Self Care Sundays: Issue 6

January always feels like a slow month. After the Christmas rush, it’s important to take a beat and relax.

I’ve been back at work for a full week now and getting back into routine is exhausting! So finally it’s the end of the week and before the week starts all over again, I treated myself to a nice long bath and face mask.

Luxury Lush Pud

The first of my Christmas bath bombs to be used, I have 2 Luxury Lush Puds so to make my way through them, why not start with the duplicate. It’s colours enticed me too to be honest.

The bath bomb had a lovely scent and fizzed away nicely and made some lovely colours in the bath. I have to admit, I did add some bubbles by running the Candy Cane bubble bar under the tap for a few minutes.

A plain bath is not sufficient anymore, I always have to have a bath bomb or bubble bar to keep me entertained as I only ever bathe instead of shower to relax.

Sand & Sky Australian Pink Clay Mask

I wrote about this clay mask a few weeks ago which you can read about here.

I am noticing improvements to my pores and skin after each use but whether that’s due to the mask specifically or the other skin products I’m using is hard to tell.

It’s a nice, but very expensive treat to have. There are many dupes out there that can be bought now so I think after this pot is finished, I’ll definitely be trying a cheaper dupe to see how that fares.

Pixi FortifEYE Patches

I do love these Pixi FortifEYE patches. They’re so easy to use and there’s so many of them in the pot that they’ll last me a while.

My only minor issue with them is that the shape of them doesn’t quite fit with my face shape. It’s a minor annoyance that I can live with and the soothing benefits outweigh it.

Self Care Sundays: Issue 5

After a very busy weekend last weekend celebrating marriages and working overtime until the early hours of Sunday morning, I skipped a blog post to take some time for myself and relax.

I’ve written various blog posts in my Self Care Sundays series and although I like to earmark a Sunday for self care, remember that every day is a self care day so look after your minds and your bodies!

Lush Peng Bath Bomb

I love a bath bomb. They may not always have any skin benefits, but they’re a nice treat and they always have the bath in pretty colours and smelling lovely.

Peng wasn’t the best bath bomb I’ve ever used but it smelt nice enough and was interesting enough. I would probably go for a more fragrant one in future.

Natura Pumpkin Sheet Mask

As some of you may be aware, I have subscribed to The Cruelty Free Beauty Box which is delivered every other month. One of the treat in October’s box was the Natura Pumpkin Infused Sheet Mask.

I finally used it last weekend in the bath for the full 15 minutes (possibly longer). Sheet masks have become very popular and they’re so easy to use and remove.

Apologies for the terrifying images above and the extra skin on show! I just wanted to show those of you who weren’t familiar with sheet masks what they’re like.

My skin felt great afterwards and the mask smelt amazing. This isn’t the first Natura sheet mask I’ve used before and I’m a big fan of them. They’re not a regular feature in my beauty regime as they aren’t cheap but, as with a bath bomb, they’re a treat.

A quick note on the sheet masks, don’t wash off the product after use! Let it sit on your skin and be absorbed so you can really get the full effects of the mask.

That’s all for this issue of Self Care Sundays! There’ll be more to come in the future.

Lush Christmas Haul

My friends and family know me very well, and I was well and truly spoilt this Christmas. In particular, I received some amazing Lush goodies to get me through the next few months before I’ll need to stock up (or get gifted more for my birthday in March… *hint hint*).

So let’s get to it… This is what I got spoilt with at Christmas…

2 gift sets: Happy Christmas and Christmas Candy Box, plus extra bubble bars

I know not everyone is a fan of Lush, but I love their bath bombs and bubble bars. The smells are amazing and the quality is great. More importantly, everything is either vegetarian or vegan (of course, I would prefer if they were vegan, but they’re making those strides and that’s what is most important!).

Happy Christmas

The Happy Christmas box contained 4 very Christmassy bath bombs in a very beautiful gift box.

The descriptions are as follows:

  • Santa’s Grotto: Santa’s Grotto swirls into turquoise and mauve shades, releasing a zephyr of everlasting flower absolute and stirring ylang ylang as it goes.
  • Luxury Lush Pud: This is one Christmas pud you just won’t be able to resist! Perfectly pink with colourful spots, reach for this when you’re in need of a playful soak.
  • Snowman Dreaming: Cedarwood and lavender fill your bathroom with a dreamy fragrance, perfect to help little tots, and big ones, to the land of nod!
  • Shoot For The Stars: Honey-scented sparkles of Brazilian orange and bergamot waltz in a swirling, cobalt sky.

Lush have been trying to remove as much of their plastic packaging as possible, and so many of their products now have ‘naked’ versions, which means they don’t have the unnecessary packaging.

All the bath bombs in the Happy Christmas box come naked and they all smell amazing and I can’t wait to try them. I’m sure all of them will produce some beautiful colours and swirls in the bath tub.

The blue bath bomb which I haven’t pictured separately is the Shoot For The Stars bath bomb. I’ve written about this bath bomb before in a previous blog post which you can read here.

Christmas Candy Box

Another beautiful gift box filled with the sweet stuff! The box contains the following:

  • Luxury Lush Pud: as above.
  • Candy Cane reusable bubble bar: Hold under running water to take a trip down candy cane lane with Sicilian lemon and bergamot oils.
  • Snow Fairy shower gel: A fantastical fuchsia festival of fragrance will help your mood skyrocket to Neverland.

This box is smaller that the Happy Christmas box but all smells delicious and sweet. Their Snow Fairy range is one of their Christmas specials and is amazing. I suspect it’s one of their best sellers at this time of year!

The Extras

Tom treated me to an extra 2 solo items! As much as I love a bath bomb, bubble bars are my favourite. I really love bubbles! They make a bath feel much more comforting and cosy.

  • Candy bubble brush: Ready to brush up on your art skills? Who said bathing had to be boring? Whether you’re already a seasoned artist or just like to paint by numbers, these new #BathArt reusable bubble brushes from Lush’s artful splodges are sure to make a Big Splash in your bathroom.
  • Blue Skies and Fluffy White Clouds bubble bar: A double-sized bubble bar scented for when you need to get away from it all, this bubble bar will help you float off. Patchouli and frankincense give it an exotic, hypnotic fragrance that helps you relax. This melts into your bathwater, turning the water sky-blue, dotted with foam clouds. Patchouli is used as a relaxant by aromatherapists, while frankincense and cinnamon leaf oil add spicy, deep tones to the calming scent.

Tom loves the bubble brush. I treated him to one for his Christmas present too. It’s reusable, and like the candy cane bubble bar, you just run it under the tap while the bath is running to produce lots of bubbles.

The Blue Skies bubble bar reminds me of The Comforter and should be amazing if The Comforter is anything to go by!

I’m sure lots of these will be making an appearance in an issue of Self Care Sundays in the very near future!

The Cruelty Free Beauty Box Deluxe [December 2019]

As we’re aware, the lead up to Christmas is super busy and deliveries take longer than expected. I almost entirely forgot about my Cruelty Free Beauty Box delivery so it was a nice surprise!

This months deluxe box was FULL of goodies, including a few Christmas extras!

The contents of this months Deluxe box contains:

  • Bowe Organic – Lip Rescue Balm (RRP £11)
  • Balade En Provence – Hand Cream (RRP £8.95)
  • All Earth Mineral Cosmetics – Finishing Powder Eco Pot (RRP £14)
  • Sknfed – Cleansing & Exfoliating Cubes (RRP £14.50)
  • Tisserand – Sleep Better Pillow Mist (RRP £9.45)
  • Delhicious – Original Black Tea Body Scrub (RRP £7.95)
  • Christmas White Chocolate Soy Wax Melt (RRP £1.50)
  • Matcha Green Coffee Sparkling Water (RRP £1.75)
  • Vegan Chocolatier – Christmas Cracker (RRP £3.25)
  • Spacemasks (RRP £3.50)
  • Freedom Mallows – Mallow Bites (RRP £3)
  • House Of Wonderland – Snowflake Earrings (RRP £7.95)

The total value of the box tots up to £86.70 and everything looks and smells fabulous! It only arrived yesterday so I have yet to try everything but here are my comments so far…

The Sknfed exfoliating cubes smells absolutely incredible. I’m not sure if it’s a coffee smell but they smell amazing and I’m really excited to use them.

The Tisserand Pillow Mist is life changing. I actually bought one in September for Tom for his birthday so it’s nice that I have my own one. I’ve probably used Tom’s one more than him! Again, this mist smells lovely and full of lavender and I really do have a good sleep when I use it. I usually give a spritz across the pillow and let myself fall into a deep slumber.

The Balade En Provence hand cream is really absorbent and smells fresh. I’m planning on taking it to work and keeping it on my desk so I can have a good moisturiser to use there! I have enough at home so it makes sense to keep one in the office.

This is the first time I’ve tried Freedom Mallows before, even though I’ve seen them around before but never bought them. They are delicious!! It’s been a while since I’ve had marshmallows but these have a very similar texture and the flavour is great. If you spot these when you’re out and about, grab a bag! As a gift for someone else or even for yourself, these are great.

The only item I sadly won’t be able to show off is the House of Wonderland earrings as I don’t have my ears pierced. I have debated getting my ears pierced for a while now so whether I will do so to make sure of them or not is a decision I need to make. Otherwise I will gift them to someone as they are really cute and a gorgeous rose gold!

Again, The Cruelty Free Beauty Box have not disappointed with their deluxe box. I am always looking forward to receiving my box and the contents has never disappointed. Seriously, look them up if you haven’t already!

This will be my last post before Christmas, and although Wednesday is my usual blogging day, it falls on Christmas Day so normal business will resume on the Sunday, 29th December!

Sand & Sky Porefining Face Mask

You may have heard of cult skincare brand, Sand & Sky. I’ve seen many Facebook/Insta ads and many influencers have jumped on the bandwagon.

In the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales, Sand & Sky were offering 20% meaning that the Porefining Face Mask was only £33.52.

After a quick search on their FAQ, I was able to find that the Porefining Face Mask was vegan and did not contain any animal products or animal by-products. The brush applicator is also synthetic and not made of animal hair. Click here for the FAQ details.

My order was dispatched and arrived within a few days!

Branding and packaging were very appealing! The applicator brush is so cute and so useful. It made it so much easier to apply on my skin. The mask did tingle as I applied it but it stopped very shortly after. I looked online and apparently this is normal…

I managed to rope Tom into trying the mask with me too!

After 10 minutes, the mask was mostly dry with a few patches of thicker not quite dry yet. I went upstairs to wash off the mask with warm water. My skin felt so clean afterwards, it did however feel very dry and tight.

Tom has a very different skin type to me and the reaction to the mask wasn’t as good as mine. His skin got much tighter and drier than mine and it didn’t help that he didn’t moisturise.

I followed the mask with my facial oils to help hydrate my skin and it made all the difference. You can read about the oils I’m using in my blog post last week here. I do feel like my pores have been reduced and my skin is just much cleaner in general.

It’s recommended that for oily skin, you should use the mask 2 – 3 times a week. I’ll try to do this to see how much of an improvement it’ll make.

Based on this first try of the mask, I do like it, however I’m not sure if I would buy it again. It’s quite a high price point for such a small pot and unless it suddenly does wonders for my skin, I’ll probably stick to Natura sheet masks!

November Skincare Favourites

Winter is the season for chapped lips and can aggravate skin. Here have been my November saviours that have become a staple in my evening skin routine.

Facial Oils

There’s a lot of stigma around facial oils and what they do for you. It’s a topic that you’d need to research for your skin type as everyone is different.

For me, I am loving them as part of my night time routine. Here are my 2 picks.

The Ordinary Retinol 0.5% in Squalene

I actually bought this oil a long time ago and it became disused when I got out of my skin routine and it was hidden in a drawer for a few months.

I’ve picked it back up again and apply a few drops and apply all over my face. There’s no fragrance but it does leave my skin feeling very soft.

Retinol is renowned for keeping wrinkles at bay by encouraging cell regeneration. I may only be 28 but it’s better to start early!

All I know, is that my skin is left silky smooth and even Tom has commented on the improvement of my frown wrinkle that he’s given me!

If you’re thinking about picking this up, make sure you start off with the lowest percentage of retinol to allow your skin to become accustomed to it. You eventually work your way to the higher percentages when your skin needs it.

Dr Botanicals Moroccan Rose Superfood Facial Oil

I’ve had this oil for a while too as it came in a beauty box that I received a long time ago.

Rosehip oil supposedly reduces skins natural oiliness (which I am a terrible sufferer of) and helps to even out skin tone.

The jury’s out on both at the moment as I haven’t noticed much difference but it does smell really lovely and the tiny difference I’ve seen is encouraging.

BAO Skincare NOURISH URSELF Treatment Balm

Again, this beauty secret was in one of the delightful beauty boxes that I’ve received from The Cruelty Free Beauty Box.

This balm is multi-purpose and can be used for so many different things, but I’ve been using it as a night time lip balm.

It’s done absolute wonders for my usually chapped winter lips. My lips feel soft and they’re not as dry as they normally would be. I do, of course, still have to apply lip balm during the day, but I no longer have to do a lip scrub every evening to do away with the dead skin cells.

I absolutely recommend this product. It will become a staple in your beauty routine.

Men’s Vegan Grooming Gifts

As a woman, it can be difficult trying to find good gift sets for men. The market is definitely catered more for women than it is for men. I did a spot of shopping a few weeks ago and was inspired to write this post based on what I saw!

Here’s just a few recommend brands and products and if I come up with some more ideas, I’ll make sure I write another post.

Superdrug

So when I was wandering around my local Superdrug the other day, I was enticed by their Christmas section and also pleasantly surprised. I found a few of their own brand men’s gift sets which were lovely and also very reasonably priced!

If you’re unsure what to buy for someone, a gift set like this is a great alternative as they usually contain useful things that they are likely to use.

What’s also great about Superdrug is that their items are clearly labelled vegan which makes it much easier to shop.

Browsing online with Superdrug has also become so much easier as they have a vegan Christmas section which you can find here!

Manmane

Manmane are a completely vegan brand that sells male grooming products. We’ve seen them at vegan events around the country before, and being welsh myself, it’s nice to support local business!

Tom loves their products. They’re high quality and there are so many different options.

I highly recommend taking a visit to their website to have a look at the products. A few include: bread oils and balms, soaps, perfumes and candles.

If you have a bearded loved one in your life, you should absolutely check out Manmane for their products! They make wonderful gifts and they’ll be hooked going forward.

Maria Nila

This one will be a short one but I do have to rave about it. Maria Nila sell vegan wax grooming products that are perfect gifts!

Tom has always really struggled to find good hair product for his hair type. He’s got fine hair but a lot of volume.

I took a punt and bought him the Maria Nila Gneiss Moulding Paste. He absolutely loves it and can now style his hair properly without the unnecessary gunk of product all over his hair. And an added bonus is that it smells great too!