Monday, 27 June 2016

My Weekend in Pictures: a Cacao nib and ginger cookie, a new Neal's Yard Eyeshadow and Aventurine earrings

On Friday it was a beautiful sunny evening, so Dan and I walked alongside the river. Everyday I walk past these roses, and I always think of how beautiful they look (and what a fantastic lipstick shade their petals would make!).


Saturday was a relaxed, blogging day. I roasted a huge tray of vegetables for lunch with chili and rapeseed oil. Roasted cauliflower might seem a bit unusual, but it's actually really good!

We had them with buttered cabbage and mushrooms, and some organic grated cheese. 

On grey Saturday afternoons, when it's raining, sometimes the only sensible response is to eat frozen raspberries with creme fraiche and chocolate and a coffee. And to watch YouTube videos. 


On Sunday I had a day to myself, which was actually really lovely. I walked along the river into town, and wandered in and out of all of my favourite shops (Dan doesn't have the patience for this!). I also had a little picnic from Pret in the park: a salmon, cream cheese and cucumber roll, a decaff cappuccino and - best of all - a cacao nib and ginger cookie, which tasted like gingerbread.

Okay, so if I'm left on my own in town all day, I'm going to end up doing a little bit of shopping, aren't I? I bought this Neal's Yard Remedies Eyeshadow in Hibiscus - it's the perfect rose gold shade, and I love their formula - it's even got rosehip oil in it!

When I walk around markets, I always gravitate towards flower shops. I really liked this little palm plant, he just looked really cheerful. I've named him Henry. I really didn't need any more plants, but I justify it by claiming that they purify the air in our home. 

My last purchase: a beautiful pair of sterling silver and Aventurine earrings by Exclusive Roots - if you're ever in Oxford, I really recommend this fair trade gift shop - they have some really lovely jewellery. I love the pale green tone of this stone, and I the shape is different to anything else that I own. 

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Note to self: go for a walk

Yesterday evening Dan and I went for a walk. Nothing special, just along the river.

But what it made me realise was how good it felt to go for a walk - I felt calmer and happier than I had done all week. Dan and I talked too, about topics that were slightly more varied than what we were going to have for dinner, or what to watch on Netflix.

I wanted to write a simple post today, so this is it. It's also a good little note for me: when I'm creating every possible excuse not to go for a walk (it's raining, I'm tired, I don't want to, I have chocolate and coffee here, so why would I ever leave?).

So, why go for a walk to nowhere in particular? Because it makes me feel good.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

If you liked Benefit's Lemonaid, you'll adore this Zao Makeup Organic Concealer...

This Zao concealer is all kinds of gorgeousness. It's the first time I've tried an organic concealer and been transfixed by how good it is - to the extent that I stopped packing for my weekend away, and wandered from mirror to mirror in my flat, checking if it could be really that good.

It is that good. 

What I love about the Zao Makeup Organic Concealer - and what makes it different to other natural and organic concealers that I've tried before - it the way it disappears into your skin, to give a natural, flawless finish. Other natural concealers that I've tried (and still like!) such as RMS or BWC have a thicker, heavier texture, that seems to rather on top of the skin, rather than sink in. This makes the Zao concealer perfect for redness (especially around the nose) covering blemishes and minor marks and scars. It's super soft and creamy, so needs setting with a powder. I like it under the eyes, but it needs buffing in with a powder, if not, I find it creases ever so slightly - a teeny tiny amount, but I thought I'd still mention it. 

Initially I thought the lipstick shape was a novelty, but it's actually incredibly practical - the fine point is perfect for blemishes, and the shape fits perfectly under the eyes. It's also really good for touch ups throughout the day. I also love the sustainable bamboo packaging. It's £16.95 initially (totally worth it) but after that you can buy refills for £9.99. 

Finally - the colour is the most yellow toned I've found from a natural brand - it reminds me so much of the Benefit Lemonaid concealer I used to purchase as a teenager.  I have the shade 491, which is Ivory. I know that lots of concealer now are colour correcting, with everything from pistachio to peach; but I find a yellow tone just works for everything: blemishes, dark circles, whatever. 

I'm going to be recommending this concealer to my Mum and sister Sarah, and it's genuinely become my favourite in the space of a few weeks. Absolutely love. It will definitely feature in my June favourites video on YouTube (spoiler). 

This concealer is from Glow Organic Brighton - a wonderful British website with a carefully curated collection of natural and organic makeup. The best thing about this site is that you can buy little samples of the makeup (which is surprisingly difficult to do on other websites) and if you order five samples, you get 20% off your next order of full size products. You can also get 10% off when you sign up for the newsletter. The founder of Glow Organic, Mel, is holding a natural and organic makeup workshop in Brighton on July 16th, so if you're based in the South it would be definitely worth a look. 

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

The night-time hand balm treat: Organic Balm Company Review

After you've peeled and chopped carrots, scrubbed the shower, hand washed three tops because your washing machine is vindictive and likes to shrink things, your hands need a little luxury. 

This Organic Balm Company Soothe and Restore Balm for Hands is the undoubtedly the loveliest hand treatment that I've ever had the opportunity to try. It's a rich, nourishing balm made up of sunflower, hemp, rosehip, sweet almond oils and cocoa butter, and subtly laced with lavender and frankincense oil - the scent is very delicate and pure. It also has calendula and nettle flower extracts to calm and soothe dry skin. 

I'd not thought of using a balm on my hands before, but it works perfectly - I love that I can apply this just before I go to sleep, and it works hard to moisturise my skin whilst I'm dreaming. Seriously - I woke up with velvety smooth hands. However, if you wanted to apply it throughout the day it sinks in within a couple of minutes - this would be a wonderful treatment if you were doing an at home manicure. I know that my sister (who has eczema) would love this, and it would be a perfect Christmas present for my mum. It's £30.00, but a 40ml glass pot will last for absolutely ages - you only need to apply a little bit. 

The Organic Balm Company are a British brand with a minimalistic range of products with organic, carefully sourced ingredients - I love their RAH facial Serum - stored in a little glass rollerball - and they also make beeswax candles. 

Do you have any night-time treatments that you love? 

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

A tinted SPF base for under fifteen pounds? Andalou Naturals Review

In my perpetual hunt for a tinted moisturiser, with SPF, for under twenty pounds, I've stumbled upon this beauty. It's the Andalou Naturals CC Color + Correct Sheer Nude with SPF 30.

There are three reasons why I love this tinted moisturiser: firstly, it has the most wonderful scent of roses - and when I say scent, I really mean it. If you don't like naturally perfumed base products then this might not be the one for you, but I adore it (there are a couple other versions of this product, which will have slightly different scents). The second reason I love this product is that it has SPF 30, which is derived from the mineral Zinc Oxide - the fact that it's also tinted means I will actually bother to apply it, with mineral foundation on top. The third reason that I love this CC cream is the price - I really like being able to recommend a products at a range of price points, but a lot of natural tinted SPF moisturisers are pretty expensive. I bought this for £10.99 from iHerb, but you do need to pay £2.78 delivery - but I'd recommend picking up a couple of other things while you were there (most American brands are more affordable on iHerb, for example: EcoTools makeup brushes). 

So, what don't I love about this product? Well, as you'd typically expect of a moisturiser  with SPF, it's very thick and creamy, and I find it makes my face slightly shinier than if I go without. However, it does sink into the skin eventually, makeup works perfectly on top of it, (did I mention that the colour is a great match for pale skins? It blends into the sheerest tint.). So adding a little extra face powder throughout the day seems to be a fair price to pay. 

 Have you discovered any other affordable tinted moisturisers with SPF? It would be lovely to find one from a British brand too...