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19/03/17: Jane Iredale vs ILIA Beauty Mascara

Finding the right mascara - not easy.  I want it to define, lengthen, volumise, not flake until late on in the day, not be too expensive, be easy to get hold of and not contain any weird ingredients.  There are a couple that come close to meeting these criteria but there's usually one thing that keeps them from being a repurchased winner.  The only mascara that I've ever repurchased was Living Nature's Fragrance Free Mascara, which I may go back to if neither of the two I'm currently testing work out for me but it's still on the £££ side.

15/03/17: ILIA Beauty Mini Tinted Lip Conditioners

When I first saw these on Hello Annabel last year they shot straight to number one on my wishlist.  Three tiny miniature versions of bestselling lip conditioners by the excellent ILIA beauty, I needed wanted these in my life.  ILIA are 85% certified organic and free from synthetic preservatives, fillers and petrochemicals; they are also carmine, gluten and dairy free.

12/03/17: Skin and Tonic - Steam Clean Balm

I remember when Skin and Tonic launched several years ago; I loved the name and the ethos behind the brand.  However, I wasn't looking for a new balm or scrub so I put them to the back of my shopping list.  Three years later and I still hadn't tried anything by them so when I saw them pop up in a local shop with a few new products it piqued my interest again.

Skin and Tonic started in 2014 with a select line of balms and scrubs.  These days you can find around twelve products, with many also available in mini versions (love!).  I decided as an introduction to buy myself a mini Steam Clean.  This is their original balm cleanser and contains just seven ingredients:  Grape Seed Oil, Thistle Seed Oil, Beeswax, Borage Seed oil, Eucalyptus Leaf Oil, Spearmint Herb Oil and Tocopherol.   All bar the tocopherol are certified Organic by the Soil Association, the products are made here in the UK, they support women's co-operatives in Ghana, don't test on animals annnnd they donate 10% of profits to  a water charity (I'm not sure which as the link on their homepage doesn't work and they haven't yet responded to my tweet - but the premise is a good one).

30/10/16: Sourced Box

As I don't have a TV my viewing consumption is limited to Netflix, Amazon and Youtube - and these days its hard to watch anything on Youtube without seeing adverts for one of the various popular UK vloggers.  One such YouTuber is Marcus Butler, who along with fellow YouTube and former girlfriend Niomi Smart set up SourcedBox about a year ago.


I admit I have watched a few of the Zoella/Alfie Deyes lot trying these boxes, and each time thought about trying one myself, especially as a lot of the contents seem to be some of the things I might consider picking up myself from a local health food shop.


So I finally took the plunge and last month signed up!


You get ten products (but I think this varies from month to month), all seemingly full size.  Here's a run down of this month's selection: Nom Popcorn Tomato Pesto Popcorn, Raw Chocolate by Loving Earth in Raspberry, Raw Bites in Ginger and Spirulina, Rude Health Pumpkin Bar, Pulsin Vanilla Choc Chip Protein Bar, Rawcha Cacao and Goji Bar, Cape Sparkling Cherry and Acai with Rooibos drink, Skraw Beetroot Toast, Chika's Hand Toasted Peanuts, Rhythm 108 Chocolate Hazelnut Tea Biscuit.


Sparkling Cherry & Acai with Rooibos - I cannot stand rooibos tea but in this it tastes okay.  I love Cherry and the flavour of that outweighs the rooibos for me.  I haven't seen this brand around before but I'll be keeping a look out on my next visit to the shops.


Rhythm 108 - this was by far my favourite product of the lot.  Crispy biscuits that taste like ones I have made in the past.  I really liked these and will be looking at what else they offer! 


Chika's Hand Toasted Peanuts - delicious nuts with just a hint of salt.  THere is a very slight taste of the bag they came in, but nothing to put me off.  Very crunchy.  Yum!


Ginger and Spirulina Raw Bites - so these make my tongue tingle in a way that makes me think I don't get on with spirulina (I've had a similar reaction before to a pure spirulina product), but as far as the taste of these goes I'm quite impressed.  I was hands down expecting these to be the least appealing product of them all, but they're sweet (not sickly) and quite zingy.  Not bad at all!

Least favourites

Nom Tomato Pesto Popcorn - I really like popcorn and I really like tomato pesto but the combination just left me feeling a little ill.  I'll take just plain old sweet and salt please!


Pulsin Vanilla Choc Chip - I just don't get on with protein bars.  I find them floury and just not appetising.  I like that these don't have whey protein in though. 


Unfortunately the rest of the box didn't hit the spot.   I know it's aimed at healthy living so perhaps I'm just too unhealthy to appreciate good food.  It certainly won't be wasted as I know people who will eat these up for me!  These best thing about this box is being introduced to a lot of brands that I either haven't heard of or haven't tried before.  Having said that, I probably won't choose this box again as I have a very good health food store in town that regularly brings in new products!  

If you would like to try SourcedBox, visit here.  


Is this a subscription box you would order?

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.

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