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06/10/16: May Lindstrom Deluxe Samples by Alyaka

One of the more luxurious (read: very expensive!) brands that I have had on my radar since I started going more natural in my beauty is May Lindstrom.  I vividly recall thinking that this was something I should never try, lest I fell in love and then had to shell out uber-bucks... however, the curiousity along with Being Content's useful sample service got the better of me and I soon ordered a few samples of The Problem Solver, The Clean Dirt and The Honey Mud.

Although I like toners and serums, I was never entranced by May's offerings on those in the same way - at least not enough to order a sample - they may be delicious!  After my first samples, I decided that I most liked The Problem Solver and The Honey Mud and ordered them both a couple more times through Content and Amazingy, before finally this year spotting that Hello Annabel had ordered successfully through Alyaka - a company I had seen around but never placed an order through as I wasn't sure of the authenticity/safety of it as none of the beauty bloggers I knew were ordering through them.    

May Lindstrom Deluxe Set Box

I ordered the deluxe sample set - 10ml of The Clean Dirt, The Honey Mud and The Problem Solver. The idea of their sample sets is that you pay for the samples (£22 for the May Lindstrom one) and then this can be redeemed against the purchase of a full size product if you purchase it within the month.

26/09/16: Silk Naturals Brow Cream

Although I first had my eyebrows plucked at about eleven years old I didn't really take it up again until much later in my teens.  Unfortunately at that point I became quite enthusiastic, very into my magnifying mirror and regularly frustrated by those hairs I just couldn't.  Quite. GET.  To the point that I would actually end up bleeding and scabby.  Thankfully these days I'm (a bit) more relaxed and know when to stop.  However, the brows are still a little bit thinner at the ends than I would like, so when browsing (boom-tish!) Silk Naturals one day I picked up a sample of their brow cream as something to try.  Turned out I rather liked it so I snapped up the full size in my next order. 
It comes as a hard pomade in a little plastic pot.  You don't get a huge amount, but at the rate I'm going through it I'll still be able to use it in 2020.  Even using such a small amount the colour payoff is really good and it can be applied as lightly or heavily as you like.   The packaging has faded from being in my make up bag, which is something that happens to all my SN shadows too.  This one has started to peel too, but I'm not overly bothered by it because the price is so reasonable.  
(Swatched heavily/light strokes)
(Naked brow LHS, filled in with SN Brow Cream RHS) 
I tend to apply it with a flat liner brush from bdellium, which isn't what it is supposed to be used for, but the angle fits my brows perfectly, and used along the thin edge gives a natural hair like quality to my strokes.   I don't use a tonne of it, as you can probably tell, but just enough for a bit more definition and a little more length.  I've become so used to it now that my face feels quite naked without it!
Brow Cream from Silk Naturals comes in eight shades from blonde, brown and auburn to black and costs just $6.50, which even with the rubbish exchange rate at the moment means it only costs £4.93!  
Do you use brow products? 
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Ingredients:  Certified Organic Castor Oil, Fractionated Coconut Oil, Candelilla Wax, Carnuaba Wax. Also contains: Mica, Iron Oxides, Titanium Dioxide.  Vegan and gluten free.  

23/09/16: Glory Boon Heal & Conceal

Like many people, I have the curse of the dark under eyes and I'm often on the lookout for a natural concealer that will help cover them up without looking orange, without creasing and without too much effort. 

(Taken before the packaging started to fade!)

I think I first heard about Glory Boon from Smells Like a Green Spirit, where Liz had purchased the colour correction set. Before this I had never bought anything from Etsy other than stickers, so I was very interested to see what their make up was like.  The product that stood out most was their Heal and Conceal Concealer. It looked a bit dark but it was supposed to blend with my skin tone as well as offer some healing properties when used on zits and imperfections. 

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!  
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