30 August 2017

The LoveLula August Beauty Box

The LoveLula Monthly Subscription Beauty Box*, £13.95
The August beauty box contained an amazing total product value of £55, including four full-size products!

Included in the box was:
Balm Balm Chamomile Floral Water Hydrosol, £8.50/30ml
I love a floral water in a spray bottle, so this is a welcome addition to my toner collection. I find these floral water hydrosols to be a great quick-fix option and they are really refreshing!
Beauty Brews Energy Passionfruit & Ginger Tea, £9.50/50g
I can't wait to try this, along with another tin I have in the cupboard! Expect a post on these teas in the near future. This one smells incredible!
Glossworks 3-in-1, £12/9ml
This 3-in-1 nail product can be used as a base and top coat, as well as a nail hardener. Looking forward to trying this with the nail polish!
Glossworks Nail Polish in "Name Of The Rose", £12/9ml
Such a pretty carnation pink! I can't wait to try this 9-free nail polish!
PHB Brown Eyeliner, £10.95/4g
I'm not really much of an eyeliner user, but I might give this a go as it has a really gentle, creamy formula.

Have you tried any of these products? As always, as a beauty box subscriber, you will also receive 20% off all brands in the beauty box!
Love,
Emma xxx 

*items kindly sent for review purposes; all thoughts and opinions are, and always will be, my own.

26 August 2017

Renovating 100-Year-Old Cottages + The Ups and Downs Of Life

Hello! It's been a couple of months since my last life update, so here is another! I hope all my readers are doing well and enjoying their summer!

Firstly, we are making really good progress with the cottage! We are only 4.5 months into the renovation and the majority of the messiest, hardest jobs are complete. We've added insulation, re-plastered, lowered the ground level at the rear of the cottage, replaced all light switches and sockets, ripped out the old kitchen and bathroom, installed central heating and replaced the old door and windows!
The remaining to do list is roughly as follows:
  • Paint all interior walls and ceilings
  • Lay new flooring throughout
  • Add new skirting and architrave
  • Add interior doors
  • Install new light fittings and spotlights
  • Install new bathroom
  • Install new kitchen
  • Install multi-fuel stove
  • Re-paint and patch-up exterior walls
  • Improve driveway further
  • Plant flowers, trees e.t.c.
My brother and Dad have done all the hard work where possible, helping to save a lot of money! I've been slowly buying little homeware pieces here and there - I just can't help myself! We are hoping to be able to move in around the end of October, so fingers crossed! We are both very excited about the move and Wilson will be so happy with the outside space, which includes the main garden, woodland, a stream and the adjoining river, not to mention the nearby beach!
Life in general is good, but we've endured some ups and downs of late! Unfortunately Ian lost a friend due to a motorcycle accident last week. We also had a minor accident ourselves involving a deer; we were luckily both unharmed and the car only requires minor bodywork repairs. We had a minor leak at the cottage after a heavy bout of rain, I was unsuccessful with a recent job interview, Wilson has been a little accident prone recently and has chipped one canine tooth and cut his paw; both were minor accidents which didn't require treatment.

On a positive note... Wilson has just celebrated his first birthday, he is no longer afraid water and now enjoys swimming, we are in the final preparations of putting Ian's house up for sale, I have applied for a number of other jobs, important papers have been signed and are in progress and we are both looking forward to our three-part holiday next month!

Obviously life has been really hectic, so blogging does tend to take a back seat, but I'm always eager to add more content and aim to post once a week. Any ideas or requests for blog posts would be greatly appreciated and as always, thank you for being a loyal reader!

Enjoy the rest of your summer and speak soon!
Love,
Emma xxx

23 August 2017

What Skin Needs Hydrating Facial Serum

What Skin Needs Hydrating Facial Serum*, £12.99/30ml

I finally got round to trying out this facial serum which was gifted to me last year. It blends vitamins and plant extracts to create a light serum which aims to reduce scarring and skin pigmentation, improve hydration and skin cell renewal and help nourish and re-balance skin. With the ability to penetrate the skin's deeper layers, this serum promises to leave you with younger, healthier-looking skin!

The key ingredient is Plantolin®, which has been proven to have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, helping to soothe, rehydrate and repair dry, rough and damaged skin. Other great ingredients included in this product are maracuja oil, jojoba oil, vitamin E and lemon myrtle oil.
After cleansing my skin in the morning, I like to apply a few drops of this serum to my face, either before or with my daily moisturiser. I love that it has such a refreshing, zingy lemon scent - great for awakening the skin in the mornings!

The gentle ingredients help to keep my skin feeling and looking calmer by reducing redness and discolouration, whilst also keeping it hydrated all day long, without feeling greasy or heavy. It works well as a make-up base, as you won't find yourself struggling with dry, flaky patches. It also makes my skin feel a lot softer and plumper, whilst having an overall brightening effect. It's perfect for all year round use!

The main winner for me is that this serum has an extremely reasonable price point, and it will last ages, like all serums! You only need a few drops per application. It is also cruelty free and contains lots of lovely, natural ingredients that your skin will love!

What is your favourite skin serum?

Ingredients:
Passiflora Incarnatta (Maracuja Oil), Centipeda Cunninghamii Extract (Plantolin), Olive Oil Decyl Esters, Olive Oil Squalene, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Soy Esters, Dicaprylyl Ether, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Centella Asiatica (Gotu Kola) Extract, Lavandula (Lavender) Hybrida Oil, Backhousia Citriodora (Lemon Myrtle) Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil.
Love,
Emma xxx
*items kindly sent for review purposes; all thoughts and opinions are, and always will be, my own.

21 August 2017

AYur-vana Asparagus Hand Cream

AYur-vana Asparagus Hand Cream*, €13.35/75ml

I've recently been testing out this French hand cream; an Ayurvedic formula with nourishing organic ingredients including sesame and jojoba oils, beeswax, asparagus (shatavari) root extract and green tea extract. The packaging is bright and eye-catching and is also fully recyclable.

The spearmint essential oil gives it a fresh, minty aroma, but it isn't overpowering. The formula is fairly thick and a small amount can be spread evenly over your skin. It doesn't leave a greasy residue behind, so is perfect for daytime use.
I find this hand cream to be softening and nourishing, keeping my hands free from dry patches or irritation. It has a slightly cooling effect and I really love the scent! There really should be more mint-scented beauty products, right?!

This is the first asparagus-based skincare product I have come across, so I was quite intrigued to try it out! Have you ever tried anything similar?

Ingredients:
Aqua, Hamamelis virginiana leaf water *, Cetearyl alcohol, caprylic / capric triglyceride, Glycerin, Cera alba (beeswax), Cetearyl glucoside, Asparagus racemosus root extract * (shatavari), Benzyl alcohol, Simmondsia chinensis seed oil * ( jojoba oil), Olea europaea fruit oil * (olive oil), Sesamum indicum seed oil * (sesame oil), Sodium benzoate, tocopherol, Helianthus annuus seed oil, Xanthan gum, Melaleuca leucadendron cajaputi leaf oil (essential oil cajeput), Mentha spicata herb oil (essential oil of spearmint), Maltodextrin **, Limonene, * camellia sinensis leaf extract (green tea extract), Dehydroacetic acid, Sodium hydroxide, Linalool, Citric acid.
* Ingredient from organic farming
** Processed from organic ingredients
Love,
Emma xxx
*items kindly sent for review purposes; all thoughts and opinions are, and always will be, my own.

18 August 2017

The Weekly Wish List

1. DeVita Shea Butter BrulĂ©e, £19.65/210ml
This Tahitian vanilla shea butter body lotion sounds gorgeously indulgent.
2. George @ Asda Harry Potter PJs, £15
Defintely need more Harry Potter PJs!
3. Ted Baker Glass Water Bottle, £21.95
This glass water bottle with silicone sleeve features an Alice in Wonderland inspired "Drink Me" label and is super cute!
4. George @ Asda Cloud Print Wellington Boots, £12.50
Aren't these just adorable?! And currently in my size...
5. Anthropologie Tone-dipped Measuring Cups, £36
These pretty measuring cups would look great in our kitchen! Love the slightly muted colours.

What's at the top of your wish list this week?
Love,
Emma xxx

31 July 2017

The LoveLula July Beauty Box

The LoveLula Monthly Subscription Beauty Box*, £13.95
The July beauty box contained an amazing total product value of £60, including two full-size products!

Included in the box was:
PHB Natural Mascara, £15.95/10ml
The waterproof, smudge-resistant formula sounds promising, so I'm looking forward to giving this natural mascara a try. It's meant to be specifically great for sensitive eyes!
Lyonsleaf Marshmallow Facial Oil, £14.99/30ml
This facial oil smells incredibly indulgent and I can't wait to try it on my face! On my hands, it absorbs quickly, without leaving behind a greasy residue and it helps keep them soft and supple. You can't go far wrong with ingredients such as marshmallow extract, rosehip oil, geranium and rose.
REN Satin Perfection BB Cream SPF15 (sample), £29/50ml
It's great to see another BB cream offering SPF protection! This formula promises to give a satin finish and flawless coverage.
Madara Fine Line Minimising Cream (sample), £32/50ml
This vegan-friendly day cream aims to preserve youthful skin and contains lots of natural antioxidant ingredients such as lichen moss extract, fern extract, olive oil and rose flower water. I'm not sure if I will use this personally or gift it to someone!
John Masters Spearmint & Meadowsweet Shampoo (travel size), £6/60ml
This smells and sounds so good, but I may hand it over to my boyfriend, as he suffers from an irritated scalp.

Have you tried any of these products? As always, as a beauty box subscriber, you will also receive 20% off all brands in the beauty box!
Love,
Emma xxx
*items kindly sent for review purposes; all thoughts and opinions are, and always will be, my own.

25 July 2017

Pukka Herbs Clean Me Green Wellbeing Kit

Pukka Herbs Clean Me Green Wellbeing Kit*, £19.99

A little while back, I was sent this wellbeing kit to test out over a course of two weeks. Created by organic tea brand, Pukka, this 100% organic kit contains fourteen sachets each of three different products. The idea behind this kit is to use the power of organic herbs to "clean you green", along with helpful tips on how to make the best use of the kit and how you can enhance the effectiveness of it by changing other small factors such as drinking plenty of water and eating more healthily.
The three products included in the kit were the Detox Herbal Tea, Clean Matcha Green Tea and Clean Greens Superblend.

I already enjoy the detoxing tea, which blends aniseed, sweet fennel seed, cardamom pod, licorice root, coriander seed and celery seed.
The matcha green tea was also a pleasant addition, and having tried Matcha green tea previously, I already knew of the great benefits it can have to your body. This blend was made from Sencha green tea, sweet fennel seed, dandelion root, licorice root, nettle leaf, lemon essential oil flavour, turmeric root, lemon whole, lemon myrtle leaf and Matcha powder.
The clean greens blend was made up of wheat grass juice powder concentrated 30:1, nettle leaf fresh freeze dried 9:1, parsley leaf, spirulina, chlorella cracked-cell, Seagreens® arctic fresh seaweed, kale seed sprouts fresh freeze dried, fennel seed, peppermint leaf, green tea leaf aqueous extract and ginger root. This wasn't particularly enjoyable due to the bitter taste and gritty texture; I found it easiest to ingest mixed into apple juice.
Overall, I enjoyed using this kit and could definitely see some benefits including better digestion, increased fluid intake, feeling a bit brighter and healthier. It also spurred me on to make other changes i.e. drinking more fluids and eating more healthily.

If you're in need of a detox or a kick-start into healthier eating, I'd definitely recommend giving this a try!
Love,
Emma xxx
*items kindly sent for review purposes; all thoughts and opinions are, and always will be, my own.

13 July 2017

Natural Products For a Beautifully Scented Home

I love a beautifully scented home and today I am going to share some of my favourite natural home scents products with you.
Pacifica Reed Diffusers*, £15/120ml
Reed diffusers are perfect for smaller spaces and rooms, such as hallways and bathrooms, where they can work their hardest and hold their scent for longer. With a regular turning of the wooden reeds, you'll find this natural liquid fragrance lasting up to six months! The island vanilla scent is just gorgeous, with notes of vanilla absolute, honey-jasmine and tea. The Indian coconut nectar scent is another of my favourites; it takes you away to a sweet, tropical paradise! These vegan-friendly reed diffusers not only smell great, but they look pretty as well!
JOIK Candles*, £12.50/145g
Natural soya wax candles are another great option. These are clean-burning and create a lovely ambiance, as well as giving off a natural fragrance. I love candles by JOIK especially; their packaging is really pretty and they have a great selection of scents available. Did I mention they are great value for money?!
Scentsy Etched Copper Warmer, £36 and Scentsy Wax Bar Melts, £6/per pack of 8 cubes
I invested in the etched copper warmer last winter and am so glad that I did! The Scentsy wax melts may not be the most natural of products, but there are lots of other, more natural alternatives to choose from, which I will be checking out once I use up my current supply. There are so many gorgeous scents available and you can even create your own signature scents by mixing the melts. My favourites are sweet and/or foodie scents, of course! The warmer is electric and gently heats the wax, releasing the gorgeous scents all around your home; I find these work in small or large areas and I switch mine on for just 2-3 hours at a time, with the fragrance lasting a long time afterwards. I can reuse the same wax melt for weeks, so these aren't as costly as you may think. I'd definitely recommend getting yourself a wax melt warmer as they are practical and there are loads of complimentary styles to choose from to suit your home.
I recently purchased the try me surprise wax melts box from Bloom Candles to test in my Scentsy warmer and these are also great! Just £3.99 to try all 12 fragrances is such a bargain! I'm not sure how natural these melts are, but their scent throw isn't as strong as the Scentsy ones.

How do you naturally fragrance your home?
Love,
Emma xxx
*items kindly sent for review purposes; all thoughts and opinions are, and always will be, my own.

30 June 2017

The LoveLula June Beauty Box

The LoveLula Monthly Subscription Beauty Box*, £13.95
The June beauty box contained a total product value of £43, including two full-size products!

Included in the box was:
Balm Balm Hibiscus Face Mask, £9.50/40g
With brown rice flour, ground hibiscus and rose geranium oil, this little face mask sample sounds lovely and as a bonus, an organic muslin cloth was included!
Madara Daily Defense Balm, £15/60ml
I've been using this multi-purpose balm on any sore, dry or irritated skin and it definitely helps to reduce itchiness and inflammation, while moisturising the skin. It includes ingredients such as Northern cloudberry fruit extract, sea buckthorn fruit extract, shea butter and macadamia seed oil.
John Masters Organics Lavender, Rose Geranium & Ylang Ylang Soap, £3/42g
This organic soap has a lovely botanical scent and includes natural ingredients such as capuacu seed butter, coconut oil and olive fruit oil. I may try using this as a gentle facial cleanser.
This lip creme has an impressive staying power and strong pigment, but I find this shade too dark for me. It would be great to see a few more shade options.

Have you tried any of these products? As always, as a beauty box subscriber, you will also receive 20% off all brands in the beauty box!
Love,
Emma xxx

21 June 2017

JOIK Exfoliating Facial Scrub

JOIK Exfoliating Facial Scrub*, £16.50/75ml

This facial scrub from Estonian brand, JOIK, contains natural ingredients such as bamboo stem powder, sugar maple sap extract, coconut oil and shea butter. With a gritty cream paste formula, this scrub is housed in a screw-top jar and comes with a hygienic plastic spatula for dispensing. Only a small amount is needed per application, as this does go a long way. This product has a very delicate and inoffensive scent.

Please note that this product now comes packaged in tube form! I personally think this will be even better.
Applying to damp skin, massaged in circular motions, you will find this exfoliating scrub gentle enough for sensitive skin and for regular use. After rinsing off and patting skin dry, I find this scrub helps to gently remove dead skin cells, brighten my skin and leaves it feeling soft and smooth! I really enjoy using this as my regular facial scrub!
Have you tried anything from JOIK yet?

Ingredients:
Aqua, cocos nucifera oil, butyrospermum parkii fruit butter, glycerin, helianthus annuus seed oil, bambusa arundinacea stem powder, stearic acid, carthamus tinctorius seed oil, olea europaea seed powder, vaccinium myrtillus fruit extract, saccharum officinarum extract, cetearyl glucoside, citrus aurantium dulcis fruit extract, citrus limon fruit extract, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, acer saccharum sap extract, citrus aurantium amara peel oil, linalool*, limonene*.
*Components of natural essential oils.

Love,
Emma xxx
*items kindly sent for review purposes; all thoughts and opinions are, and always will be, my own.