31 May 2015

Our Wedding Day: Little Details (1st Anniversary)

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Today marks our very first wedding anniversary! A year ago today, Dean and I got married in Scotland with our nearest and dearest, on a lovely sunny day (in Scotland, yes)!

I thought I would share some little details from the day and some photos that you may not have previously seen on the blog before.
bridesmaid gift, necklace
I gave both my bridesmaids personalised, handmade necklaces; each heart is hand-stamped with their initial. I purchased these from Celtic Shore.
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I chose to have artificial bouquets made, so that they could be kept and cherished forever.
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My wedding gown featured beautiful details, with lace, pearls, sequins and diamantes.
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My Dad drove me to the venue in his classic Porsche, complete with bows and ribbons.
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I loved having photos taken amongst the pretty bluebells!
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Our wedding cake featured a hand-made trail of butterflies, and me being the chocoholic that I am, had one tier in classic victoria sponge, and the other, of course, in chocolate sponge! It was the best cake I've ever tasted. We also had a fun candy bar set up at the evening reception, and there was loads left-over, so we had lots of sweets to take home and share out with the family!

We're off out for a meal tonight to celebrate, and I will share that with you soon.

30 May 2015

Eco-Friendly Father's Day Gift Guide

Father's Day is fast-approaching (21st June), so it's time to start thinking about gifts! I have picked out a great selection of eco-friendly items that I'm sure many dads would be very happy to receive!
eco-friendly Father's Day gifts

1. Komodo Marlowe Striped Marl Wool Jumper, £85 £55.25
This stylish crew neck jumper is made from pure wool, with no man-made substitutes, and had been hand-finished, giving you a unique product!
2. Hoxton Street Monster Supplies Salt Made From Tears Of Laughter, £8.95/80g
If your dad has a good sense of humour, I'm sure he'd appreciate this fun yet useful gift! The salt is sourced in the UK and hand-mixed with certified organic spices, giving you an eco-friendly addition to your dish.
3. WeWood Alpha Chocolate Wooden Watch, £89
This super stylish watch is made from 100% natural Indian Rosewood, with a large face covered by hardened, scratch-proof glass, which houses a Japanese Miyota movement. This is nickel-free and hypoallergenic, with removable links. Even the gift box is made from recycled materials!
4. Faith In Nature For Men Ginger & Lime Shower Gel, £5.60/400ml
This cruelty-free shower gel is sure to release a warming yet refreshing aroma in the shower!
5. Lexon Bamboo Safe Travel Clock, £27
This travel clock runs on solar power during the day, and features a foldable stand. The time, day, date and temperature are displayed on its electro luminous display.
6. Traidcraft Gutsy Fibre Anchor Wash Bag, £18.95
This nautical print wash bag is made from tear-resistant paper and a waterproof lining, with rubber piping. Why not go a step further with this gift and fill it with goodies?!
7. Cornish Orchards Connoisseur Gift Pack, £10.25
Why not treat your dad to this trio of classic ciders, made by this environmentally friendly company in Cornwall?
8. People Tree Matthew Chambray Shirt, £78
This timeless classic shirt has been hand-woven with 100% cotton, and is finished with shell buttons.
9. Eden Project Organic Assorted Fudge, £7.50/400g
Made using the finest natural ingredients and milk and cream from Jersey, this box of assorted fudge contains clotted cream, chocolate orange, white chocolate, and milk chocolate flavours!
10. Bulldog One Step At A Time Travel Set, £9.99
This travel set is a great introduction to cruelty-free brand, Bulldog skincare, with original face wash, moisturiser, and shave gel. The Bulldog on the tin is too adorable!

Will you be thinking about eco-friendly gifts for Father's Day this year?

27 May 2015

The Weekly Wish List

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1. Lily Flame Frankincense & Myrrh Scented Candle, £8.50
I think this would be great to light before getting into bed, creating a calm and relaxing ambiance. I have always loved the scent of frankincense!
2. Andalou Naturals Age Defying Apricot Probiotic Cleansing Milk, £9.99/178ml
When I've finished up my current cleansers, I'd love to give this cleansing milk a go! I imagine it smells lovely and I definitely want to up my anti-ageing game now, plus this is said to be ideal for sensitive skin.
3. Lily Flame Rhubarb Scented Candle, £8.50
I think this could be a perfect spring candle; I bet it smells delicious!
4. Andalou Naturals Clarifying Oil Control Beauty Balm Un-tinted with SPF 30, £13.50/58ml
I really need an SPF face product, so this mattifying balm sounds like it could be pretty good!
5. Jane Iredale LipDrink SPF 15 Lip Balm, £10.75/4g
I'm always after trying new lip balms, and this one sounds lovely; just look at the gorgeous, sleek packaging, too!
6. George @ ASDA Textured Stripe Blazer, £16
I think this textured blazer would be a great transitional piece for spring, as we are still experiencing cold days at times. It would also come in handy during autumn.

What's at the top of your wish list this week?

26 May 2015

Andalou Naturals Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Brightening Mask

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About the brand:
The meaning of Andalou is "Path of Light", which I think sums up this brand really well; like many of us, I was under the impression that natural beauty products may not be able to achieve the same results in skincare, like the chemical-laden mainstream products can, but Andalou Naturals has certainly shown me the light and completely surprised me!
Using advanced fruit stem cell science with natural, fair-trade ingredients, Andalou Naturals are able to produce wonderful cruelty-free products that we can really benefit from. Each product contains a minimum of 70% certified organic ingredients, with no GMO’s, Petrochemicals, Phthalates, Sulfates, Synthetic Colors, Dyes, Fragrances, Triclosan, PEG, MEA, TEA, DEA, or Paraben Preservatives, and the packaging is recyclable.

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Andalou Naturals Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Brightening Mask, £11.35/50ml

This mask has a puree-like texture, with a slightly earthy scent, with pumpkin being fairly prominent; not completely unpleasant, and you do get used to it. Due to the texture of the formula, you can't get a completely even coverage, but it does spread fairly easily. You must avoid using around the delicate lip and eye area. It is suggested to leave the mask on for ten minutes, which I think is an agreeable duration, as this mask is very hard-working.

I knew with glycolic acid being the highlighted ingredient that this could be harsh on my sensitive skin. Upon application, the mask (especially during the first use) does create a heated tingling feeling which is a little uncomfortable, but it seems to subside a little the more you use it; basically, you can feel the product working! When removing the mask with warm water and a flannel, the outlines of my face are very red, but this subsides within a couple of hours.

I don't tend to notice a huge difference immediately after use, but the next day my skin definitely looks clearer, brighter and refreshed! My uneven skin tone also appears to be improving. I use this mask weekly and am really enjoying the outcome. I would definitely recommend adding this mask to your skincare routine to refresh your skin and help prevent the signs of ageing.

Ingredients:
Cucurbita Pepo (Pumpkin) Puree*, Aloe Barbadensis Juice*, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Oil*, Vegetable Glycerin, Manuka Honey, Ananas Sativus (Pineapple) Juice*, Pectin, Glycolic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Cyamopsis Tetragonolobus (Guar) Gum*, Fruit Stem Cells (Malus Domestsica, Solar Vitis) and BioActive 8 Berry Complex*, Lecithin, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract*, Calophyllum Tacamahaca (Tamanu) and Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Oils, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Aspalathus Linearis (Rooibos) Extract*†, Phenethyl Alcohol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Cinnamomum Cassia (Cinnamon), Myristica Fragrans (Nutmeg) and Eugenia Caryophyllus (Clove) Powders*
*Organic, † Fair Trade

Have you tried any products from Andalou Naturals?

24 May 2015

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Tuesday saw myself and a few other colleagues receive our diplomas in health and social care. We were presented with our certificates by a local Doctor, and had a gathering with all our residents. We were also given a gorgeous bunch of flowers and a bottle of champagne each from our boss!
To celebrate passing and receiving our latest qualifications at work, myself and three of my friends and work colleagues went out for a celebratory Indian meal and a few drinks - mine were of the non-alcoholic variety, as I had to go to work later! It was great to get out and let our hair down for a few hours. Here's what I wore, which just so happens to be the same dress I wore in my last outfit post:
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An evening outfit of the day, OOTD
Dorothy Perkins Paisley Fit & Flare Dress
Matalan Boucle Jacket (similar)
NEXT Bow Flats (similar)
Osprey Cross-Body Bag
Forever 21 Rhinestone Stretch Bracelet
eBay Gem Statement Necklace

23 May 2015

Shop My Stash: Twinings Teas

I promise this post is not sponsored by Twinings - I just love their teas! I've managed to procure quite a collection, so I thought I'd share my stash with you!
 Twinings speciality teas
Twinings Strawberry & Raspberry Tea, £1.49/20 teabags
Ok, let's get the least favourite of the bunch out of the way first! This box has been in my cupboard for ages - oh, look, it's two months out of date now. Why? I really don't like it! I find this tea far too bitter and have to add a teaspoon of sugar to sweeten it, which just defeats the purpose of a healthier hot drink, for me anyway!
Twinings Relaxing Camomile & Spearmint Tea, £1.49/20 teabags
This is definitely one of my staple teas! It really is relaxing. I find it calming, so I like to start the day with this, and if it's been a stressful day, I'll end with this, too! It has a soft, subtle spearmint taste with a slight sweetness from the camomile.
Twinings Invigorating Peppermint Tea, £1.49/20 teabags
I remember trying peppermint tea at a very young age, and really disliking it! But, as I enjoy the above tea, I thought I'd give it another go. And yes, I do like it now! It's really refreshing and a good palate cleanser.
Healthy green teas
Twinings Peach & Cherry Blossom Green Tea, £1.69/20 teabags
This has a definite peach taste and is quite pleasant and refreshing. I like to have this alongside my evening meal.
Twinings Mango & Lychee Green Tea, £1.69/20 teabags
This is really fruity, refreshing, and pleasant. I also like this alongside an evening meal.
Twinings Fudge Melts Green Tea, £2.49/20 teabags
I bought this after trying and loving the salted caramel version. These are very similar, but not quite as good! It has a pleasant, sweet, fudge-like taste, which is nice for after dinner.
Tea for chocoholics
Twinings Nutty Chocolate Flavour Assam Tea, £3.49/12 teabags
This is the most luxurious of the bunch, and definitely one for us sweet-toothed gals! I was very skeptical about a chocolate tea - I mean, would it actually taste anything like chocolate? Well, yes, it does! It has a gorgeous chocolatey, hazelnut aftertaste, and I love the luxe mesh teabags! This is lovely to enjoy of an evening, or if the sweet tooth beckons during the day.
 
Which is your favourite tea brand? Do leave recommendations below! I'd love to try loose leaf teas next.

22 May 2015

Introducing... Cake Mart

The lovely people at Cake Mart recently got in touch with me and kindly offered to send me some items for review on the blog. This offer couldn't have come at a better time, as I'd kind of lost my baking mojo, so this was the perfect opportunity to get back into the baking game!

Cake Mart is an online baking accessories store, selling everything from paper straws to food flavourings! Based in Germany, the main website is www.meincupcake.de, but you can also shop via the UK version, www.cakemart.co.uk. The first thing I loved was how colourful and inviting the website was! Then, after much browsing, I finally decided on the items I'd like to review. The team packaged up my goods, then after a very swift delivery via DHL, the items arrived just a couple of days later!
Home baking accessories
House Of Marie Pack Of 20 15cm Striped Paper Straws/Cake Pop Sticks*, £2.79
I love that these are a multi-use product as they are paper straws that can also be used as sticks for cake pops! These are the first paper straws I've ever tried, and I can't wait to use them with smoothies and milkshakes. Paper straws are a much better alternative to plastic straws.
LorAnn Oils Super Strength Coffee Flavouring*, £2.50/3.7ml
I love coffee cakes and flavours, so I'm excited to try this out!  Due to its high concentration, it should last ages as only a few drops are needed. This would be great for adding flavour to icing. It's also suggested for use in cakes, cake pops, and ice-cream!
Städter 3cm Heart Cookie Cutter*, 64p
This heart cutter will be great around Valentine's Day, and should work well with biscuits and cookies. Due to the small size, this could also be used to decorate a larger baked item.
Städter 3.5cm Flower Cookie Cutter*, 64p
This pretty flower cutter should work well with biscuits and cookies. Again, due to the small size, this could also be used to decorate a larger baked item.
Städter Pack Of 6 18x7x5cm Single Use Paper Loaf Cases*, £3.51
With a gorgeous gold and brown design, I can't not make a banana loaf, can I?! This is a really lovely design and adds that luxe touch to your cake. Apparently there's no need to grease these as they have a non-stick coating, so I'm hoping that all works out!
RBV Birkmann Set Of 2 Silicone Cup Cake Cup & Saucer Moulds*, £12.81
How cute are these pink tea cup moulds?! I love the embossed design on the front. These are silicone, so are reusable, and they can withstand heat up to 240°C. These will be great when making pretty cupcakes for a special occasion!
Creative Converting Pack Of 12 Polka Dot Baking Cups*, £3.72
These pink polka dot cases are really pretty and will be great for cupcakes! It is also suggested that these can be used as ice-cream or snack tubs.

Be sure to keep an eye out over the coming weeks and months for lots of recipes which will be showcasing these lovely items, plus I'll be sure to let you know how well they performed.
I have a few recipes in mind, but please do let me know if you'd like to see anything in particular!


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

21 May 2015

Home Interiors: The Pink Edit

Adding a touch of pink to your interior look can really liven up a room! One of my favourite colour combinations is grey and hot pink! I've picked out some subtle pink items than will make an impact without offending your significant other!
A touch of pink, spring home interiors
The Contemporary Home Metal Jug, £8
This metal jug would look brilliant filled with some fresh flowers!
Scout About Interiors French Velvet Chair, £215
Add a luxe touch to the bedroom with this gorgeous rose-pink French-inspired chair. 
Sophie Conran Waterfall Watering Can, RRP £24.99 £12.99
Watering plants doesn't have to be boring; add a splash of fun to the chore with this cute waterfall watering can.
Habitat Maryana Textured Cotton Throw, £60
Dress your sofa or bed with this cosy, hot pink throw to brighten up the room.
The Wedding Of My Dreams Mini Mercury Tea Light Holder, £2.50
Add a romantic touch to the room with these pretty tea light holders.
Dunelm Mill Candy Rose Collection Traditional Kettle, £29.99 £23.99
Soften up the kitchen with this adorable traditional-style cordless kettle!
TK Maxx Chunky Cable Knit Cushion, £14.99
Add a bright splash of colour to the living area to add warm and fun.

If you enjoyed this post, please take a look at my Spring Interiors Edit.

20 May 2015

The Weekly Wish List

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1. Organic Surge Shine Boost Shampoo, £6.95/250ml & Organic Surge Shine Boost Conditioner, £6.95/250ml
I really feel like I haven't tried many haircare brands of the natural variety, and Organic Surge seems popular and purse-friendly (both of the above are on offer at the time of publishing!). This organic hair duo with apple, nettle, rosemary, and aloe vera, promise to leave your hair soft, glossy, and lustrous!
2. Dorothy Perkins Leather Nude High Open Court Shoes, £49
These are just so beautiful, and even though I probably couldn't walk in them, I just had to include them in my wish list!
3. Flamingo Rose & Marshmallow Candle, £12
Created with natural cotton wicks and soybeans, and hand-poured in Britain. This rose and marshmallow scent combination sounds gorgeous!
4. Claudette Worters Druzy Teardrop Pendant Necklace, £26.50
I have wanted a druzy necklace for ages! They are just a little more expensive than I'd like to spend on myself, so perhaps I'll ask for one at Christmas! This midnight blue pendant is so beautiful.
5. Neve Cosmetics Occhioni Natural Mascara, £10.95
While I was debating between a Lily Lolo or Green People mascara, I discovered this odd-looking thing! The unusual five ball brush promises to enable fast, easy applications, and the formula is paraben and allergen free. I'm truly intrigued by this, plus it's cheaper than the two I mentioned... May have to try it out soon! Anyone tried this mascara?

What's at the top of your wish list this week?

19 May 2015

Battle Of The Natural Deodorants

When switching to natural beauty products, you'll soon realise that finding the perfect deodorant is no simple task! I'm yet to come across a natural beauty blogger who found this part of the switch easy. I certainly didn't.
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Today I am sharing all the natural deodorants I have tried and tested over the past couple of years, and I will also be revealing my favourite. The following products are listed in descending order of personal preference. Most of these are vegan-friendly!
Natural deodorants collection, review
5. Dr Frielgood Natural Deodorant, £5.99/100ml
I discovered this on eBay quite early on in my switch to natural beauty. It is a liquid formula, housed in a glass spray bottle. There's not much I can say about this, because I think the scent is awful, and so I can't say if it "works" or not, because it smells terrible from the off! Also, you have to act quickly after you spray it, as the thin liquid runs. Definitely the worst of the lot!
Ingredients: 
Lavender Hydrolate, Glycerine (vegetable), Sodium Chloride, Cypress Oil, Sodium Bicarbonate, Lavender Oil, Manuka Oil, Geranium Oil, Citric Acid, Farnesol, Bisabolol, Citronellyl Mehylcrotonate.
4. Salt Of The Earth Pure Aura Natural Deodorant, £5.99/100ml
This is a liquid formula, housed in a plastic spray bottle. I use a couple of sprays under each arm, and it doesn't run like the one above. It has a really nice scent of lavender and vanilla. I find this does last a while when I'm not doing much during the day, but it's not strong enough when I'm really active; exercising or at work. This has to be re-applied during the day. This is ok for a quick freshen-up - it would be handy to keep in your handbag while out and about - but as a daily deodorant, it's not for me.
Ingredients:
Aqua (water), Potassium Alum, Polyglyceryl-10-Laurate (natural solubilizer), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Sclerotium gum (natural thickener), Parfum (from botanical extracts and oils), Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, p-Anisic Acid (from star anise or Indian basil), Citric acid. Linalool, Limonene, Citronellol. 
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3. Faith In Nature Crystal Stick Deodorant (unscented), £3.85/100g
This is a solid crystal push-up stick, housed in a plastic container with a screw-top lid. The application is not the most practical, as you have to apply to wet skin; I find the easiest way is to apply immediately after showering, before you start drying yourself. I found that during the winter months, this worked really well and was long-lasting. But, it didn't perform so well during the warmer summer months! It would need to be re-applied during the day, and due to the nature of the application, it isn't practical.
Ingredients: 
Ammonium alum.
2. NATIO Roll-On Deodorant, £6/100ml
This is a liquid formula, housed in a plastic container with a roll-on applicator. I love the ease of application with this deodorant - I think roll-on applicators are my favourite! The initial scent is really pleasant and refreshing, but once you start to perspire, the scent turns sour. It's ok for use on quiet days, but it doesn't perform well on an active day, and needs to be re-applied during the day.
Ingredients:
Water (Aqua), Alcohol Denat, Zinc Phenolsulfonate, (Zinc 4-hydroxybenzenesulphonate), Ceteth-20, Triclosan, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Salvia Sclarea (Clary) Oil, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Fragrance (Parfum).
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1. Earth Conscious Mens Natural Deodorant, £4.99/60g
My latest natural deodorant purchase. I bought it after Sarah from Sugarpuffish recommended it, and Amber from Amber's Beauty Talk also likes it.
This is a cream formula, housed in a metal tin with a screw-top lid. It is suggested to apply with your fingers, but I chose to purchase a plastic spatula to apply it; mainly for hygiene purposes, plus with it being mint, I worried it would sting if it got into any sore areas on my hands/fingers.
You may be wondering why I chose the mens' version; quite simply, I was getting bored of the usual lavender or other essential oil blends that most natural deodorants contain, and wanted something different. This contains peppermint and spearmint; strong, hard-working scents, so I had high hopes!
The texture is a semi-solid, slightly grainy paste, which is easily applied with fingers or a spatula. The scent is quite subtle, but it's pleasant. This deodorant keeps me dry and odour-free all day long - even during a busy work shift! I have finally found "the one"! I would definitely recommend trying this when switching to natural deodorant. The price is very affordable, too.
Ingredients:
Organic coconut oil, organic arrowroot, sodium bicarbonate, organic shea butter, beeswax, organic peppermint oil, organic spearmint oil.

Have you ventured into the world of natural deodorants? Have you found "the one" yet?

16 May 2015

Easy, Everyday Make-Up Look For Spring

It's been forever since I last posted a make-up look on here! And actually, I'm pretty sure that only happened one time, so this is pretty rare. Photographing make-up while wearing it is definitely not my forte, but I've done my best.

Today I'm wearing a really simple, natural make-up look, which is great for lazy spring days like today. Do excuse my blemishes and the sluggish eyebrows; I'm not quite sure what I'm doing with them at the moment! Which brow products do you recommend, guys?!
Easy, everyday, natural make-up look for spring
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Base:
Pixi Redness Reducing Primer
Barry M Flawless Matte Finish Foundation in Ivory (as a concealer)
Lily Lolo Mineral Foundation in Porcelain
Lily Lolo Mineral Finishing Powder in Flawless Matte
e.l.f. Blush in Fuchsia Fusion
Eyes:
e.l.f. Flawless Eyeshadow Palette in Smoky (base & lid shades)
theBalm Tall, Dark & Handsome Mascara
Lips:
Barry M Lip Gloss in Toffee (for some reason the photos portray it as bright pink, but it's not!)

What's your go-to spring make-up look?

15 May 2015

Faith In Nature Organic Coconut Shampoo & Conditioner

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About the brand:
Faith In Nature has been around for over forty years. Created by Rivka Rose, inspired by the changing of the seasons while growing up in New York. Based in Lancashire, the brand is passionate about protecting the planet. All products are manufactured in Britain, with ethically sourced and fairly traded ingredients. All products are cruelty-free and vegetarian - most are also vegan! The brand is BUAV-approved and Vegan Society-approved. They contain no SLS, parabens, synthetic colours or fragrances, artificial preservatives, genetically modified ingredients, phthalates, or methylisothiazolinone. No BPA plastic is used, and recycled plastic packaging is used whenever possible.

Faith In Nature Organic Coconut Shampoo, £5.50/400ml & Faith In Nature Organic Coconut Conditioner, £5.50/400ml
(I purchased the 250ml twin gift pack, £6.99)

I recently finished these two hair products, which I had been using together consistently. Both products have a creamy, liquid formula, and create a good lather. The shampoo is easily spread evenly through hair, whereas the conditioner has to be worked in a little more. Both have a pleasant coconut aroma which lingers until the next wash! These are really gentle on my scalp and leave my hair feeling and looking cleansed and refreshed, adding softness and helping to smooth frizz. The coconut also helps to hydrate dry ends. I always rinse conditioner with cool water, to help reduce frizz.

I think these coconut hair products are wonderful for frequent use, and I feel that they are great value for money. Out of the few ranges I have tried, these coconut products are definitely most suited to my hair type, and I'd happily re-purchase and continue to use them.

Shampoo ingredients:
Aqua, Ammonium laureth sulfate, Cocamidopropyl betaine, Maris sal, Polysorbate 20, Glyceryl laurate, Cocos nucifera oil, Glycerin, Tocopherol, Helianthus annuus seed oil , Parfum, Steareth-4, Glycol distearate, Sodium benzoate , Potassium sorbate, Citric acid, Benzyl alcohol.
Conditioner ingredients:
Aqua, Cetearyl alcohol, Cocos nucifera oil, Caprylic/capric triglyceride, Helianthus annuus seed oil, Tocopherol , Glycerin , Parfum, Cetrimonium chloride, Sodium benzoate , Potassium sorbate, Citric acid, Benzyl alcohol. 

Have you tried any haircare products from Faith In Nature?

13 May 2015

The Weekly Wish List

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1. Forever 21 Drawstring Tribal Jumpsuit, £15
I've never owned a jumpsuit, so this is a little daring for me! But something about this tribal print one just speaks out to me; I love it! I think the darker colours prevent it from being too loud and in your face. I really like the slouchy, relaxed fit, but I think it would work well being dressed up or down.
2. Living Naturally Rosemary & Marshmallow Soapnut Shampoo, £7.49/200ml
I've heard good things about this shampoo over at the Wild Organic Beauty blog, and I'm eager to try it! With rosemary and marshmallow, it gently cleanses hair and promotes strong, healthy hair growth.
3. The Konjac Sponge Co. Konjac Bamboo Charcoal Facial Puff Sponge, £7.99
I'm really enjoying my current konjac sponge, but I feel this charcoal one - aimed at blemish-prone skin - may be more suited to me. This sponge promises to deep cleanse pores, eliminate blackheads, and absorb excess oils.
4. Forever 21 Faceted Faux Stone Statement Necklace, £15
I can never have too many statement necklaces, in my eyes. This silver one with sparkly stones looks really luxe and would immediately add interest to a plain outfit.
5. Forever 21 Rhinestone Leaf Bangle, £4.50
I rarely wear bracelets, but this delicate bangle is just so pretty! I love the simple design, and think this would add a lovely touch to an evening outfit.

What's at the top of your wish list this week?

11 May 2015

Creating A Capsule Wardrobe: Eveningwear (SS15 Edition)

So, you know how to create the perfect spring/summer capsule wardrobe for workwear and daywear; today I'm showing you what you'll need for eveningwear!
Capsule Eveningwear SS15
If you're going all-out, you'll need a couple of killer dresses; a classic LBD like this ZARA Mid-Length Tailored Dress, £25.99, plus a more colourful option such as this Coast Raquela Crepe Dress, £115, should do the trick. For a more relaxed evening look, you could pair a pretty top like this Tu @ Sainsbury's Mint Lace Top, £25, with these River Island Ripped Amelie Superskinny Jeans, £42.

A striped skirt such as this New Look Stripe Print Zip Side Pencil Skirt, £19.99 £12, will look great with the lace top, or the cobalt blue Matalan Zip T-Shirt, £8, as will the Warehouse Faux Leather Pencil Skirt, £42.

Keep chills at bay with this stylish Dorothy Perkins Waterfall Jacket, £45 £33.75, and keep all of your essentials close at hand in this Whistles Small Leather Clutch, £45. Add a little sparkle with these New Look Iridescent Stone Shaker Earrings, £5.99. For a classic formal footwear option, try something like these ASOS Signed For Pointed Heels, £32. And for a super stylish option, try these gorgeous snakeskin Dorothy Perkins Leather High Open Court Shoes, £49 £36.75.

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09 May 2015

Shop My Stash: Chocolate

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Today's shop my stash post is focusing on all of my chocolate beauty products! Chocolate is my favourite thing to eat, so it'll come as no surprise that I also love chocolate as a scent! Beauty products with a chocolate element immediately appeal to me; chocolate just adds that luxury touch. You can check out my stash of berry items here.
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The Body Shop Chocomania Body Scrub, £13/200ml
This scrub smells just like chocolate brownies - delicious! It's a sugar-based scrub which is abrasive enough for a good exfoliate, getting rid of dead skin cells and smoothing your skin. It does get pretty messy in the shower, though!
(The Chocomania range no longer seems available online, so I've linked to the cocoa butter version.)
frank Cacao Coffee Scrub, £12.95/200g
I'm yet to try this, as I'm finishing up other products first. I can imagine it'll be pretty messy, but hopefully really effective, too! This is meant to be great at targeting cellulite!
Badger Cocoa Butter Vanilla Bean Lip Balm, £6.80/7g
This lip balm has replaced my previous favourite, Dr. Bronner's peppermint lip balm, which is saying something! The texture is so silky and moisturising and I love the chocolatey vanilla scent.
Faith In Nature Chocolate Shower Gel & Bath Foam, £5.60/400ml
This has quite a thin formula, but it lathers well and has a rich chocolate scent with a hint of vanilla. I prefer to keep multi-use products like this just for the shower, as they last me longer that way.

What are your favourite chocolate beauty products?

08 May 2015

5 Reasons You Need To Switch To Natural, Cruelty-Free Beauty Products

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Still smearing bug juice on your lips? Here are five important reasons why you and everyone else should be ditching mainstream make-up and beauty products and switching to a natural alternative:

1. Bug juice. Or rather, carmine. Carmine is a commonly used ingredient in products such as lipstick and eyeshadow. It is a pigment of the ruby red variety, which is derived from a blend of dry, boiled insects. I don't know about you, but I'd rather not be smearing this all over my face. Unfortunately, even some vegan brands still use carmine in their products. Always check the ingredients list before purchasing!
2. Formaldehyde. This is used as a strong disinfectant and is also used during the embalming process at the morgue! It is very toxic, yet it is often used in nail polishes and hair dyes.
3. Parabens. Used as a preservative in many beauty products. Parabens can easily penetrate the skin and have been linked to cancer (found in breast cancer tissue). They are also known to mimic the hormone estrogen, which could cause problems in male reproductive functions.
4. Sodium Laureth Sulfate. SLS or SLES is a foaming agent added to numerous beauty products such as shower gels, body scrubs, shampoos, and facial washes. It is a known skin and eye irritant and can cause skin conditions and allergic reactions.
5. Animal Testing. For me, the most important reason for switching to cruelty-free and natural brands, is that you are no longer supporting animal testing! There are so many wonderful cruelty-free brands available, with lots of dupes of popular mainstream beauty products. There really is no excuse for continuing to purchase from and support non cruelty-free brands and companies.
Did you know that if a product blinds an animal during testing, it can still be marketed and sold to consumers? There are much kinder and safer alternatives to animal testing.

It really frustrates me when I see some of my favourite bloggers reviewing the latest L'Oreal shampoo, MAC lipstick, or Maybelline mascara, because there are countless other products available from cruelty-free brands that are safer and can deliver even better results!

Do you use cruelty-free beauty products? Will you be making the switch?

*all information provided compiled via extensive online research.