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16/07/14: Field Trip Tour (aka Green Beauty Bloggers Gone Wild)

So, in case you haven't spotted it on Twitter or Instagram, a group of green beauty bloggers descended on London this past Saturday.  Organised by the gorgeous ladies from Call it Vanity, we all enjoyed a day of green beauty sightseeing and shopping - the field trip tour!

I found myself in Group A, headed up by Mayah and comprising a fantastic bunch of people:  Tania from Bow Tied Beauty, Sarah from Sugarpuffish, Rachel from All Natural Aspirations, Liz from Smells Like a Green Spirit, Jen from Jens Green Beauty and Kate from What Katie Rates.  We met at Marylebone, which was a bit of an experience for me - definitely not used to London!  Thanks to Mayah for the directions :) ) and then set off for our first visit, which was...

Content Beauty/Wellbeing
Where we all squeezed into this Aladdins cave of goodness.  Where ever you turned, a nook or cranny was filled with Dr Bronners, Tata Harper, Lotus Wei, John Masters, Rahua, Well People...Vapour, Ilia, Studio 78, One Love Organics, Hurraw and more!  For a shop boasting such a small square footage, they've really made every inch count.  Magda and Imelda (totally didn't realise it was Imelda until afterwards...) were really welcoming, happy to chat and tell us about the products - you could tell that they were just as interested in all the stock as we were.  

This was probably the most exciting shop purely for the inclusion of the beautiful Ilia Beauty products.  I dithered over which lip item to splash the cash on - torn between the Karma Chameleon lip crayon and the lip conditioner in Shell Shock - cue lots of hand swatching and eventually a last minute Shell Shock swing vote with the help of Magda.  I knew I would have to purchase the One Love Organics sample set as anything in mini bottles calls out to me, and the Hurraw Balms were always going to be a challenge to pass up as I seem to lose as many as I buy!  This time it was the Kapha ayurvedic balm (meant to get the Pitta but got wrapped up in the pretty shiny pink packaging).

When we reached the checkout there was an extra bonus with a goody bag.  I managed to refrain from having a proper peek for about twenty minutes or so, but couldn't stop myself once we'd sat on the bus.  Content were seriously generous with this one - a full size Vapour concealer in 010 which seems perfect for my skin, travel size Rahua conditioner/styler, Suki balancing day cream, Tata Harper floral essence, Twelve moisturiser sachet, an Abel Organics sample (so glad to have a little bit more of this to use up!) and a totally unexpected Content VIP discount card which is safely tucked away while I draw up a shopping list... 


Nature & Co
Next up was a relatively new store, Nature & Co.  They're not yet running their online shop, but watch out for their shop launch as they stock some new and interesting brands like SLA, Alima Pure and Hadalys. I really enjoyed being in this shop (so cool after the heat of London bus!) and the calming layout.  The lady working the shop, Frances, was very kind and provided refreshments for us all and allowed us to spray the perfumes to our hearts content.  

I didn't purchase anything at this store, despite being very tempted by some of the fragrances.  I particularly was interested in a Violette scent and some of the Honores de Pres bottles.  I was on the very edge of purchasing one of the Honores scents but because I stupidly doused myself all over in a variety of smells, not expecting to be that interested in purchasing a perfume, I couldn't for the life of me work out which one it was that I was drawn to... it was the one halfway down my right arm, but beyond that... who knows!

Whole Foods Kensington
Possibly the place I was most looking forward to... or perhaps joint number one with Content.  I live near to the Cheltenham Whole Foods, so it wasn't going to be an entirely new experience, but knowing how much I love visiting that relatively small branch - this massive store was always going to be an enjoyable experience.  It didn't disappoint.  First of all we stopped by the amazing food hall to grab some lunch and meet up with the rest of the pack:  Ana from Ana Goes Green, Evelyn from We Were Raised By Wolves, Amber from Ambers Beauty Talk, Liz from Well Meaning Being, Tamara from Rainbow Feet, Katie from Katie Vibes, Annabel from Fragmented Splendour and of course, Sabrina from Call it Vanity.  Although we didn't get to chat with them for too long, it was really nice to have a little chat with Amber, Liz and Sabrina - and I inflicted hugs on anyone else I could get my hands on on the way out!  

Then Group A hit the beauty hall.  And it was brilliant.  Inika, Living Nature, Terre d'Oc, Lavera, Weleda, Zoya, MyChelle, Antipodes... and loads more.  Plus, a crazy looking machine that turned out to be one of those facial analysers.  A lovely lady from the store gave us the opportunity to try it out - I was pleasantly surprised with my results - the only major element I need to focus on reducing is sun damage, boo.  I have another image of how my face looked on screen, but I'm saving it for another post.  :)

Whole Foods is where I did the most damage to my purse, as I bought Antipodes Rejoice light facial moisturiser, Butter London in Macbeth, Avalon lemon conditioner (meant to buy the shampoo but oh well...!), John Masters sample set, Dr Bronners lavender hand sanitizer, Weleda pomegranate body lotion mini, Whole Foods bath salts... Hectares piri-piri sweet potato crips, Freedom Mallows, Goody Good Stuff strawberries and cream, Peppersmith Tingz and spearmint gum... oh, and a Whole Foods straw bag :)

BeautyMart
By this time, Sarah Tania and Liz had had to leave, so our now little group quickly hopped a few stops on the tube to our final destination in Shoreditch, at the Boxpark pop up shop.  Unfortunately they've recently stopped stocking Ilia, so I was very glad that I made my Ilia purchase at Content!  And the only other purchase I was interested in making there would have been a blush brush by Real Techniques, having never tried their items before... but sadly, they only had a few RT brushes for purchase.  

However, it was still an interesting stop - especially listening to the lady running it that day talking about Ilia and RMS, plus getting to try the cool grownup temporary tattoos from Seekers of Sun.  Pretty Peaushun was an item that has had a lot of chatter in the blogosphere and Twitterena, so I gave it a swatch while we were there... but honestly, not bothered.  It gave a slight tingling and smelt alright, but didn't seem amazing enough for me to part with £18.  I'm still interested to see what others think of it though.

Phew!  The shops and their hosts were brilliant, Mayah and Sabrina rocked and the other ladies were such good company. I had been really nervous in the run up, but needn't have worried in the slightest as everyone was super friendly and welcoming.  I really can't wait to do it all again!  

Look out for a separate post coming up with a little run down of my purchases and first impressions, but honestly the best part of the day was experiencing each shop with a bunch of people just as excited as you to be there!  Thank you all :) xx


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