Tried & Tested: Exfoliators

22 Aug 2017

I love using exfoliators in my weekly skincare routine. I tend to get dry patches on my forehead and also sometimes on my cheeks so using scrubs and polishes helps to remove dry patches and dead skin, keep skin smooth and prepare it for other skincare products.

The Body Deli Blueberry Fusion Micro Scrub
This is one of my all-time favourite scrubs. It isn't a really scrubby product but it has natural acids in there that remove dead skin and polish your skin - it's like a natural microdermabrasion treatment! For this reason it is one that I need to use quite quickly as if you leave it on it can sting a little however it is a seriously effective product that I will continue to repurchase again and again.

Bybi Beauty Prime Time Facial Polish
The newest product from the Clean Beauty Co girls (now renamed to BYBI) is this exfoliator. This product smells absolutely gorgeous! It is a thick balmy style polish with fruit enzymes such as apple and pineapple that gently strip away dead skin. It turns into a creamy milk when mixed with water so it's pretty easy to remove although sometimes I'll find the scrubby bits on my neck or face an hour or so later. Definitely another winner from BYBI though!

Conscious Skincare Neutralize Exfoliant
This exfoliator is targeted for oily, problematic skin and they also have other ranges for different skin types. It's a gel-style product with melissa and tea tree which work together to clean out pores and decongest skin. It has small exfoliating pieces which work well to buff away dry skin and it's a product I enjoy using. It's not too harsh, just enough for my skin!

Green People Orange Blossom Exfoliator
For their 20th Anniversary, Green People bought out some new products including an Orange Blossom and a Rose range which are limited edition. This exfoliator is a light, lotion-type product with small granules of apricot kernel and bamboo which gently buff away dry skin. The particules are very fine so it would be great for those with sensitive skin but I think this is a little too gentle for my liking. It's a nice product but I wouldn't say it's my favourite out of those I've mentioned above.

Amber

The Ohm Collection Deodorants

9 Aug 2017

Love Lula have just added a range of deodorants from The Ohm Collection to their store and I've been testing three out for the last few weeks.

Natural deodorants are different from the mainstream antiperspirants you'll find on the high street as they tend to be balms, powders or sticks that won't actually stop you from sweating but they'll (hopefully) hide any smells. You may be thinking..."what?! I can't be sweating all the time!" however after an initial period of a few weeks or so, once your body has gotten used to not using antiperspirants, you'll often find you will be a lot less sweaty and smelly!

The Ohm Collection have a range of powder deodorants that cost between £11 and £21 and claim to be "the safe deodorant that works". I've used a fair few natural deodorants on my green journey and there's been some great ones but unfortunately some not-so-great ones as well.

These powder deodorants are aluminium free and vegan-friendly. Ohm use a signature "Ohm Blend" of wild-crafted cold pressed ingredients that "keep smells and stains away" and they claim to alkalize and heal the skin. They do have bicarbonate of soda in which can be a trigger for some, myself included, so I am always a little wary when I see that on the ingredients list as it can cause irritation to the underarms which I have previously experienced.

I've only ever tried one other "powder" deodorant before which had a talc style feeling to it however these are more like fine, gritty powders as the main ingredient is bicarbonate of soda. I've been using the Nojito, Blossom and Lavender powders for the last few weeks and whilst they smell really nice in the pots, unfortunately I'm not finding that they last a full day for me scent-wise. The texture also takes some getting used to - as it's a fine powder, you have to apply to your underarms with your hands and I just find that it doesn't particularly stick and most ends up falling to the floor. I try not to rub as this can cause irritation however I find that's the best way to make sure it sticks!

Unfortunately these haven't swayed me enough to swap from my current deodorant but they might work for you if you're a fan of powder deodorants and they're an option to try if you're vegan. It could be that my underarms might be getting used to a new product so I'll update this post if I find that anything changes in the near future but for now, I'll mostly be sticking to Schmidt's.

Amber

*PR samples from Love Lula. All opinions are honest and my own.

My Tips for Planning a Wedding Abroad

20 Jul 2017

As you may know, I'm getting married in New York next year. It's been a lot of fun but also a little difficult (at times) planning a wedding in another country so I thought I'd put together my top tips for planning a wedding abroad. So far I've booked our photographer, officiant, wedding venue and restaurant and the florist so there's very little left to plan!

Visit
Probably the most obvious tip, but it's not always that easy, especially if it's quite far away. I was lucky enough to go to New York at the beginning of 2016 to search for a restaurant, take a look at some hotels and visit our ceremony location. I'd highly recommend doing this if you can, although I know this might not always be possible but it definitely helped. I had a few restaurants to visit on my list and I hated a couple that I thought would be perfect so it definitely made the decision a lot easier.


Magazines & Websites
In the UK one of the most popular wedding websites is Rock My Wedding, but in the US they have The Knot. I picked up their magazine at the airport on the way back from New York and it was great as it had their annual awards inside and all of the winners which helped me decide on our florist and find other suppliers too. Try and pick up magazines for the country you'll be getting married in or find wedding websites with local suppliers.

Instagram
I have been on Instagram pretty much non-stop when planning our wedding. It helps so much because I search the hashtag #NYCWedding and it comes up with photographers, florists and real-life weddings so I'm able to see certain areas of New York to hold the ceremony and have our pictures taken. I'm hoping it's not a rainy day so we can get married outside in Central Park but I am looking for alternatives locations, just in case!

Shop around
This goes for planning any wedding really but it's still important. When looking for a florist for our wedding day, I put together a PDF with photos and details of exactly what we were looking for to send to different suppliers. As I'm not able to go and visit anywhere to discuss ideas in person, I knew that was the best way of asking for exactly the same thing. I know that some suppliers will be better than others, but we had quotes ranging from £700 to £3,000 for the exact same thing which is crazy. One supplier wanted to charge us $7.50 for one sprig of eucalyptus PER plate! The supplier I've chosen is great, I follow them on Instagram so constantly see how good their work is and they're charging just $1 per plate! I am quite fussy too so I'm not just going for the cheap option - I work in the wedding industry so I can spot the good suppliers from the bad and know when people are overcharging purely because it's a wedding.

Google
I didn't really have much of an idea about how to get a marriage license or where we could officially get married in New York when we started looking so Google was a huge help. There are loads of blog posts about "eloping" and getting married in New York City, including how to get your marriage license and where you have to go. There's also lots of helpful information on getting a permit for your wedding location which isn't necessary but it's something we'll definitely be getting so our location is free for the time of our ceremony.

Are you planning your wedding abroad? What have you found helpful?

Amber

Empties

7 Jul 2017

A new empties post...I find it quite satisfying to gather the products I've used up over a month or so as I'm usually really bad at finishing products!
Greenfrog Botanicals Hand Wash & Body Wash
I tried the Neroli & Lime Hand Wash and the Geranium & Peppermint Body Wash and I really liked both. They're affordable, clean products and are available in travel size too, which is ideal if you want to sample them or are going on a trip.

The Handmade Soap Company Hand Wash
I really liked this product. I tried it when sampling products from The Handmade Soap Company for a Love Lula What's New blog post and I am pleasantly surprised by all the products I've tried from the brand. The scent is lovely and it foamed really well.


Eden Perfumes
My favourite natural perfume. I have number 460 which is the Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Dupe and it's beautiful. I already have a 100ml bottle opened since this one ran out.

Max & Me Enchanted Face Oil
I really enjoyed using this oil. The scent was lovely and it's a beautiful blend of ingredients. I have a body oil from the same brand which is also beautiful, I'd definitely recommend taking a look at their products.

Fresh Therapies Nail Polish Remover
My favourite natural nail polish remover. I think I've repurchased about three times now and I definitely will re-stock. It takes a little bit of scrubbing but your nails look healthy and nourished after use, unlike mainstream removers that strip your skin of all the natural oils.

Skin & Tonic Brit Beauty Oil
This was also a lovely oil. I go through face oils so quickly and my skin absolutely loves them. I wouldn't say it made a huge difference to my skin but it kept it balanced and looking healthy.

Bodhi & Birch Neroli Luce
A firm favourite of mine. Elijah, founder of Bodhi & Birch kindly sent me this oil and I used it up within a few weeks because I love it so much. I always try new oils but Neroli Luce it definitely in my top three and I know I'll always come back to it when my skins in need of a little TLC.

Amber
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