International GIVEAWAY! Click here to win a facial oil duo from Bodhi & Birch.

30/06/13: Give and Makeup #2 - a little help

As you may remember, as short while ago I did a post about Give and Make-up, an organisation that distributes contributions to refuges for women (and often their children) who have been subject to domestic violence.  So, I went back to their site today to grab one of their buttons and came across a post asking for help.  

They are struggling with space requirements and looking for more in order to carry on helping to co-ordinate and provide some of the essentials that the women in these shelters need.  So, if you know of someone, or think you know of someone that might know someone, please share this post or share their link.  Hopefully they'll find somewhere and be able to keep going.  Fingers crossed.

Thank you! 

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30/06/13: Weekend Wishlist

Quite a long list - feeling rather greedy today!

1.  Blackberry 9790 (or 9320)  - RRP £200.00+/£99.00 
This is one of those current craves that I can most certainly do without, plus it's definitely not very green!  I currently have the Orange Rio, a cheap cheerful touch/qwerty phone that makes calls, texts and has internet capability.  The only problem really is that the organiser element to it is rubbish.  And as someone who thinks they will be able to remember it all but usually doesn't, a phone with a better personal organising system would be useful.   I've tried paper diaries, but usually forget to put things in it or forget where I've put it - a phone is something that I always have with me.  So I'm quite often googling around looking at Blackberrys and the like, reading reviews and generally drooling over their clicky goodness.

2. Nourish Toning Mist - RRP £8.95 from
I never got around to buying the Aubrey facial mist that I had been obsessing over and have since been using just rosewater in a spritz bottle.  However, I read about this mist the other day and I'm back to wondering if it would help.  The only thing is that as a toner I wonder if it would just tighten my skin?  Anyone know?

3.  White Stuff - Bryony Boots - RRP £69.95 from
I went on a big throw-out, clear-out, donating drive yesterday and I got rid of the ankle boots that have sadly just died.  (Eight quid on eBay, so I feel they did their service!)  I'm very tempted by these boots but I'm not sure how I would suit/get on with wedges.  I very rarely wear heels and I'm definitely into comfort, so I'll be debating over these for a while yet.

4.  Blazers - Oasis Black Isla Jacket - RRP 70.00 - White Stuff Blue Holly Jacket RRP 65.00 
Along with the boots went two jackets that I had had since I was around 14... they were a little worse for the wear and I've changed shape quite significantly since I bought them.  They've gone to charity and now I'm left needing (or rather, wanting!) some replacements.  I struggle to find fitted jackets that will do up/don't strain plus have good length.  These look like they might do the job and I'm a big fan of White Stuff stuff. 

5. Weleda Almond Face Care Starter Kit - RRP 9.95 from
These don't appear to be out yet, but I saw them mentioned a while back by Weleda on Twitter and Ana mentioned them again recently.  I'm looking forward to them being in stock because a) I love minis b) I haven't really tried Weleda properly and c) what a great price!  The almond set comprises Soothing Cleansing Lotion, Soothing Facial Oil and Facial Cream plus a muslin cloth.  My skin could certainly do with some soothing at the moment  and I'm very tempted by this pack.

6.  Bodhi Mint The Balm - RRP 15.00 from
I'm drawn to this because so many people have recommended their line on Twitter. (Twitter is clearly dangerous to my bank balance!)  I've also got a stonking headache brewing, so perhaps I need one of these little pots in my arsenal.  

7.  Zuzu Luxe Mascara - £15.50 from
I confess I'm still using my pre-greenie days mascara.  It's nothing special, just a cheap GOSH black one.  But I'm starting to hunt around for something to buy when it lacquers its last lashes.  I like the look of this Zuzu Luxe one at the moment, but I'm also tempted by Lavera and Lily Lolo.  Very open to suggestions.

8.  Naturtint in 4N - RRP 9.99 at
I saw a discussion on Twitter (I know, again) between Sarah and Ria about hair-dying.  I am very rarely happy with my hair.  It's hair and it's healthy, but I just don't like it sometimes!  About a year ago I put some blonde in it, but I'm bored of it now and want to go just a tad darker than my current shade, so this reminded of the dyes I'd seen in my local store.  At a tenner they're a little more expensive than your regular drugstore box, but nothing that will break the bank. (Ahem, numbers 1 and 4 I'm looking at you).

So, that's the end of my weekend wishlist and I'm off to hunt down the sofa for pennies. :)   Are you wishing or lusting after anything you've seen here?  Let me know! 

28/06/13: Akamuti - Wax, oil & water

So, before I dive back into factual and legal causation, it's time for another Akamuti post :).  This brand has quickly established themselves as one of my favourites, as they offer good simple products that are reasonably priced.  

Organic Golden Jojoba Oil - RRP £12.95
The primary reason that I bought it was because as it is so close in structure to our natural sebum it is supposed to be good at moisturising, and also helping with clogged pores.  I don't know how true this is, but I have enjoyed massaging it into my face of an evening.  However, I do find that if I do it at night, there is still some residue left in the morning.  I've tried it on my scalp, in the never-ending quest for natural ways to deal with a dry scalp, and it's very soothing for when the itchiness has gotten really bad.  I did try it as a sort of serum but it made it separate oddly.  The smell is quite hard to describe - I'd say earthy/nutty?

A short note about a short break

As the title says, I'm going on a short break.  Lots of adjustments going on in life at the moment, and so for a week or two I'm not going to have time to update GFMGFY.  So, I thought I would let anyone who does like to stop by, just in case they thought I'd given up!  I definitely haven't, I'll still be testing, sniffing, swiping, spreading, swatching and seeking out products ready to come back and give you all loads to read about.

In the meantime, I hear that Google Reader is giving up the ghost, so if you follow me there - you lovely person you :) - then please do make sure to follow via another platform such as Bloglovin' to make sure you don't miss out (on my future posts, and others that you may be following).

And of course if you'd like to follow me on Twitter, She Said Beauty or Google - just click the little links below my name - they should point you in the right direction.

[Just because - a post without a picture just doesn't feel like a post]

I'll be back!  

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21/06/13: Dr. Hauschka Translucent Foundation

Dr. Hauschka is one of the larger and well-known brands out there with a reputation for biodynamic, holistic vegetarian and vegan friendly products - I've known about the brand for many years, often coveting the tins that they sell travel sets in whenever we ventured out to the local health food store.  It always seemed so clean and sophisticated! 

However, I've avoided trying them because alcohol** is high up in the ingredient list and I read that it can dry out the skin even more.  But I thought it might be worth trying out a sample or two to see if it did affect my skin in that way. 

After trying mineral foundation for several weeks, although I like the coverage it gives, I've been struggling with keeping my skin hydrated.  So I thought I'd give some of the more natural liquid foundations a go.  The first one that I've been using is the Dr. Hauschka Translucent Foundation*.  They very kindly supplied me with three little pots - 00 for very fair skin, 01 for fair skin and their toned rose day cream.

As I'm very pale, unfortunately both the 01 and the toned day cream were far too dark - although as you can see further down, the day cream does rub in quite well, and doesn't stay as dark as it looks to begin with.  But the real winner here is the 00.  It seems to pretty well match my skin perfectly - and although I'm still suffering from dryness (especially with stuffy rooms and air-con!) it doesn't seem to be quite as bad.

The product itself is quite a pleasant consistency.  It has a good coverage, but doesn't feel heavy or thick and it's certainly not opaque - the name "Translucent" foundation is rather accurate.  It's easy to spread and has a nice fragrance - flowery - which although not essential to the product, is quite nice to sniff while applying.

The day cream is something I'm not sure about.  I asked after it as I thought it might be more like a tinted moisturiser than the foundation, but if anything its the other way around.  It is thicker than the foundation and takes quite a bit of effort to get it to blend in.  I was surprised at how much I could get it to blend, but don't think it's a worthwhile purchase for me.  

Water/Aqua, Alcohol Anthyllis Vulneraria Extract - interestingly, googling this shows that it's a wound healing plant... always good with my awful spots!  (Carrot) Root Extract, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Avocado Oil, Jojoba Seed Oil, Glycerin, Althaea Officinalis Leaf Extract, Cetearyl Alcohol, Witch Hazel Extract, Apricot Kernel Oil, Shea Butter, Rosa Damascena Flower Wax, Beeswax/Cera Flava, Fragrance/Parfum, Limonene, Linalool, Citronellol, Geraniol, Coumarin, Citral, Benzyl Benzoate, Eugenol, Bentonite, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Cetearyl Sulfate, Iron Oxide/CI 77491, Iron Oxide/CI 77492, Iron Oxide/CI 77499, Titanium Dioxide/CI 77891, Ultramarines/CI 77007.

Good for me?  The 00 seems to be working, despite my initial reservations about using alcohol.  I like the colour and I'm really thinking about getting a full sized version now that I've sadly run out of my lovely little pot!  I don't know if it's just wishful thinking but my skin does seem a little better than it had been - perhaps the Anthyllis and Witch Hazel?

Good for you?  If you're pale and looking for something that isn't orangey the 00 could be a good shade match.  But the 00 and 01, in addition to being different shades, also have different tones - the 00 appears more yellowy and the 01 more beige.  If you're pale but pinky, or fair but yellowy, it might be difficult to match your skin to one of these.

It's also not quite as expensive as some of the other options out there, retailing at around £19-20 depending on where you purchase.  At Big Green Smile you can currently find it for £19.95 with free P&P. :)  It's where I'm dithering at the moment!  The day cream could be perfect if you're a tad darker skinned.

For more information, check our their website.

Do you do Dr. Hauschka?  Are you a powder or liquid kinda person?

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* Sample pots kindly sent for shade testing.  Opinions are my own, based on my experience of the product.

**(Dr. Hauschka state on their site that the amount used is not in great enough concentration to dry out skin.  As the second ingredient, if that's true, it makes me wonder how concentrated it would have to be to start affecting skin... and as such if it's pointless trying to avoid it...?  Questions!)

17/06/13: Give and Makeup

I have a lot of items hanging around from pre-natural days but also quite a few post-natural samples and purchases that I've bought or received recently that I won't be using and could go to a good home.  So when I came across Give and Makeup on Ana's sidebar, it seemed like the perfect fit.  

Give and Makeup is a charity that distributes bodycare and cosmetics to Women's Aid or Refuge centres across the country.  When women leave abusive situations they often don't have the chance to take with them essentials like soap, toothpaste, tampons or sanitary towels, or things like foundation, shampoo or hair dye.  Give and Makeup help provide those items and rely on donations from the public.

"Each week two women in the United Kingdom are murdered by a partner or ex-partner 
and one woman in four experiences domestic violence in their lifetime."

"The average women experiences domestic abuse 35 times before she calls the police."

They accept a variety of items, including samples and lightly used items - ie. anything that you'd give to a friend -   although for health reasons, they can't accept used items with applicator wands.  (You can find the full list here.)  So any shampoo, conditioner, body spray, body lotion, makeup bags/brushes, mascara or concealer can be sent to one of their drop-off points around the country. 

[Parcels all ready to go to the post office!]

I think this is a fantastic initiative and hope to be posting more parcels in the future.  If you'd like to find out more, click here for their website - or find them on Twitter @giveandmakeup.

10/06/13: Farmer's Market - Saturday Haul

Near to where I live, a farmers market runs each Saturday.  Last Saturday, with all the wonderful sunshine we were having, I nipped in to have a look around... and couldn't resist picking up a few things.

Bentley Organic Hand Sanitizer - £3.22 - I've been looking for something like this since I 'turned green' as I was a little bit addicted to my previous alcohol full hand sanitizers.  I like to have some in my bag just as an added extra for clean hands.  It's a foam dispenser that produces just enough for one application.  This and the Aloe Vera I actually bought from the local independent health care shop that is situation just around the corner from the market.

Aloe Pura Aloe Vera Gel - £5.42 - I first bought this quite a long time ago, but returned to it recently to see how it would be under mineral foundation.  It is quite tightening on the skin which some people may not like, but it's an excellent simple body lotion.  You can get it with added extras like Tea Tree but I like the plain version.

Herbylicious Rose Gift Box - £10 (£18) - Having bought some soaps the previous week, we decided to pick this up as a future present for family.  It contains a Ritzy Rose handmade soap, Rose Shea Souffle, Organic Flannel, a special Lavender and Geranium soap and some butter ball bath melts.  

Cotswold Honey - £5.50 - This honey is amazing.  I don't usually eat the stuff but I couldn't resist trying a sample at the stall.  It's been whipped and is so thick and sweet.  I have been tempted to eat some more now that it's sitting in the cupboard.

Greens of Glastonbury - £3.75 - Two vegetarian cheeses, Double Gloucester and an unpasteurised one.  Very strong and very creamy.  I'm currently addicted to Jarlsberg, but these make a nice change.

Womens refuge - £1.00 - This stall was opposite the soaps, and had these lovely cards that had been designed by some of the children of women in the refuge.  I snapped up a couple for future birthdays.  
Herbylicious solid perfumes - £1.00 (£4.50) - After trying the Balm Balm perfumes, I thought I'd give sold perfumes another go.  I first tried the Lush ones many moons ago, but these are a bit bigger and have a lot of gorgeous cocoa butter in them.  At bargain prices, I couldn't resist picking up two.

Do you have any favourite local markets or independent stalls/shops?

07/06/13: Skincare Organisation?

[theholdingcompany 12 compartment holder]

I'm a messy person. 

I can be super organised for certain things, but my room, my skincare and pretty much all of my make up is all over the place.  I know roughly where things are, and sorta where things should be, but I would love to be able to organise my stuff better.

I've seen some amazing posts by veteran bloggers on how they keep track of the stuff they're trying out, the stuff they bought, stuff they were given and so on - but I always find that the second I've organised my own belongings, two minutes later I feel like using the item I've just relegated to the bottom of  the 'barely-ever-use-and-even-then-only-if-it's-a-Thursday-following-a-blue-moon...' bag.  And of course, by the time I'm done I've no doubt up-ended several more bags/boxes/drawers and I'm back to the beginning.

I've thrown out/passed on a lot of skincare/beauty since I started changing up my routine, but the little bit I do have I don't really know where to put in order to keep it...orderly.

So I was wondering - whether it's big or small - how do you sort your stash?

06/06/13: Guest Post - Elemental Beauty Mineral Foundations

Hi everyone!  I recently had the opportunity to guest post at Sugarpuffish, a natural beauty, allergy and eczema blog written by Sarah.  I'd love it if you checked it out!  You can read it:  here.  Hope you enjoy.

06/06/13: Mont Bleu Part II

Recently, I reviewed Mont Bleu nail files in mini and travel case sizes.  The travel one has been fantastic, and the mini one has already been swiped by someone else, so when I was offered the chance to receive a sample of another of their products, I was excited.  

I had already been tempted by the foot file that they offer when I placed my first order, so I tentatively asked if it would be possible to try one out.  They were extremely quick to respond and later that week I received not only a foot file, but a pair of tweezers and earrings.  It was a lovely surprise.

I have been using them for a few weeks now and my general impression of Mont Bleu has remained the same.  Lovely simple products that do what they're supposed to, and are kinda cute in the process. :)

Firstly, the cute foot file.  I was impressed that even though I hadn't requested any particular colour, they appeared to have matched it to my existing travel file.  

Admission time - I don't take good care of my feet.  I drive my mother to distraction walking around barefoot on all surfaces and never bothering with foot cream, or regular filing sessions.  So when I do deign to get out my foot file, it's quite an effort.  

Regular foot files are usually made of a grain that has been attached to a surface, much like sanding paper.  In the case of glass files, the surface itself has been created (modified?) to produce a grain, so in theory it should last you many years, if not a lifetime.

The file has two sides.  One rougher than the other.  I found that this requires much less effort than my previous file and the smoother side (- which I used to think was a waste of time) really made my heels silky.  I'm really impressed with this file and plan on buying some more as presents.

The earrings are lovely.  I have been wearing these almost continuously since they arrived.  They catch the light in different directions and you can see all the different colours.  I think the picture shows it quite well.

The tweezers are decorated with Swarovski crystals.  When I saw these on the website I wasn't sure about the idea of crystals - I thought they might be uncomfortable to use.  However, I've actually found that they're useful for grip.  And they look lovely!  They come with their own case and are wider in the handle than any other tweezers I own, making them really easy to grip.

Good for me?  Some brilliant products - my favourite being the foot file because it's so good at what it does.  

Good for you?  Really reasonable prices for quality products.  Excellent shipping (from the Czech Republic) and a lovely choice of colours and decorations.  To see more of their range, click here

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* I received these products as a sample, opinions are my own and based on my experience.

05/06/13: Wish-List Wednesday

Recently, I was browsing through Dana's (Live Green Beauty) blog and she had a link up called Wish-list Wednesday.  This got me thinking about all the things that I'm lusting after at the moment.  So when I saw Ria's post about her current wants, I thought it was about time I did my own.  So thank you for the inspiration.

1.  Inika Pure Primer - £29.50 - I really struggle with dry skin, and I love the idea of something that primes my skin ready for foundation.  Inika seems to be a good brand with some great products; I'm currently enjoying using their eyebrow pencil (as an eyeliner) and have been impressed with the quality.
2.  Vapour Organic Beauty Stratus Instant Skin perfector - £38 - I like the idea of stick form things and this has brand has been recommended to me several times.  A skin perfector definitely seems like a product I could use in my arsenal.  And their ingredients are pretty top-notch too.  I'm currently wavering between getting this or Revolution Organics stick in Sunkissed.  The price is a sticking point.  Birthday present, perhaps!

3.  Aubrey Sparkling Mineral Water Herbal Complexion Mist - £6.99 - I've been on the lookout for a facial moisturising mist, and this was pretty much the only one I could find short of making my own.  Which I could do... but in the meantime I want to try this one out on my perpetually scaly skin.  I have high hopes that it might be able to quickly give my face some moisture on hot days in the office.  This is top of the list.

4.  Hurraw! lip balm in Cinnamon - £3.45 - I have their other tinted lip balm, but I would like to be able to compare the two.  I've mentioned this before, but still haven't gotten around to purchasing it!

5.  Studio 78 Concealer - £20 - This is a brand that I've only just heard of, but I'm hoping to try it out soon.  In particular their concealer has had rave reviews, and I have massive dark circles that vary in shade from 'you look tired' to 'did you walk into a door?'.  If this could work its magic on me, then it would be worth double the price.  

6.  Lippy Girl in Ski Bunny - £14.95 - This is a Canadian brand that I've been looking at, especially their Vegocentric line.  They do only have one UK stockist, and they've started with quite high postage costs which always put me off a little bit but I'm still very tempted.  I haven't worn much lipstick in my life, but I like the subtle nude pink that this shade seems to be.  They also have some excellent names, such as Sassy Ass and Homewrecker and Gobsmacked.  

  Is there anything here that takes your fancy?

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This post was inspired by Dana and Ria x

02/06/13: Herbylicious Soaps

So it was a beautiful day yesterday, and in-between finishing an essay, sorting laundry and enjoying the sunshine, I took a trip to the local farmers market.  One of the stalls that caught my eye was one that I've seen previously, but I took the time today to have a proper look.  

Herbylicious is a business based in Gloucester, Gloucestershire(!) - creating soaps, salts, deodorants and a few more things.  Unfortunately, they've made the decision to cease trading later this month, but it does mean that there were a few excellent bargains to be had.  

As they are using up their ingredients, quite a few of the soaps I bought are one-offs or cut-offs, and because they are so individual per batch, I'm not sure which one is which!  However, they all smell fantastic, some with really strong scents and others with smooth soft smells.  In particular one which looks like it might be their Utterly Butterly has a soft lovely cocoa/vanilla scent.  

Some of their items do include goats milk, but their ingredient lists on the site have the plain English translation next to the INCI so for anyone with allergies or certain preferences, it's should be easy to find something that works for you.

The soaps are roughly 40% off at the moment, with other products at 10% off (don't ask me why the difference!).  Postage and packaging is £2.95 regardless of where in the UK you are.  

Do any of them float your boat?  
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