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

30/11/14: #slowstreetstyle

Reading through the blogosphere tonight, I came across this post by Amber, highlighting a collaboration between Consciously Sartorial and that encourages people to create a look using eco-friendly, sustainable, fairtrade clothing - or "slow" fashion pieces - to prove that shopping mindfully doesn't have to mean compromising on  looking good.

I aim to buy Fairtrade food and drink wherever I can and am more likely to purchase products that I can see are fairly traded - but quite often I don't seek out "slow" fashion and usually go for the easy high street options... so I enjoyed looking across the internet to find these pieces, and am actually pretty tempted by a few of these items... time to hide the bank card...!

If you want to take part to, all you have to do is create your own look by the 1 December and share it with the tag #slowstreetstyle.

There are two links for each item - to find out more about the brands credentials, click on their name, and to see the product in their store, click on the item name!

The only problem I had when sourcing these items was that I didn't know off-hand any local companies to include!  No issues with finding items that I liked, and I think I'm going to have a hard time keeping the Parka, Bag and Shoes out of my shopping basket.  My Converse have recently fallen completely apart after about ten years wear, the bag is just brilliant and the parka has some awesome pattern detailing that I think just makes it a bit less utility wear than your run of the mill long jacket.  

Read Consciously Sartorial's post here and sogoodsocute's here - or create your own!

Do you know of any good eco/ethical/fairtrade/sustainable brands local to you?


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26/11/14: Ten minutes with... Sarah from Sugarpuffish

Chances are that if you follow me, you will also have come across the brilliant Sarah from Sugarpuffish.  Sarah is one of the most well-known green gang, and I remember scouring her site several times before I started my own blog, looking for information on the natural products I was considering as replacements for my previous skincare routine. I now not only read her blog regularly, but have had the pleasure of meeting her twice - so she was an obvious candidate for this series... read on to find out more about her favourite products, books and where the Kardashians come into it all.

23/11/14: Everyday jewellery + wishlist

Although I'm always on the lookout for new jewellery, and spend forever drooling over various rings and necklaces online, I tend to wear a variation on the same set most days.

Ola Gorie Aikerness Necklet  This was a Christmas present last year, and I love it!  I originally thought it was by Kit Heath, but it turns out that the shop had sold it in a different box after moving and losing its original case.  I only found this out yesterday, but it explains why I could never find it on Kit Heath's website!  A bit naughty of them but I love that it's a little different and also looks a bit like this one that one worn by Mariska Hargitay, who I adore.  

Dyrberg Kern Lucinda Watch  I bought this for myself after falling in lust with the brown version a few years back.  Unfortunately after that one stopped working and I returned it, I could only find the black one for sale.  Sadly at the time I wasn't being conscious of my leather purchases, so the straps aren't ideal.  They are starting to wear, so as soon as they break I'll be replacing them with animal friendly ones. 

Celtic Ring   My dad bought this for me when I was about thirteen, and although I wore it a little bit when I was younger, I have rediscovered it in the last few years and regularly wear it on my middle finger or thumb and sometimes my index.  It was from Past Times, and as you might notice, follows the silver theme we've got going on.  

Cameo Ring  This was gifted to me by my grandmother.  It was given to her by her father when she was younger.  Despite the silver frontage it's actually got a gold loop to the back, making it a bit quirky which I like.  

And finally, on the left we have two silver rings that my brother actually made at school.  I tend to wear the top one more than the bottom one as it has a habit of sticking into my skin.  And on the right is one that I featured back in my March Favourites - a Kit Heath Pebble ring.

I'm currently obsessed with two Etsy shops called Purana Jewellery and Arken's Jewelry Box.  There are several items there that I would love to try, but I haven't yet taken the plunge as I'm a bit nervous about buying made-to-order rings when I'm not confident about what sizes I need/fingers I would want to wear them on!  They both have a tonne of sterling silver rings, Purana made in London and Arken in Los Angeles - so be sure to check them out if you're a silver fan like me.  (They do also do gold ones.) Here's a few that I'm dithering over at the moment.

Do you have any pieces that you wear day in day out? 
Or are you a sterling silver fiend and have any recommendations?
 Let me know! 

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19/11/14: Ilia Beauty Giveaway!

Ilia Beauty is a luxury green beauty brand, founded in 2011 (!) by Sasha Plasvic with just six lip conditioners that came into being after she had dreamt up and created the sleek silver gold packaging that features so heavily in green beauty lustings across the continents.  Just three years later the line now extends to almost forty lip colours, several face multi sticks, mascara and the also recently launched tinted moisturiser and concealer. 

About two weeks ago I was able to get my hands on some samples of the new Ilia Beauty colours via the excellent Amazingy sample service.  If you read my quick swatch post then you'll know that I was immediately taken with Strike It Up, the new cool toned red lipstick and planned to purchase it.   I was aware that as a lipstick it would be drier than the Shell Shock Conditioner in my collection, but as I love the colour so much I was willing to give it a go.  

I'm a little bit obsessed with their existing lip colours and have a wishlist as long as my arm for various Blossoms, Karmas and Bang Bangs, but I delayed all of those purchases to get my hands on this beautiful red.  I think it will suit a variety of skin tones, hair colours and personalities - I'm not a glamourpuss by any means but I think it will be perfect for a pop of colour during the winter months and I'm very happy to have it in my collection as my first "grown up" lipstick!   

The good news is that not only do I still love it in the full size but (as I not so subtly hinted on Twitter) I bought an extra one to share the love with you!  I was going to wait to review this fully before sharing, but I just couldn't wait! So, the highlights:

- High organic content
- No carmine
- Creamy formula
- Thick pigmentation
- Drier lips may require a bit of balm
- Standard red lipstick advice - exfoliate!
- Worth £22

For your chance to win a full size Ilia Beauty Lipstick in the gorgeous red shade Strike It Up, just fill out the Rafflecopter below.  Every option is worth a point, and the winner will be picked at random using their program.   I've tried to cover various platforms so that even if you don't use Facebook/Twitter there's an option for you.

I'm also really happy to say - this is open internationally!  

Good luck!

(PS 1. Hopefully it's obvious, but the one pictured above is mine, yours will be completely wrapped and sealed as it was bought. :) and 2. The lip swatches are the most accurate, the hand swatch is reading a bit brighter than in real life.)

Ingredients:  Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil*, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil*, Jojoba (Simmondsia Chinensis) Seed Oil*, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Beeswax (Cera Alba)*, Triisostearyl Citrate, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter*, Manihot Esculenta (Tapioca) Starch *, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Rosa Canina (Rose Hip) Fruit Oil, Sage (Salvia Officinalis) Leaf Extract, Tocopherol. May Contain: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxide (CI 77499, CI 77492, CI 77491), Red 7 CI15850, Red 28 CI45410, Yellow 5 CI19140. *Certified Organic Ingredients. Ingrédients Certifiés Biologiques.  

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15/11/14: Ten minutes with... Vicky from Lyonsleaf

Lyonsleaf is a brand that has gone from strength to strength in the last year.  I first spotted them on other green bloggers sites, but only recently tried two samples of their line.  Spoiler! - I enjoyed the Beauty Balm so much that when I ran out that I immediately ordered a full size pot.  They're based in Mendip and run by the Lyons duo: Vicky and Ben. Read on to find out more about Vicky and their business!

Last thing you do at night?
Let the dogs out and clean my teeth (My rock and roll days are gone!)

Top tip for being happy and healthy?
Eat mountains of fruit and veg (vibrantly coloured ones especially), and drink 2 litres of water a day –
I think most of us also need to take omega 3’s and some sort of mineral supplements. I don’t think you can get the minerals you need from supermarket veggies these days, as they are mostly grown in depleted soil, so a lot of people are lacking essentials like magnesium, which, I think, causes all sorts of un-diagnosed ailments. Also, try not to stress (looks at oneself in absolute disbelief at the, pot, kettle, black, nerve of that statement!) and get outdoors, somewhere beautiful as often as possible.

Brands/bloggers/people that inspire you?
Oh there are, thankfully, too many choose from. People that spread information to help us all negotiate the potential minefield of modern life.  From Jamie Oliver (school meals) and definitely Hugh Fearnley-Whittinsgtall, to bloggers like Skinsmatter and Sarah at Sugarpuffish (for their insatiable appetites for iingredient scrutiny), and Ana Goes Green, who in between posts about natural cleansers and body butters occasionally pops out the most profound wisdom and makes me cry – I love that.

Favourite TV series?
I’m not a massive telly addict, but my life is actually a bit empty now Peaky Blinders has finished. Can’t wait for the next series.

Product you wish you'd invented?
The jigsaw puzzle polygon lampshade. (Here is a pic so you know what I mean).  Awesome simplicity.

11/11/14: Marshmallow Love (Freedom Confectionery) [+ giveaway]

When I first came across the Freedommallows I couldn't wait to get my hands on them.  Cue lots of excitement when in my first The Vegan Kind box they included a pack of their first release, the Vanilla Mallow.   Almost a year later and they've gone from strength to strength and now feature in many shops across the country, including (most importantly :P) my local health food store.  

Starting out with just the vanilla flavour in a regular size, they now also produce a strawberry flavour and a mini size (also available in catering quantities... how do I get my hands on one of those bags?).  And this month they have rebranded from Freedommallows to Freedom Confectionery and given the bags a fresh new look while keeping the sugary goodness inside the same.  

9/11/14: Butter London Macbeth, Goss, Yummy Mummy

Butter London were on my radar soon after I discovered Zoya.  They are one of the bigger brands out there promoting themselves as "free-from", vegan and cruelty free - and are widely available in major retail outlets from £12-14 RRP.  Although they are only three-free in a world of seven and eight-free, nail polish is an area where I am willing to be a little bit more lax.  And once I'd got started, I couldn't stop... so today I'm going to share some quick swatches of my collection.

2/11/14: My skincare drawer (video)

Hello everyone!  Today I thought I'd try something a bit different and make a video for you so that you can take a look at my collection of skincare.  This is just my primary drawer, there are other bits and pieces that are floating around the house and other drawers but it gives a general idea of  the stuff that I'm using.  One thing I didn't mention is that  the empty bottles are all Akamuti orange blossom or rosewater - I love that stuff and have currently run out, otherwise there would have been a bottle in my drawer.  Hope you enjoy - please do watch and let me know what you think! 

*Bodhi and Birch Neroli Luce sent as a sample.  Freyaluna sent as a pre-sale tester for feedback.  The rest all bought by myself/gifts/store samples.  All opinions, as always, are my own!

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