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03/08/15: Bin, gift or repurpose? #3

Schmidt's Deodorant x 3 (sample sizes)
The Bergamot and Lime and Cedarwood I purchased myself and the Ylang Ylang I received in the recent ABW sampler.  Unfortunately although I love the fragrances after using them for a while my underarms now can't handle the bicarbonate soda for more than a few days.  The Lime is close to two thirds empty, the Cedarwood about a third but the Ylang Ylang is untouched.  Bin/gift:  I'm not really sure how I would go about repurposing these so it's going to be bin or gift.  If anyone would like the unused Ylang Ylang, just shout!

Akamuti Mango Tree Butter
I think I bought this as I noticed that mango tree butter featured in a few under eye balms as a brightening agent.  It's a small pot but I've never gotten around to really using it; as it's so firm (to be fair Akamuti do warn you of this!) it's difficult to use on its own and you really need to mix it with another butter.  It doesn't have any particular scent other than a bit "tree-ey".   Bin - It's been in my drawer for a while and is now past its best before date.

Trilogy Cream Cleanser and Vital Moisturising Cream
I bought these last year for my mother as a "welcome to organic natural nice stuff" gift.  Unfortunately I forgot that she is intolerant to aloe vera, which features heavily in these products.  I've never gotten around to using them up as I'm more than happy with my cleansers and moisturisers.  Bin/gift - They're just outside of their BBE date so I wouldn't want to gift them to anyone without fair warning. They've only been tested on hands so if anyone would like to try them I can pop them in the post!  

Our Tiny Bees Lip Balm
I received this as a gift with purchase when I bought their face mask, bath bar and a candle.  It's pleasant enough, although quite stiff.  The honey scent comes through but I tend to prefer stick balms rather than ones I have to delve my paws into.   Repurpose - I've had it a while but it still seems good.  I will probably make use of this thick balm to coat my scaly feet and elbows during the summer!

Gwdihw Smoochy Lips Lip Balm
Another balm in a pot, I just don't tend to reach for this.  It's more like a foot balm tin and I'm not overly keen on the smell anymore.  I think it's probably past its best as it came in a SoukSouk box... the other one that I received at the same time was a hand/nails/feet one which I much preferred.  Bin - not used and past it, this one is heading for the bin.

Handmade Naturals Roll On Spot Stick
I've used about half of this but it never seemed to have much of an effect on my nasty spots so I'm currently trialling Indie Lee.  I like the scent and the tea tree combo, but the oil never sat where I wanted it.  Bin - not using this on my face any more as it's past its use by date.  

Studio 78 Tinted Moisturiser 01
I bought this as a pair with their gorgeous golden highlighter from the lovely Jen (Red Fox Diaries) in a blog sale.  Although the highlighting primer has been a good purchase the foundation is quite simply the worst I have ever tried!  Sorry Studio78 but this really sucks.  I don't know if perhaps it was a bad batch, but each pump comes out white with orange streaks and rubbing it in only makes the orange darker and more noticeable.

I've tried shaking it to within an inch of its life, applying with a sponge, applying with a brush, mixing it with moisturiser... nothing works.  It's the lightest shade, supposedly, but applies more like terracotta wood stain.  Has anyone had any success with this product?  I'd love to know!  Bin seriously, flying into...

Spot anything you'd rather cut off your own hand than throw out?   
(Or anything you've just tried?)

Let me know down below!

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24/07/15: Ethical Clothing ~ BAM and Nomads

A few posts ago I mentioned two ethical brands BAM clothing and Nomads, so today I thought I would share a few thoughts on a couple of pieces.

BAM clothing
Bam Clothing is made using organic bamboo. It's sustainable, anti bacterial, moisture-wicking and soft. I've actually picked up quite a lot of their range, starting with their socks (stink free) and moving on to their workout wear (really comfortable), but my favourite item so far is this green hoody. I love hoodies but finding one that's baggy not sloppy, has enough hood for my head and is warm but not too thick for Spring/ a task. 

I haven't washed this yet, so I expect that it will lose some of its softness, but I'm so pleased with the construction and shape. 

Size wise, I think they are quite accurate, but free returns make it easy to send back anything that doesn't fit right! Sometimes the shapes don't work for me, but I think that's true of most brands. 

I've just picked up a few more items and I'm looking forward to seeing what's in their next collection. I was lucky to get the hoody at a reduced price with a discount code but hey often have great deals available to regular customers and newsletter subscribers. Also, there are quite a few sale pieces available, so it's definitely worth looking in that section if you're not sure yet! 

Nomads Modal Pink Blouse*
Nomads is a brand that I came across when I took part in a slow fashion feature highlighting ethical and fair trade clothing lines. They use organic cotton, hand dying and embroidery and the brand is a member of the British Association of Fair Trade Shops. 

They have some lovely dresses available but I opted to try this summer blouse in pink. It has a sweet bit of sequin detail and would be perfect for the beach as a throwover, or with some denim shorts for a summer day out. I used the sizing guide on the website and ended up with one a little snug across the chest, but it can be undone for a looser fit.

It's very light and comfortable and can be worn alone, although as you can see below it's slightly see-through (possibly a lighter colour bra would have been better!). At first I thought it might be a bit long, but I've started to appreciate the looser fit. My only con is that it isn't quite as pink as it looked on the website, but it's not a dealbreaker. 

For my first foray into Nomads I'm quite impressed. I like the added details and can see it will be easy to dress up and down if I can keep my mother's hands off it! Nomads has a great collection of summer-ready clothes - you can currently get this one in the sale!  I'm very tempted by this number - always up for a good multi functional piece.  What do you think?  

What ethical or fair trade clothing ranges do you like to buy from?

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* Sample kindly provided, all opinions my own!  

02/06/2015: Empties!

I don't post empties often because I don't finish things up on a regular basis.  So I'm a little bit proud of my (tiny) collection of empties!  

I thought I'd try a different company after a year or so of Akamuti.  In general I'm impressed with the price and the product, but I'm marginally miffed that on the website the Manuka Honey water shows as being organic, but the bottles I've received don't say that they're organic anywhere.  (Compare the linked image to my bottle above). 
Repurchase?  Yep, have already done so but will be asking about the Organic issue next time!

Love this, never without and this is probably my fifth bottle since I discovered it a few years ago.  Yes it's made with alcohol, but it makes my hands feel clean and fresh so I'm happy with it.
Repurchase?  Um, yes.  Yes and yes again.

I bought this originally in the little sample packs you can get but only recently gave it a go.  It's a fresh almost citrusy oil/serum that is great in the evenings.  
Repurchase?  I have done and I've just bought a back up as they've reformulated and gotten rid of some of the essential oils that I loved it for!

I think this is actually the second cleanser sample I have used up from Bodhi and Birch.  It's part of the Rosa Rosa collection   It was a toss up between the two but of the three products I preferred the moisturiser and picked up a full size of that, especially since I find moisturisers the most difficult to get on with.
Repurchase?  I do like it and might pick it up again but at the moment I'm happy with Pai.  

I bought this alongside their heat protecting spray and this has been the first to bite the dust.  I'm a few squirts away from total empty, but very tempted to repurchase.  It's a light oil that doesn't make my hair greasy (if I remember to use it sparingly!), it's not expensive and it smells delicious.  (Coconut-ty but not too much so.)  It can also be used as a body oil so although I don't use it for that purpose, any leftovers just get rubbed onto my arms.  
Repurchase?  Probably.  I'm looking at Fushi and Freshness of the Morning at the moment but I think they're both a little pricier.   

I've just finished this bottle up and have really enjoyed having it in my bag.   I haven't used it for a salt texturizer as I just don't really understand what I'm supposed to do with it!  My hair is fairly wild if left untamed anyway, so I don't need any more texture!  As a body spray, however, it is luscious.  Really fresh and perky.  It reminds me very much of freshly cut hair smells from a salon, 
Repurchase?  I won my first bottle so technically it would have been a "purchase" but I wasn't going to.  However, I received another travel bottle in my ABW S/S sampler and have a good few months before I need to think about it again!

When it was announced that the limited editions were making a  comeback, I was most excited to see this in the line up.  I saw it first on Tammy's (Rainbow Feet) blog and really liked the look of the coral/orange tint; so when it arrived in stores I quickly ordered a sample from Content.  It's a really gorgeous peachy summer colour with a bit more pigment than the similar Shell Shock I own already.  However, I feel very comfortable in it.
Repurchase?  Yes, I've already picked up the full size! Expect to see a blog post soon.

I've had a couple of these little vials now, thanks to the lovely ladies (and gents?) at Content but this Black Cumin and Cajeput version is the one that I was most interested in to start with as it is aimed at spots.  As it's such a small amount I'm not sure I was able to discern any startling reduction in the blasted things, but I really enjoyed the scent and a little drop did go surprisingly far.  I have a few more to test out but I can see myself picking up a full size (only 5ml!!) at some point out of curiousity as to whether a longer course of the product shows more change.
Repurchase?  Not at such but I will try the few samples I still have.

And that's it!  Have you tried any of the above?

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16/05/15: Ethical Stores

One part of my "good for me" checklist is buying ethical.  It's not always easy but as ever the internet is our friend here and I thought it would be good to share a couple of those that I've been browsing recently.

Bam Clothing
As you might have guessed, this site sells Bamboo clothing.  You can see from their FAQs that they take ethical sourcing seriously.  Also, their clothes happen to be some of the softest I have ever worn and their socks are actually magical - no stink!

10/05/15: Silk Naturals Chromatic Cream Eyeshadows

Silk Naturals is an amazing American site.  Filled with simple products at brilliant prices (even with conversion from $ to £ and shipping costs factored in!), I've spent more time than I care to admit browsing their wares. 

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