21 January 2017

Stylish Swing Dress with Simply Be

Outfit Details:
Simply Be High Neck Cut Out Swing Dress*
Dorothy Perkins Navy Faux Suede Ankle Boots
Forever 21 Bracelet
Vintage Faux Ruby Ring

I was recently invited to review a couple of items from Simply Be. I love that although this is a brand aimed at curvier sizes, they do also cater for smaller sizes. My first featured item was from the Women's Jumpers section - see my blog post here.

Today I am featuring their embellished collar swing dress from the Party Dresses section. The swing dress style is great for curvier figures, allowing the fabric to skim over your curves. I chose a size 10, but could have sized down to an 8 with this style of cut. The collar detail is pretty and omits the need of accessorising with a necklace. I added little touches with a ring and bracelet. I opted for faux suede, navy ankle boots, but I think this dress would look even better worn with high heels! This dress would be great to wear for special occasions.
Emma xxx
*items kindly sent for review purposes; all thoughts and opinions are, and always will be, my own.

14 January 2017

Aviela Shea Butter Black Soap

Aviela Shea Butter Black Soap*, £14/250ml

This natural, multi-purpose cleanser is crafted from shea butter from Ghana, housed in a recyclable plastic pump dispenser. It has a very mild, soapy-like scent and as it is quite thick, I think this product would dispense better through a tube.
This soap can be used to wash your face, body and hair. It is mild enough to use on babies and includes ingredients such as palm kernel oil, coconut oil and cocoa pod ash.

I haven't yet tried this on my hair, but I will give it a go! I enjoy using this as a face wash and body wash. It leaves skin feeling well-cleansed and soft. I do find that if you have any cuts or irritated skin, this does sting a little, but otherwise it works well with my sensitive skin. I'm not sure about the formula, as it doesn't spread evenly very well, plus it's lacking in lather a little.

(Elaeis Guineensis (Palm Kernel Oil), Butyrospermum, Parkii (Raw Shea Butter), Cocos Nucifera (Coconut Oil), Cocoa Pod Ash, Herbal extract, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe) Leaf Extract, Azadirachtin indica (Neem) Oil.)
Emma xxx
*items kindly sent for review purposes; all thoughts and opinions are, and always will be, my own.

07 January 2017

What I Got For Christmas 2016

I always enjoy seeing the lovely gifts people received for Christmas, so here are mine!

Amazon Fire Tablet - This will be a great alternative to use for internet browsing, rather than using my laptop. My main aim is to use it as a Kindle for reading! I love the bright colour of mine.
White Gold Nose Stud - I requested a good quality nose stud, as I thought it was about time I had one! I haven't worn it as yet and may reserve it for special occasions.
Ferrero Rocher - My favourite luxury chocolates!
Coconut Scentchips - I'm hoping to use these in my Scentsy warmer - they smell deliciously tropical.
Zafos Pomegranate Scented Candle - I can't wait to burn this - it smells lovely and looks really pretty.
Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm - I've not actually tried their lip balm, so looking forward to this!
Burt's Bees Almond Milk Hand Cream - This little tub is too cute! I bet it smells gorgeous.
Cocoa Loco Organic Dark Chocolate & Raspberry Stars - These sound yummy! Looking forward to tucking in to these soon.
Balm Balm Organic Rose Skin Hydrator - I'm already using this toner, so it's great to know I've got a back up in my stash! This is a lovely, refreshing product.
Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask - With bamboo charcoal and white China clay, this deep-cleansing face mask sounds great! Unfortunately, Origins is not a cruelty-free brand, so this mask will have to find a new home.
Origins Gift Set - This gift set includes Ginger Souffle Whipped Body Cream, Ginger Burst Savory Body Wash, Smoothing Souffle Whipped Body Cream and Salt Suds Foaming Body Wash. Ginger is not a scent I'd choose for myself, but these actually smell quite nice. The other two products are scented with peppermint and citrus and they smell incredible! Again, these are also tested on animals, so I'll have to pass them on.
New Look Gift Card - Now I just have to decide what to use this on! Perhaps I'll pick up a bargain in the sales.

What did you receive for Christmas this year?
Emma xxx

05 January 2017

Kimberly Sayer Gentle Almond & Lavender Face Scrub

Kimberly Sayer Gentle Almond & Lavender Face Scrub*, £21.60/60ml

Housed in a glass screw-top jar, this facial scrub is rather luxurious and smells delicious - like marzipan with a dash of lavender! The overall packaging and labelling is sleek and stylish.
The creamy formula has an almost mousse-like, whipped appearance and contains very gentle exfoliating particles. Only a small amount is required per use, although sometimes I like to be a little generous with mine, as it's such an enjoyable product!

This product cleanses skin, whilst very gently exfoliating your skin, leaving it soft, smooth and refreshed. I really love this facial scrub and would recommend it to people with sensitive skin. It can even be used daily if required.
It contains some lovely ingredients, such as almond meal, jojoba beads, shea butter and almond oil. I think this jar will last quite some time and I think it's a great product for year-round use.

Have you tried this yet?

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

03 January 2017

Welcome to 2017... To New Beginnings & Finding Happiness

Happy New Year! That came around rather quickly, didn't it?! For the past few months, my life has gone by in a complete blur.

In August, Dean and I separated. We tried to work things out, but we couldn't settle on compromises to make both of us happy. It happened rather abruptly and was quite a shock, although things hadn't been right for some time. I've gone through every single emotion imaginable since then, and although I still can't quite believe it, I know I have to pick myself up and move on.
Everything following that heart-breaking moment happened very quickly; I moved back to Scotland to live with my parents, I got a new job, had a coastal break with my parents to de-stress, I got a puppy, turned 27, my parents sold their house and moved to a lovely old farmhouse in the countryside, where I am now residing in a static caravan at the bottom of the garden! Oh, and then there was Christmas, which I was unusually unprepared for.

Throughout all of this, my family and closest friends have been a huge support and comfort to me. Without them, I wouldn't be where I am today. I still have a hell of a lot to conquer, but I'm taking things one step at a time.

Unfortunately, with working full time, moving house and Christmas preparations, life has been rather hectic recently. My main goal for 2017 is to slow down, enjoy the simple things and embrace a slower pace of living. I really hope I can stick to these goals, as they will make life much easier and calmer.

Obviously, my blog became less of a priority during the past few months, which you may have noticed, but I am really missing regular blogging and will endeavour to get back to it promptly!

I hope you all had an enjoyable Christmas and New Year and I wish you all the best for the year to come. Fingers crossed it's a good one! I still believe that everything happens for a reason and that there is true and eternal happiness out there for everyone.
Emma xxx

27 December 2016

The LoveLula December Beauty Box

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! Apologies for the impromptu blogging break. but life is rather hectic at the moment. I hope normal blogging will resume in the new year.
The LoveLula Monthly Subscription Beauty Box*, £12.50

I was really excited to be reviewing the December beauty box from LoveLula! The total product value is over £60 and there is a lovely selection of products this month.

Included in December's box was:
1. Beauty Brews Poise Strawberry & Ginger Tea, £11.50/50g
This smells really gorgeous and I can't wait to try it! The Poise tea contains strawberry, ginger, raspberry, rooibos and orange. I just need to get myself a tea infuser!
2. John Masters Organics 100% Argan Oil (trial size), £32.50/59ml
Argan oil has a multitude of uses, so this cute, little bottle should come in handy! I find Argan oil is great as a hair treatment or to wear under moisturiser.
3. Balm Balm Lavender Single Note EDP, £22/33ml
This smells gorgeous! I'm a big fan of lavender, but I'm going to give this to my Mum, as she's an even bigger fan! I'd love to try the Spearmint next.
4. PHB Peppermint Sugar Scrub, £4.95/100g
This smells incredible! I am really looking forward to using this, as it'll be really refreshing to use in the cold mornings.
5. PHB Botanical BB Cream in Porcelain, £18.95/30g
I've become very lazy when it comes to make-up, so a BB cream should be a quick and easy option for light coverage and a natural look. I'm expecting the porcelain shade to be a good match, plus I'm really impressed that it has SPF!
6. Madara Time Miracle Total Renewal Night Cream (trial size), £38/50ml
This vegan-friendly night cream sounds great for mature skin; with the star ingredient being Northern Birch juice, this product promises to instantly soften, hydrate and rejuvenate skin.

Have you tried any of these products yet?
Emma xxx
*items kindly sent for review purposes; all thoughts and opinions are, and always will be, my own.

17 December 2016

The 2016 Christmas Gift Guide (Part Three)

Welcome to the third and final installment of my Christmas gift guide series, where I am showcasing lovely gifts and natural beauty products!
PHB Balancing Haircare Gift Set*, £22.50/x2 250ml
With calming lavender and refreshing mint, this haircare duo promises to cleanse and balance the scalp, whilst stimulating circulation and reducing dandruff.
Beauty Kitchen Abyssinian Oil Facial Cleansing Balm, £19.99/60ml
This fragrance-free cleansing balm with shea butter, mango butter, unrefined beeswax, abyssinian oil and meadowfoam oil, promises to gently remove make-up and impurities to reveal soft, glowing skin.
This gorgeous pink tin with gold lettering includes 30 specially selected tea sachets, including vanilla chai, three cinnamon and lemon ginger & manuka honey.
Madara Brightening AHA Peel Mask*, £4.95/12.5ml
I'm a big fan of this face mask, as it really does make a difference to your skin! This travel size version would be great as a stocking filler. Expect brighter and smoother skin, with quick results!
Madara SOS Hydra Mask*, £15/12.5ml
Again in a travel size, this mask promises to inject moisture into dehydrated skin and leave it feeling hydrated and plumped.
Weleda Mini Body Wash Gift Set, £14/x5 20ml
This mini gift set from Weleda would make a great gift - particularly if you'd like to introduce someone to natural beauty! With five scents, including lavender, almond and wild rose. These products are also marine-friendly and biodegradable!
GK Natural Creations Silky Avocado Shampoo Bar*, £4.50/95g
With rustic packaging and minimal ingredients including silk, rhassoul clay, avocado oil and lavender, this budget-friendly shampoo bar would make a great stocking filler!

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

09 December 2016

The 2016 Christmas Gift Guide (Part Two)

Welcome to the second installment of my Christmas gift guides, where I will be showcasing some lovely gifts and natural beauty products!
Easy Mediterranean Cookbook by Sue Quinn*, £14.99
The Mediterranean diet is known to be one of the healthiest. This cookbook is packed full of 100 easy-to-create recipes. With pretty, colourful photographs and vibrant, healthy dishes, including pescatarian, vegetarian and vegan options.
The Edinburgh Natural Skincare Company Luxury No. 1 Solid Hand Cream Bar, £8/15g
I discovered these while on holiday near North Berwick and was really impressed with them! I've never seen a solid version of a hand cream - such a great idea! These melt upon contact with skin and are really hydrating and long-lasting. The scents are gorgeous! I love that they come in a re-usable and practical tin.
JOIK Rejuvenating & Tightening Chocolate Facial Mask*, £8.50/50g
I can't really think of anything better than smearing a chocolately face mask all over your skin! With rhassoul clay, honey, milk and cacao powder, this minimal ingredient natural face mask is sure to nourish and revive tired skin. A perfect gift for the chocoholic!
Balm Balm Rose Geranium EDP*, £22/33ml
A gorgeous, organic rose geranium perfume to leave you smelling like Turkish delights! My full review can be found here.
Earth Conscious Hippy Paste Deodorant, £5/60g
This practical and non-toxic alternative to mainstream deodrants would make a great gift; housed in a handy tin, with lovely scents and a skin-loving formula. You can even purchase a gift card, enabling your recipient the choice of scent.

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

06 December 2016

GK Natural Creations Coffee Scrub Soap

GK Natural Creations Coffee Scrub Soap*, £3.95/85g

I really love the simplicity of bar soaps; they are created with minimal or zero packaging and are eco-friendly and great value for money! This one from GK Natural Creations is made with cocoa butter, cocoa powder, coconut oil and coffee grounds. This type of soap is great for removing unwanted cooking odours such as onion and garlic, so is perfect to use in the kitchen. However, I have been using mine as a body cleanser and exfoliator.
This bar soap gently cleanses skin, whilst scrubbing away dead skin cells and dry patches, leaving skin smooth and soft. I'd say it's too harsh to use on facial skin, but for the body and hands, it's great! The scent is surprisingly mild - I'd love a stronger coffee scent, but that's just me.

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

04 December 2016

The 2016 Christmas Gift Guide (Part One)

Welcome to the first of my Christmas gift guides, where I will be showcasing some lovely gifts and natural beauty products!
Effortless Inspiration Books by Dani DiPirro*, £5.99/each
These colourful books would make a really thoughtful gift. With uplifting quotes and thought-provoking activities, plus top ten tips for each subject.
Living in the moment provides bite-sized inspiration to help you to live in the moment and get the most out of what life has to offer. One of my favourite quotes included in this book is "Forever is composed of nows." by Emily Dickinson, an American poet.
Forgiveness provides bite-sized inspiration to encourage you to feel lighter, freer, more at peace and to make you think about forgiveness in new ways. I think everyone could benefit from a copy of this book!
Compassion inspires you to fill each day with more love, understanding and kindness. I love the included quote by Oscar Wilde, "It takes a great deal of courage to see the world in all its tainted glory, and still to love it." An extremely relevant quote!
Gratitude aims to help you live every day in a more grateful, contented, joyful and fulfilled way. One lovely activity is to "find beauty in something today and show it to someone else."
PHB Anti-ageing Skin Care Mini Set*, £18.50
This mini gift set from PHB Ethical Beauty includes 15ml trial sizes of cleanser, toner, moisturiser and serum. The anti-ageing range is hand-crafted with natural ingredients such as coconut oil, shea butter, sea buckthorn oil and rosehip oil. Suitable for all skin types, these products aim to firm and renew skin, combatting signs of ageing.
PHB Brightening Skin Care Mini Set*, £18.50
This mini gift set from PHB Ethical Beauty includes 15ml trial sizes of  cleanser, toner, moisturiser and serum. The brightening range uses natural ingredients such as papaya, shea butter, ylang ylang and white birch bark extract. Suitable for normal/combination skin types, these products aim to brighten, balance and rejuventate skin, boosting circulation and elimating dark spots and pigmentation. I've used the cleanser from this range and it smells gorgeous! My skin feels gently cleansed and nourished after use.

JOIK Soy Scented Candles*, £12.50/each
These gorgeously scented soy wax candles are housed in a glass tumbler with pretty, elegant labelling. With a burn time of 30 hours, these hand-poured candles with cotton wicks would make a really lovely Christmas gift. These both smell delicious!
Humble Bamboo Tooth Brush, £3.99
These organic bamboo toothbrushes would make the perfect gift for the eco-friendly! Made with high-quality nylon bristles and packed in 100% recycled packaging. I love the purple bristles! For each toothbrush sold, Humble donates a toothbrush to children in need of oral care.

Have you started preparing for Christmas yet?
Emma xxx
*items kindly sent for review purposes; all thoughts and opinions are, and always will be, my own.