients: Distilled Thermal Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Polyglyceryl-6 Stearate (and) Polyglyceryl-6 Behenate, Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil*, Glycerin*, Oenothera Biennis Oil*, Sodium carrageenan, Sea Salt, Phenethyl Alcohol, Sea Water, Glyceryl Caprylate, Rosa Canina Seed Oil*, Glyceryl Undecenylate, Salvia Hispanica Oil*, Rosa Damascena (Rose) Flower Oil*, Copernicia Cerifera Wax*, Lecithin*, Rosa Damascena (Rose) Flower Extract, Euphorbia Cerifera Wax, Theobroma Cacao Butter*, Vitis Vinifera Seed Oil*, Punica Granatum Seed Oil*, Jasminum Grandiflorum (Jasmine) Flower Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Caprylic Capric Triglyceride, Pistacia Lentiscus Gum, Xanthan Gum, Tocopherol, Linalool**, Citronellol**, Geraniol**, Eugenol** *Certified Organic Ingredients; **Naturally occurring in essential oils

That Natural Hygge stocks a wide range of products from all four of these gorgeous brands, as well as eco-friendly accessories like the famed jade face roller plus green goodies from Mage.  And, from what I can gather from sneaky peeks over on their Insta, there will be even more joining this amazing lineup soon!

I have perused the website many times now (I mean, there are just SO MANY amazing items to lust over!) and I love how easy it is to navigate.  Each section is clearly labelled and sensibly structured, and I appreciated how many answers are provided in the FAQ section.  One of my first is always 'how much is shipping going to cost me' and I really like how transparent That Natural Hygge is about prices -- each possibility is spelled out, and I love that there is a reasonable minimum spend for free shipping (just £30!).

My only suggestion would be to add full ingredient lists in the future, as I personally will not buy a product without seeing the full label first.  Having semi-sensitive skin, I am very careful about what I use, and while I know the brands available on That Natural Hygge are clean and pure, I still like to double check everything.  This is especially important for anyone who has allergies or who have lifestyle requirements (such as vegan or halal).  While you can look up the full list on each brand's own website, it is always more convenient to have all the information in one place.

I adore what That Natural Hygge brings to the world of natural beauty and wellness.  There are many online retailers out there that offer a huge range of brands, but you cannot always trust that ethics and quality are always at the forefront.  There are very few shops that place people over profit, and all the little touches that have gone into just this one parcel show that this business is special.  That Natural Hygge believes "your beauty routine isn't just about the products you put on your skin, but the way it makes you feel." You can feel the heart behind the business, and that has completely won my trust, respect, and appreciation.

Monday, 17 September 2018

If you have been with me since the beginning, you know that Awake Organics holds a special place in my heart.  They made me realize frankincense was actually a scent to be celebrated, their Divine Frankin-Sense serum was one of my first 'aha' moments in beauty and led me to start experimenting with facial oils, and they got me interested in crystals thanks to Melissa's stunning Instagram posts.  They were also the first brand to take a chance on me as a blogger, and I will always be thankful and appreciative of that.

This UK-based company has it all - a clean range spanning deodorant to face masks, certified cruelty free, unique formulas that are super effective and suitable for all skin types, transparency in all aspects of the business, and a kindheartedness that shines brightly in everything they do.  Awake Organics certainly raises the bar when it comes to eco-friendly beauty.

I have tried everything on offer minus the Divine Skin Concentrate and the upcoming perfume oil, and I have fallen hard for each and every one.  So when I heard that Awake Organics was creating a new signature product I couldn't help but be excited!

Sea Quartz Crystal + Algae Cleanser* is a micro-polish treatment that is 100% vegan, 100% natural, and 98% food grade (yes, you heard that right - this product is actually EDIBLE!).  But it is also so so much more than that.

This cleanser changes the whole game.  

Combing superfood spirulina, hydrating hemp seed, and clear quartz crystals, this vegan friendly formula works to transform the skin and leave a lasting glow.  I'm not joking when I say I noticed a difference after just a single use. This stuff is the real deal!!

So how does it work?

"For crystal gemstone lovers, each pot contains 1 carat of artisan-milled, genuine clear quartz superfine powder. Just the right amount to infuse this product with positive energy."

Clear quartz is iconic, being one of the most abundant minerals on the planet and widely available due to its ability to develop just about anywhere.  It is the 'master healer' of all crystals, and is thought to reduce negative energies, stimulate the immune system, aid concentration, cleanse the soul, and balance the body.

But those crystal particles don't just transmit their inherent positive energy - they provide a next level exfoliation treatment that is gentle enough for daily use.  Tinier than even sugar, they provide the perfect grain to buff away dead cells and bring out the skin's natural radiance.


Exfoliation is a key part of an effective skincare ritual, as it helps boost skin circulation (which in turn aids elasticity and skin tone) and keep cells fresh.  However, harsh treatments can lead to sensitivity, acne, and an array of other skin problems, so it is important to be gentle and keep everything moisturized to avoid any damage.

This is where Awake Organics' Sea Quartz Cleanser steals the show.  Packed with soothing and hydrating organic plants and botanicals like blue chamomile, coconut milk, and sweet orange, this product ensures skin is soft and smooth, but also safe!  Tumeric and brown rice work to brighten and refine the newly buffed cells, and in-house spirulina made in the AO studio plumps up the skin thanks to its natural levels of vitamin E, selenium, and tyrosine.  Talk about a powerful punch!

The gorgeous emerald green formula sparkles in sunlight as the rays hit the expertly milled crystal powders, and can even shift to a rich golden shade in the right lighting.  I have never come across anything like this, and while I always opt for quality over aesthetics, Awake Organics has managed to produce a product that excels at both.  Plus, it smells incredible -- almost like a creamsicle, but better!  

In terms of texture, Sea Quartz is next level amazing.  Gritty but smooth, rich yet lightweight, able to create a milky lather without sulphates, compact in the jar and balm-like when touched -- this formula should be impossible, yet somehow Awake Organics created a pot of contradictions that totally transforms the skin from the get go.

I have been using this every evening for about a week now, and I honestly could not be more amazed.  My face is glowing, I have not had any breakouts (which is a miracle, since nine times out of ten I get a few spots when I first introduce a new product into my routine!), and I have not even put a dent in the jar yet since only a tiny amount is needed!  This has to be my favourite skincare find this year!

This cleanser is extraordinary on its own, but when paired with one of Awake Organics' plant based vegan skin serums, magic happens.

I adore the Frankin-Sense serum, but when Melissa offered to send me a bottle of the Citrus & Hemp Clear Skin Serum* I jumped at the chance as I knew this would be perfectly suited to my semi-sensitive skin.  I am prone to hormonal acne (mostly thanks to my rubbish BC pill) and after scanning the ingredients in this 'Blemish Difference' oil, I had high hopes that maybe, just maybe that could change over time.

With sea buckthorn, rosehip, hemp, and more, everything about this serum is expertly crafted to soothe, nourish, and protect.

"Our potent combination of organic, food grade Lavender, Grapefruit, Tea Tree, Patchouli & Rosemary is extremely beneficial for many skin conditions as it helps support skin health and has powerful bacteria-killing properties. This blend is helpful for preventing breakouts and reducing the appearance of scars. The fresh aroma also helps invigorate the senses, naturally enhance your mood, and help restore creativity and flow."

The oil is so uplifting, and while it looks heavy it absorbs fully and does not sit on the skin at all.  A few drops after you have finished cleansing with the Sea Quartz is all you need to give your skin a radiance and moisture boost.  And when you have finished applying, you can breathe in the excess and let the refreshing scent wash over your senses.  The perfect way to start or end the day!

I can't get over how well these two products work together, or how brilliant my face looks - I don't think I have ever felt this confident about my skin!  The power of plants never fails to amaze me, and now that crystals are being incorporated into beauty, I feel I am experiencing the full force of nature.

Intrigued by either of these products and want to try them yourself?  You can find both over on Awake Organics own website, and you can even score free shipping on orders over £29!  And, if you are interested in keeping up with the latest announcements, sign up to their newsletter!  Unlike other brand newsletters, this delivers more than just discounts and sales updates - it is full of thoughtful content and informative pieces on crystals, skincare, self-care, and ingredients!  

If you are looking to grab Sea Quartz, it is now available to order, but be quick!  These green masterpieces are already almost sold out!

Tried it already?  I would LOVE to hear your thoughts!  Did you find it as groundbreaking as I did?  Have any further observations to share?  Let us know in the comments down below xx

* These items were sent to me by Awake Organics to review.  All opinions expressed in this post are my own honest thoughts, and you can see my Disclaimer Page for more details. 

Blogger Note: Every product mentioned in all of my posts are purchased with my own money, are gifts from friends or family, or were won in public competitions unless otherwise stated.  However, my posts may contain affiliate links. This will never change my approach to my reviews, nor will it influence how I represent the products I am writing about, as I only choose to represent or work with brands and companies that I 100% respect and trust

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Did you eco-beauties know that this month is #SelfCareSeptember??  Over the course of four weeks, we are all meant to practice self-care, or promote our individual physical and psychological wellbeing.  Sounds easy, right? 

Well, with the rise of health crises, it seems not!  It's hard to find the time to just sit back and relax, and many people struggle with the concept of taking time out for themselves.  Something always seems to get in the way of that much needed 'me' time -- work, studies, family emergency, kids, household duties, prior obligations... So how can we work self-care into a hectic schedule??

If you missed my guest post all about #SelfCareSeptember, you missed my six key tips for practicing self care.  Like I mention in the post, self care looks different for everyone, so there are many various ways you can take time out for yourself to regroup and revive your mind, body and spirit.  Some take five minutes, some an hour -- there is a practice that suits everyone on every timescale!  You can head over to get the 411 anytime you are starting to feel overwhelmed this month.   

The tasks that are most effective for me at the moment are aromatherapy, quiet time, and the quick little comforts in life like a cheeky chocolate treat.  But what does that actually look like?

Bath Time:

For me, there is nothing more calming than a soak in the tub.  You fill it with whatever you need to settle your mind and soothe your body -- salts, oils, bubble bath, bath milk, truffles, tonic, petals.. The possibilities are endless, as are the scents you can concoct.  No matter what you create, it is pure bliss.

I like to take at least ten minutes at the end of my bath where I just lie back with my eyes closed, letting my thoughts wander and the remaining warmth of the water do its magic.  By this time, any essential oils used in my potion have dissipated and are filling the whole room, making them even more effective.  Each breath is like a mini-therapy session.

If you do practice meditation, this is actually the perfect time to do so -- you are alone, in a quiet room, and (hopefully) have a total sense of calm. 

All of my favourite bath products right now have scents that aid relaxation and help instill a peaceful mindset.  Jasmine, lavender, geranium, vanilla, rose, bergamot, chamomile... Anything that promotes harmony!  My stress levels have been through the roof since getting back from holiday (thanks PhD) so I take any chance to try to level my nerves, since constant stress can lead to some pretty serious health issues like tension headaches or migraines, insomnia, panic attacks, high blood pressure, a weakened immune system, and more.

Kathleen Bubble Bath & Shower Gel in Tranquil Fields is one of the best foaming products I have tried, as it bubbles up really well, smells divine, and is free from any nasties like SLS.  This 100% natural and vegan-friendly bath treat is also surprisingly affordable for something so high in quality.

The scent truly is tranquil, with fragrant lavender, rich vanilla, and sweetly earthy frankincense.  Oddly enough, it reminds me of a spiced rum and coke on a chilly summer's night -- warming, a hint of sweet spice, and familiar.  It is the perfect addition to a bath, but can also be used in the shower to wash off the day.  Just remember to take a few deep breaths so your mind starts to slow down and prepare for a nice night in.

Ingredients: Aqua, Sodium Coco-sulfate*, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Glycerin*, Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside*, Cocamidopropyl Betaine*, Decyl Glucoside*, Lavandula Angustifolia Herb oil**, Boswellia Serrata (Frankincense) Oil**, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract**, Citric Acid*, Levulinic acid*, Lauryl Glucoside*, Coco Glucoside*, Glyceryl Oleate*, Sodium Levulinate*, Sodium Phytate*, Sodium Benzoate, Linalool**, Limonene**, Coumarin**, Geraniol**. **from essential oils *natural plant origin

I have been a fan of the Kiss the Moon range for a long while now, but the GLOW bath salts are next level in my opinion.  With just a few little spoonfuls, your bathroom is transformed into a dreamy palace that will instantly set you at ease and sort your mood.  These are my go to if I had a bad day or am struggling with my mental health, as the orange scent helps lift your spirits and chase away any anxieties without energizing your mind too much.  Plus, they leave your skin feeling silky smooth and hydrated!

Ingredients: Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom salt), Maris Sal (Dead Sea salt), Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Orange Tree) Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium) Oil, Camellia Oleifera (White Tea) Seed Oil, Commiphora Myrrha (Myrrh) Oil, Litsea Cubeba (Litsea)Fruit Oil, Citral*, Citronellol*, Geraniol*, Limonene*, Linalool*   *naturally occurring in essential oils

The Rose Tree Calming Bath Oil has been a favourite of mine since I first tried it back in April.   The oil comes in a beautiful heart shaped glass bottle, and there is almost no plastic in sight in the packaging which is a huge plus to me.  The blend is not too greasy or slick, but works to moisturize your skin so you are left glowing both inside and out.  From the first splash into the water, the scent of the essential oils fill the room and bring to mind a walk on a warm day through a sunny garden of roses, but with just enough of a hint of ylang ylang for that added rich sweetness.  The Rose Tree bath oil helps keep that little bit of warmth and sunshine all year round, even on the darkest winter days, so this is a staple in my bathroom cupboard.

Ingredients: Carthamus Tinctorius Seed Oil, Prunus Armeniaca Kernel Oil, Cymbopogon Martinii Oil, ‎Pelargonium Graveolens Leaf Oil, Helianthis Annuus Seed Oil, Cananga Odorata Flower Oil, Pogostemon Cablin Leaf Oil, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Tocopherol, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil, Rosa Damascena Flower. Natural Constituents of Essential Oils: Also contains the following which occur naturally in essential oils: d-Limonene, Geraniol, Linalol, Farnesol, Citral, Citronellol, Benzyl Benzoate, Benzyl Salicylate, Eugenol.

Skin Care Treats:

After a long soak I like to apply my favourite skin care goodies, as my pores are open and my skin much more absorbent due to the steam from the bath.  I always end with a stellar face mask, and then a leave on moisture treatment of some sort.  What I have learned over the years is that I don't need makeup to feel beautiful, but the moment my skin is looking dull or has break outs, I feel lower than low.  Little things like an ungainly spot or dry patches on your cheeks can really mess with your self-confidence, so I like to try to keep my skin glowing all year round so I can feel my best!

My all-time favourite mask is the Green Tea + Detox treatment from Awake Organics.  This formula is the definition of perfection, and even on my very first application I knew this was the mask for me.  It works in two ways - as a weekly deep detoxifying treatment or as a daily cleansing clay with detoxifying benefits.  Either one you choose leads to exceptionally soft skin and an almost immediate change in tone and texture.  Lately I have been pairing this up with the newly launched Sea Quartz Crystal & Algae Cleanser (review coming soon!) and the Citrus + Hemp Clear Skin Serum, and my skin has never looked more radiant. 

Ingredients: Unprocessed Pure Dead Sea Mineral Mud, ^British Raw Honey, ^UK Cannabis Sativa Oil (Chemical-free Farming), Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Natural Bentonite Clay, ^Camellia Sinensis Leaf (Matcha Green Tea), ^Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Essential Oils of *^Boswellia Neglecta (Frankincense) Oil, *^Daucus Carota (Carrot) Seed, *^Pelargonium Graveolens Roseum (Rose Geranium), Non-GM Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, +Limonene, +Citronellol. (*Certified Organic, ^Certified Food Grade, +Naturally Occurring in Essential Oils).

I have tried a few of Alteya Organic's floral waters now, but I had not actually given their full skincare range a chance until recently when the lovely Lou from The Beauty Bank sent me a launch box for her new online shop, That Natural Hygge (review on its way!).  Along with try me sizes of Bodhi and Birch's incredible Super25 Botanical Serum, Isun's Lemon-Balsam Creamy Facial Cleanser, and 100 Acres' Rose & Lavender Bubble Bath, I received a full size Illuminating Perfecting Serum from Alteya Organics.

I was immediately sold on the formula as I am currently obsessed with anything jasmine scented.  Along with simply smelling gorgeous, the product is meant to repair skin damage done during the day,  promote the skin’s youthful glow and texture, deeply nourish and hydrate, calm and soothe, and improve overall radiance.  Plus, it is suitable for even sensitive skin, so I get to enjoy it without worrying my skin will react poorly!  This has been one of my favourite additions to my skincare routine lately, and I am so thankful to have been sent this fab green goodie! 

Ingredients: Distilled Thermal Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Polyglyceryl-6 Stearate (and) Polyglyceryl-6 Behenate, Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil*, Glycerin*, Oenothera Biennis Oil*, Sodium carrageenan, Sea Salt, Phenethyl Alcohol, Sea Water, Glyceryl Caprylate, Rosa Canina Seed Oil*, Glyceryl Undecenylate, Salvia Hispanica Oil*, Rosa Damascena (Rose) Flower Oil*, Copernicia Cerifera Wax*, Lecithin*, Rosa Damascena (Rose) Flower Extract, Euphorbia Cerifera Wax, Theobroma Cacao Butter*, Vitis Vinifera Seed Oil*, Punica Granatum Seed Oil*, Jasminum Grandiflorum (Jasmine) Flower Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Caprylic Capric Triglyceride, Pistacia Lentiscus Gum, Xanthan Gum, Tocopherol, Linalool**, Citronellol**, Geraniol**, Eugenol** *Certified Organic Ingredients; **Naturally occurring in essential oils


Unfortunately, I cannot take a bath every single day for both the sake of our water bill and the environment, but what I can do is bring the essence of those baths to my everyday life. 

Candles bring an instant face lift to any room, and are such a great way to establish a sense of calm in the house. On the other hand, aromatherapy roller balls are the perfect blend between a perfume and a therapy balm, and they can be used in any situation -- on the go, in bed, before an exam -- they are just so versatile and take up so little space that they are ideal for someone who does not have much time to spare during the week.  Whichever option you choose, you can be sure that a feeling of tranquility will begin to settle in after use!

One of my favourite roller balls recently is The Meadow by Bloomtown Botanicals -- it matches an old favourite bath oil of mine from Aromatherapy Associates PERFECTLY but in a much fresher and delicate way and without any of the nasties (and no palm oil!).  All you have to do is unscrew the cap, apply the oil to your pressure points (or get creative and pop some on the ends of your hair!), and move on with your day.  How easy is that!? 

The oil sinks in quickly, so you are not left with a slick residue sitting on your skin, and the scent lasts a decent amount of time.  Plus, since it is so tiny you can pop it in your pocket or handbag to reapply as needed throughout the day.  And being under a fiver, you can test and try all six scents so easily.

Ingredients: Sweet Almond Oil, Meadowfoam Oil, Sesame Oil, Vitamin E, Fragrance & Essential Oils

Candles (and crystals, but that's another post!) are a growing love of mine, as you can set the whole tone of your home with just a few well selected scents and styles.  I tend to burn a 'focus' candle during the day if I am working from home, and a more soothing variety in the evenings while we watch a show or film before bed.  The fragrance works subtly in the background, and in terms of self care, this is probably the easiest way to incorporate a  boost of mental clarity.

When choosing a candle, just be sure to look out for a vegetable wax base such as soy or coconut (as these burn more cleanly and are best for anyone suffering allergies) and pure essential oils rather than synthetically fragranced products.  While cheap candles are tempting and synthetic scents are more potent and fill the room more fully, these are actually really bad for your health and cause headaches, sneezing fits, or long term breathing problems as many of the chemicals used to give the strong scent are highly toxic.

A new find of mine that I am head over heels for is from Nula Soy, a company that creates 100% pure soy wax candles using only certified organic essential oils.  Going off my newly found love of jasmine, I chose the Maui Beach scent on a whim with my last LLABP picks.  It turned out to be my favourite from the whole lot!  Filled with jasmine, lime, ginger, and ylang ylang, this medium sized candle creates pockets of joy while burning.  It doesn't overwhelm the senses, but comes and goes almost like wildflowers wafting in a warm breeze.  It is simply delightful, and I cannot wait to buy my next one (though that won't be for a while, as this should last 25+ hours!).

Ingredients: Jasminum Sambac Absolute* {Pikake Flower}, Cananga Odorata {Ylang Ylang}, Citrus Aurantifolia {Lime}, Zingiber Officinale {Ginger}, 100% North American Soy Wax and cotton wick. 100% pure certified organic essential oils. Our candles are registered with The Vegan Society.

Sweet Treat:

Okay, so this is one for the rare occasion rather than an everyday self-care solution, but still -- you can never underestimate the power of chocolate!  My most recent love is a recipe I concocted myself -- vegan cacao and carob brownies with a vanilla caramel drizzle!  YUM.

I grabbed this jar of organic carob powder from Kiki Health with my last LLABP picks, and it could not have come at a better time for me.  Caffeine free, high in dietary fibre, and super tasty, this is such a good substitute for those wanting something chocolaty without all the added sugars or dairy.  You can add it to smoothies, baking, or just sprinkle a bit on your morning porridge -- however you use it, you will be sure to get a little boost from this antioxidant rich powder.

I decided to get fancy for the GBBO the other day and whipped up some delicious vegan bite size brownies, and they ended up being the best indulgence I have had in a long while.  Pretty much guilt free, they just warm your heart and give you that little lift to get through a hard week. 

Want the recipe?? Let me know, as I am more than happy to share how I created these delicious organic baked goods!

While there are many other ways I practice self care, these are the methods that tend to be most effective for me on a weekly basis.  No matter how drained I am, or how low, or how 'over it' I am, I can take a bit of time out for a bath or a sweet treat and feel a little bit better and ready to keep on keeping on.  And with regular use of these green and organic goodies, I can keep myself as near 100% as possible. 

I would love to hear how you practice self care, or if you have any other green goodies you think are perfect for promoting physical or psychological health!  Sharing is caring, and during #SelfCareSeptember I think it is all the more important for us to all help each other and keep each other healthy and happy.  So let us exchange ideas, compliments, tips, tricks, and more, and build a positive community here on The ecoLogical.

Leave your thoughts in the comments below eco-lovelies, and talk soon!

Monday, 10 September 2018

When you think of anti-aging skincare what comes to mind?

Serums and nightcreams.

When there are so many aspects to consider just for one area of your body, it is easy to forget those less talked about areas.  But that doesn't mean they don't need just as much care!

Your hands are one of the hardest working parts of your body -- they are always moving around, picking up, grasping, turning.. And they are constantly exposed to the elements.  Sunshine, wind, damp, heat, and air pollution don't just skip over your hands, and if you neglect them for too long it can lead to damage and premature signs of aging.  This is why it is so important to establish a solid routine that addresses the daily wear and tear, and to choose effective but gentle hand-care products that you can easily incorporate into your lifestyle.

Organii, available online and in select stores, offers a range of natural and organic products that carry a number of certifications, including EcoCert, ICEA, EcoGarantie, Soil Association, and GOTS.  The brand promises to deliver not only effective formulas that are free from nasties, but to always offer a great value for money that is suitable for the whole family. 

I have actually tested a number of Organii products in the past, including their patches and liquid soap, and I have always been impressed by both the price and the quality.  What I did not know was that they offer pretty much everything you need to keep your hands hydrated and healthy!

Thanks to the kindness of Organii*, I now have everything I need to take proper care of my hands.  But what exactly do I need to think about or do to keep my skin healthy, radiant, and shielded from environmental damages?

1] Hand Soap
Think about how many times a day you wash your hands.  After you use the toilet, before you eat, when you get home from a long day out in the city, secondhand when doing the dishes... That is a lot of contact time with your hand soap, so what you want to avoid is anything that dries out your hands or has sensitizing ingredients.  That means avoid alcohols as much as possible, and skip the sulphates.

By choosing a gentle and moisturizing hand soap you help your hands stay supple and smooth and keep the cells strong.  Nothing leads to fine lines and dullness faster than dry and cracked skin! 

Organii's certified organic cream soaps have the perfect blend of oils, making for a rich formula that doesn't leave your hands feeling slick nor parched.  If you are out for a naturally fragrant option, you can choose from lavender, wild rose, almond, or lime blossom, all of which give off a delicate aroma, or, if you want a pure and simple soap that is incredibly gentle, you can opt for their 83.3% organic Neutral bar

This cream soap is mild and unscented, making it ideal for those with allergies, sensitivities, or skin conditions such as eczema.   Packed with plant oils, this handy little bar soothes skin and works to slowly heal hands in need of extra moisture.  It lathers up nicely, can be used to wash hands, body, or extended to other household purposes, and is one of the most affordable all natural bar soaps I have found in a long time. 

One of my favourite parts of this product?  No plastic packaging in sight!!

Ingredients: Sodium Palmate***, Sodium Palm Kernelate***, Aqua, Glycerin**, Elaeis Guineensis Kernel Oil*, Sodium Chloride, Citric Acid *ingredients from organic farming **as component of essential oils ***made using organic ingredients

Note- while I do avoid palm oil, this soap uses certified sustainably sourced palm.  This means the palm oil is sourced ethically and sustainably, and must meet the eight criteria set by the RSPO (found here).  While still not ideal, I applaud any company who has an ethical backbone and says no to non-sustainable palm oil which, while cheaper, is catastrophic for the environment.

2] Exfoliate
I talk a lot about the benefits of exfoliation in my mini-series, but what I have not mentioned much is how crucial it is to buff away dead skin cells on your hands as well as your face and limbs!  A weekly or bi-weekly scrub will work to keep your skin looking bright and beautiful, but it will also help your serum or moisturizer sink in more deeply and work more effectively.  The more you know!

While Organii do not offer a hand exfoliation treatment (yet!), you could easily incorporate a mini-exfoliation using one of your facial or body scrubs/chemical peels in your cupboard.  Or for a cheap and cheerful gentle DIY treatment, you can enjoy a simple addition after using the bar cream soap.  Simply take a pinch of sugar and sprinkle on damp skin.  Using the same motion you do to wash your hands, lightly buff the skin cells with the sugar crystals for about 30 seconds.  Then just rinse off, and voila -- fresh and glowing hands!

3] Moisture Boost
Your hands need regular pampering in order to remain fighting fit, especially after all the exposure to environmental stresses and pollutants.  What better way to replenish against daily damages than with a rich, skin protecting moisturizer (or serum)?  When choosing a formula, look for one that is high in antioxidants and moisture-restoring lipids.  You also want to be sure there are no drying alcohols (like denatured or benzyl), as this can actually lead to further issues with repeated use. 

Again, Organii comes to the rescue with their Gentle Care Hand Cream for sensitive skin.  Not only is it full of moisture-rich ingredients like sweet almond oil and sunflower seed oil, but also contains skin softening and soothing extracts like black elderberry, calendula, and burdock. 

While the cream does not have much of a smell, it does leave your hands feeling ready to take on another day.  The texture is super smooth and is surprisingly light for a formula that contains such rich oils.  Your hands will feel a little sticky for the first 30 seconds or so after applying, but it quickly dries and you are not left with any remaining residue.  I was really happy with how this hand cream faired, and while I may need to pair up with an additional oil in the coldest winter months, this is the perfect product for me at the moment.

Ingredients: Aqua, Helianthus Annuus Hybrid Oil*, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Glyceryl Stearate, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil*, Parfum**, Xanthan Gum, Sorbitan Caprylate, Sodium Salicylate, Tocopherol, Dehydroacetic Acid, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil*, Glycerin*, Arctium Lappa Fruit Extract*, Tilia Cordata Flower Extract*, Rosa Canina Fruit Extract*, Sambucus Nigra Fruit Extract*,Hypericum Perforatum Flower Extract*, Urtica Dioica Root Extract*, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract*, Sodium Phytate. * certified organic ** natural fragrance

4] SPF
Sun screen for you hands??  Yes, your hands should get a good dose of sun protection as well as your face, chest, shoulders, and anywhere else that may be exposed to the sun's damaging rays!  While you may not get an obvious sunburn on your hands (or feet), they are still exposed to the UV light which can lead to sun spots, wrinkles, or even cancer.

Organii offer three different SPF sun creams: 15, 20, 30, and 50, and all protect against UVB and UVA without compromising your health or drying out your skin.  I particularly like the SPF 20, as it offers everyday protection and shields my pasty white skin perfectly.  It does not leave the signature sheen that the majority of other higher level SPFs leave behind, plus, it lasts ages!

Handy tip -- every time you wash your hands, a bit of sun protection also washes off.  Be sure to reapply throughout the day if you are in direct sunlight!

Ingredients: aqua (water), dicaprylyl ether, pongamia glabra seed oil, zinc oxide, caprylic/capric triglyceride, polyglyceryl-3 polyricinoleate, glycerin, alcohol*, olea euro­paea fruit oil, titanium dioxide, oryza sativa bran oil, cocos nucifera oil*, linum usitatissimum oil*, argania spinosa kernel oil*, simmondsia chinensis oil*, mag­nesium sulphate eptahydrate, magnesium stearate, hydrated silica, pongamol, alumina, tocopherol, helianthus annuus seed oil*, daucus carota root extract*, stearic acid, bisabolol, oryzanol, parfum**, benzyl salicylate, limonene, linalool   *from organic farming    **natural origin

Four steps is all it takes to help your hands -- four simple acts that take two minutes or less and protect against premature aging and lasting damage.  I will definitely be taking better care of my hands from now on, and will be incorporating them into my skincare routine on a daily basis now!

How do you take care of your hands?  Do you have a different routine for summer and winter, or do you keep things steady all year long?  I would love to know your thoughts!

And if you are interested in grabbing your own Organii hand care products, you can find them over on their website or on Love Lula.

* Organii kindly provided both the Neutral Cream Soap and the Gentle Care Hand Cream for this review.  All opinions expressed in this post, however, are my honest thoughts and have not been influenced in any way.

Thursday, 6 September 2018

It is #ZeroWasteWeek and over the last several days eco-beauties have been chatting all things zero waste on personal blog posts, Twitter, Insta, Facebook, and IRL.  While there has been an extraordinary amount of idea sharing and brainstorming, the general consensus seems to be that not enough is being done.  The plastic problem continues to be a threat to wildlife and human health, and legislation is just not doing enough. 

While it is easy to get discouraged, especially when plastic seems to be everywhere you turn, I think it is so important we all keep things in perspective.  We have actually made a HUGE amount of progress in the last several years, and even just in 2018 alone there has been a dramatic shift in the mindset of the public.  For example, did you know that 95% of people now think they can personally make a difference to the plight of the planet - that's a positive increase from 36% in 2017!  

And that is not the only statistic* that will put a smile on your face - have a look!: 

  • 82% of Brits 55+ are more conscious of their plastic consumption than ever before
  • 85% have cut down on 5p plastic bags from supermarket
  • 59% buy less single-use plastic bottles than this time last year
  • 56% have said no to plastic straws
  • They think using single use plastic (e.g. bottles) is socially unacceptable - at 36%, this is the highest amount of any age group in the UK

So what led to this massive change in perspective and consumer habit?

Thanks to vocal scientists, environmentalists, and grassroots projects, there has been a shift in public opinion about plastic pollution that has in turn led to daily news coverage on outlets like Sky and the idea that eco = cool.  Even hit shows like Love Island help lead the way to change, with this summer's season representing a reusable bottle and sparking 15% of 18-24 year olds to pick up their very own single-use bottle replacement and 16% of millennials to brag about reducing their single-use habit on social media!  While not a total win (since these Love Island bottles are still indeed made of plastic), the message is clear -- single use is so last season.

Government has gotten involved as well, and while they are slow to opt for change, when they do it is truly powerful.  A plastic bag tax was implemented back in 2015, and now Parliament has set its sites on plastic earbuds, stirrers, and straws.  And while no ban has actually come into place yet, businesses like Wetherspoons, Wagamamas, and even McDonalds are preemptively scaling back and introducing less damaging options such as paper.

While these may seem like small victories (I mean, plastic bags ARE still available and the 1.8 million plastic straws McDonalds goes through in a day are still just stagnating in landfill..), real change is happening.  Scientists have been tracking plastic bag pollution in the seas surrounding Britain since 2010 (around the time when the first laws came into effect in Europe) and have found that already there has been a 30% drop of bag waste on the seabed.  What's more, "A UK levy of 5p per bag introduced in 2015 has already reduced single-use plastic bags given out by major retailers by 85% – down from 140 to 25 bags for the average person each year."  That is HUGE news!

And the momentum is still growing, with consumer incentives rolling out from goverment and local businesses alike, in the form of plastic bottle returns, money off for choosing plastic free packaging, and what may be most important -- convenient ways to cut down on plastic use.

People love convenience, saving money, and a bit of tech, so one company decided to tap into these desires and use consumers' curiosity about machines to bring a new piece of kit that could actually make a difference: SodaStream**.

What is SodaStream?:

SodaStream is an at home carbonation machine that turns still tap water into a sparkling sensation.  Using a refillable CO2 gas canister, you can make a refreshing bubbly drink in seconds.  There are a variety of different models to choose from, but they all follow the same premise -- fizzy drinks don't have to cost the earth.

How does SodaStream help solve the single use problem?:

"By transforming tap water into sparkling at the touch of a button, SodaStream, the world’s leading sparkling water maker, is helping the UK curb its single-use plastic habit. Each household with a SodaStream uses on average 1,282 fewer disposable bottles per year."

Michael Laws, SodaStream Trade Marketing Manager, explains: “Plastic is a global addiction, and with our clear environmental purpose, it is only right that SodaStream takes a stand on sustainability. This research, and ongoing demand for our machines, shows that Brits want to help, and we’re providing a solution, giving them the chance to hydrate and reduce harmful waste at the same time.”

The SodaStream machine is tested to replace over 50,000 conventional bottles and cans, meaning with just one machine you can personally make a difference.  Plus, the company allows you to make choices that can even further your environmental impact -- you can choose between a glass and BPA-free plastic container, and you can decide whether you want to recycle your gas canister or send it back to be cleaned, inspected, refilled, and reused!

Kate Arnell, zero-waste advocate and an eco embassador for SodaStream, comments in an interview: “As a self-proclaimed zero waste advocate, it’s great to see the strides the majority of the public has taken this year to help the environment. There has been a cultural shift, as we become less accepting of disposable products and actively seek out alternatives. Like SodaStream, I believe that if you can’t reuse it, you need to refuse it and I’m excited to see how the UK continues to embrace planet-friendly measures to cut down on single-use plastic."

SodaStream has cut the price of its Spirit sparkling water maker so you can cut your single-use plastic bottle habit. Go to to get your hands on a SodaStream Spirit for £69.99 from 19th July (RRP £99.99).

My SodaStream Verdict: 

I was very kindly offered a machine to test out as part of #ZeroWasteWeek, and I have to say I have been well impressed from start to finish!  I chose SodaStream Crystal, as this model comes with the glass bottle option which is very important to me.  The box came without any extra packaging (literally just the box -- so refreshing!) and there was not any additional plastic in sight when I unboxed the product.  I was honestly impressed that SodaStream was practicing what they preach.

I'm sort of embarrassed to admit I was a little scared when first using the machine.  I have irrational fears (thanks anxiety) and was convinced the CO2 tank would end up exploding in my face if I did it wrong.  My partner took the reins from here (he was SO excited to have his first fizzy drink!) and popped the canister into the holder, lowered the hood, and got to work!  

To make your water you just hold down the button on the top of the SodaStream until you hear a buzz, then repeat.  You do this 3-5 times -- the more presses, the more carbonation in your drink -- and that is it!  Seriously simple.

The sparkling water is kept in the bottle, and as long as you keep the cap screwed on tight it stays fresh and ready to drink whenever you are craving a bit of fizz.  You can then mix in a flavouring of your choice to create your favourite beverages -- fruity, sweet, or traditional, it is totally up to you and fully personalized.  Best of all?  You can pour this into a reusable bottle to take on the go if you are going to be out and about, saving on waste materials you would have generated otherwise!  

Now that I am more comfortable with the machine (and my anxiety about new tech has waned) I am totally happy to use this without any help.  I love that I can enjoy a fizzy drink without all the added nasties, and I have even started to toy with the idea of making an all natural soda!  I found this brilliant recipe online for homemade root beer, and I think with some minor adjustments I can hopefully create something tasty to have when I am wanting something out of the ordinary.  

The SodaStream Crystal has been the perfect discovery for me during Zero Waste Week, and I will continue to make use of it for years to come.  I love the versatility (being able to make plain sparkling water and then turn it into literally anything) and the environmentally-minded aims of the business.  

I also want to point out that if you are interested in grabbing your own machinePebble Magazine is offering a chance to win one!  There are four prizes, so head over and enter the giveaway -- competition ends September 10th! 

* All statistics were provided by SodaStream, and come from a survey conducted by One Poll:
2018 research was conducted by One Poll, across 2,000 respondents between 5th July 2018– 9th July 2018.
2017 research was conducted by One Poll, across 1,000 respondents between 3rd March 2017 – 6th March 2017

** I was gifted the SodaStream machine as part of Zero Waste Week, but all opinions are my own honest thoughts and are not influenced in any way

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

It is currently #ZeroWasteWeek and I think this is a great time to remind all you eco-beauties why I continue my monthly empties posts.

Empties posts mean different things to different people -- some just love to see what others use up in the course of four weeks, others like to show off their goodies, and some, like me, do it as a reminder.  My empties posts are a digital diary of what I liked, what I would skip in the future, and most importantly, of how much waste I generate in 30 odd days.

As a blogger I do tend to get more products than most, so keeping track of my empties is really important so I don't go overboard.  If I notice I'm not using much I slow my spending and accept fewer collabs.  And if I am using too much (especially products that have a lot of packaging) then I make myself pause and really consider the effect my choices may have long term.  My empties help keep me accountable and responsible.

I always keep track of what materials were recyclable and which brands have fell short in terms of waste and packaging.  For example, over the months I have come to find out that many green beauty giants who boast about their eco-friendly credentials are actually some of the worst offenders for straight to landfill samples (I'm looking at you JMO!).

I have mentioned in my last few empties roundups that I am trying to work through all my plastic packaged products so I can start fresh in my attempts to cut down on this planet killing substance, but what I haven't talked much about is how I repurpose the products that can't be recycled (and some of the glass pots and jars that can be but will be brilliant put to another use!).  Old candle melt cases now stores pins and office supplies, sample jars house some of my own test creations or are used to send testers to friends and family, and larger jars are fab for containing gorgeous sea glass and sea shells!

I would love to hear how you repurpose old packaging -- I am always looking for new ideas!

August was an odd month for me, as I was away for the majority of the month and was only working through a select amount of products I had taken away to America with me or obtained while I was there.  Usually I have two distinct skincare routines - one for evening and one for morning - plus all the goodies I have for showering, my weekly bath, aromatherapy, and more.  Not the case last month!  However, I did still end up using 16 items -- shocking!  Of these sixteen, every single thing but one (and the plastic wrap around the Neom sample) was able to be recycled.  The sample pot with a bit of body butter from Flying Wild I was sent from the lovely Renata a while back unfortunately could not be, but I will be reusing this pot so it will not be going to landfill!

So what were the products I finished in August?

Laidbare For Richer For Porer Masque (50ml): Okay, so my partner is the one who used the majority of this mask (not because I didn't like it, but because he can't stand anything that dries on his face and this doesn't!).  I got this last March in a Love Lula Beauty Box, and the 50ml bottle lasted absolute ages.  The mask almost feels more like a lotion than a kaolin clay formula, but this is why it was such a hit.  I'm not sure I would say it minimized pores, but it did a brilliant job of cleansing, detoxing, and gently exfoliating.  I definitely recommend this mask, especially at the price point, but I am not sure 
I will personally be rebuying as I just have so many products to use up (plus this is in plastic).

Organii SPF 50 Sun Milk (3ml x2): I've mentioned this product in a previous empties post, and I stick by what I said then -- this sun cream is perfect for me!  I only have one sample left and it is tucked in my purse for emergency application.  I am a redhead, and I have incredibly fair skin, and this protected me and got me through several trips now (most of which was outdoors in direct sunlight) without any sunburn.  I really liked the smell, and it did not feel too oily or greasy when applied.  Plus, I did not have the streaky white marks that some sunscreens can leave.  That might be because I am so pale, but whatever the reason I am pleased.  I just wish the full size was not packaged in plastic.

Balance Me Rose Otto Body Wash (50ml): This is actually the second bottle of this I have used now as I was gifted another two samples a while back.  Like I said before, this body wash does the trick but is not anything super special.  I like that the formula is gentle but still allows a bit of bubbles when it is added to a bath, and the smell is really relaxing and lightly floral.  If you want an affordable product that is natural and good for either a bubble bath or a body wash, this is a solid option, but if you want something a bit more nourishing then perhaps go for something else.  That being said, this is an older version of the product, so the new one might be a lot better (it is in a glass bottle by the looks of it, so that is a great improvement!).

Friendly Pepperming & Poppy Seed Soap (95g): I have used Friendly soaps in the past and have absolutely loved them, so when I got this bar in my July Zero Waste edit of The Natural Beauty Box I was really excited.  Each bar of soap from the brand is handmade, vegan, cruelty free, and all natural, and the quality is exceptional.  This one smells refreshing and uplifting, and is exactly what you want on a hot day.  Plus, the poppy seeds work as a gentle exfoliation so you get double the benefits!  I will definitely be repurchasing in the future, though I do wish Friendly would offer a box free option.

John Masters Organics Scalp Shampoo (60ml): This is the second to last bottle of this pre-ingredient drama switch shampoo I have actually, and once it is gone I will be saying goodbye to plastic bottled shampoo for good I think!  I really love the formula in this, as the spearmint and meadowsweet leave my head feeling refreshed and clean without drying it out.  I only have to use this twice a week, as that is enough to keep my hair looking fresh.  If only they could make a powder/cube option!

So Susan Statement Skin Highlighting Crayon (1.8g): Okay, so I had a love hate relationship with this highlighting crayon.  I LOVE the highlight itself -- it is seriously gorgeous and the perfect shade for my skin tone.  It lasts all day, and it glides on so smoothly.  However, it does contain phenoxyethonal which I discovered after trying to figure out why my skin suddenly started breaking out.  Plus, this is not vegan, and with so many fab brands out there offering all natural and vegan options, I think I will choose a different product in the future.

Ooh! Oils of Heaven Organic Rosehip Nourishing Face Oil (30ml): While this may be a facial oil, I actually used the majority of it for other things just because I have such a backlog of oils.  It works great on both hair and on skin, but my favourite use was definitely in the bath.  It blends so well with  essential oils and I loved getting creative with my soaks -- just be careful when blending as essential oils can cause some serious reactions.  I have another bottle of this and I can't wait to get using it!

Mia & Dom Aroma Candle (30ml): This is my second (and final -- sad since these aren't made anymore!) candle and I absolutely loved the scent.  The smell is lovely and makes the whole room smell of roman chamomile and lavender.  Brilliant for unwinding at the end of the day and for de-stressing before bedtime.  My only wish is that they lasted longer, as it only seems to have a few hours burn time (about an evenings worth).

MOA Fortifying Green Bath Potion (10ml): I have actually used a few full size bottles of this potion before and it is a fast fav in our house.  Luckily, I got a sample in my July Stars & Sage box so I was able to bring this gorgeous bath oil along with me to America.  The smell is intoxicating and the cooling tingles it leave on the skin is perfect for sore muscles.  Overall, the MOA Fortifying Green Bath Potion gets five out of five stars from me, and when my current one runs out, I will without a doubt be moving on to my fourth full size bottle!

Nathalie Bond Organics Soy Candle (60ml): This is another goodie I got from a Stars & Sage box, and I was so excited to discover both the brand and the product.  The candle smell is unique as it is not straight floral, but rather a calming blend of rose and patchouli which is perfect for relaxing in the evening.  It has a clean, even burn, and it lasted me several days (about 12-15 hours altogether).  I will definitely be looking into trying another one of Nathalie Bond's candles in the future and can't wait to see what the next lovely scent brings.

Balm Balm Little Miracle Rosehip Serum (5ml): One of my favourite Balm Balm products (beside the gorgeous floral waters!).  While not a 100% pure rosehip oil, this is so packed full of skin food that it is absolutely hydrating and is so gentle on my skin.  It hits you with a mouth-wateringly floral aroma, and the oils sinks in so well.  Plus I find it lasts for ages, so it is not a huge added expense to my skincare routine.  I recently got a full size of this, so don't need to repurchase for a while.

Neom Daily De-Stress Burst Capsule (.18ml): Okay, so I know I hated on this product previously, but I have to say this was BRILIANT for travelling with.  I get super stressed when there are strict departure times (so, like, every single time we have to take transportation basically..) and hate flying, so having a little de-stress blend ready to use was so so good.  The scent is lovely, and while I still am irritated about the excess plastic involved, I have to take back my comments from my March empties and have since purchased a full size Tranquility candle and a few minis.

PHB All-In-One Mascara (10ml): I first tried this mascara back in July last year and have been hooked ever since.  It is affordable, high quality, and the perfect shade of black.  The wand doesn't leave clumping (well, unless you go over your lashes a few times, but that is unnecessary thanks to the great formula!) and it lasts pretty much all day.  It does flake a tiny bit, but it isn't really noticeable so I don't mind.  I have recently bought the brown one to try out as well, so maybe I will do a full review of this lovely product.  I'm not actually sure if the packaging can be recycled or not, but I have repurposed the tube and wand to use for a lash oil I got in the last Love Lula box.

Flying Wild Body Butter: Despite not knowing anything about the brand or product, I have to say this was fabulous -- smooth, super moisturizing, and smelled mouthwateringly good (though I am not actually sure which one it even was!).  The body butter sinks in to your skin and leaves you with a nice glow (not oily looking, just healthy) and you only need to use a little bit since it is so hydrating.  Now to just find out more!

The Natural Beauty Pot Bath Salts (60ml?): I received this jar back in February in the Flower Power edit of The Natural Beauty Box, and I have been savouring every single bath I have used them in.  The salts smell amazing thanks to calendula and lemongrass, and the petals make you feel like you are at an exclusive spa retreat.  There are five other varieties of these salts, and I hope to get to try them all over time! 

Overall there was not really anything I did not enjoy this month -- I selected products I knew I would love or knew would be functional for my trip, and it worked out really well for me.  However, I would LOVE to hear if you had any ride or die items in August, or any products that you truly despised!  Leave your thoughts about my empties, what you finished using, or your #ZeroWaste ideas down in the comments below :) 

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