The best bath products ever

I love a good bath. In fact, I need them. I suffer from severe anxiety, which gives me terrible muscle tightness. I find that a warm bath, with candles and some gentle music helps to relax my body and slow my racing mind better than almost anything. Sometimes, especially when I use particularly fragrant bath product, I’ll even sit in the pitch darkness whilst I soak, which may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I love it.

Unsurprisingly then, I get through a lot of bath products, and now that the weather is getting colder (and apparently will be getting VERY cold indeed this year) I thought you might like to read about some of my all-time favourite bath products!

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Homemade bath salts – £4.95 approx

The ones in this photo are a mixture of Himalayan pink salt and epsom salts, dried rose petals and lavender essential oil. Bath salts are particularly amazing for sore muscles from sport and exercise. It’s quite inexpensive if you do it yourself by buying your own essential oil and a giant bag of salts like these from Westlab which are the ones I use. However, it can be tricky to get intense or more complex scents by DIY-ing it, so if you want a bath that will be less practical and more sensual, keep reading…

Olverum Bath Oil – £32

This is hands down my favourite bath prodcut on the face of the earth. Nothing compares to this formula, unchanged since the 1930s. It’s all natural combination of pine, lavender, eucalyptus, lemon verbena, which creates the most relaxing, soothing vapours you could possibly imagine. I pour it on my skin when I’m in the bath and then let the water gently wash it around so that I can absolutely maximise my experience of the scent, because the thing about this is, it’s pretty expensive. If I could afford it, I would use this all the time, but for now it’s really just a ‘treat’.

Weleda Bath Soak – £14.95

This is the perfect affordable alternative to Olverum. I absolutely love the Pine scent, which is the one pictured here, but I also ADORE the Lavender, Rosemary and Arnica scents. And the great thing is, they are 100% natural, nourishing and really potently scented so they last for aaaages. I reckon you could mix them up and get a very similar scent to Olverum too – Lavender, Rosemary and Pine are the main ingredients in that too! All in all, these are a fantastic choice for lovely, relaxing baths. Get them here.

KINN Living Bath Oil – £28

This is a delightful, subtly scented bath oil that’s 99.5% organic. The scent is ylang ylang, lavender and tangerine and it’s so delicate and beautiful. The oil base is really nourishing on the skin too. I love this brand, founded by a mother-daughter duo who wanted to create a range of toxin-free home and bodycare products.

Geo Mitchell Relax, Naturally Bath Salts – £14.50

This is another amazing small brand, who have a gorgeous range of products that include natural home fragrances, essential oils and bath salts. These Relax, Naturally bath salts are amazing, combining lavender, rosemary, eucalyptus and peppermint oils in a dead sea salt and epsom salt base. It’s super relaxing but somehow also invigorating?! You get out of the bath feeling like a new person! I love it. It’s great in the bath but also probably one of the best things I’ve ever used as a soak for tired feet. Geo Mitchell have also very kindly provided me with a discount code for you: enter LYB15 for 15% off your first order!

Caudalie Purifying Mask – £22

This is my all-time favourite mask, but that’s not the only reason I’m including it in this list – the other is that it’s a mask that you can leave on for pretty much as long as you like – it doesn’t dry out, which means you don’t have to get out of the bath when your skin starts feeling tight! This mask reduces inflammation and removes impurities to help fix blemishes and give you a smooth, clear complexion. It smells gorgeous and is super gentle on the skin too. Cannot recommend it highly enough! Get it on Look Fantastic, here.

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The Best Body Oils For Summer

HELLO! It’s me, with a blog post?! Yes I haven’t been blogging much lately, I have loads in my drafts I’m just focusing on other things at the moment. You know how it is. But I had to share my favourite recommendations for summery body oils because the wonderful weather we’ve been having has totally inspired me.

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For me, it doesn’t matter what time of year it is, I need to moisturise after I wash. I have dry skin on my body, which turns to eczema in winter but in summer I just get a bit of scaliness and roughness (nice). And of course when the inevitable post-burn ‘peeling’ happens, I need to exfoliate and moisturise even more! Hasn’t happened yet, but it’s early days yet, despite it feeling like we’ve already had our yearly allocation of sun about five times over! So anyway, onto my recommendations for body oils. I love body oils, and much prefer them to body creams. One thing to remember if you aren’t an oil convert yet, is that body oils are nearly always far more naturally derived than creams, and when you’re applying a product to such a large surface area, you should really be using something natural. These three are all light enough to be suitable for sticky summer days, but nourishing enough to leave your skin feeling gorgeously soft. Their fragrances are all very different, but each one is perfect for sunny days in its own unique way.

Aesop Geranium Lead Hydrating Body Treatment

This is the freshest smelling and most luxuriously textured of the three oils – the lightly floral fragrance of geranium leaf is combined with mandarin and bergamot for a really uplifting but intoxicating experience. It reminds me of extremely fragrant English country gardens, you know when the sun has been beating down all day and the flowers are just radiating their scents? It’s a wonderful massage oil as well, but I love to use it any time of the day – it absorbs very quickly when you apply a normal amount, but if you want to massage with it, just use more. It absorbs completely either way, you’re never left feeling sticky! I absolutely love the way this oil feels when you apply it – it truly is everything you could want in an oil. The scent lasts for a good while, as you’d expect from a luxury oil. The nourishing base is almond and macadamia oils which are both really rich in vitamin E, an essential antioxidant for preserving youthful skin. Get it from Beauty Expert, here.

Yves Rocher Orange Blossom, Lavender and Pettigrain Botanical Oil

First of all, I’m so sorry to have to direct you to Yves Rocher’s terrible website, but that’s the only way you can get their products in the UK! It’s worth it, I promise. This oil is glorious. It’s thick, but wastes no time absorbing. The scent of this one is primarily orange blossom or fleur d’oranger if you’re fancy, I can’t really get any lavender or pettigrain but that’s fine for me because orange blossom is my favourite fragrance IN THE WORLD. I absolutely cannot get enough of it. Orange blossom makes me feel so happy, it’s one of the most magically uplifting scents in the world. It’s rich and heady, like jasmine, but without being overwhelming, there’s a fresh element to is as well. I’ve had this oil for two summers and it’s still going strong, despite regular use, so it’s also fantastic value for money. The oils in it are very hardy – rapeseed, sunflower, coconut and macadamia, which makes it very effective at softening and nourishing the skin. The smell lasts at least half a day, which is incredible for a body oil if you ask me! Get it from their website here.

Lush Elbow Grease

I feel like I bang on about this oil at least once a week, whether online or in real life, but I just can’t get over how much I love the smell. It’s so tropical without being sweet or sickly, just makes me feel like I’m wandering through a flower garden in Tahiti or somewhere. It reminds me a lot of monoi oil although it doesn’t actually contain any – the scent is neroli, orange blossom, rosewood and ylang ylang. If you want to read more about this glorious slice of cosmetic heaven, you can read my full blog post on it here.

 

 

Spring Clean with KINN* – toxin free, natural products for body and home!

Thinking about doing a bit of spring cleaning? Perhaps you’ve read the recent news stories about household cleaning products being an underestimated source of air pollution? Or maybe you heard about the new research, which has found that women are more likely to experience respiratory illnesses due to inhaling cleaning products over extended periods of time? Not long ago I tweeted about how looking after your home is a form of self care, but how can it be when the products required to clean a home are so dangerous? These news stories really left me feeling a bit despondent.  Luckily for me, when these stories were published, I had been invited to try a new, non-toxic and organic lifestyle brand called KINN… and trust me, you’ll want to learn all about this amazing brand too!

Four bottles. One is a body lotion bottle, one is a bath oil, one is a kitchen cleaner and one is washing up liquid. there are two plants behind them.

KINN products are non-toxic, vegan, and have fully traceable ingredients (which is something that very few brands actually have). The brand was created by mother-daughter duo Marie and Sophie, who set out with the aim of creating products for the body and home that would be enjoyable and effective to use, without doing damage to the consumer or the environment. I’ve tried four KINN products so far, two from their cleaning range and two from their body care range, and have been absolutely delighted with every single one of them!

Two bottles sit on top of three cookbooks. The bottles are washing up liquid and kitchen cleaner in modern, clean packaging. A plant is next to them.

Eco Friendly Kitchen Cleaner – £3.50

This is without a doubt the best cleaning spray I’ve ever used. It’s anti-bacterial but not in the same way that Dettol is anti-bacterial – instead of horrific chemicals, KINN use rosemary and lavender extracts to kill off unwanted germs sustainably. The scent is absolutely beautiful, a clean rosemary scent, and it cuts through dirt to leave surfaces absolutely sparkling clean. I actually really do not like cleaning, but the gorgeous scent of this stuff, and how satsfying it is to just absolutely blast through kitchen worktops, the hob, cubboard doors etc with this stuff makes it so much more enjoyable.

Eco Friendly Washing Up Liquid – £3.50

Easily the best washing up liquid I’ve ever used. Although in this country, everything that goes down the drain is heavily treated before being released back into the ecosystem, I do know that your water company’s job is made a lot harder when weird chemicals go into the mix. So when I put things down the drain, I prefer them to be as natural as possible. This is an absolutely brilliant washing up liquid, it’s so effective, it’s kind to my hands and smells wonderful; those lavender and rosemary extracts again.

Two white bottles sit on a white tile in front of two green plants. The bottles are of body lotion and bath oil.

Organic Body Lotion – £18

This body lotion is absolutely stunning, and is 90.9% organic, amazingly. The scent is ylang ylang and lavender, with orange in there too to lift it up. The base is sunflower seed, shea and cocoa butter which makes it rich, but absorbs really beautifully. And there’s aloe vera in there too which gives it a gorgeously soothing feel as you massage it in. A little goes a very long way too, and I find that when I use it after I shave my legs, it completely prevents any dryness from occurring, which is a recurring problem for me with shaving – so it’s clearly an amazing body lotion if it can treat that!

Organic Bath Oil – £28

This might actually be my favourite product of the four I’ve tried. It’s not like any other bath oil I own, which have very herbal scents like arnica, pine or rosemary. This is a delicate, uplifting scent that put me in a good mood as soon as I poured it in. The scent comes from tangerine oil, lavender and ylang ylang and it’s just so lovely. The oil blend is composed of sweet almond, grape seed, avocado and sunflower seed oils which are very good for nourishing the skin, but they are all very easily absorbed meaning it doesn’t make your bath or your skin oily. There’s added vitamin E for extra skin-loving nutrients. Every time I have a bath in this I just do not want to get out, ever! The oil is 100% natural and 99.5% organic too. It doesn’t get better than that.

I hope you enjoyed reading about KINN, this brand has been an absolute revelation to me and I can’t believe how much I enjoy using their home cleaning products! They have lots of other gorgeous sounding products too, including a body oil and body wash, a bathroom cleaner and a floor wash. I really want to try their body wash, it sounds divine!! You can buy KINN products on their website here, or they are also available in Waitrose.

 

 

January Beauty Favourites!

I’m not sure if I’ve ever done a monthly favourites post before, certainly not for a long time! But I thought it would be nice as I’ve been loving a few specific things this month; a combination of new discoveries and some old favourites.

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Lush Rosy Cheeks – I picked up a pot of one of my most beloved face masks this month and I’ve been loving it just as much as I always do. Rosy Cheeks is made with calamine and rose oil to calm the skin, as well as kaolin clay to draw out impurities. It’s fantastic because it does it all – deep cleanses the pores, calms irritation and nourishes the skin, thanks to the rose oil. My skin has been feeling a little more sensitive than usual this month so using a mask that comforts, calms and cleanses has been great. 

Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask – I got the flu this month, and I had a few irritating stressful things to deal with as well. These things always give me spots, and I decided to use this gorgeous, calming, purifying mask to calm them down. It really worked, as it always does. This mask contains manuka honey which is like a holy grail skincare ingredient – it nourishes, calms, hydrates and is also antimicrobial so it’s perfect for clearing up spots. It feels gorgeous when it goes on, like a soft gel, and it smells divine too. Highly recommend! Read more about this miracle worker here.

Magic Organic Apothecary Green Balm – Ok ok, I picked a couple of spots and they got nasty. I was stressed! I applied my MOA Green Balm before bed to help them heal and prevent infection – and they healed perfectly. What a relief! This stuff is a total multitasker and I LOVE it. You can cleanse with it, use it on eczema, scrapes, all sorts of things. You can even gargle with it! Read more about it’s amazing healing properties here.

Glossier Body Hero Daily Oil Wash – Urghhhhhhhh this STUFF. It’s SO GOOD. It smells like absolute heaven, a light orange blossom scent that’s refreshing but indulgent at the same time, and it leaves the skin velvety soft. No shower gel, body wash or even oil wash has ever made my skin feel so wonderfully soft. It’s the perfect way to make your shower time a little bit special. Get it on Glossier’s website here.

Byredo Inflorescence Eau De Parfum – This is an absolutely beautiful fragrance. It’s extremely unusual but also quite familiar – it really does smell exactly like a garden bursting with fragrant spring flowers. It’s basically the essence of spring and I love wearing it whenever I need a pick me up – I’ve been feeling a bit down with the cold weather and it has lifted my mood every time I wear it. Byredo are a very high quality brand and you’ll find their fragrances wonderfully long lasting and flattering.

Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Toner – When my skin was really bad, I tried just using my trusty Avene Tolerance Extreme Emulsion to moisturise, thinking that keeping it as simple as possible would work. But my skin was very dehydrated from the winter weather and I found that I needed something else. Fresh’s Rose Deep Hydration Toner turned out to be exactly what I needed – it’s rich in hyalurinic acid to hydrate and rose to soothe. I applied it like an essence rather than a toner (pressing it into my skin) and it was perfect. Read more here!

Hope you enjoyed this quick little look at the products I’ve been loving throughout January 🙂

The Winter Skincare Essentials

If the news is to be believed, it seems that this winter is going to be pretty brutal weather-wise. Personally I love bitingly cold winter weather, but I come from a family of people with skin that doesn’t react well to it – think heels and knuckles so dry they crack until they bleed. Because of this, I’ve had to pick up a few habits to survive the winter, and I thought it was time to share! Plus, we all know that when it’s dark and cold our mood can suffer. Self care and little indulgent rituals become even more important at this time of the year. So I’ve put together a little guide, starting with the products you need to get you through the winter, followed by a few little hacks and tips for dealing with cold-ravaged skin!

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Skincare products for the wintertime

More than one of your favourite lip balm – Keep them everywhere, by your bed, in your bag, your coat pocket, your socks, wherever. Being without your lipbalm is just not worth the pain and suffering. I love Hurraw! Coconut Lip Balm which is raw, vegan, smells nice and melts onto the lips instantly. I cannot stand the chunky, vaseline feeling of mineral oil lipbalms and if you feel the same way, I highly recommend this one!

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A good, fast absorbing hand cream – Having a hand cream that absorbs quickly means you will be more inclined to reapply frequently. If you have to sit with sticky hands for ages after applying, you’re much less likely to break out the hand cream throughout the day, which means that your hands are going to get dry and crispy much sooner than if you had a light, pleasant hand cream to use. Caudalie Hand & Nail Cream is the fastest absorbing hand cream I have ever used, it smells amazing and it’s seriously effective too. This is one you won’t be able to stop applying!

An extremely thick balm – Of course, even if you are good at reapplying hand cream, sometimes the cold weather is going to get to your hands, or other parts of your body, and dry them out, especially if you’re outdoorsy or have naturally dry skin. When this happens it’s a good idea to have a gorgeously thick balm on hand to protect, nourish and soothe. Weleda Skin Food is the ultimate multipurpose balm if you ask me. There are other great ones, like Antipodes Saviour Balm, Trilogy Everything Balm and MOA Green Balm, but Skin Food really is the best. Apply to dry hands (and dry anything else too, even your hair and face) before bed and everything will be better by morning. A multipurpose balm also comes in handy when you get a cold or the flu – for soothing a tissue-ravaged nose!

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A facial oil – Lots of people will switch to a heavier moisturiser in the winter, but I’m not convinced that’s the best course of action. Your skin type doesn’t actually change with the weather, and for me at least, using a richer cream leads to blocked pores and spots even if it does prevent dry patches and redness initially. I prefer to ward off dryness with ‘treatment’ products rather than permanent replacements so I can use them whenever I need to. A facial oil is perfect for this – they last for a long time if stored right, and they have the added benefit of soothing the skin along with protecting, nourishing and hydrating. I absolutely love Jurlique Balancing Facial Oil (particularly amazing for sensitive skin and smells heavenly), Korres Brightening Facial Oil (really does give you a radiant complexion!) and Caudalie Overnight Detox Oil, (brightens the skin and can even be used by people with spots) which are all aimed at normal to combination skin like mine so aren’t too heavy, but are still super nourishing. If your skin is naturally on the drier side, try Trilogy Rosehip Oil + Antioxidant, or Caudalie Overnight Recovery Oil, both a little rich for me but absolutely beautiful for drier skins! I also like Pure Potions Salvation Oil but I can’t find it to buy anywhere else apart from their website so there might be shipping charges there.

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A moisturising mask – Again, like with the face oil, having a moisturising mask on hand for days where your skin feels super rough and tight is a great way to nourish your skin, but also protect and soothe it from the irritation of being dry. A nourishing mask is perfect for this, and I absolutely love Caudalie Moisturising Mask which contains grape seed oil and hyaluronic acid to hydrate and nourish whilst strengthening the skin too. I wouldn’t say you definitely need both – a mask or an oil will suffice, but I wanted to add them both since they do have different qualities. You can also apply a really thin layer of this particular mask when you go outdoors to help protect your skin from chapping.

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A gentle cleanser – Over cleansing and stripping your skin of its natural oils becomes a much easier trap to fall into in the winter. If your skin gets dull, dry and rough, don’t be tempted to slough it away with a rough exfoliator or cleanser. Often, the skin can become more sensitive in the winter, so make sure you’re treating it nicely. I love Trilogy Makeup Be Gone Cleansing Balm for removing makeup, and Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser for washing my face.

A gorgeous body oil – Just the same as for the face, except there’s even more of a self-care element to it. After you get out of your bath or shower, apply your body oil all over and snuggle into bed, preferably with some cosy jammies, a hot water bottle and a couple of extra blankets. The act of massaging the oil in, enjoying it’s gorgeous scent, and waking up with silky soft skin is one of my favourite things to do in winter. Just try to make sure you apply it in a warm room! My current favourite body oil is Aesop Geranium Leaf Body Treatment, but you can see a wider variety of my faves here too.

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A restorative bath soak – Essential for several reasons! Baths warm the heart and soul and are a perfect way to counteract a chilly day. They lift the mood, calm the mind and relax the muscles. They are also fantastic for the sinuses! I absolutely love a good bath product, I’m not so fussed about bubble baths and prefer oils, salts and soaks; they’re richer in natural plant and herbal extracts because they don’t have a a cleansing base or soap or surfactants like a bubble bath does. I always shower quickly before a bath (yes, you should do this) and wash myself, so I don’t need soap in the bath itself. My absolute  favourites at the moment are definitely Olverum Bath Oil, but it is prohibitively expensive so when I run out I will buy from the much more reasonably priced ranges of Weleda and Kneipp Bath Soaks.

Winter skincare tips and tricks

  • If you’re pushed for budget, or just don’t want to buy too much, I would suggest that instead of buying a facial oil, mask and balm, just go for Weleda Skin Food instead because not only can you can use it on your face as a night treatment, you can also use it to protect your skin from harsh weather, and it can double up as a mask!

 

  • Always exfoliate before applying your face or body oil, and never exfoliate unless you’re going to apply an oil afterwards. This will ensure you remove the rough patches of skin that can build up in the wintertime without actually making them worse by drying your skin out.

 

  • If you’re spot prone but still get winter dryness and dehydration, use a very small amount of your nourishing balm only on the dry patches (in a similar way to how you might apply an on-the-spot treatment gel for a blemish) to avoid clogging up the rest of your pores. Focus more on the hydration side of skincare too – think hydrating serums, sheet masks, moisturisers…while many people can get away with just protecting their skin with oils, you have to take the more difficult route of perfecting your skin’s hydration instead.

 

  • Avoid using mineral oil based products unless you are specifically looking to apply a thick, protective layer over your skin. Mineral oil does absolutely nothing but create a layer that prevents water and oil loss.

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  • If your forehead gets irritated by wearing a woollen hat all the time, try soothing it with a calming facial mist instead of scratching it. It might feel weird to spray a traditionally summer-time product in the middle of the winter, but you’ll feel so much relief afterwards that you won’t care! I would recommend Avene Thermal Water or Caudalie Grape Water for this, as they are the two that I personally find the most soothing, and they come in travel sizes. My absolute favourite would be Glossier Soothing Mist but that only comes in a big size!

 

  • If your body skin is getting dry, rough and itchy, try this to help relieve it. Take a square of cotton (muslin is best but you can use anything as long as it isn’t heavily dyed) and pile half a cup of oats into the centre of it. Tie it up with whatever you have, could be string, an elastic band or a hair bobble, then drop it into a warm (not hot) bath. Soak in the milky water and let it calm and soothe your skin. If you have any raw shea or cocoa butter then you can put a a teaspoon or so in the pouch as well, to nourish and hydrate the skin while you bathe.

 

I hope this helps you and your skin survive the winter! Wrap up warm! x

 

Scrub Love Body Scrubs Review

Scrub Love exploded onto the market recently and their cute packaging, 100% natural formulas and super interesting range caught my eye immediately. I’ve tried three ‘flavours’ so far, and am absolutely obsessed, so here are my thoughts!

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(Coconut Mango is the brown one on top, Original Coffee is at the bottom right and Avocado and Aloe is bottom left)

Avocado & Aloe Vera with Activated Charcoal Body Scrub – £13.95

This scrub was the first one I tried, and it was unlike anything I’d used before. It’s a completely dry powder, and when you apply it to wet skin, the charcoal powder and aloe vera juice turn into a grey paste while the coconut shell fragments deeply exfoliate the skin. I think this has got to be the most effective scrub I’ve ever used, it leaves my skin absolutely, perfectly soft and when I follow it up with a luxurious body oil…I’ve never felt anything as smooth in my life! You need to use a shower gel to get rid of the charcoal, and it doesn’t smell good in the packet, but I’m not remotely put off by either of those things because it’s SO effective. I have read some reviews of this product where people are absolutely horrified by the fact that it leaves charcoal residue on the skin, but it comes of so easily with shower gel, it’s really not an issue. I would say you don’t need to use it more once every couple of weeks because it works so well, so it’s also amazing value for money!

Original Coffee Body Scrub – £11.95

This one is totally different to the charcoal one, and uses coffee grounds and rock salt to exfoliate the skin. It is much wetter, and contains almond and orange oils to make it much more nourishing than the charcoal one – I would recommend this one for people who’s skin can get a little dry or delicate, anyone under 18 or people with sensitive skin. The smell is so strange – a combination of weak coffee and Terry’s Chocolate Orange, which isn’t unpleasant, but it definitely a bit weird. I really enjoy using this, but I love a deep, deep scrub so if I had to pick I would go for the charcoal one.

Coconut Mango Body Scrub – £12.95

Again, this one is completely different to the others. Formulated for drier skin, it’s super nourishing and rich in coconut and macadamia oils. There’s also mango fruit powder which gives it the most glorious scent EVER, and to exfoliate there’s a bit of coconut shell, coconut flour and coconut sugar. This is a really gentle, gorgeous product and I can’t recommend it highly enough to anyone, but especially to people with dry or sensitive skin types.

I adore all three of these scrubs but for different reasons, and also for different uses; I’ve actually started to use the Charcoal one for my legs, feet and arms, the Coconut Mango for the softer skin of my torso, and the Coffee as an all rounder to travel with. I would recommend them all, and can’t wait to try more from this gorgeous range! You can see the full range on their website, here.

 

22 Products I’ve Repurchased More Than Once

I think that one of the most glowing accolades a product can have is that someone would use an entire bottle/pot/tube of it and then go out to buy another one right away. Even more so, when someone has done that more than once… in a world of millions of beauty and cosmetic products to choose from, repurchasing is definitely the best measure of quality! So with that being said, here are some products that I have purchased, in full size, multiple times. I know, it’s A LOT. I won’t be offended if you just scroll through and skim read until you get to a product or product type you’re interested in 😉 The list includes cleansers, skincare, makeup, haircare and bodycare products. Enjoy! And share some of your ‘most bought products’ in the comments 😉

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Cleansers

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REN Evercalm Cleansing Gel, £15. This is my everyday cleanser for morning and evening. It’s very gentle and soothing, and the perfect cleanser for anyone with delicate or sensitive skin who wants a rinse-off product that won’t completely dry out or strip their skin of natural oils. I’ve used about two bottles of this, and it’s a great, basic cleanser.

Jurlique Balancing Foaming Cleanser, £22.50. I’ve been using this stuff for EVER and I love it. It’s perfect for combination skin types that can get a little on the oily side – I love to use this three or four times a week to deeply cleanse, or in the evening when it’s been a hot or long day, as it really feels like it removes everything without leaving your skin tight or uncomfortable. I must have gone through about four bottles by now, no matter what else I’m using I always have to have a bottle of this on the go too!

Mario Badescu Botanical Exfoliating Scrub, £23. I’ve been using this for about three years and am on my third tube – this stuff lasts forever! It smells gorgeous and the thick gel texture, rich in aloe vera, protects and soothes the skin. There’s also ginger in there to refresh, coconut to moisturise and camellia to soothe. The scrub particles are gentle and rounded palm seed fragments – so they are biodegradable too. I find that this scrub is very gentle, but really effective. With most scrubs that perhaps might slough off a lot more, they can actually be really irritating for the skin, so it’s best to use a gentle one more frequently than a harsh one less often. I highly recommend this one as a great option!

Caudalie Makeup Removing Cleansing Oil, £18. This is such an amazingly fuss-free product – all you do is massage three pumps of the oil over your face (including eyes), emulsify it into a milk with a little water on your hands, and then when all your makeup is melted, rinse off with more water. It takes seconds! The only makeup remover that has ever come close to being as good is Trilogy’s Makeup Be Gone Cleansing Balm, but you have to use a flannel with that one so it’s not as practical (that being said though, you don’t need to double cleanse with the Trilogy product and you do with this, so I guess they’re about equal really). I must have gone through four bottles so far, and I have a travel size…

Skincare

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Avene Tolerance Extreme Emulsion, £13.50. I’ve been using this pretty much exclusively as my moisturiser since it launched two years ago, and I love it as much then as I do today! This moisturiser has only 7 ingredients and is completely free of preservatives and fragrance. Now, I love fragranced products but my skin can be picky, and ever since I introduced this into my routine I noticed that my skin has been much calmer, less sensitive and better hydrated than ever before. Which is a delightful finding. I would recommend this, not only to people with sensitive skin, but anyone who wants a light moisturiser that will protect and lock in hydration. I wrote a more in-depth review of what makes this moisturiser so special here.

Caudalie VineActiv Serum, £36. Oh GOD I love this serum. I’ve been using it since January and am on my second bottle. The idea of this serum is that it contains a really powerful complex of antioxidants that will help your skin to combat the free radicals that we encounter every day, which can cause dullness and premature ageing. And it really, ACTUALLY works. My skin had an inner glow after I started using this, and I was super stressed and working in London so that’s pretty impressive! I can’t attest to it’s anti-ageing powers because I deliberately started using it before my skin started to age, but I have no plans to stop using it so if my skin starts getting saggy and wrinkly, I’ll let you know. But judging by the way it made my skin so glowy, I doubt that will happen!

Hurraw Coconut Lipbalm, £4.99. This natural coconut scented lipbalm is the best I’ve ever tried. It melts onto the lips so doesn’t have that horrid thick feeling of many wax or mineral oil based lip products. With coconut, almond, cocoa, jojoba, olive and castor oils, it is super nourishing and leaves even very chapped lips feeling soothed and comfortable.

Lush Rosy Cheeks Face Mask, £7.25. This has been my favourite face mask for years! It does everything – deep cleanses with clay, soothes and nourishes with rose and reduces redness (from spots or sensitivity) with calamine. The scent is absolutely beautiful – pure rose to calm the senses, and the price is very reasonable.

Makeup

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NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation and Radiant Creamy Concealer, £34 and £23. These have been my absolute holy grail for a flawless, full coverage makeup look for about three years, I am obsessed with them both and have repurchased each three times. However…as I was writing this post the announcement came that NARS have started to sell in China. Now, my opinions on brands that sell in China aren’t black and white for several reasons, but a brand intentionally taking its business to China when they KNOW (because brands didn’t always know) what is going on, makes it clear that they are only out for money, and I don’t agree with that, so I won’t be buying these again when they run out.

Benefit Bathina ‘Take a Picture, it Lasts Longer’ Body Balm, £23.50. Ok I know, this is a really weird thing to have bought more than one of, but when you’re pale and have no intention of being anything else, it’s a great way to give your skin a summery sheen without using bronzer. I use it on my legs and arms when I’m going out in the summer, and it leaves my skin just looking a little more…alive. Ha. Plus is smells SUPER gorgeous. Here is a full review!

DHC Oil Blotting Papers, £4.50. I use these constantly; for preparing my eyes before I apply eye makeup, for just blotting on super hot and oily skin days, and for prepping my skin to receive more product if I’m going out in the evening and want to layer over my workday makeup. They come in a lovely little cardboard holder, and don’t disturb any makeup, including eyeshadow!

Serge Lutens Fleurs D’Oranger Eau de Parfum, £75. This is the most expensive cosmetic item I own and it’s SO worth it that I’ve bought it twice. This perfume is my perfect scent, I don’t have much more to say about it other than if you like your fragrances light, floral but not ‘pink’ (if that makes sense) then pop down to your nearest House of Fraser (or Liberty) and have a smell, because this is the most beautiful fragrance I have ever worn. Also, I get compliments constantly, so…

Bodycare

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Lush Elbow Grease, £5.95. This was SUCH a revelation when I first bought it. Originally it was one of the exclusives on offer in Lush’s Oxford Street store but it became so popular that they made it available anywhere. Not only is its greaseproof paper packaging one the most sustainable ways of storing a body oil/lotion, it is honestly one of the most beautiful products I own, and I think I’ve gone through three or four now. The scent is a rich, tropical, floral concoction and the product melts into a nourishing oil as soon as you massage it in. You can use it on your hair too! Read more here.

Korres Bergamot Pear Shower Gel, £8. I’ve bought this so many times that I have memorised at least 5 different stores near me that stock it. This is been my favourite shower gel for about three years now and nothing so far has beaten it! It leaves my skin soft and refreshed but it’s the SMELL, guys. Oh my GOD. It’s sweet and fruity from the pear but has a fresh citrus notes from the bergamot. It’s just the freaking BEST.

Avene XeraCalm Cream, £16.50. My partner and I are both prone to the occasional bout of eczema or contact dermatitis. This cream from Avene actually works on the itch receptors in your nerves to stop you from itching, whilst also protecting the skin and adding oil back into it – basically everthing you need to heal a plaque of eczema. I also use it as a hand cream in the winter time to prevent eczema from forming. It really works, and I would recommend it to anyone with super sensitive dry skin too.

Lush Silky Underwear Dusting Powder, £5.95. While I will be the first to admit that I own a lot of ‘princess products’, I do like to think that at least some of them are valid as products with practical applications, as well as being a little bit indulgent and pretty. This is definitely one of them. A jasmine scented ‘dusting powder’ certainly fits the description of a product you really don’t need but makes you feel all nice when you use it. And it really does! But over the years (yes years, I bought my first back in like..2013?) I’ve found it to be indispensable for preventing thigh chafe, for applying to the underarms at night to prevent them smelling in the morning, for freshening up your sheets when you’ve just had a bath but it’s not time to change them, for applying to your feet on hot days… it might be a silly sounding product, but it fits perfectly into my life and I will never be without it.

Pit Rok Salt Spray Deodorant, £4.05. I’ve been using this for about four years now and oh my GOD if you’re still using anti-perspirant just stop already. Ok, it’s not the same for everyone, I know that, and actually my boyfriend still uses anti-perspirant because his job is very active, but if you work in an office, you should really try using a salt deo instead, it’s just so much better for you, and Pit Rok’s works soooo well! I hardly ever have noticeable body odour, and even then it’s not like that smell where you walk past someone and recoil, it’s only if I actually smell my underarms. But even for that, there is a solution…

Weleda Sage Deodorant Spray, £9.50. I keep this at work (hence why it’s not in the photos) for those days when the tube journey in was hotter than hell, or when I’ve been to six meetings in a row and arrive back a sweaty, flustered mess. Just to make sure I don’t accost my colleague’s nostrils with any possible smell! It’s absolutely perfect for this, as it completely eliminates odour. I work in an office where you can reapply your deo while sitting at your desk, but if you’re in a more formal environment, Weleda actually make a mini size that you can bring to the loo with you. If you’re still not convinced, I have also written a post about how to go anti-perspirant free 🙂

Haircare

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I think of myself as someone who never experiments with haircare, but actually I was looking back through my blog the other day and saw the products I was using when I first started blogging, and not only do I not use any of them anymore, I can’t even remember why I thought they were good! The products I’m sharing here though? A M A Z I N G.

Lush RnB Hair Moisturiser, £11.95 per 100g. I have literally repurchased this 8 times, 6 of those times in it’s largest, 400g tub size. I am utterly addicted to it, it sinks into my hair faster than any other hair cream I’ve used before, it creates beautiful, soft, smooth and defined curls, and it smells divine. Read the full review and then go buy some if you have curly/dry/textured/thick or long hair!!!!

Shea Moisture Raw Shea & Cupuacu Conditioner, £10.99. I always used to think I HAD to use expensive hair masks instead of conditioner, because my hair is so thick, curly and porous. I mean, when I was still using measly European hair products I did, but since discovering Shea Moisture a few years ago (before they hit Boots I’ll have you know), I realised that was no longer the case. This conditioner detangles, smoothes and nourishes my hair better than anything from any other brand I’ve ever tried, and I’ve tried at least 50 different conditioners in my life, aimed at pretty much every hair type there is, and this is my favourite.

Hei Poa Monoi Oil with 1000 Fleurs, approx £11. I first discovered this while browsing a Monoprix in Paris, and I’m SO annoyed that it hooked me the way it did – because you can’t get it over here! However, you can buy it from Cocoon Centre, which is an international website that uses distributors to ship worldwide. This oil is normal Tahitian Monoi oil, which is known for it’s beautiful fragrance and ultra-nourishing properties, but it’s infused with a concoction of other flowers too, giving it the ‘1000 fleurs’ name. This scent is almost indescribably beautiful; think of the most tropical thing you’ve ever smelled, then times it by 10 and imagine smelling it in 30 degree heat, surrounded by palm trees, watching the sun set over a calm sea. I apply it to my hair after conditioner and then wrap it up in cling film for an hour, for the softest hair ever. It solidifies at room temperature, which means that it doesn’t wash out as easily as a normal hair oil, which makes it perfect for this. I’m about to start my third bottle.

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I hope you enjoyed this! As a bonus I thought I’d share some more products that I definitely plan to repurchase but don’t need to just now, because I haven’t run out yet, or am getting rid of a few things in my stash first: Perricone MD No Lipgloss Lipgloss, Trilogy Makeup Be Gone Cleansing Balm, Pixi Makeup Fixing Mist, Jurlique Rosewater Mist, Aesop Geranium Leaf Body Oil, Aveda Dry Remedy Shampoo, Caudalie SOS Thirst Quenching Serum.