Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Getting Your Skin Summer Ready: My Top Picks

We have been pretty lucky with the weather this month with the sun making an appearance more often than usual. It's definitely getting me thinking about summer and the fact that my pale pins might actually get to see the light of day soon (yikes!). Below are my top picks for prepping your skin in the run up to summer and must haves when your hitting the beach!

Beauty Kitchen's Inspire Me Brightening & Toning Body Polish (£14.99)-
Did you know that using a body scrub (particularly a natural one) is one of the best things you can do for your skin? It not only removes any dry, flaky skin but it helps boost circulation and combat cellulite. I love this body polish from Beauty Kitchen as its made with Himalayan salt to return minerals to your body and is packed full of oils including grapeseed oil and Abyssinian oil to really hydrate the skin - so much so you might not need a moisturiser afterwards. The uplifting citrus scent is perfect for summer and my skin is super soft after every scrub. Available from beautykitchen.co.uk, hollandandbarrett.co.uk and selected Holland & Barrett stores across the UK.

The Body Shop Mojito Body Sorbet (£8) -
The Body Shop are launching their new limited edition Virgin Mojito Body Care range for summer. The refreshing scent of crisp,  fresh mint is blended with a twist of freshly squeezed lime to invigorate your senses' I'm already on a beach somewhere! The whole range sounds great and I really like the idea of a virgin mojito body sorbet. This light moisturiser would be super cooling and hydrating on the skin which is perfect for when you've fallen asleep on the lilo!
Available from thebodyshop.co.uk and in stores nationwide from 2nd June.

Cocoa Brown 1 Hour Instant Tan (£7.99)
Being naturally pale, I'm not usually one to go for fake tan. However, I tried the 1 hour instant tan from Cocoa Brown back in 2013 (read my review here) and loved it. It comes out as a mousse & I always use a mitt to apply the tan evenly. It has a light floral scent instead of the usual digestive smell and I tend to leave it on over night rather than one hour since it doesn't stain my pjs or sheets! When you wash off the excess you are left with a really natural looking tan every time.
Available from Superdrug, Tesco and Primark

Rimmel London Natural Bronze (£5.99)
Throughout the rest of the year I tend only to use bronzer pretty sparingly but I do find its any easy way to give your skin a glow and make it look like you've caught some sun. Rimmel's Natural Bronzer is really affordable and light weight so your skin will still be able to breathe and be protected with an spf of 15. Lets you fake the sun-kissed glow without having to lie by the pool all day (although I wouldn't mind doing the latter!)
Available from Boots and Superdrug

Soap & Glory's Heel Genius (£5.50)
My hands often get dry and I love Soap & Glory's Hand Food so looked to them to make sure my feet would be pampered before I look out my pumps and strappy sandals! Heel Genius can be used as a foot cream or as a foot mask when slathered on before popping on some cotton soaks to help the cream really work its magic. Wave goodbye to cracked heels and celebrate your fantastic feet by adding a pop of colour courtesy of OPI 'That's berry daring'. I love the colour and the name!
'Heel Genius' is available from soapandglory.com and Boots. OPI nail varnish is available from feelunique.com

I am definitely in the mood for summer now and hoping for some sun! Do you have any products you swear by?


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Lucy Bee Organic Raw Coconut Oil

I stumbled upon Lucy Bee Extra Virgin Organic Raw Coconut Oil (phew!) when I was looking for a natural cleanser. My beloved Body Shop Vitamin E cleanser was running low and I fancied trying something different. After noticing you can order a brochure to tell you all about the coconut oil I ordered my copy (you can request a copy or view a pdf version here). I expected a few pages telling me how good the product was and where I could purchase it. Instead I received a 28 page little booklet with information on the coconut oil including how it is extracted and why they support fair trade. It also contains recipes, customer comments and a 'day in the life' of Lucy Bee. I was sold.

At £9.95 for a 500ml jar I think this is very reasonable but the lovely Petrina at Lucy Bee very kindly sent me a jar at the beginning of last month and I have been road testing it ever since.
My immediate thoughts are that its a wonder product although you can probably pick that up yourself from the long list of uses (hair conditioner, deodorant, massage oil, oil pulling, spread on toast, use on your roast dinner...).

I initially tried it as a cleanser which is what I was looking for in the first place. I took a ten pence size dollop of the coconut oil, warmed it between my hands and massaged all over my face. The coconut smell is very pleasant and not at all over-powering as you may think. It easily melts away any make up and leaves my skin feeling so nourished and hydrated that I don't even need to use a  moisturiser. In the morning my skin is so soft and there is no oily residue left behind. It's rapidly becoming my 'go to' cleanser.

Trying the oil as a lip balm had a similar and just as fantastic effect - super soft, hydrated & happy lips! I apply a thin layer over my lips as soon as I get out of the shower, especially if I'm wearing lip stick that day as it acts as a protective layer and makes my lipstick go on smoother. Great for cuticles too!

After seeing Lucy tweeting about her granola recipe I decided to give it a whirl and see if this wonder product could really be used in the kitchen too. Loads of recipes and hints & tips can be found on the website which is so useful. The granola was amazing and the subtle coconut flavour really works along side the oats and mixed seeds. Unfortunately cooking isn't my biggest strength but I am keen to try the coconut oil out in other ways as it is a great healthy alternative and adds a lovely flavour. I'll try one of the smoothie recipes next!

Finally I tried oil pulling. Lots of celebrities are claiming that this method is what keeps their teeth so white. One brand which has been endorsed recently is Coco White which I think for 5 small sachets is £20! You can buy a large jar of Lucy Bee for half the price so it just seems bonkers! Apparently oil pulling is an ancient remedy that comes from India which has been found to clean and nourish the teeth and gums. It is a weird sensation at first but I got use to it pretty quickly and my teeth always feel super clean after oil pulling and I think they are slightly whiter.

I have been so surprised how flexible the product is and I'll probably end up needing a jar in every room if I carry on the way I'm going! It contains no gluten, lactose, additives or preservatives. All the details about how the oil is extracted and the fact it's fair trade and really making a difference makes me love it even more. I've only touched on a few uses but head over to the website to find a long list of uses including deodorant, toothpaste and even in your pets food for a shiny coat!

For stockists click here
For more info check out the Lucy Bee website & social media:

If you made it to the end of that long post well done & thank you!


Monday, May 04, 2015

A little touch of Scotland

Last month I was very kindly sent this beautiful tweed make up bag from Scotsburn Croft's founder, Claire Ferguson.
Staring out in a little shed making a range of fashion accessories, Claire has always been inspired by her home in the highlands of Scotland. Over the last few years, the Scotsburn Croft range has grown to include beautiful & unique home furnishings and ceramics all hand made and inspired by her breath taking surroundings.  

The first thing I liked about the makeup bag is obviously the tweed. It's made from 100% wool and feels so soft. Its woven with nano sphere and after a quick google search I found out this is self cleaning technology and mimics the way certain plants repel water droplets and dirt. It's also water proof on the inside which is great to wipe clean.
Most of my make up bags are either smaller or a lot bigger than this but I find this one is actually a perfect size. I'm going away for a few days in June so I will definitely be taking this with me.

I think most Scottish people are quite patriotic and although we don't run around in oor jimmy hats drinking irn bru all day long, I do feel a sense of pride in using something that was made in Scotland and inspired by our beautiful country.
Where to find Scotsburn Croft: Website