Thursday, 14 December 2017

JOIK Advent Calendar: Days 8-14

Here's what I received in my JOIK Advent Calendar* days 8-14:

Day 8:

A scented sachet in Vanilla Noisette which has a rich vanilla scent with carmel notes (almost smells good enough to eat). Put it in your car, cupboards or drawer. I like the idea of getting slightly different things in a calendar (I'm looking forward to the upcoming candle!)

Day 9:

I absolutely adore Silky Facial Serum with Cranberry Seed Oil (we've got a 10ml rollerball in the calendar). My skin's really enjoying it - expect a full review soon.

Day 10:

This Luxurious Citrus Bath Milk 30gr unfortunately opened in transit and cast a fine powder over most items in the calendar (which is a shame). It would have been better if the little pot had a seal on it. Apart from that, it smells glorious and I'm looking forward to testing it out.

Day 11:

We got a 50ml Micellar Water on day 11 which I'm slightly on the fence about - I've tried it once so far and found it stung around my eye area. Will give it another try before passing it on.

Day 12:

This Citrus & Bergamot Body Butter 50ml isn't available at Love Lula. It smells gorgeous and I'm looking forward to using it. 

Day 13:

Gentle Exfoliating Facial Scrub 15ml is also a new try for me. Some of the other girls who also got the calendar have been raving about it - so I'm looking forward to trying. Again, a review will follow.

Day 14:

Today's pick was Juicy Apple Shower Foam 50ml which again I'm looking forward to using.

Full reviews will be forthcoming once I have the chance to test everything out. Did you pick up a JOIK Advent Calendar? (I noticed last night they've been reduced to £85.60 so if you fancy one I'd quick!)

*Love Lula Accredited Blogger points paid for part of the calendar. I added £57
**my post contains a few affiliate links

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Nourish Radiance Duet

As you'll know I'm a huge fan of Nourish and had to share with you one of their beautiful Christmas Gift Sets which would make the ideal small gift, stocking filler or Secret Santa gift. The Radiance Duet* (£15) contains:

Nestled inside the re-usable tin are two minis (5ml each) which I've used before and loved! 

The illuminating face shimmer is one of my favourite products from Nourish so I'm delighted to have it back in my stash. See my review HERE.

Award Winning Radiance Firming Facial Oil is also a beaut! See my review HERE.

I think this is a great set and one which I'd love to find under the tree! What's your favourite Nourish product?


Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Hemptouch Skincare Review

I've been testing out some products* from Hemptouch, a skincare company which creates products for those with sensitive skins. Hemp cannabinoids with skin-soothing and anti-inflammatory properties, hemp-flower hydrolate rich in powerful skin-enhancing antioxidants and raw hemp oil rich in omegas and amino acids are used in the formulation of products. The hemp seed oil is made by Hemptouch - they oversee the plants from sowing to harvest and cold press the oil in their own press. Buds from the cannabis resin are harvested by hand and processed via CO2 extraction and maceration. The products are natural there are no chemicals, perfumes, dyes or alcohol used.

The product I liked the best from the ones I tested is their Nurturing Face Cream (50ml - £24.90)* a soothing formula which is suitable for hypersenstive skin, prone to irritation and redness. It deeply nourishes and regenerates, strengthening and caring for stressed and troubled skin. Cold pressed raw hemp oil supports the skin's natural process for renewal and promotes skin resilience. Gentle rose and hemp flower extracts help to improve microcirculation leaving the complexion smooth and supple. Hyaluronic acid locks in moisture for long-term hydration.

The cream is suitable for - dry and dehydrated, mature, fine-pored, premature wrinkling, pale, redness, flaky, thin skinned, constantly reddened cheeks/nose, flaky, hypersensitive, prone to irritation and redness and stressed reactive skin.

To use: apply 1-2 pumps onto clean dry skin. Use AM and PM and it can also be used on dry areas on the body.

My skin has been loving the cream and the scent is slightly edible! I wasn't however keen on the Calming Face Cream as the scent was just too herbal for my tastes.

My husband has been testing out the Ointment for Irritated Skin (50ml - £19.90)* as he's got dry patches of irritated skin on the inside of his elbow. He's been finding it super soothing and it has helped to calm the inflamed skin.

The ointment helps those with very dry and flaky skin soothing irritated, reddened, itchy and hypersensitive skin. German chamomile, calendula and lavender restore and calm. The omegas 3 and 6 in organic hemp oil protects and moisturises.

It has a pleasant herbal green scent and can be applied to the skin when needed.

Ointment for Problem skin 5ml* is a "rescue remedy" when acute care is needed. You can pick up a sample pack, which contains trial sizes HERE.


Monday, 11 December 2017

The Food Market: "A Taste of Maltby Street Market"

Stella from Stella Says tweeted about The Food Market's "A Taste of Maltby Street Market" Hamper. With both of us being fans of the market and hubby's birthday being early December I snapped one up as a present for him! Pick yours up HERE.

Inside a Jute Shopping bag is the following:

And now for a closer look..

A bar of Stella Says Black Pepper, Sandalwood & Patchouli Soap which is 100% natural, vegan and organic and handmade in small batches - Stella will include a bar of what she's made that week! (she's the only non-food and drink trader at the market and it's a lovely stall to stumble upon.)

Maltby & Greek (I chose the red wine option) Domaine Chatzivaritis Goumenissa Greek Red Wine 750ml which is truly delicious! A full-bodied wine with notes of red fruit, spice, tomato, olive and vanilla. It's one I'd buy again as we both really enjoyed it.

Bean Bag Coffee Coffee Beans 250g single estate 'R' Graded Robusta Coffee Beans from South West India with notes of dark chocolate, almond and spice.

The Gay Farmer Spanish Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil 500ml which is a medium blend with fruit and well balanced peppery notes. Looking forward to trying it!

DEVI's Za'atar Halabi Spice Mix 60g which is a Syrian version of this Middle Eastern spice mix - dip bread in oil and then the spice mix for a traditional Aleppo flavour. From The Gyoza Guys is Chilli Oil with Shrimp (180g).

From African Volcano we have Medium Peri Peri Sauce 240ml which is a blend of Scotch Bonnet, African Bird's Eye and Facing Heaven Chillies with tomato, herbs, onion and garlic. Use as a condiment or marinade.

Fatties Bakery British Sea Salt Caramels 100g are made by hand in small batches and are delicious!

Pic's Peanut Butter 195g the ingredients are peanuts and sea salt nothing else.

So there you have it! Fantastic isn't it and a great memory of the brilliant Maltby Street Market. The Hampers have slightly gone down in price since I bought it. Pick yours up HERE.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Shopping my Stash #95

Here's what I've been reaching for this week:

From Skin Shop I've been testing out their Xmas Spice Rub Boswellia & Commiphora Joint Rub* which is great for reducing pain and inflammation caused by arthritis and stiff joints. I've got a problem with one of my knees (after a fall a few years ago) and I've found this cream really does help with the pain. It costs £9.95 for 100ml and you can pick it up HERE.

This Lemon & Lime Lip Balm from Minyara is just fab! If you want one hurry as there are only a few left in the shop currently. It deeply nourishes the lips and the lemon & lime flavour gives it a zesty taste. Made with local beeswax, sweet almond oil, cocoa butter and essential oils.

SkinOwl's Geranium Beauty Drops are just fantastic (I received them from my friend Julie as a gift) and I definitely want to try more from the range. They are suitable for combination, dehydrated, dull and lacklustre skin. The drops brighten, nourish and revitalise adding radiance and glow. I either use them alone or put a few drops in my moisturiser.  Love!

I've been testing out a few of the new products from ishga (I'm already a huge fan of the brand and you can see my previous review of a selection of their skincare HERE).

ishga organic seaweed body wash (£17.50 - 250ml)* makes for an invigorating and uplifting morning shower. The wash is made with an organic coconut oil base which hydrates and nourishes the skin along with moisturising and bio-degradable oil extracted from the palm fruit kernel and fruit acids which creates an all natural foam. The essential oils used are lemongrass, juniper berry, geranium and lavender.

My skin is absolutely loving ishga organic invigorating body oil (£35 - 100ml)* which deeply nourishes and moisturises. Made with sustainably sourced Scottish seaweed which contains Vitamins A, C and E along with trace elements and amino acids. The oil firms, regenerates, detoxifies and nourishes. It can also help to reduce the appearance of cellulite.

Organic House Relax & Sleep Room Spray (£17 - 30ml)* is just instantly soothing and calming. It's perfect to help you drop off to sleep but also great for calming frazzled nerves in the run up to Christmas. The blend is relaxing and is perfect to help you unwind. 100% Organic Flower Waters are blended with essential oils of Lavender and Vetiver.

What have you been reaching for this week?


Saturday, 9 December 2017

Love Lula: REN Moroccan Rose Otto Stocking Fillers

I just adore REN's Moroccan Rose Otto range - see my review of the bath oil HERE which I've loved for many years. I reviewed their Sugar Body Polish* and Rose Gold Glow Perfect Dry Oil* HERE and I highly recommend these too! So lush.

 This month via the Love Lula Accredited Blogger Program I was drawn to two stocking fillers/small gifts/tree baubles. A mini Moroccan Rose Otto Bath Oil* (10ml - £10) which is just perfection and new to me Limited Edition Moroccan Rose Otto Hand Balm* (50ml - £14) which is made with a luxurious blend of skin loving oils and butters and scented with the divine rose otto scent.

What small gifts have caught your eye recently?  I'm also loving the look of their Atlantic Kelp & Magnesium range (hopefully that'll come to Love Lula soon!)

*sent to me as part of the Love Lula Accredited Blogger Program. All thoughts are genuine and my post contains a few affiliate links.

Friday, 8 December 2017

Christmas Gift Ideas: Candles & Diffusers

Here are my ideas for gifting:

Beatitude's Christmas Comfort Candle* (200g - £30) is one of the nicest "Christmas" scented candles I've tried. It blends the original comfort candle (geranium, clementine, lavender and eucalyptus) with clove, cardamon & cinnamon and eco soy wax. It burns evenly and has a great throw. Highly recommend!

JOIK's Hot Chocolate Soy Wax Candle** (145g - £13.50) quite literally smells good enough to eat! See my review HERE.

The St Eval's Sea Salt Candle is one of my all time favourites (45hrs burn time - £9.46). See my review HERE.

Birch & Brook Library Scented Candle* (£38 - 40 hours burn time) I absolutely adore this "book" and "library" inspired scented candle. See my review HERE.

[M] Botanicals Rose Oud Soy Wax Candle (£15)* is one of my favourite candles I've tried this year. See my review HERE.

Amphora Aromatics Orange & Clove Reed Diffuser Kit* (£13.50) is one of the best reed diffusers I've tried. See my review HERE (it lasted six weeks using all the reeds and is such excellent value for money).

Are any of these on your wishlist?

**sent to me as part of the Love Lula Accredited Blogger Program

Thursday, 7 December 2017

JOIK Advent Calendar: The first 7 days

I was never going to do a daily post on the contents of the fabulous JOIK Advent Calendar* and had always planned a weekly one. Above is what came out of the first seven days! WOW! These are just my initial thoughts - I'll review them in fuller detail once I've had the chance to test them out properly.

Day 1:

Cleansing Facial Foam with Cucumber & Watercress Extracts & Aloe Juice 50ml - this is a gentle foaming cleanser with a refreshing scent (which I like to use in my morning shower). It is suitable for use all over the face and neck including the eye area.  This one's a hit with me!

Day 2:

Moisturizing DayCream with Rosehip, Wheatgerm & Carrot Oil 30ml - which lightly hydrates the skin. It's suitable for all skin types and is perfect to use under make up. A full review will follow when I get the chance to try it.

Day 3:

Raspberry Bon Bon Shower Oil 50ml - which smells divine! I'm not a huge fan of shower oils so will probably pass this one on.

Day 4:

Sweet Orange & Mint Body Scrub 75ml - this smells uplifting and refreshing at the same time! It also has the right amount of "scrubbiness" which I like. Looking forward to trying it.

Day 5:

Regenerating NightCream with Sea Buckthorn, Jojoba Oil & Calendula Extract 30ml - I've tried this once so far and my skin loved it. Expect a full review soon.

Day 6:

Green Tea & Cucumber Body Lotion 50ml - this light and easily absorbed lotion which smells really refreshing (I think this would be the one to pop in your summer holiday bag).

Day 7:

Rose & Red Clay Handmade Soap mini - which is one of my favourite items. I adore bars of soap and this one's gorgeous.

What are your thoughts on the contents of the JOIK Advent Calendar* so far?  Which ones would you specifically like me to review?

*I paid for £57 of the Advent Calendar and my November points from the Love Lula Accredited Blogger Program paid for the remainder.
**my post contains 2 affiliate links

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

ESSE Probiotic Skincare Review

I've recently been testing out some products* from the ESSE Probiotic Skincare range which you can buy directly HERE or from Love Lula.  As you'll know I've tried their Gel Cleanser* which I totally fell for - see my review HERE.

The packaging is luxurious, recyclable and products are certified organic, vegan, cruelty free and the company support fair trade and are carbon neutral. 

"Esse creates an environment on the skin that favours the growth of beneficial microbes. It uses prebiotics to selectively feed good microbes and includes live probiotic microbes in two of the serums to make functional changes to the skin's microbiome". Read more about the science behind the skincare HERE.

ESSE Probiotic Serum (30ml - £96)* contains more than one billion live probiotic microbes per millilitre which are activated by the moisture on your skin. The serum helps to slow the ageing process and it's the "world's first live priobiotic serum" thanks to it's BIOME+ technology. "Independent testing has proven that this product increases skin firmness by 16% in 28 days with positive results being shown in 100% of test subjects".

To use: apply a small amount to the skin before moisturising.

My thoughts? the serum is lightweight, absorbs instantly and is easy to apply to the skin. It's one of the most luxurious (and expensive) serums I've used. It plumps, hydrates and smoothes the skin (and is fabulous!) and is suitable for all skin types.

ESSE Rich Moisturiser (50ml - £49)* comes in a huge pot! It's targeted for dry skin or dry weather conditions. I've found that my dry winter skin is just lapping it up! It's rich and luxurious and contains probiotic extracts which optimise your skin's microbiome. Added marula oil and olive leaf extract nourish the skin and help elasticity and offer anti-oxidant protection.

To use: gently press onto the face and neck morning and evening after cleansing and toning.

My thoughts? Although rich my skin is really enjoying this easily absorbed cream which deeply nourishes and protects. I also like that ingredients within are sourced from cooperatives and community projects.

ESSE Eye Contour Cream (15ml - £99)* is suitable for all skin types and helps to address crow's feet, dark circles and puffiness. Bellis extract lightens dark circles by inhibiting tyrosinase production and reducing melanin. Albizia extract and Darutoside protect and strengthen the dermis helping to reduce puffiness and fine lines and wrinkles.

To use: apply a small amount around the eyes twice a day.

My thoughts? this is one of the best eye creams I've ever used. There is a definite difference to dark circles and the eye area feels more firm and nourished.

I've been really impressed with these products. Granted, they aren't cheap but they work - so are well worth the investment in my opinion. What's your favourite ESSE Probiotic Skincare product?

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

House of Christmas Secrets by Lynda Stacey

I loved Lynda's first novel, House of Secrets (which I read last December - see HERE) and so I was delighted to read her latest book House of Christmas Secrets* which is launched today on kindle and is perfect to read now as it's set around Christmas time.

"This year we're just going to have a nice, normal Christmas...

Last year's Christmas at Wrea Head Hall didn't quite go according to plan which is why Jess Croft is determined this festive season will be the one to remember, for the right reasons. And she has plenty of reasons to be hopeful, she's going to marry the man of her dreams, Jack Stone, seven days after New Year's Eve.

However, as family secrets are revealed in hidden letters and two unexpected guests turn up on the doorstep, Jess is left wondering whether her life will ever be the same again.

Can Jess and Jack still experience a peaceful festive season that they had imagined or are there some problems that even Christmas can't fix"?

My thoughts?

I absolutely loved it! It was great to catch up with well loved characters and meet new ones which I found I cared about by the end of the book (roll on book 3!)

Jess is looking forward to new starts and to close the book on the memories of the fire and her sister's evil ex Liam. She plans to have a wonderful family Christmas before marrying the love of her life Jack early in the new year.

Emily, Bandit's grandmother is weary of the secrets surrounding her family and while she still can writes letters to those she holds dear, explaining things and asking them to let secrets now be a thing of the past.

Strangers, Bastian and his daughter Lily arrive at the Hall from London. They've had a tough journey and Jess is drawn to them before she finds out who they are. There are dishonest people close to them who will stop at nothing to get what they feel they deserve..

An exciting and fast paced story with many twists and turns. Highly recommend!

*kindle copy sent to me by the author for review

Monday, 4 December 2017

MOA Dreamy Mineral Soak

As you'll probably be aware I adore MOA - Magic Organic Apothecary. I've tried everything in their range and this is the newest launch which is fabulous - Dreamy Mineral Soak - £25 for 400g. I picked mine up during Black Friday with 30% off.

Mineral rich Himalayan pink salt and sea salt are blending with an enticing mix of lavender, pine and cardamon and there is also the famous yarrow in there!

It's great to use before bed (add a couple of handfuls to your bath) for restful and fragrant dreams. 

The scent of the soak is really beautiful calming and uplifting at the same time. It has an aromatic spicy edge with the cardamon while lavender relaxes. Antiseptic lemon peel oil brightens and pine oil helps with oily skin and blemishes.

It's my new favourite bath treat. Pick yours up HERE.

See my reviews:

Hello Sunshine Energising Body Oil HERE
Fortifying Green Bath Potion HERE
The Green Balm, Daily Cleansing Ritual and Aphrodite Facial Oil HERE 

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Giveaway: Isla Apothecary Discovery Kit - it's over!

I've got an exciting Christmas giveaway for one of my UK readers. One of you can win your very own Isla Apothecary Discovery Kit worth £21. It's the ideal treat for you (or if you are the winner you may want to gift it if!)

The Discovery Kit is packaged in a luxury white snap shut box with a copper embossed logo.

Inside you will find 4 wonderful goodies:

30ml Relax+Recover Bath Salts
15ml Neroli Body Oil (REVIEW)
60g Blood Orange & Vanilla Moisturising Sugar Scrub
30ml Refine+Radiance Beautifying Face Mask

The set's an absolute delight for both the skin and senses with gorgeous scents which relax and enliven both the body and mind.

Follow the Rafflecopter below & good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway