Barmy for lip balms

Hello again,

Summer is a time where I meet friends, go out for meals and genuinely want to enjoy myself. It is for these reasons that I have been searching for some vegan lip balms to replace my glossy, messy lipsticks. I picked two and I am going to review them for you.

The first brand I chose, and one that I have seen around on social media is Hurraw. While the brand comes from the US I found a website which delivers to the UK with free delivery (Naturisimo.com), this is the website I also picked up a few cheap samples from so I am really pleased with my purchase from them. The variety I chose in the end was the coconut one, you might think that’s a boring choice but I have an inappropriate love for coconut.

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The tube is 4.3g and comes in an oval shape which is great for applying the product to my lips. The lip balm smells fantastic, if a little soap. When applied my lips feel smooth, nourished and moisturised, and even slightly bigger. The product contains real coconut oil as well as other oils, cocoa butter and candelilla wax, every ingredient is vegan and a great percentage are organic as well. Hurraw’s website boasts that the lip balm is great for protecting the lips from free radicals and inflammation, so that’s a great extra benefit. The price I paid for this balm is £3.99 which is a decent price in my opinion and this is definitely a staple for my handbag now.

The other lip balm I recently acquired was an accident, I was shopping in Holland & Barrett and needed an extra product to get a buy one get one free offer. The lip balms were by the till so laziness brought Crazy Rumours into my life. This is another American brand which makes vegan and cruelty free lip care. I chose the raspberry sherbet variety and was pretty pleased, the stick really smells like sherbet and feels nice on the lips.

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I prefer the feeling of the Hurraw balm, but the Crazy Rumours brand has a much wider range of flavours. I cannot wait to try the grape bubble one! While Holland & Barrett stock a small selection of these lip balms there are online stores which stock more of a variety, one such store is Cute Cosmetics. I paid £3.50 for my balm but there are cheaper options online but watch out for postage costs.

All in all I am happy with both my purchases and have been keeping the lip balms in my handbag to apply throughout the day. I don’t need to spend time worrying that I smudged my lips, or limit my menu choices to avoid ruining my lipstick. I feel freer and my lips have thanked me for the moisture packed change.

Hope you’re having a great Friday night, are you excited about the weekend?

Sophie

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Summer hair styling

Hi everyone,

I’m going to review a couple of hairstyling products, I don’t put product in my hair often but as summer is here (or at least it’s supposed to be!) I have a couple of products I like to keep on hand. The first is Superdrug Style Expertise Anti Frizz Serum, the humidity of summer tends to make my hair frizz up but this product helps with that.

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I use a very small amount and rub it between my hands before gently applying to my hair when it is damp, from root to tip. The serum feels really silky on the hands and I find it really helps to reduce moisturise-induced frizz in my hair, it is also great for my hair on flyaway days.  I do notice an increase in shine, without my hair looking greasy. The product description also states that the serum has UV absorber, which also makes the product great for summer. The bottle has a pump feature and its size is 30ml. This product is currently on sale for £1.99 (Usual price £2.99) so it’s a great affordable product and is small enough to carry in your handbag.

Another product which I find is great for summer, and I much prefer to hairspray and mousse is Superdrug Style Expertise Salt Spray.

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I find that this easy to use spray adds a lovely texture to my hair and I am able to give my hair a beachy feel when I venture outside.  Adding texture is a great feature for me as my hair is quite thin, straight and sleek, I like to mix it up now and again. You hold the bottle slightly away from the hair and spray all over, you don’t need a lot of product to create the effect. Once the product is on the hair you can run your fingers through your hair, I like to also scrunch it up slightly to increase the effect. The bottle is 100ml so it lasts for a while, and can also fit in your handbag if you want to take it with you. The salt spray is also £1.99 down from £2.99 at the moment so I suggest that you buy the products while savings are still available.

Superdrug’s Style Expertise range has many other products such as straight spray and volumising powder, each item is currently £1.99

Hope you’ve had a great day,

Sophie

Suki transformative purifying mask

Good morning world!

I’ve been trying out some of the little samples I bought from Naturisimo and last night I used Suki transformative purifying mask.

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This is supposed to be ‘the ultimate stress reducer for your worst skin problems and as your go to overnight spot weapon’. That description sounded like a winner for me, but was it all just cleverly worded statements to draw you in? The sample came in a little 1ml sachet and cost me 50p, the 1ml packet was enough for a single use. The product was very thin and watery, and I was a little worried but it dried very quickly and felt soft on the skin. I couldn’t feel a sensation as I have with other masks, but that’s not generally a sign something is working, or that it’s good for your skin. I left the mask on overnight, hoping to make it my ‘go to overnight spot weapon’. When I woke up I washed the mask off with cold water, I didn’t notice much of a difference, my skin was softer but my blemishes and spots were no better than after using Superdrug’s Deep Action range.

So what are the benefits of this product? Suki uses salicylic acid obtained from white willow, supposedly a highly concentrated formation which addresses problematic skin without drying the skin. The purifying aspect comes from the addition of kaolin clay which brings impurities out of the pores. I have listed the full ingredients of the product below, taken from their website.

Ingredients: rosa centifolia (provence rose) concentrate†, kaolin, alcohol (from sugar cane denatured with lavender oil)†, glycerin, salix alba (willow) bark extract, oryza sativa (rice) starch†, zinc oxide, hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel) water, calendula officinalis (calendula) flower extract, carthamus tinctorius (safflower) seed oil, ascophyllum nodosum (seaweed) extract†, melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) leaf oil, resveratrol, xanthan gum, fragrance (parfum)*, limonene*, linalool*.
*components of 100% pure natural fragrance and/or steamdistilled/ cold-pressed essential oils.
†certified organic
total organic content: 13.1%
contains botanicals which make up our TLC technology™ & blemish busting complex™

While the sample I bought cost me a measly 50p and was worth a try, I wouldn’t advice buying the full product. Maybe it takes a few uses to really see results but for the price of the full product (£48.95 for 30ml) I would find something cheaper which probably works just as well. Especially since 30 packets of the 1ml sample would cost only £15, compared to the bottle itself, something I find confusing. Some of Suki’s range is cruelty free, they state that the beeswax that comes in some of their products is cruelty free but beeswax is something which I am trying to avoid. At the end of the day, the decision is up to you.

Anyway, I will be sticking to my usual spot treatment, and I will be trying out Superdrug masks with reviews coming in due course.

Hope you have an amazing day,

Sophie

On the quest to banish acne

Good evening, sorry I’m only posting one review today but it’s been a hectic day. There’s a possibility that I can get some more up later, if not then tomorrow.

I’m not going to lie, I suffer with acne. It’s not particularly bad but still enough to annoy me on a daily basis so I’m always on the lookout for products to help me. I came across Supedrug’s Deep Action range and picked up pore cleansing pads and anti-blemish gel. While I find products such as cleanser and facial scrub help to keep the worst at bay, I thought these products would help in the fight.

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The pore cleansing pads come in a little tub of 40 and are extremely easy to use, you use the rough side first and wipe over the whole face apart from the eyes and then wipe back over with the smooth side.  One wipe is enough for one day so this pot will last for 40 days, and that’s if you use it every day, if you don’t then obviously the tub will last longer. The pads contain salicylic acid, witch hazel to tighten pores and chamomile to soothe irritated skin. The rough side of the pad has an exfoliating effect which helps improve the skin. It has been tested on humans, who overall said that spot redness is reduced in 4 hours. I would agree, the skin feels tighter, cleaner and less red after a while so for such an easy product to add to your routine I think this is a bargain. The tub of 40 pads retail for £2.69 and are on offer for buy one get one free across selected Superdrug products.

The anti-blemish gel also contains salicylic acid, is said to reduce the appearance of blemishes in 2 hours and the packet suggests applying it between one and three times a day. I only apply this once a day, after a scrub in the shower and it works. I mean the blemishes don’t disappear overnight, it’s a work in progress, but I can see the results after waking up. One thing I will say is that any product with salicylic acid dries my skin out, I don’t know if this will be the case for everyone but I like to moisturise after waking up just to counteract that. The anti-blemish gel also retails for £2.60 and is currently on offer for 2 for £4 across selected Superdrug products.

There are more products in the Deep Action range including; a wash and mask, cleansing lotion and pore strips so there’s plenty to choose from to help you banish that acne.

Have a lovely night,

Sophie

References

http://acne.about.com/od/acnetreatments/a/salicylicacid.htm

Broccoli and pumpkin crisps?

Hi again, this will be my final scheduled post for today,

Maybe it was because I felt guilty for filling my basket full of sweet treats, maybe I was just trying to be adventurous but I recently picked up a bag of The Giving Tree crisps, the mixed veg variety.

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These crisps are basically vacuum fried vegetables, and the product only contains one ingredient other than the veg, rice bran oil. The mixed veg variety is a half and half bag of their two veg flavours, pumpkin and broccoli, I don’t like broccoli and I’m not that fussed on Pumpkin which is why I was wondering what possessed me to buy them. But, because I spent money on them and my husband didn’t want them I decided ‘what the hell?’ and just went for it. When you open the bag the smell is quite a strong vegetal scent, which I was indifferent to, it didn’t put me off but it didn’t particularly have me salivating. I tried a piece of each type and wrote my thoughts down, the pumpkin was in fairly thin slices like a proper crisp but was crumbly in the mouth. The flavour was good and slightly sweet. The broccoli, understandably, is harder to make into crisp form so the little florets were light, aerated and crunchy. The flavour was very strong but to be honest, as someone who isn’t a fan of the vegetable, it wasn’t that bad. Overall the experience was just okay and I went back to scoffing down chocolate, it wasn’t until later that night that I really appreciated this product. I found myself at the point where I felt a little sick from eating too many sweet things and found myself reaching for the pouch. These little bites of glorious veg made me feel so much better, healthier and cleaner for eating them that it felt almost like a miracle. Other things I like about this product is that there is no flavouring other than the simple flavour of the vegetables themselves, also it’s one of your five a day in a handy pouch with no preparation required. I paid £2.95 for a 22g pouch, The Giving Tree also stocks these veg flavours in single pouches, handy if you don’t like broccoli, or pumpkin. I would say give them a try though, you never know if you’ll find your new favourite snack. There are also fruit flavours if you can’t give up those sweet flavours; strawberry, mango, peach and apple.

Have a good night,

Sophie

Rebel Kitchen Mylk

Hello again,

I have been wanting to grab a carton of Rebel Kitchen chocolate Mylk for a while now but only just got around to it. Oh, why did I wait? This drink is so delicious! It is just the right balance, not too watery, not too creamy, not too thick, not too sweet and not too bitter. It is just perfect.

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(The carton, with a guest appearance from Harley)

The mylk is refreshing and light, not heavy or filling but still tastes very much like chocolate. I had a few lumps to begin with but a quick shake sorted that issue out. I will definitely be going back for more. Rebel Kitchen sell other varieties of their mylk including; matcha green tea, coffee and chai, but I’m not that fussed on these flavours. They also produce a kid’s range which has a couple of flavours that I am really interested in, the banana and the orange chocolate. Maybe I’m still a kid at heart, and in taste buds. A 330ml carton retails at £1.85 in my local independent health food store, but I know they stock it cheaper at Tesco.

Hope your day is going well,

Sophie

Put the lime in the coconut

Morning all, today I will be scheduling a couple of other posts to go up as I will be gone for a while attending my graduation.

Firstly, I’m going to review Superdrug’s coconut oil, and the benefits of coconut oil more generally.

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I have been using coconut oil for a few months now, using it in many different ways such as; cooking, on the face and body, on my hair, and as a shaving cream. I will advise that while you can wear your coconut oil mask to bed I would wash it off properly as prolonged contact with the skin can cause spots, at least with my skin type. I just love this oil because it leaves the skin and hair so gorgeously soft, and my favourite use is as a shaving cream. The oil helps the blade slide without catching the skin, you only need one application, even if you stand under the water and it’s particularly effective for sensitive skin.

Coconut oil is also great for your hair, it aids in the growth and quality of hair and reduces protein loss, leading to more attractive and healthy looking hair. In addition, applying the oil to the scalp can help to prevent dandruff and head lice. As well as hair benefits, coconut oil is fantastic for skin. It acts as a moisturiser, reduces the appearance of skin aging and may help with conditions such as eczema. As well as these benefits I know that coconut oil can also be used to soften cuticles and to remove make-up easily.

The 125ml pot is £2.29 from Superdrug, I would say this is fairly cheap as I know a couple of brands which are cheaper. However, I know many brands that are much more expensive.

Have a great day,

Sophie

References

16 Proven Health Benefits & Uses of Coconut Oil

Vegan cheese and sandwich slices

Evening all,

I’ve been looking for vegan cheese that I like for a while, longer than I feel comfortable with. I decided to buy Vegusto this time, figuring that the extra money would mean a better product. I was right, I purchased the no-moo herb variety and was pleasantly surprised.

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The ‘cheese’ had the texture of herbed cream cheese in a more solid form. It was soft, crumbled in the mouth and was very flavourful with a nice aftertaste. The only downside was it was a little starchy but that’s to be expected from a product which contains flour and starch. While the product is solid I managed to squish slices down onto ritz crackers with some vegan pate, this combination was lovely. I put the last bits of the product into a vegetable risotto and it melted in fantastically. There are many other varieties of vegan cheese in Vegusto’s range, I will be trying the piquant variety next as I like the description and it is, according to their website, their most popular flavour. I picked up the no-moo herb cheese at my local independent health food store for just over £4, which is fairly expensive when you consider the price of dairy cheese. However, when you weigh up the factors of cruelty and the conditions dairy cows endure then this product is definitely worth it, and the best vegan cheese I have tasted thus far.

As well as the no-moo, I picked up two packets of Vegusto sandwich slices, the first I tried was the deli style slices.

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The thing that struck me is that these are very moist and silky, very different to the texture of meat slice substitutes that I have tried before. I couldn’t taste too much flavour, but I’m not sure that it mattered, the texture was lovely and I really enjoyed eating them just by themselves. The slices also had a nice peppery rind which was a tasty addition. The second variety I bought was the smoked slices, they had a good amount of smoke flavour and were really delicious, moist and left a nice aftertaste.

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Something that struck me about these products is that I’ve never experienced juice in the packet with similar products, it wasn’t something that particularly put me off, I guess it’s just a testament to how juicy the slices are! I ate both the slices with slices of the no-moo and a salad, forming a light meal that I was really pleased with. In hindsight I probably should have tried the slices in a sandwich but they didn’t last long enough! I will be going back for more and I am excited to try the dill and hotsami varieties. I paid around £3 for each packet at my local independent health food store.

Hope you’re having a great night, I’m still panicking about graduation.

Sophie

‘Ello Vera

Evening everyone,

Sorry for the delay in posting. I’m going to review Holland & Barrett’s aloe vera gel, and the benefits of aloe vera in general.

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I have used this product both on my face and hair, it’s especially lovely for sensitive skin and as the weather has been a bit warmer it’s brilliant if you keep it in the fridge. The only downside is that it leaves a sticky film over the skin, but you can just wash it off if this feels uncomfortable. There isn’t much else to say other than this is a relatively decent price for a medium sized tube of gel which is easy to use, the 100ml tube I bought is £3.99 and they also sell a 200ml tube for £6.99.

Now I’m just going to list a few of the benefits of this succulent plant. The gel acts as a layer of protection over the skin which aids in the replenishment of moisture, also helping the skin to heal. This is why aloe vera is so amazing at treating sunburn, something to take note of now it is summer. Another benefit is that it is a great moisturiser for oily skin, and it also prevents the skin from drying out which is wonderful if you use a lot of mineral-based make-up.

The hormones in aloe vera gel act to reduce inflammation of the skin, and as mentioned before it also helps the skin to heal quickly. These hormones mean that aloe vera can be a great help to those of us that have acne. In addition, as you may have seen from my review of Superdrug’s Naturally Radiant range I love antioxidants. Aloe vera contains beta carotene, and vitamin C and E which can help fight the signs of aging by improving the elasticity of the skin. As well as improving elasticity, aloe vera can aid in hiding the signs of stretch marks so it could be a good product for new mothers who wish to hide these marks.

Of course, I have used the product externally but these are also a plethora of benefits when you digest the product, such as aiding in digesting and treating gum disease. As the Holland & Barrett product is not 100% aloe and is designed for external use I wouldn’t eat it but there are many edible aloe products available on the market if you wish to reap the benefits of this simple seeming plant.

I’m sure you’ll agree that the benefits of aloe vera gel are numerous and it’s well worth a go, even if you buy the small tube like I did to see what aloe vera can do for you.

After the success of yesterday’s post scheduling (I was half expecting something to go wrong) I will be setting a few posts to go over the next few days as I am graduating tomorrow and won’t be at home.

Hope you had a lovely weekend. Chin up, you’ve nearly made it through Monday,

Sophie

Aloe vera information came from;

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-7654/the-benefits-of-using-aloe-vera-for-skin-care-and-more.html

Sojade hemp yoghurt

Hi again,

Recently, on a trip to my local independent health food store I spied something in the fridge, something unexpected, hemp yoghurt. I had seen hemp milk around, so it shouldn’t have been such a surprise that there is also yoghurt. The product I bought was Delice de Chanvre, from a French brand called Sojade which I have also never come across before.

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There were two varieties available, strawberry and raspberry, or chocolate. I chose the berries as I felt I had been eating too much chocolate lately and needed redemption. The yoghurt was really creamy but also really fresh and light, the berries had a strong presence and the product was sweet but a little sharp which was nice. The hemp also had a lovely earthy flavour which appealed to me.

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This was a great buy as I had it at a reduced price of 50p for two pots due to it going off that day. I demolished both pots and came away feeling rather pleased with myself, especially as hemp seeds are rich in omega 3.

As well as the hemp desserts Sojade produce seitan products, a range of rice milk products, and an amazingly impressive range of soya products. They sell flavours of soya yoghurt which I have never even seen for sale before. All in all, eating this yoghurt and researching this brand have been very exciting, and I hope to find more of their products in shops soon.

Hope you’ve had a fantastic weekend,

Sophie