Green Beauty Haul

13 Jul 2018

I've bought a few new things recently so I thought I'd share my green beauty buys in a haul post.
Before I got married the lovely Elijah from Bodhi & Birch got in touch to see if I'd like to be on the panel for trying out a few of the products from his new Superfood Series. Unfortunately it was only a couple of weeks before the wedding so I had to say no as I didn't want to risk messing up my skincare routine but since I got back I purchased myself the Avo Bao Balm and Elijah very kindly included minis of the other products too.

The Tomato Seed Cleansing Oil is such a lovely cleanser and I've been enjoying using the balm too! I'm yet to try the mask but the toner and serum are lovely products too.
abeautifulworld are currently running their Summer Sale with up to 50% off and I was talking to Paul one morning about how he'd run out of Proverb moisturiser and he'd gone back to Nivea (gross), then I got the sale email! I bought him the Proverb Moisturiser as it was on sale for £35! Liz kindly included a few extra goodies for Paul to try too from Brickell so I'll keep you all posted on how he gets on with those!
 I was having a browse on Content and came across the Ben & Anna range. They have deodorants which I've seen before but also a Sugar Hair Removal kit. I needed a new deodorant so I bought the Vanilla Orchid one and also the hair removal kit. I'm really liking the deodorant so far and it comes in eco-friendly cardboard packaging. I haven't tried the hair removal kit yet but will post my thoughts when I have!

I also did a bit more browsing and saw Tincture which is a natural cleaning brand I've been meaning to try, so I picked up their All Purpose Spray to see how well it works. Then I popped a Dr Bronner's Peppermint Castille Soap in my basket as it's always handy to have round the house and I particularly like using it for cleaning makeup brushes.

I saw an Instagram live from Nini Organics about an amazing offer they had on a couple of weeks ago where they were giving away gifts with your purchases. I had my eye on their Natura Detox Oil so I bought that for myself and got two free face products - Coffee & Cacao Scrub and the Natura Miracle Mask. I'm yet to try any of them but I'm excited to try them all!
 
Let me know if you'd like me to review any of these products in full!

Amber

*This post contains affiliate links.

Formula Botanica Graduate Products

25 Jun 2018

*This post is sponsored by Formula Botanica*

Last year I had the pleasure of attending the Formula Botanica Annual Conference in London where I got to meet Lorraine, founder of Formula Botanica and other members of the team who work together at this natural skincare online school.

I got to see first hand the passion that all of the students have for creating natural skincare products & we heard from some of their graduates too which was amazing - so many inspiring women running their own businesses using all of the information and knowledge from studying at Formula Botanica.
If you've not heard of Formula Botanica before, they are an online accredited organic skincare school who have over 4600 students in 129 different countries around the world. How incredible is that? A few of my favourite green beauty products come from graduates of Formula Botanica and there are plenty more that are on my list to try.

It's so incredible that you can start learning how to create your own organic skincare business from anywhere in the world. To showcase some of the amazing products from their graduates, Formula Botanica sent me a box full of natural products from brands all around the world; Miami, Australia, Indonesia & Canada to name a few! I've been trying the products for around a month so I thought I'd go through each product, telling you all the details on the brand & founder, my initial thoughts on each product & also where you can get your hands on them too!

Jalue
Jalue is the brainchild of Azerbaijani entrepreneur Jale Demirchi, who was immersed in Russian skincare heritage and the traditions of herbalism from birth.

Their Ice Therapy Cone is so, so different and intriguing - I've never seen anything like this before. It's inspired by a Russian skincare tradition that dates back to Catherine the Great who was said to have applied an ice cube to her face, neck and décolletage every morning to preserve her beauty and refresh her complexion. Russians later improved upon this ritual by adding different skin beautifying herbs to the ice for the ultimate skincare treatment.
To start, you brew one of the herbal tea bags which are filled with chamomile, sage, nettle, rose and oak bark (there are four provided in the box), and leave it to cool. Once it's cooled, you pour it into the silicone cone and then pop it in the freezer. Then to use, simply take off the lid and pop it out (like an Calippo ice lolly), and massage over your skin for a mini ice facial! Some of the benefits of ice therapy include reduced puffiness, calmer & tigther skin, reduced size & appearance of pores and glowing skin!

This has been so lovely to use around my eyes as I've been suffering really bad with my hayfever this year and my eyes are especially itchy, puffy & sore. I've been massaging this around the eye bone area and it's so cooling and reduces the puffiness almost immediately. I can't say I'd use this during the colder months but it's definitely been a lovely treat over the last few weeks as we've had some really nice weather! I'd definitely need to use it more to notice the effects more over my whole face, but I just think it's such an intriguing product! You can buy Jalue from Content Beauty, including refill herbal sachets.


Metta Skincare
Metta Skincare was founded by Anca Grigoras in 2013 in Australia and all of their 100% natural products are handmade in Melbourne. They have a staple range of skincare products ranging from balms to a body butter & oil. I love the idea behind their name..."Mettā is an ancient style of meditation that encourages loving-kindness with yourself and the world around you. Mettā Skincare shares much with this style of meditation. We wish to help reconnect your daily skincare routine to nature through a practice of loving-kindness for your skin".
I'd heard of Metta but hadn't tried any of their products until now. I've been using their Body Oil which is a lovely rich blend of grapeseed, macadamia, jojoba & sweet almond oil and is scented with lavender essential oil. It isn't a very strong scent which I actually do love because sometimes lavender can be a bit overpowering and I usually apply oils before I go to bed and if I use anything too strong then my husband doesn't like the smell! I've really been enjoying this oil and it definitely makes me want to try more from the range.


Skin Dewi
Skin Dewi is a sensitive skincare brand created in Indonesia by Dewi Kauw. Dewi created her range of products after her second daughter suffered with allergies and atopic dermatitis. Wanting to stay clear of prescribed steroid creams, Dewi started to make her own DIY products to use which led to her wanting to develop her journey into formulating her own skincare products.
There's a range of products available from Skin Dewi and I've been using the Helichrysum Brightening Vitamin C Serum which is their best-selling product. It's created with skin-brightening, pigment-lightening and anti-aging botanical extracts, actives and vitamin C to target uneven skin tone and hyperpigmentation.

It is a really lovely serum - a very light lotion style consistency that sinks into the skin quickly. I don't think this one is particularly that suited to my skin as I am only 25 so anti-aging isn't really worth using right now and I don't have any pigmentation either so I'm going to pass this onto my Mum as I think it'll be a better fit for her skin. I've got my eye on their Balancing Face Emulsion and the Calendula Soothing Gel which I think would be the right fit for my combination skin.


Lilfox Miami
I've loved all of the products I've tried from Lilfox Miami, I think their products are lovely, the packaging is sleek and so pretty and whilst they are a Miami based brand, their products are available at abeautifulworld. Created by Alexis Rose, Lilfox is a luxury botanical skincare brand, formulated with botanical extracts, exotic oils, unrefined plant butters, mineral rich clays and crystals. I love this quote from abeautifulworld - "If sexy did skincare this would be it".

I'm a big fan of their Rainforest Honey Mask so I was excited to try the Bamboo Charcoal Masque. It comes in powder form which can be mixed with water, oils and hydrosols to create a liquid mask.

It's made with rhassoul clay, dead sea clay, activated bamboo charcoal & fullers earth clay, along with raw cacao, turmeric root, marshmallow root, lavender, frankincense & gotu kola. I really like the consistency of this mask because it doesn't dry too quickly on the skin. I like to keep it on for a while so I keep a toner nearby so I can spritz my face every few minutes. You can also mix a little bit of the Rainforest Mask in for extra hydration which suits my skin as I can get quite congested skin but also sometimes have dry patches so it's a lovely mix. 

Okoko Cosmetiques
Okoko are a Vancouver-based natural, luxury skincare brand who make radiance-enhancing products that relax the mind & promote glowing skin. When I opened their Sublime Balm, I was wowed by the colour - look at that gorgeous shade of orange!  
The gorgeous orange balm has a huge range of uses - as a balm cleanser, an overnight mask, a highlighter for the face, as an exfoliator (mix with a little bit of plant powder or fine salt crystal) or just for anywhere that needs a little bit of extra nourishment. It's formulated with an antioxidant-rich blend of astaxanthin, tomato oil which is rich in lycopene, and fermented willow bark. It also has mango & kokum seed butter, argan oil, sea buckthorn extract (which I guess is partly where the gorgeous colour comes from along with the tomato oil),  and it's scented with bergamot, jasmine, patchouli, neroli and geranium rose.

A little does go a long way with this balm which is great as it does come with a luxury price tag. I think this would be a skin-saver during the colder months, especially on my face as an overnight mask as my skin tends to dry out a lot during the Winter months!

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What I love the most is that all of these brand owners have studied & graduated from the same or similar courses at Formula Botanica but have each created something so unique and different to one another. From luxury skincare to ice therapy and products specifically for sensitive skin, there's such a huge variety to choose from.

If you're interested in studying to learn about formulating your own skincare products then the Summer School enrolment is opening very soon at Formula Botanica! There's courses on organic skincare, haircare, cosmetic science, anti-ageing skincare and more!


If you're just a green beauty enthusiast like me and want to discover new natural skincare brands then head over to the Graduates section on their website! A few other graduates you may know of include BYBI Beauty, Wild Beauty Apothecary, Field Botanicals, Blue Labelle & Alexa Sky Botanicals.

Amber

Conscious/Ethical Everyday Swaps

13 Jun 2018

I've been trying to make some small everyday swaps over the last couple of years to live as consciously as possible, minimising the amount of plastic I use and always recycling at home & elsewhere if I can. I thought I'd do a post on small things that are easy to do/change that are more ethical & conscious for the environment.
I recently saw on Instagram the launch of "The Ethical Box" and for their first box, they created a starter kit for a more conscious, ethical lifestyle (this box inspired this blog post!). I already use a bamboo toothbrush but there were a few other items in the Get Started Kit that would come in handy so I bought it! Included in the box is; a reusable coffee cup from Ecoffee, a 100% biodegradable bamboo toothbrush from F.E.T.E, a pack of four steel straws with cleaner plus jute carry pouch, (ideal for popping in your bag for a day out) and a 100% organic and fair trade cotton Tote Bag with The Ethical Box #ConsciousConsumer phrase on it.
I really like the contents of the box and think it's a great way to start making everyday changes in your life. I love the coffee cup (although I only drink tea, not coffee...yuk!) and I was in need of a new toothbrush. The straws are an amazing idea and I definitely could've done with those on our honeymoon as our hotel didn't have straws due to the damage they cause to sea creatures & our oceans.

I tried to use a menstrual cup for my periods but unfortunately I didn't get on with it that well. I find them tricky to use and also a bit of a pain when you're out and about so I went back to my trusty TOTM Organic tampons. You can subscribe to get a monthly delivery through your door which is really handy. The tampons come with card applicators, wrapped in paper so there's no excessive plastic use and the cotton used is organic.


Another swap for my periods is using the "Fab Little Bag" tampon bags. I admit I used to flush them but now I use these as it's so much better for the environment. They are biodegradable, can be opened one-handed and you can buy small packs to keep in your handbag for when you're not at home. "Our mission is to stop pollution caused by flushed sanitary items, to turn awkward disposal into a fab experience and to break down the taboo around periods while we’re at it!" - Fab Little Bag. I've signed up to their subscription for £2.99 a month (20 bags) and you get a 1 month free trial & there's a 10p sign-up fee.

Who Gives a Crap (great name!) are a toilet roll company who make 100% recycled toilet paper and 50% of their profits are donated to help build toilets. I signed up for a free trial and received a box full of a mix of their products; toilet roll, kitchen roll & tissues which are all scent, dye & ink free. They have a premium range of toilet roll which was super soft and comparable to the likes of Andrex. Their normal range isn't quite as soft but it is still very good quality and soft.

To get £5 off your order, sign up via this link. 48 rolls for £31 instead of £36, making it around 65p per roll. I've signed up to receive 48 rolls every 16 weeks as it's only Paul & I in our house.
I was sent a gorgeous rose-gold metal razor personalised with my name from Friction Free Shaving which I featured in my Green Beauty Honeymoon post but unfortunately I accidentally left it in a hotel room in New York (doh!). I really wanted another so I bought myself one when I got home and had it personalised again. It's a great way to save on disposable razors every month. Friction Free Shaving are a monthly razor company who send you four heads each month that can be swapped onto the razor each week. In June you can get 25% off (£6.75 instead of £9) and FREE engraving (worth £5) with the code JUN25.

One thing I haven't photographed as it's on its way in the post is a reusable water bottle! I just won a bottle from Verd which is the most gorgeous rose gold metal bottle, I will share a photo once it arrives! You can order on Amazon.

Amber

This post contains affiliate links.

What's New in Green Beauty

29 May 2018

Since I was busy with all the wedding prep, I haven't been blogging as much as usual but now I'm back! I also have missed quite a few new releases as I was away so I thought I'd share a few new green beauty releases from the last month or so...

Tropic Hair have bought out a new range of haircare products which I'm excited about. I've been loving Tropic products recently! I got my hands on their Clarifying Hair Wash and the Hair Smooth Radiance Oil which I'm looking forward to trying. I don't use conditioner anymore so sometimes my hair can be a little frizzy and so I think the oil will be perfect for using as and when I need it - it can be used on wet hair, before blow-drying, as a treatment or simply after styling as a finishing oil.

Kure Bazaar have released a few new polishes for SS18 and I was sent two shades; Sunset & Cosmos. I love Kure's range of colours and they are now all up to 90% natural, 10-free and they have also eliminated the use of benzophenone 1-3 which has been a talking point for debates recently in the green beauty world. I've been loving wearing Sunset, it's the perfect Summer shade! 

Some of you may know that I collaborated with Joanna from Mallow & White on the Blossom Balm which is stocked at Nectar & Bumble which is so incredible and exciting. Joanna has now released three brand new balms to go alongside her beautiful collection. I got my hands on the Restore Balm which is a blend of 6 ingredients; shea butter, grapeseed oil, pomegranate oil and geranium, lavender & orange essential oils. It is for use on the hands & body for specially dry areas that need a bit of nourishing. This was one of the first products that Joanna ever made so it's lovely to see it making a comeback since her re-launch a couple of years back.

Antipodes have launched a brand new product - Halo Face Mask which is a mud mask that claims to brighten and lift skin. It is infused with antioxidant compound Vinanza® grape and kiwi which works to lighten skin and even skin-tone as well as volcanic mud from New Zealand & peony which I have never seen in any of my skincare products before! It's a really nice mask - nice and thick so you get a really nice layer of mask on your skin. It dries fairly quickly and it can be a bit of a pain to remove if you leave it on but I think it's a lovely mask on first impressions.

The newest release I've discovered is the Sister & Co Oil. It's called the True Cleanse Cleansing Oil and is a blend of organic cold-pressed apricot, jojoba and grape oils infused with rose otto and frankincense. The oil is 100% natural, vegetarian, vegan, gluten & dairy free, made with certified organic ingredients. It comes with an organic cloth to remove the oil after use and it works to take of makeup & get rid of impurities in the skin.

And last but not least isn't exactly a new release product-wise but last week I received a lovely parcel from Alchemy Oils who have launched their new packaging for their hair oils! If you head over to my Instagram story highlights "in the post" (@thisnaturalbee) you'll see the rest of the parcel which was one of the loveliest PR parcels I've ever received - full of everything I need for a relaxing night in for some "me time". The new packaging features a dropper making it a whole lot easier to distribute and use the Grapefruit Hair Remedy Oil.

Amber
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