Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Blog Tour: Nailing Jess by Triona Scully



Today I'm on the blog tour for Nailing Jess by Triona Scully (you can see everyone else taking part on the poster above).

"What would the world be like if Adam took the first bite"

"Welcome to Withering, a small town with a big problem in the north of modern, matriarchal Britain. Here the women wear the trousers, while the men hold the handbags. Literally.  

There's a serial strangler on the loose and the bodies of teenage boys are piling up on maverick DCI Jane Wayne's patch.

Wayne needs to catch 'The Withering Wringer', but it's not going to be easy. Demoted for her inappropriate behaviour, she must take orders from a man - and not just any man - an ugly menimist that refuses to shave.

Still, at least she can rely on her drug stash from a recent police raid to keep her sane..."

My thoughts?

It did take me a while to get used to women being in charge and men wearing lipstick and carrying handbags! The story is a very clever and a thought provoking read however with interesting characters and storylines.

There is a serial killer on the loose who is killing teenage boys. DCI Jane Wayne has been demoted again and is unhappily having to take orders from DI Ben Campbell, a single father who is struggling to make it in a woman's world.

Women take the top jobs, oggle the men, drink whisky and are very sexist while the men look after the house and the kids. I wasn't keen on the swearing used throughout the story but the book is definitely different and in my opinion worth a read. It's one which will stay with me a long time too which I think is always the sign of a good read!

Irish born Triona Scully lives in Edinburgh with her son Mikey. Nailing Jess is her first novel. She blogs at trionascully.com. With many thanks to the author and Cranachan Publishing for a copy of the book.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

June Empties

Here's what I've been using up in June:



Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm 15ml - one of my favourite cleansing balms. See my review HERE. I've got a few of these in my stash to use up.

Chantecaille BioLifting Cream+ 10ml - this is a beautiful moisturiser and is a real treat. Full size is unfortunately out of my price range! I love occasionally getting this size in beauty boxes.

Jo Loves Pomelo 50ml - I was super sad to finish this perfume as it's one of my favourites. Will buy again soon! See my review HERE.

Isla Apothecary Jasmine Sunset Radiance Body Oil 10ml - this was a gorgeous oil which contains copper mica particles which give the skin a glow. The scent is beautiful and it's a body oil I'd love full size.

OKKO Natural Body Balm Stick 4.5g - a great try-me size of a lovely product. See my review HERE. I'm unlikely to pick this one up full size but I'll definitely be buying their natural face balm stick.

Aromatherapy Associates Support Lavender & Peppermint bath & Shower Oil 9ml - love these bath oils. Sure to pick up this scent again.

Aromatherapy Associates Revive Evening bath & Shower Oil 9ml - again, huge fan of these oils. Would be happy to use this one again.

The Body Deli Almond Milk Cleanser sample - nice to use with a delicious almond scent. Maybe once my cleanser stash reduces that I'd pick this up.

Skin & Tonic Calm Clean Cleansing Balm 5ml - I got a few uses from this teeny sample. Absolutely loved it and a full size pot is on the wishlist!


By Terry CellulaRose Brightening CC Serum samples - my favourite from the four was No.2 Rose Elixir which adds a youthful glow to the skin. It's one I'd buy full size.

Therapie Himalayan Detox Salts 500g - these are a staple and are always in my stash. Next Cult Goody Bag time I'll replenish my stash! See my review HERE. If I could only use one bath product it would be these salts!

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Eye Rescue sample - huge fan of this lovely eye cream. My pal Julie bought me a full size pot for my birthday. It's really lush (expect a full review soon).



Apples & Bears Bergamot & Green Tea Body Silk 50ml* - I received this in a Love Lula Box. I really enjoyed the silky texture of the lotion and the scent. Will buy when my stash reduces a bit.

Ogario Hydrate & Shine Shampoo 250ml** - I really enjoyed this shampoo. See my review HERE. It's one I'd definitely pick up when I'm needing a new shampoo.

Apple & Bears Honey & Hemp Body Wash 50ml** - lovely to use with a sweet herbal scent. See my review HERE. Again, it's one I'd buy.

*received as part of the Love Lula Accredited Blogger Program
**complimentary

Monday, 26 June 2017

Maddi Alexander: Serene Body Wash & Body Lotion


As you'll probably know I'm a huge Maddi Alexander fan having first tried the brand way back in 2012 when I picked up their Serene Bath Soak (see HERE).

I've been testing out the Serene Body Wash and Body Lotion (both 250ml - £18 each)*. The luxe packaging makes the products ideal for gifting or as a treat just for you.

The Serene scent is Lavender and Geranium, a delicious blend which is calming and sedative (lavender) while (geranium) is aromatic and balancing. It really is a gorgeous blend.

The body wash is creamy, nourishing and it deeply cleanses while gently caring for the skin. It's great to use at the end of the day to de-stressing and calm the mind and body and the duo help to ensure a perfect sleep.

The body lotion absorbs almost instantly leaving the skin nourished and delicately scented.

Maddi Alexander uses the best ethically sourced ingredients from organically grown fairtrade cooperatives. There are no petrochemicals, SLS, SLES, parabens, sulphates and synthetic perfumes used in formulation.

Have you used any products by Maddi Alexander, if so what are your favourites?

*complimentary

Sunday, 25 June 2017

June: Lately I've been Loving


JOIK's Hot Chocolate Candle* is simply mouthwatering. See my review HERE. I definitely want to try more candles from the range (and hopefully at some point Love Lula will stock their new diffusers).


I love pretty stationery and #boxoflame by That Lame Company ticks all the boxes for me. See my review HERE.



The perfumes I've been enjoying lately (so sad I'm nearly finished that Miller Harris!!)

Two Eternities EdP by Walden* - see my review HERE.
Vetiver Insolent EdP by Miller Harris - I love this spicy vetiver scent.
Jo Malone Grapefruit cologne - the first Jo Malone perfume I bought. I love its uplifting citrussy grapefruit notes.
Kai Perfume oil - huge fan of this beauty! The body care products are gorgeous too. See my review HERE.
Balm Balm Mandarin and Bergamot Single Note Perfumes - these are simply gorgeous, fruity, delicious and perfect for summer. Love Lula are selling the minis set for £9.95 just now which is an absolute steal! See HERE.



These new Schmidt's sensitive skin deodorants in Coconut Pineapple (screams of summer) and Jasmine Tea are available to buy at a beautiful world.






I really enjoyed going to the book launch of Lesley Kelly's new book The Health of Strangers which you can pick up in any good bookshop or at Amazon. I love a signed book and it's now on the groaning TBR pile!



I love this little snap I took of a ladybird down at the allotment. Simple pleasures eh!



This pudding is total summer in a glass - vanilla pannacotta with strawberry soup, strawberries and strawberry sorbet! Delicious. Get yours at The Guild of Foresters in Portobello (I'll definitely be going back to try it again soon!)

What have you been loving this month?

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

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Love Lula: Healthy Teeth: PearlBar & Weleda

I've been testing out a toothbrush, floss sticks, toothpaste and mouthwash this month. 

From new to me Australian brand PearlBar I've been trying their adult medium toothbrush (£7.49)* and Floss Sticks (£9.95)* both of which were The Beauty Shortlist Editors Choice 2017 winners.


The PearlBar range is fantastic! Both the toothbrush and floss picks are 100% biodegradable - you can bury them in the ground after use and they will naturally biodegrade in 6 months. Alternatively, the toothbrush which lasts for 2-3 months can be used as a dibber or stake for plants in your garden or allotment.

The bristles of the toothbrush* are infused with charcoal which help to deeply clean the teeth. The floss sticks* which also are charcoal infused help to whiten teeth, dislodge any food from hard to reach areas and freshen the breath.

I've been really impressed with their performance and usability and am looking forward to burying them at the Allotment after use!



From Weleda I've been testing out their non-foaming Ratanhia Toothpaste* (75ml - £4.75) which is especially good if you suffer from bleeding gums and inflammation although all the family can use it. Peppermint and Spearmint give the paste a nice minty flavour while Ratanhia soothes and is astringent. My teeth and gums have been feeling a lot more comfortable since using this.

Ratanhia Mouthwash* (50ml - £8.25) is super concentrated and helps to freshen the breath and strengthen gums. It needs to be diluted in water before use (5-10 drops to half a glass of water). Swirl around the mouth and gums before rinsing. This small bottle will make 5 litres of mouthwash making it very cost effective.

What are your favourite natural and organic dental care products?

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

Friday, 23 June 2017

ARgENTUM Apothecary le savon lune hydration bar



I've had the real pleasure of testing out ARgENTUM Apothecary's latest launch le savon luna (£104 - 150g)* which is luxuriously boxed and sealed.

ARgENTUM's founder Joy Isaacs used collodial silver to treat scratches, burns and grazes and to prevent infection while growing up in South Africa. She shared her knowledge with friend Stephanie Thierry and together they developed La Potion Infinie - "an all-encompassing, anti-ageing treatment that repairs and fortifies skin at a cellular level". 

Silver Hydrosol is combined with DNA HP (a natural marine based polymer) which illuminates, soothes and purifies the skin and Bentonite clay heals. The bar is suitable for all skin types is hand crafted in Luneville, France from 98% natural origins. The skin is left clean, clear, luminous, hydrated, plumped and comfortable, never dry.

To use: activate the bar by holding it under running water and with your hands create a lather. Apply to the skin in circular motions before rinsing and patting dry. Use twice a day.

I've been enjoying using the le savon lune hydration bar. It's a real luxe treat which does last for months using it twice a day.  See my review of ARgENTUM's l'étoile infinie*.

Have you used any products from ARgENTUM?

*complimentary

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Naturisimo: Oskia Try Me Set

I'm an absolute sucker for a try-me set and couldn't resist this one by Oskia (£13 worth £22) which is perfect as a try-me set or for holidays and oh the packaging is so cute..


So what's inside:


There are 4 mini pots:

Renaissance Cleansing Gel 5ml (review) (which I adore)
Perfect Cleanser 3.5ml (review)
Renaissance Mask 3.5ml (review)
Micro Exfoliating Balm

And 6 Sachets:

Renaissance 360 2ml (review)
Get up and Glow 2ml
Restoration Oil 2ml
Super 16 Pro-Collagen Super Serum 2ml (not tried this before)
Nutri-Active Day Cream 2ml
Renaissance Brightlight Serum 2ml (again, not tried this before)

So there are some old favourites there for me and some new tries from a brand I already love. Did you pick up a try-me set?

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

MuLondon Organic Rose, Rosehip & Rosemary Foaming Cleanser


As you'll probably know I'm a huge fan of MuLondon's White Chocolate Truffle Moisturiser (60ml - £21)* see my review HERE.

I've been testing out their Rose, Rosehip & Rosemary Foaming Cleanser (150ml - £16)* which I've been really impressed with.  The cleanser is great for dry, dehydrated, irritated and sensitive skin types, it's certified organic, is detergent free, preservative free and suitable for face, hands and shaving (I do love a multi-use product).

The cleanser comes out of the pump as a luxurious and fluffy foam and rose otto oil (which helps make the cleanser smell gorgeous), rosehip extract and rosemary antioxidant clean, balance and nourish the skin. The base of the cleanser is made with certified organic castile soap.

To use: apply the foam to wet skin, massaging onto the skin before rinsing.

I've been really enjoying using the cleanser in my morning shower for an uplifting and lovely cleanse.

Have you tried any MuLondon products? If so, what's your favourite(s)?

*complimentary

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

DAFNA'S Personal Skincare: Moisture+ Light Review & Giveaway!


I've been really impressed with all the Dafna's Personal Skincare products I've tried to date - Recovery Cleanser* and Nutrition Night Treatment & Eye Care*.

Their Moisture+ Light 30ml* (£55) is a beauty shortlist winner 2017 and is perfect for summer months due to it's light and silky texture. The cream is made with 19 natural actives which hydrate, protect the skin from free radicals, soften and nourish.  The skin is left feeling comfortable, plumped and with a radiant glow.

To use: AM and PM after cleansing making sure to avoid the eye area.

One of my readers can win a bottle of their own! Please enter via the rafflecopter below & good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 19 June 2017

Votary Rose Maroc & Sandalwood Facial Oil


Way back in December I received Votary's Rose Maroc & Sandalwood Facial Oil (30ml - £65) in my Liberty Advent Calendar (£165) on day 17. It had been on the wishlist for ages and I was so excited to try it.


So did it live up to my expectations? Oh yes!

The oil which is hand-crafted in small batches smells deeply of roses with a hint of woods and is wonderful - I think it's even better than I was expecting. The oil is made with plant oils and botanicals and is great for dry and dehydrated skins and I've found it to be my skin's best friend when it's been feeling dry and out of sorts. The skin is left plumped, radiant and nourished.

To use: apply 4-5 drops to palms, warm and then cup your palms around your nose and inhale. Smooth onto face and neck taking care to pat gently around the eye area.

Have you used this facial oil or any other products by Votary? I'm after the new body oil next!

Sunday, 18 June 2017

SW Basics Geranium Salve


SW Basics Geranium Salve is made with 4 ingredients - Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Carnauba Wax, Organic Cocoa Butter and Organic Rose Geranium Essential Oil.  In the UK you can buy it at a beautiful world (28g - £12.50).

You can slather it all over the body, use as a lip balm, for cuticles, dry hands and feet and for flyaways. it's a rich and protective balm which smells heavenly and the tin can be easily popped in a pocket or handbag for moisturisation on the go.

Have you tried any of the salves? What's your favourite SW Basics product?

Saturday, 17 June 2017

OKKO Skincare Try-Me Sizes


I've been wanting to try OKKO Skincare for ages but I'd just not got round to it. While browsing at Love Lula recently I discovered that you could pick up try-me sizes (4.5g - £3-£4) which are the size of a lip balm making them great try-mes or for holidays. There are 4 to choose from - see HERE.

My thoughts?

My favourite from the three I selected is the Natural Face Balm Stick Organic Clary Sage & Rose Geranium (£4) which apart from smelling incredible deeply nourishes the skin (this size of balm will last a two week holiday using twice a day). To use: glide over cleansed face and neck before massaging onto the skin.

Natural Foot Balm Stick with Organic Calendula and Eucalyptus (£3) which will last for 3-4 uses. Organic Calendula calms and soothes while Eucalyptus heals and refreshes. To use: rub over your feet massaging the balm in.

Natural Body Balm with Organic Frankincense & Lavender (£3) which leaves the skin deeply nourished. I got a couple of uses from this. This scent is nice but I'd have preferred it to be a bit stronger.  To use: massage into the skin.

I've really enjoyed using these and I'll be buying the Face Balm full size. Have you used any OKKO Skincare products?

Friday, 16 June 2017

Bodhi & Birch Travel Sets: Cool Vibes & Sizzling Hot

As you'll know I'm a sucker for a travel kit and minis. I just couldn't resist Cool Vibes and Sizzling Hot Travel Kits from Bodhi & Birch. The sets contain 4 x 50ml Bath & Shower Therapies (£20) which are nestled inside a travel friendly clear plastic bag. Both sets contain Botanic Dew which refreshes and purifies (and can also be used as a hand wash).


Cool Vibes Travel Set contains:

Camomile Sky Bath & Shower Therapy (review)
Mint Thé Bath & Shower Therapy (review)
Rosmary Chi Bath & Shower Therapy (review)
Botanical Dew Hand & Body Wash (review)


Sizzling Hot Travel Set contains:

Botanical Dew Hand & Body Wash
Ylang Ylang Incensa Bath & Shower Therapy (review)
Siam Ginger Bath & Shower Therapy (review)
Pep Noir Bath & Shower Therapy

I love the extra treat of a free trial size with purchase and this month it's my favourite Lime Blossom Protecting Hand Serum (5ml - worth £5.50). See my review HERE.


Have you bought anything recently from Bodhi & Birch?

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Tropic Skincare: Limited Edition: Summer Goddess Shimmering Body Oil



From Tropic Skincare's summer range is beautiful Limited Edition Summer Goddess Shimmering Body Oil (150ml - £28)* which is perfect with a sun tan. It's a beautiful luxurious body oil which is infused with gold shimmer.

Organic Virgin Coconut and Golden Jojoba Oils hydrate and nourish. It's scented with exotic Tahitian and Bourbon Vanilla which leaves the skin smelling delicious.

It's perfect to pack for your summer holidays or if you are having a staycation to brighten both your body and your mood!

To use: shake before use and massage onto the skin. The oil leaves the skin with a real shiny shimmering glow.



*complimentary

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Love Lula Beauty Box: June 2017

June's Love Lula Beauty Box is absolutely fantastic! (It costs £13.95 a month recurring in the UK and £52.50 for three months Internationally). Sign up HERE. This month the box is worth £43! And as ever there is a voucher code for 20% off the brands this month (valid until 30 June).


So whats inside:

As you'll know from yesterday's post I'm a huge Madara fan and inside this month is their Daily Defence Ultra Rich Balm (60ml - £15) which is fantastic. It deeply nourishes body, hands and face. Expect a review soon!

From Balm Balm there is a pot of their Hibiscus Face Mask with a Muslin Cloth. I've used both of these before and loved them! I also find I can never have too many muslin cloths!

The first item I picked out from the box was BellaPierre's Kiss Proof Lip Cream in Antique Pink (3.8g - £20) which is a lovely addition to the box this month! It's a really pretty suit everyone matte shade which once on just doesn't budge!

The final item this month is a bar of Lavender, Rose Geranium and Ylang Ylang soap (43g - £3) by John Masters Organics which I've used and loved before.

In my opinion, it's a great box this month. What are your thoughts?

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

Monday, 12 June 2017

Madara Organic Skincare: Top Picks


I'm a huge fan of Madara Organic Skincare and would like to share some thoughts on some new (and old favourites) with you.

From Love Lula:

Active AHA Brightening Peel Mask (60ml - £20)* which came in the April Beauty Box is fantastic. It removes dead skin cells leaving the skin radiant and renewed. It contains a super dose of nature's active fruit acids - Vitamin C from quince with hydrating lactic acid and soothing elderflower. It's especially good if your skin is dull, tired, ageing and lacking glow. It's not suitable for really sensitive skin types.

To use: apply to clean skin, leave on 3-10 minutes before removing.

Travel Size SOS Hydra Moisture & Radiance Mask (12.5ml - £15)* which came in the November Beauty Box. It is suitable for all skin types. My skin's been loving it over the winter months. The mask can be removed or left on for a deeply nourishing hit of hydration. 

The mask contains moisturising natural sugars, Northern peony, hyaluronic acid, linseed and nettle. It has a gorgeous floral powdery scent and is great for an instant pick-me-up.

To use: up to twice a week when the skin is feeling dry and thirsty. Apply to the skin leaving on for 15-20 minutes before wiping off or leaving on.

Total Renew Night Cream (20ml - £20)* came in December's Love Lula Beauty Box. This easily absorbing cream contains rejuvenating Northern Birch juice and softens, hydrates and recharges the skin. It works overnight to rebuild dermal collagen and elastin fibres smoothing and rejuvenating.

To use: apply to skin after cleansing in the evening.

I've gone through several bottles of Madara's Micellar Water and it's one of my staples. I also receive it in February's Love Lula Beauty Box.

The Time Miracle Cellular Nutrients Toning Mist** is fantastic. See my review HERE.

The Time Miracle Cellular Repair Serum 15ml** came in a Naturisimo Discovery Box and is perfect to use before the night cream.  It smoothes out lines and wrinkles and repairs the skin while you sleep. It's suitable for all skin types especially mature.

To use: apply to clean skin AM and PM before following with a moisturiser.

What's your favourite Madara Organic Skincare product?

*sent to me as part of the Love Lula Accredited Blogger Program. My post contains some affiliate links
**complimentary

Saturday, 10 June 2017

New In: Evolve Organic Beauty: Daily Defence Moisture Mist


I've been testing out Evolve Organic Beauty's latest launch - Daily Defence Moisture Mist (100ml - £20)* which can also be bought in a travel friendly 30ml size which costs £10.

I love the simple but pretty recyclable packaging and the fact that all products are Vegan, cruelty-free and made with natural and organic ingredients in small batches. It's 99.4% natural and 20.5% organic an is suitable for all skin types even sensitive.

The new Daily Defence Moisture Mist* is absolutely fantastic! It calms and protects the skin and can be used as a toner or to mist on the skin throughout the day for an instant hydration boost. Keep it in the fridge to refresh the skin on hot summer days (or on holiday).

The moisture mist is infused with Organic Prickly Pear which calms and hydrates, Moringa Peptides which protect the skin from pollution as well as hydrating and collagen boosting Hyaluronic Acid.

The mist is really lovely to use and has a light scent of rosewater and orange flower water and skin is left dewy and hydrated. LOVE!

Have you tried Daily Defence Moisture Mist?

*complimentary

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Bodhi & Birch: New Blend: Desert Rose Facial Oil

I'm a huge fan as you'll know of Bodhi & Birch and have recently been trying out their new blend of Desert Rose Facial Oil (15ml - £38)*.


This lightweight oil rejuvenates and renews the skin, evens skin tone, regenerates, minimise age spots, deeply nourishes and leaves the skin scented with roses.

The blend is 100% natural, with 95% certified organic ingredients, is suitable for Vegans and there is no animal testing.

The oils is stuffed full of good things for the skin: Organic Argan Oil is rich in essential fatty acids, it contains Vitamin E which helps with ageing skin. It also helps with cell renewal and smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles. Organic Rosehip Oil regenerates, softens and moisturises and helps to decrease signs of ageing. Organic Prickly Pear is rich in Vitamins E and K and Omega 6. It deeply nourishes and firms. Organic Starflower Oil is cold pressed from the seeds of the borage plant and helps to restore the skin's moisture barrier. Organic Evening Primrose Oil is rich in Gamma-Linolenic Acid and helps to reduce skin inflammation while supporting the collagen and elastin structure while Bulgarian Damask Rose Otto tones, smoothes, softens, repairs and regenerates (and smells glorious!)

To use: apply AM and PM after cleansing and toning. Warm a couple of pumps between your palms and press over face and neck. You can use a small amount through the ends of your hair for protection.

I must admit I was sad to hear the original blend was being discontinued (review) but I think the new blend is even better. It's more current and contains even more skin loving ingredients but still has the delectable rose scent.

NEW IN: You can now buy a travel size see HERE which is great for travel but also a good try me size (£12 - 5ml) which has approximately 2 weeks worth of use.

Have you used the new blend of Desert Rose Facial Oil?

*complimentary



Wednesday, 7 June 2017

That Lame Company: Box of Lame

I've had a couple of #BoxOfLame(s) in the past (see HERE and HERE) and I've loved them. Founder, Chloe works full-time and blogs and runs That Lame Company in her spare time. The latest one which I pre-ordered arrived yesterday and it's stuffed full! You can however still order one.




I just love the painted leaf bunting - it's so pretty! Other things which catch my eye are the pretty coasters, clay dish post-it notes, pad, the A5 rose gold painted clipboard, the pencil, pins, pegs, wooden print stand, washi tape...



A5 and A6 prints and a card. I love "you are capable of amazing things", "prove them wrong" and "be kind, work hard & stay humble".

It's a fantastic selection of goodies. Did you pick up a #BoxOfLame?

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Summer Picks: Zing Organics, Skin Owl & Tropic Skincare


Here are some summer handbag sized treats which I've been enjoying:

From beautiful Zing Organics is one of their Award Winning Aromasoar Solid Mini Perfumes in French Bourbon, Geranium & May Chang (2ml - £17.50) which I just adore. It's the perfect size for holidays. See my thoughts HERE. Remember you can win one of your very own - see details of how to enter HERE.

My pal Julie gave me gorgeous Skin Owl goodies for my birthday. I just adore their gorgeous Sweet Mandarin Lip Balm which deeply nourishes the lips and leaves them with a fruity scent and a glossy look.

My final pick is from one of my favourite brands Sun Balm SPF50 (20ml -£16)* from Tropic Skincare. It's great for sun protection on the go and great for faces, noses, shoulders and any other areas prone to burning.  It contains nourishing extracts of tamanu oil, Vitamin E and Rosemary leaf oil. Zinc oxide provides broad spectrum protection.

What's your summer handbag top picks?

*complimentary