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Thursday, 21 July 2016

Clean Beauty Co. Coconut Dreaming bath milk


Anyone who reads this blog on a regular basis will know that I am not a fan of DIY beauty recipes, whilst there are a few go to recipes that I indulge in, for the most part I lack the expertise and patience to make my own. Bloggers Elsie and Dominika however are natural beauty and DIY recipe experts and creators of their own brand Clean Beauty Co. The products are an extension of the workshops and events they host and they promote good clean ingredients and simple recipes.

The Coconut Dreaming bath milk* (£25 for 500 mls comes in a glass bottle) combines the simplicity of a DIY recipe with the convenience of a ready made product. If you want your bath to smell tropical, this will hit the spot thanks to the coconut and mandarin mix. The mix of coconut, honey powder and tangerine oil leaves the skin soft and supple and the mix makes a really nice change from a foam bath if you can't handle bubbles. This one is a Beauty Shortlist award winner and is a lovely product.

It is always interesting to see what other bloggers are doing in the industry and Elsie and Dominika clearly are passionate about introducing people to natural beauty, they have a book coming soon too! The simplicity of the products and the packaging gives the brand a really sleek feel, reinforcing the lack of fuss and wholesome ingredients list. A great product for a summer bath.

Ana x

*Indicates a sample was generously provided, all thoughts, opinions and beauty musings my own.
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Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Mindful Moments gift set by Spiezia



For most of us life is extremely busy and often stressful, which is why I think it is very important to take small moments throughout the day the to catch your breath. That is the concept behind this Mindful Moments Giftset* (£25). From the Cornish brand Spiezia, they have a beautiful range of products that really are something special. The brand is certified to COSMOS organic standards by the Soil Association and the brand supports those going through cancer treatments with their Made for Life foundation.

The giftset comes with three different organic oil blends, something for different moods. It is beautifully packaged with a box that can be reused, The blends come in lovely coloured glass bottles and can be recycled easily, like all the products in the Spiezia range sustainability and simplicity is at it's core.

Uplift and Energise - Rosemary, Sage and Thyme. A Wonderfully deep and herbal scent, with the dominant notes of Rosemary to really boost energy levels. Perfect pre-workout.

Connect and Nurture - Lavender, Geranium and Roman Chamomile. Soothing, calming and great before bed.

Focus an Clarity - Vetiver, Bergamot and Frankincense. Spicy and slightly zesty this is a great blend to keep on your desk.

To use simply apply a small amount of oil to the palms of the hands and inhale deeply, they also work well applied to pulse points. This little set would make a fantastic gift, the oils are really nourishing and feel beautiful on the skin thanks to the beautiful ingredients. A beautiful brand and collection.

Ana x

*Indicates a sample was generously provided, all thoughts, opinions and beauty musings my own.

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Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Meet your Microbiome: Gallinée skincare



The trend for using pre and pro-biotics in skincare is showing no signs of slowing down. There are already several well established brands extolling the virtues of using pro-biotics topically, however todays brand caught my eye because it is one of the few talking extensively about the microbiome for the skin. In case you have no idea what the microbiome is, it is the name given to the good bacteria and organisms that live in and on the body. Science is just beginning to scratch the surface of the role of bacteria, a depleted microbiome has been recently linked to allergies and skin problems such as eczema with some rather interesting research happening in treatments to correct the lack of good bacteria in the gut. Your microbiome becomes important as soon as you are born, and how you come in to the world plays apparently a big role, having given birth only three months ago the research I did in pregnancy was all still rather fresh in my mind when trying these products.

Gallinée beauty makes the skins microbiome it's number one focus in a way that I haven't seen from other brands, most mention the prebiotics but few make it their USP. The founder Marie Drago is a Doctor in pharmacy with fifteen years experience in skincare. I do rather like that in this case the science seems to be the backbone of the brand rather than an afterthought as often seems to be the case. All the products have included a triple biotic complex, which is mix of pre, pro and postbiotics (postbiotics are a new one on me!) to care for the skins good bacteria.

Aside from the science of the microbiome, all of the products are formulated without SLS, parabens, mineral oils, silicones, aiming for soothing and gentle, they do include natural ingredients, but I would class it as a free from brand as it does contain synthetics. The products have a distinctly French pharmacy feel to them with fuss free application. gentle scents and minimal packaging. The products themselves deliver good results without fuss, the La culture cleanser has a gorgeously soft mousse consistency and is a great morning cleanse for me, I found it excellent at removing sunscreen, dirt and grime in the heat but like most foaming cleansers it has a tendency to be a little on the drying side depending on how my skin was feeling. If you want a super fresh feel to the skin from your cleanser this will deliver in spades. The hand cream feels very nourishing even though when worked in to the skin it leaves absolutely no residue. so you can go about your day with no problems. It leaves hands lovely and soft and tackles irritation too which was an unexpected bonus. I had a nasty patch of dry skin on my knuckles that cleared up whilst testing this product, I was so pleased because I had been trying to get rid of it for a while with no success.

I think Gallinée is a solid beauty offering and will appeal strongly to French Pharmacy fans, I will be keeping an eye on the brand as I think it will go far. Currently available at Look Fantastic, Beautymart, Harvey Nicols and online at www.gallinee.co.uk.

Ana x

*Indicates a sample was generously provided, all thoughts opinions and beauty musings my own.
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Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Petits Rituels Fleur Boisée Travel candle


I am often amazed by the ability candles have to transform a rooms mood. This Fleur Boisée Travel candle* (£16 for an approx. 15 hour burn time) from Petits Rituels is an example of the power of scent, the blend of Lavender,  Rose geranium and petitgrain is perfect to burn in the evenings and would be fantastic for a dinner party or special occasion. The scent itself is what I would call thoughtful, calming to the senses whilst bringing about focus and clarity.

The scent isn't a straight forward or traditional floral and in fact the petitgrain comes in to it's own here, adding quite a fresh undertone to the woodsy nature of the lavender. I love the travel candles which are new to Petits Rituels because it enables you to indulge, without the cost of large candles, which let's be honest is generally quite expensive.

There really is no excuse for burning mineral oil and artificially scented candles anymore with the beautiful offerings available. Petits Rituels are a beautiful brand doing beautiful things, natural waxes, pure essential oils and beautiful packaging make for an indulgent experience, which is exactly what you want from a luxury item like this. If you are a candle lover, they I would I would highly recommend. You can also find a selection of the candles at Love Lula.

Ana x

*Indicates a sample was generously provided, the post contains some affiliate links, please see my full disclaimer for details. All thoughts opinions and beauty musings my own.

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Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Summer Essentials


I have an awful lot to talk about in terms of products for summer, there are quite a few new releases and products that just fit with the season, but also things that are multi-taskers and perfect for travel. I am covering body, skincare and haircare today and make up and nails in another post.

Starting with body products and specifically body prep, we have a new scrub from Melvita called L'Or Rose Refining scrub* designed to work with the L'Or Rose Body oil. This scrub is really nice for summer because it comes in a gel texture that transforms in to a milk when rinsed with water, perfect if following up with fake tan and other products as it leaves no residue. As always with Melvita the scrub is respectful of the environment, so microbead free and just like the oil has the inclusion of the Pink Berries.  Melvita are delighting me at the moment with their products, both the new releases and some of the older ranges that are having a bit of a makeover, the L'Or Bio - Extraordinary Oil* is a beautiful multi-purpose oil, suitable for face, hair and body and great for summer. There are several other French pharmacy brands that make a similar oil, but the Melvita version is my favourite by far, it contains a blend of several interesting oils including Buriti. Kendi and Pracaxi and the scent has to be experienced, soo gorgeous! Bergamot, Orange, Jasmine, Vanilla and fig. If you are looking for a bit of colour and like me can't be bothered with fake tan, look no further than the This Works Perfect legs skin miracle*. This clever skincare/colour hybrid is loved by the amazing make up artist Lisa Eldridge and it gives the prettiest hint of colour and shimmer on fair skin. If you are looking for something that will make you look instantly better but also work long term with fabulous ingredients like Vitamin C and E this is just so, so, good, I can't recommend highly enough it is fool proof. Summer is a time when my skin can play up, so just in case I like to keep a cooling and soothing gel on hand to fight heat rash and other skin woes. I am currently using two, the first is the What skin needs - Soothing skin gel*, this whole range is based around Plantolin which is an anti-inflammatory and boy does this gel work wonders, it instantly takes down redness and itching. I wasn't going to try this, but I am really glad I did, it is a bit of a discovery, despite the fact that some of the ingredients aren't as clean as I would like it is certainly better than other products of it's kind on the market. Another gel I have used on holiday especially to treat skin that has had a bit too much sun is the Dr Organic Aloe Vera gel, it is inexpensive and Aloe is a great ingredient, a no fuss/frills product that works really well. On the subject of Sun protection I am testing the new Natural Sunscreen - from Odylique* I will be giving this it's own review as there is too much to say to cover it all in this post, but really clean and effective sunscreen isn't easy to find, this one is SPF 30, certified organic and leaves no white cast at all, truly impressive so far.

With the heat a good deodorant is needed, I have tried a lot of natural deodorants recently and one of the most effective is definitely Schmidt's, I have been using the new stick versions and they are absolutely brilliant, in fact I like them much more than the original version. My personal favourite is the Bergamot and Lime, if you are going somewhere warm this summer make sure you pack one of these sticks in your bag, it will keep you fresh all day and night, no problem. Sticking with the theme of staying fresh, AA skincare have released two new sets of wipes perfect for festivals and travel this summer. The Green Tea and Aloe Vera cleansing wipes* and the Tea Tree and Aloe Vera cleansing bodycare Wet Wipes*, the cleansing wipes are the nicest and most gentle I have ever used, they left my skin really clean and with zero irritation, I was seriously impressed and will taking both sets of wipes with me on holiday this summer. The extra heat in the summer can bring all kinds of skin woes, which is why I like to focus on a little extra exfoliation and targeted masks whenever I can. The Lavera 3 in 1 Organic Face wash, mask and scrub* is a great cost effective way to cover all bases, aside from the fact that I love this because it is a multi-tasker, I found it to be gentle on my sensitive skin but very effective at leaving it refreshed and matte at the same time. The creamy texture has great anti-bacterial ingredients and is vegan and microbead free, I also think this would be a great product for teenagers as it is affordable and gentle neutral in it's packaging, something you don't see often. For masks I have been reaching for the Sukin Oil balancing anti-pollution facial masque* (you can find the brand at Holland and Barrett and Feel Unique if you are in the UK). It contains bamboo charcoal and is a blue/grey colour which is entertaining to put on, but the results are instant when removed, skin looks much more balanced and it has been great at fighting blemishes too. I couldn't really do a summer essentials post without recommending a spritz, the Josh Rosebrook Hydrating accelerator is highly, highly, addictive, you have been warned! Not only does this spray smell incredible (a bit like sweets), but the nozzle delivers the finest mist you have ever experienced and the ingredients list is a joy. I use it before treatments, after make up to refresh during the day and it would be perfect by the pool on holiday. It is a vitamin infused aloe water and as usual with Josh's products contains lot's of hardworking botanicals including marshmallow, calendula and skullcap to name a few. Another new product, this time from the genius brand that is Green People, is the Beauty Boost - Skin restore*. This product is a moisturiser, mask and all in one treatment, feels like a much more expensive product than it is and being from Green people is full of gorgeous ingredients. I use this a few time a weeks in the evening, it is nourishing but not greasy or heavy and is great on dehydrated and parched skin. Another multi-tasker is the gorgeous Aloe Vera Hydro repair gel* from Santaverde. This is so lightweight that it would work in even the hottest of climates and can be used instead of a moisturiser or underneath as a serum. The Aloe Vera base feels heavenly on skin that is hot and in need of something cooling and hydrating. If you find that your skin is need of something extremely soothing and moisturising, for example if dry/peeling, the Balmology Calendula and Chamomile comfort balm* will be your best friend. I use it for sore, chapped skin, burns you name it, it works. I am a huge fan of thiss pure British brand.

Lastly lets talk summer and holiday hair, I am lazy when it comes to hair so I like things super simple. The Noah - Volumising spray* is perfect because you simply apply to wet hair and it gives body and definition even if air drying, it is especially good if like me you have a slight wave in the hair or to define curls. Talking of waves, I am still obsessed with the Love and Salt beach hair and body mist, perfect for beachy hair without the beach and leaves you smelling of coconuts, what more could you ask for.

Ana x

*Indicates a sample was generously provided. Post contains some affiliate links, please see my full disclaimer for details. All thoughts, opinions and beauty musings my own.
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