Sunday, 19 May 2013

Bodhi and Birch Neroli Lucé Revitalising face oil review

I have been having a bit of a love affair with all things Bodhi lately, I have been incredibly stressed and busy and their wonderful aromatherapy body care has been my absolute saviour in the evenings. I recently attended the Bodhi Spa Soirée in Birmingham and had an absolutely fabulous time learning about the new product launches (you can read more here) and with every new product I try my love for this brand deepens.  

One of the recent additions to the Artisan range has been the Neroli Lucé Revitalising face oil* and it is wonderful addition to my facial routine. Unlike the majority of facial oils on the market this is designed to be balancing so it is ideal for combination, acne prone or normal skins in need of a boost.

This gorgeous oil contains a whole host of fantastic ingredients that are beneficial to the skin:

Tunisian Neroli oil known for it's balancing properties and it's ability to improve skin elasticity, Frankincense has a whole host of wonderful benefits including reducing scarring and inflammation and Sea Buckthorn oil has a high fatty acid and lipid content and is a natural source of Beta-carotene and Omega 7 which are anti-ageing. Also included in this wonderful blend is Grapeseed oil, Evening primrose oil, Apricot Kernel oil and Jojoba oil each with a host of skin benefits. There is nothing in this oil that is there as a filler, each ingredient has been selected with care and expertly blended.

Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Prunus Armeniaca, (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Seed Oil, Hippophae Rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) Fruit Oil, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Flower Oil, Boswellia Carterii (Frankincense) Oil, Lavendula Augustifolia (High-Altitude Lavender) Flower Oil, Pelargoneum Graveolens (Geranium) Flower Oil, Cymbopogon Martini (Palmarosa) Oil, Cananga Odorata (Ylang-Ylang) Flower Oil, Benzyl Alcohol*, Benzyl Benzoate*, Benzyl Salicylate*, Citral*, Citronellol*, Eugenol*, Farnesol*, Geraniol*, Isoeugenol*, Limonene*, Linalool*
*natural constituents of essential oils    
Free from: Petrochemicals, Sulphates, Parabens, Phthalates, Glycols, PEGs, DEAs, Synthetic Polymers, Synthetic Fragrance or Colours, Palm Oil or Animal Ingredients.

Neroli Lucé has a glorious dark yellow colour characteristic of products with Sea Buckthorn as an ingredient, the smell is quite heavenly but I will say the Neroli has a strong presence in this blend, luckily for me it is one of my favourite scents and I like to inhale deeply before massaging into the face.

The texture is simply the lightest oil I have ever come across and it melts into the skin almost instantly leaving no oily residue. If you are an oil sceptic I urge you to try this, because it feels like no other oil that I have tried before. I have been using it whilst I am experiencing some breakouts due to stress and it helps heal blemishes and prevents scarring. It really does balance the skin and it is one of the few oils in my collection that I happily apply both in the morning and at night time, because it is so light.

If I am tired and stressed this is the product that I reach for because it gives a real boost to the skin enabling me to look more awake and giving that "glow" that we all yearn for. You can find this gorgeous oil for £32 (for 15 ml) on the Bodhi website, they also offer a fantastic service where you can purchase a sample and the price that you pay is fully redeemable against the full size. This contains no cheap carrier oils so a little goes a long way and in my opinion it is fantastic value for money.

Have you tried Bodhi? What did you think?

Ana x

*PR sample


Wednesday, 15 May 2013

John Masters honey and hibiscus reconstructing shampoo

    John Masters organics are a brilliant American brand created by John Masters almost twenty years ago. He was a hairdresser and saw a gap in the market for products that delivered results whilst using all natural ingredients, the range began as he mixed herbs and essential oils in his kitchen sink.

    I have used quite a few John Masters products before but not gotten round to featuring them on the blog, it is a bit of shame really as I have enjoyed everything that I have tried from them and nothing has ever left me disappointed.

    This shampoo is designed to strengthen the hair, with Linolenic and Hyaluronic acids and of course the honey and hibiscus. It is a gentle shampoo and can be used on all hair types including colour treated hair. I used it as a weekly treatment shampoo whilst I have been growing my hair and I have enjoyed the results and the performance of this shampoo. With 70% organic ingredients it is one of the better shampoos out there in terms of ingredients, I think it seems to be fairly hard to make a good shampoo without sulphates and synthetic ingredients because so many I have tried have left me disappointed.

Aqua, (purified water), magnifera indica (mango butter),* persea americana (avocado oil),* behentrimonium methosulfate (colza oil), hydrolyzed whole wheat protein, panthenol, hydrolyzed mucopolysaccharides, linoleic and hyaluronic acid, sorbitol, linolenic acid, triticum vulgare (wheat germ oil),* tocopherol, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba oil),* sulfur, penta-erythrityl tetraisostearate (soy conditioner), almond glyceride, cetyl, cetearyl & stearyl alcohol (natural emulsifiers), calophyllum inophyllum (foraha),* honey, hydrolyzed sweet almond protein, olea europaea (olive oil),* hibiscus sabdriffa (hibiscus extract),* essential oils of apis meliferra (honey),* lavandula angustifolia (lavender),* citrus paradisi (pink grapefruit),* canaga odorata (ylang ylang),* citrus bergamia (bergamot), elettaria cardamomum (cardamom), pogostemon patchouli (patchouli), tocopherol acetate (Vitamin E), ascorbyl palmitate & ascorbic acid (vitamin C), gluconolactone, sodium benzoate. *Denotes Certified Organic.

    If you are used to sulphate free shampoos that don't foam as much as conventional shampoos this will take you by surprise because it creates the most gorgeous luxurious lather I have ever experienced in a shampoo, it is simply heavenly. The smell is also something quite special, it reminds me a little of the smell of honeysuckle, sweet but with a floral twist, not overly sickly but it does fill the room when you use it.

    I was always left with shiny clean feeling hair, it was never weighed down and it never irritated my scalp which can be incredibly dry and sensitive, I am not sure how my scalp would cope with this used on a daily basis but using it once a week I experienced no issues.

    My only criticism is the design of the packaging which seems to fall over constantly in my shower, especially when it was completely full, but I learnt to balance it precariously and soon got over that minor issue.

    I will say that whilst I love this and did feel that it helped strengthen my hair, thus living up to it's claims, I do like some of the other John Masters shampoos just much and they are significantly cheaper, but I will probably buy this again when I am feeling flush. At £26 for 177ml this is definitely not a budget option but it is a wonderful shampoo, I bought mine from Amarya and used some points towards it so it wasn't quite as costly.

Ana x

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Herbfarmacy Skin rescue Balm review

    I picked up this balm a while ago at Cheltenham Whole-foods  I am a big fan of Herbfarmacy especially their lip balms, both of which are my most used so when I saw the Herbfarmacy stand I knew I wanted to pick something else up to try.

    Herbfarmacy is a wonderful Soil Association organic brand created by Dr Paul Richards a Botanist who has been growing herbs on his farm in Herefordshire for over 25 years. All of the skincare range is UK grown and produced at Herb farm and it is the only UK company to do so.

    This is a multi-purpose balm especially suited to dry skin conditions such as ezcema. Herbs are the core element to Herbfarmacy's  line and this balm contains Marshmallow, Calendula, Chickweed and Comfrey blended with Sunflower oil, jojoba oil and shea butter.

Marshmallow: Is Herbfarmacy's signature herb and it's roots are high in mucilages that attract and retain moisture, it is particularly good for sensitive skin and it is also present in Herbfarmacy's creams too.

Comfrey: Is a very moisturising herb and is used in Herbfarmacy's hand and foot creams and for areas that need intense nourishment. It contains allantoin which can improve skin elasticity.

Calendula: The bright orange flowers of Calendula Marigolds also feature heavily in Herbfarmacy's range it is unsurprising given it's anti-inflammatory and soothing effect on the skin. This herb is renowned for aiding skin repair and is one of my favourite ingredients for my sensitive skin.

Chickweed: (Also known as Starweed) also has anti-inflammatory properties and can encourage cell renewal, it is a very soothing herb and is great for itchy skin conditions such as eczema.

Ingredients : *Helianthus annuus (Sunflower oil), *Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba oil), *Cera flava (Beeswax), *Butyrospermum parkii (Shea butter), *Althaea officinalis (Marshmallow) extract, *Symphytum sp (Comfrey) extract, *Calendula officinalis (Calendula) extract, *Stellaria media (Chickweed) extract, *Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) extract, *Anthemis nobilis (Roman Chamomile) oil, *Lavandula angustifolia (Lavender) oil, *Helychrysum angustifolium (Helychrysum) oil, *linalool, *limonene, *farnesol, *geraniol, *eugenol (Last 5 essential oil ingredients) * = Organically grown/produced (100%)

    I think a great organic balm should be something that everyone invests in they are really concentrated so a little goes a long way and they can be used for a variety of dry or sore skin conditions. This one is lovely and I especially like that everything is grown and produced in the UK. The ingredients have been carefully selected to make this very soothing, I tested this both on myself and on my son and I found it wonderful for dry patches of skin as well as scrapes and cuts. It works quickly and effectively and only a small amount goes a very long way.

    I really recommend that you take a look at the Herbfarmacy's website, they have some stunning photographs of the herbs being collected on their beautiful farm, I hope to visit the farm on one of their open days in the summer, and I can't wait to try more of what this wonderful brand has to offer.

Have you tried any Herbfarmacy? I would love more product recommendations if you have any.

Ana x

Monday, 6 May 2013

JustBe Botanicals skincare review

    JustBe Botanicals is a range created by Aromatherapist Gail Bryden, the brand has a gorgeous selection of skincare, body care and home fragrance all made from natural botanicals with therapeutic benefits. I started following the brand on twitter and was contacted by Gail to see if I would like to trial some items. Following a telephone chat where we discussed my skin type I was sent the JustBe cleansed cleansing balm*, the JustBe cleansed cleansing gel* and the JustBe radiant restoring cream*.

    All the products that I have tried have been absolutely lovely, this is a range that has been put together with care and that is designed to work for many skin types. I didn't expect to love the products as much as I did, they have become a core part of my daily routine and I have been using them for over a month with great results.

    The JustBe cleansed cleansing balm* (£30 pounds for 60 ml) arrived beautifully packaged with a gorgeous purple bow around the box, we all know it's what inside that counts but I think every woman likes her products to be wonderfully packaged like this.  It also came with a very generous sized muslin cloth and a cosmetic spoon which are really nice details, after the first wash the muslin was wonderfully soft and the size means that you can remove all your make up with ease.

    The Balm itself is packaged in a glass jar I find the simple but sleek packaging very appealing and it looks lovely on the bathroom shelf. Coconut oil and jojoba oil are blended with beeswax to make a wonderful balm that is a joy to use. It has a slightly woody scent from the Petigrain but isn't at all overpowering.

    You only need a small amount of balm to remove all of your makeup, I have really been enjoying spending some time massaging it into the skin before removing with a muslin cloth, in fact this little bed time ritual is one of my favourite parts of the day! I use it all over the eye area and have experienced no stinging at all, it melts away mascara, eye shadow and liner easily and quickly.

    This balm is incredible value for money because I have been using it every evening to do a thorough double cleanse and I still have lot's left in the jar, The fact that it is coconut oil based is also lovely as it is an ingredient that my skin really enjoys. Don't be put off by the fact that it is oil based if you have a more oily skin type as it gentle and will help balance the skin.

    JustBe cleansed cleansing gel* (£7.50 for a 30 ml trial size) is packaged in a sleek airless pump, this size is perfect for travel and even carrying in a gym bag. I tend to favour cream cleansers so I was interested to see how I would get on with this but just like the cleansing balm I was thoroughly impressed.

    You need just one pump of this lovely soft silky gel to wash your face, it is wonderfully refreshing and uplifting in the mornings as it is scented with mandarin and grapefruit. Because this does not contain SLS or other harsh surfactants this leaves the skin feeling really fresh and clean without the dry/tight feeling you can sometimes get from face washes.

    JustBe radiant restoring cream* (£34.95 for 30ml) this is a very versatile cream that can be used both in the daytime and at night. It contains zinc oxide which is a natural SPF which is essential for protecting the skin against the sun. This has a very light almost mousse feel to it but it still manages to be incredibly moisturising. It has a lovely scent like the cleansing balm slightly woody coming from the Petigrain not at all overpowering but subtle and relaxing.

    I do prefer to use this as a daytime moisturiser because of the SPF element to it, I also found that it made a wonderful base for my mineral makeup and it gave me a lovely glow. One pump is sufficient for my whole face, on warmer days I have also been taking another pump down the neck and chest to protect those delicate areas from the sun too. Unfortunately due to the cost of testing SPF this doesn't say what sun protection factor is contained within the product, however as in the UK we are not blessed with amazing weather I find the level of zinc oxide in the product more than enough for daily use.

    One thing that surprised me about this cream is how good it was at reducing the redness that I experience on my face, it feels very soothing and I have experienced no blemishes or congestion like I have with SPF in the past. I really look forward to using these products on a daily basis and I know that JustBe botanicals is a brand that I will buy more products from with out a doubt.

    You can find JustBe botanicals here I highly recommend you take a look at the beautiful products, although I take no responsibility if you develop something of an addiction to this brand, I know I certainly have. You can find full ingredients lists for all products on the site also, something which I always find useful. You can also find JustBe botanicals on Twitter and Facebook, I can't recommend the products highly enough, I am in love!

Ana x

*Samples sent for review
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