Benefit Bathina “Take a picture…it lasts longer…” Review

I have wanted this stuff foreeeever. In my early teens I thought Benefit and Lush were the ultimate in beauty, and I was obsessed with their quirky, cool products. Bathina “Take a picture…it lasts longer” like Silky Underwear from Lush, has been on my wishlist since I was about 13. So the other day when I was faffing around on Feel Unique I decided to treat myself, because I’m an adult now (right?) and I have disposable income (…right?)

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Let’s not dwell on how stereotypically 90s kid it is of me to buy what is essentially glorified body glitter. To be fair, it does pack an impressive shimmer, but it’s so much more than that. The glitter is a warm golden colour and the balm is a beautiful pink, so when it reflects in the light it gives this gorgeous peachy shimmer. Perfect for people who don’t tan, and so have no use for bronzer.

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The scent is ludicrously gorgeous, and has some serious staying power. I’ve worn it on bare legs (hellooooo summer!) for the past two days and not only have they been gorgeously shimmery every time I look down, they’ve been silky soft and lightly scented. Something in the fragrance reminds me of summer really vividly, in the same way that suntan lotion always does. This is such a gorgeous treat for the warmer months, and if like me you just do not tan, this’ll give you a break from that milk-bottle leg feeling.

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I did a silly little summer leg shaving ‘step by step’ the other day where I recommended Silky Underwear Dusting Powder or Korres Bergamot Pear Body Milk as the final step – but I think it’s safe to say that this is the perfect finishing touch. Get it from Feel Unique for £23.50 – go on, treat yo self.

Lush Oxford Street Exclusives – Rosy Cheeks Mask and Deo My B.O. Deodorant

When you walk into Lush Oxford Street and are immediately greeted by that trademark scent, combined with the scent of 200 new products you can’t get anywhere else, it’s quite an experience for anyone. Let alone someone like me who’s basically been obsessed with Lush from the get-go. I couldn’t wait to track down these exciting products and see what treats the Lush Kitchen had come up with.

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I bought loads, so I decided to break it down into easily manageable chunks (I could hardly try everything at once, could I? Well, I could, but my flatmates wouldn’t appreciate me taking over the bathroom for 12 hours). This first one is a deodorant bar called Deo My BO. I don’t like antiperspirant, having struggled with the skin under my arms for years I’ve taken the all natural, all gentle approach. Antiperspirants are boring anyway, they all smell like chemicals and fake fragrances. When you open yourself up to natural deodorants, things get interesting, and this deodorant bar is no exception.

IMG_6384 The base of this deo bar is bicarbonate of soda, cream of tartar and lycopodium powder (do you know what that is? It’s the lube powder you get on latex gloves and condoms! So I guess this must be what helps the deodorant spread over the skin without leaving it feeling weird and powdery). The scent is amaaaaaazing – lemon oil, bergamot, juniperberry and neroli oil make it sharp and refreshing, which is just what you need to combat BO as well as give you nice treat every time you lift your arms up.

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This is the base – they cover it in green wax to give you something to hold on to. So, if you’re still reading, I’m guessing it’s because you want an answer to the question DOES IT WORK?! And I am delighted to inform you that gawd yes, it works. I honestly wasn’t expecting it to, but it really does, and I’ve had a BUSY few weeks. I have run for at least three trains since I started using it and every time my underarms get to the end of the day as happy and decent smelling as they were in the morning. Nice one, Lush!

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The second product I want to talk to you about is the Rosy Cheeks Mask. We tried four different masks in Lush, and it was really hard to choose just one. I chose Rosy Cheeks because even after a different mask had been applied and washed off my hand, I could still smell the gorgeous light rose scent. With calamine to calm the skin, and kaolin to gently exfoliate I thought this would be great for my consistently grumpy skin. There’s rose oil in there too, which just like it’s famous sister, rosehip seed oil, is great for the skin. It helps to even out the colour of the skin, and obviously smells beautiful.

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Its gorgeously thick, and instantly soothes the skin when you put it on because it’s cold – then as it warms up the calamine continues to calm the skin down, while the rose fragrance calms the senses. This is an all around gorgeous experience, and my skin was so soft, soothes and lightly scented after I washed it off. I have a couple of angry spots at the moment and they were immediately diminished! Once again, Lush, very well done.

IMG_6390My boyfriend made me take this picture. It’s a rose comet! Anyway…Lush have truly exceeded all my expectations with their new products, and I really, really hope they absorb some into their main product range so that more people can enjoy them! These innovative products have filled holes in my beauty routine that I didn’t even realise existed. Get yourself to Oxford Street if you possibly can!

Want to read about more of Lush Oxford Street’s amazing products? Click here or here, and stay tuned for a tonne more! 

How to shave your legs like a feminist

1. Acknowledge that, as a feminist, you never want to tell other women what to do with their bodies and anything you may or may not say about hair removal is merely a suggestion based on subjective experiences.

2. Grow out a different body hair area to ensure there’s always a part of you that doesn’t unintentionally cater to the male gaze. With smooth legs comes great responsibility to ensure men don’t think you’re on their side.

 

3. If you start dating a beard bro, be sure to grow out enough body hair in the first few months that you can be certain of any feminist ideals he might claim to have (if there isn’t a man, skip to the end of step 4).

4. Once you’re sure of the aforementioned man’s regard for you and the choices you make about your body, or you get bored of the fur covering your lower extremities, decide that it’s time for a shave.

5. Invest in some nice products. You’re doing this for you, after all. May as well get it right.

6. Choose your first product: An exfoliator. These come in several shapes, a konjac sponge, a body brush, exfoliating gloves, or my personal preference, a scrub. I LOVE & Other Stories’ beautiful Body Scrubs.

7. Choose your razor. I always used to preach that expensive razors were a joke and that we should always go withthe 10 for a £1 orange Bic multipack, but I’m told by some of my fellow feminists that women with thicker or coarser hair actually need to take a three-bladed approach to their hair removal. So pick whichever razor you like, but DON’T go for the higher priced pink option just because it claims to be specially designed for your legs. It isn’t.

8. Second product: shaving aid. You don’t need to use special shaving gel on your legs, but don’t cop out by using your shampoo, or worse, conditioner on your legs. I know so many people who do this and I don’t get it – you’re shaving the hair off for heaven’s sake! When you shave, you’re leaving the product on your legs for longer than normal so it’s imperative to use something actually designed for your body, not hair. A moisturising and gorgeously scented shower gel is what you want. Korres Bergamot Pear, or any of & Other Stories’ Shower Gels are perfect.

9. Warm your skin under the shower to soften the skin a bit, and then exfoliate. This’ll help make the exfoliation more effective.

10. Turn the shower off because otherwise you’ll waste a tonne of water. I actually have a little plastic pot in the bathroom, which I fill with water to rinse the hair off the razor as I shave.

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11. Try not to cut yourself. (If you do slip, cool the area asap. Your blood vessels are open from the warm water, which is why shaving injuries bear a striking resemblance to the elevator scene in The Shining. I usually just rinse the blood with cold water and then apply a flannel soaked in cold water as I hobble back to my bedroom…)

12. Should you manage to complete your shave without abandoning due to injury, gently pat your skin dry.

13. Time for the third product. Lush’s Silky Underwear Dusting Powder contains cocoa butter, cornflower and jasmine. It smells unbelievably sexy, and it makes your body feel smoother than smooth. Sprinkling it over freshly shaved legs gives the ultimate smooth shave feeling. I don’t know if people with dark skin tones can use aggressively white dusting powder, and if I’m right, then try my other favourite body moisturiser. Korres Bergamot Pear Body Milk contains aloe vera, almond and shea butter as well as the most beautiful fragrance known to humankind. These are two of the best body products I’ve ever tried.

14. Do this:

15. Go outside and show your legs off! Only if you want to (and you slather on some SPF) of course.

Lush Oxford Street

After the election results on Friday my boyfriend and I were in desperate need of some hippy green retail therapy. Lush’s newly opened, 3 storey flagship in the heart of Oxford Street seemed like the perfect place. I thought I’d share some of their 200 exclusive products, as well as our amazing experience. IMG_6300Despite it being a busy Saturday, we spent almost three hours wandering around this incredible shop, checking out loads of the new products and testing them, playing with their new bath bombs, smelling everything and wishing we had a bit more disposable income (not that that’ll be happening any time soon, thanks to the UK electorate) IMG_6279 They have so many new soaps. SO MANY. Unfortunately I don’t have anywhere to put solid soap in my bathroom so I didn’t get any, but hopefully one day… IMG_6291 That grapefruit one is incredible. And the hairy one is the perfect smell for anyone who loves the outdoors – it smells like nice dirt. IMG_6306 This Guardians of the Forest bath bomb has a very subtle scent and I couldn’t smell it at first. Then one of the lovely staff members (and I mean lovely – I know Lush employees work hard but these people knew everything, and were so nice!) told us to sniff ourselves before sniffing the products to get the scent. This one really does smell like a forest, it’s beautiful. The one above it smells of parma violets but not quite so sweet. Yum. IMG_6307 It’s impossible to walk around this shop and not feel happy. With the famous lush scent, lovely employees, fascinating products and wonderful atmosphere, we didn’t want to leave. IMG_6283 Here’s the shaving corner. Everything in Lush Oxford Street is so beautifully presented, and after 10 minutes in this part I ended up a with tub of shaving cream (for my legs) and beard wash (an early birthday present for my boyfriend). IMG_6287The only part I didn’t spend much time looking at was the facial skincare – I’ve haven’t tried much Lush skincare, apart from Ocean Salt which I liked, but was probably not the best product to use 10 years ago on my sensitive teenage skin. IMG_6285 However, they have so many more products now, and the staff here are so good, that I’m definitely going to come back and look at the facial skincare soon. I bet there’s something there that my combination, self destructing skin will love. IMG_6308 I loved the look of this striking Coalface facial soap, with charcoal to help absorb oil and liquorice root to soften the skin. This would be something my boyfriend, who has very oily skin, could use daily, while I could it from time to time when my skin gets shiny or spotty. IMG_6290One of the best parts of Lush Oxford Street is that there are chairs surrounding their fresh mask area, where the staff can show you all their amazing masks while you sit down. Perfect for all the tired shoppers who pass through Oxford Street every day. IMG_6289 This also gives them a really good opportunity to talk to you, which is where the amazingly knowledgable, lovely and interesting staff come into their own. It was a pleasure to talk to the lady who was applying testers of their gorgeous masks to our hands. IMG_6312 We tried four, the ones you see here are an Oxford Street exclusive ironically named Don’t Look at Me, and The Sacred Truth, a mask with papaya to brighten and exfoliate. We also tried brightening and refreshing Cup of Coffee and soothing, calming Rosy Cheeks. IMG_6309I ended up buying Rosy Cheeks, because I have lots of exfoliating, cleansing, polishing and brightening products, but nothing particularly calming. This smells beautiful and my hand was wonderfully soft afterwards. Obviously I’ll review it when I actually try it on my face! IMG_6294As you go down into the basement area, there’s a whole corner given over to feet. I can see this being popular as the weather gets warmer (popular with me at least, I hate having sweaty feet) IMG_6296Then you’re downstairs, in the headily scented massage bar and perfume section. There’s a sensory exhibit here about their Gorilla perfumes, but we didn’t end up checking it out (there’s always next time). My boyfriend had a look at the perfumes and fell in love with a smoky, whisky inspired scent that he’s already saving up for… IMG_6297 …while I cooed over the massage bars. Lush massage bars are some of their best products – Each Peach, Pearl, Dirty, Tender is the Night and Soft Coeur are all joint favourites for me. IMG_6300 Then we headed over to the deodorant/dusting powder section. Again, everything was so gorgeously laid out. I think the shopping experience here is on a par with Liberty’s for excitement, beauty and all around enjoyability. IMG_6303I picked up one of these gorgeous deodorants, a Lush Oxford Street exclusive called Deo my BO (hahaha) that smells stunning. It’s really fresh and lively. I’ll be trying it out this weke and will review asap! IMG_6304 Elbow Grease is one of many exclusive products that I of wish I’d picked up. It’s a really melty balm, intended, I think, for making tattoos shine really nicely, but also for soothing rough skin. I have a few dry patches that I think this would be perfect for. It melts away in your hand and smells gorgeous. IMG_6336 So…if you’ve made it all the way through this marathon post, you’re probably wondering what I actually bought. There’s Deo My BO deodorant, a sample of Roots scalp treatment, Flowering Tea reusable bubble bar, I Am A Radiant Being solid bath oil, Five O’Clock Whistle shaving smoothie, a sample of Giant’s Gel hair gel, Rosy Cheeks face mask, a sample of Curly Wurly shampoo, You’ve Been Mangoed solid bath oil, Damaged hot oil hair treatment and Kalamazoo beard and face wash. Lush Oxford Street is a stunning place to get lost in, their exclusive products are incredible, and they have done something I didn’t think anyone could ever do: make Oxford Street smell nice.

Korres Bergamot Pear Body Milk and Shower Gel Review

In August last year, I visited New York for the first time. The first of many times, I very much hope. My friend and I stayed in a wonderful Airbnb apartment with a friendly couple and an adorable dog. The apartment was in South Williamsburg, and I’m so glad we chose somewhere a bit different rather than going for the centre of Brooklyn or Manhattan. Naturally, being tourists, we spent all our time in those areas anyway, so it was great to see a bit of New York that we wouldn’t have seen otherwise. It really is an amazing city. I ate so much pizza and so many bagels.

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It was August, and nothing could have prepared me for how hot it was. Hotter than the rainforest – and I would know, I spent two months living in one. I’d worn a very loose dress (#5 on that list) with a strappy back for comfort on the plane, but after getting out of the subway and realising I was surrounded by Hasidic Jewish people, I almost cooked myself keeping my hoodie on as I attempted to find the apartment. At least I didn’t offend anyone!

Before I left for NYC, a combination of job interviews an a terrible cold resulted in me doing some extremely last minute holiday prep. As I wasn’t going to be staying in hotels, I needed shower gel. This compact and beautiful Korres Bergamot Pear Shower Gel bottle caught my eye on ShowerHacks.com. Although it’s 250ml like most shower gels, it just seems to take up less space than others. Maybe it’s my imagination, but a basic bottle of Radox definitely looks bigger, yet holds the same amount. Perhaps Korres are cutting down on packaging? They certainly seem like the kind of company who would – they have a lovely ethos.

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I didn’t open the shower gel until several days later when, jetlagged, boiling hot and possibly a bit smelly, I undressed in our host’s walk-in shower. Tiled in dark red, with a waterfall shower head attached to the high ceiling, it was cool, quiet and calm in that shower. The water fell heavily and I set it to cold. I flipped the lid and poured some gel onto my travel sponge, and as I massaged the gel over my hot skin I absolutely couldn’t believe how gorgeous the scent was.

The Bergamot Pear fragrance is sweet and fruity from the pear, but there’s a gorgeous freshness and bit of sharpness to lift it up. As I stood there in the shower the scent restored me completely. It woke my mind up and washed away all the drowsiness in my muscles. Although it’s sweet, the fragrance is incredibly clean, so you get all the benefit of a super freshening shower gel without the artificial tang.

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As the boiling hot New York summer progressed, we spent sleepless nights under thin sheets, and long days exploring the city. Naturally, I showered a lot – waking myself up and cooling myself down in that beautiful bathroom, and whenever I’ve used the shower gel at home since, it reminds me of the wonderful time I had.

With aloe vera gel and wheat proteins, the shower gel isn’t just good for the senses, it’s great for the skin too. The cooling aloe is probably why it felt so good on my skin after long days out, and the wheat has kept my skin soft and supple all through winter too – I’ve been using it almost constantly since the summer.

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I saw the Body Milk in Liberty’s a while ago, but because I have so many body oils, creams and lotions, I stopped myself from indulging. I really wanted to though. That scent is hard to resist, so after I got my new job, I decided to treat myself. Well, I’m glad I did; This is the ultimate summer body lotion. The milk sinks into the skin immediately, leaving it incredibly soft, and beautifully scented. There’s aloe in there again to cool, along with shea butter and jojoba to soften. I’m completely obsessed with it – I usually to forget to moisturise after a shower because I’m really not a morning person, but since buying this I’ve remembered to do it every single day.

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I really can’t describe how gorgeous these products are. I know that’s technically the whole point of blogging about products, but to be honest I just really want you to go to your nearest retailer and have a sniff, because I know you’ll buy it. If you’re looking for some fruity, clean and fresh smelling body care for the summer months, these are your guys. At £10 for the Body Milk and £8 for the Shower Gel, you can’t really argue with the price either.

Fig Fiction Body Wash from & Other Stories

Have you ever been in & Other Stories? It’s right next to Oxford Circus tube station, but for some bizarre reason I had absolutely never seen it before until a friend pulled me in there. It’s magic. Everything in there is sophisticated and beautiful, yet affordable. I got a trio of gold bangles (ones that are actually small enough to sit on my tiny hand properly) for £15, and they are gorgeous as well as really high quality. They have great branding too – so far this year they’ve had a lesbian couple and the worlds longest serving supermodel modelling their clothes, and have worked with Lena Dunham.

The thing that surprises me most about & Other Stories is that not only do they sell stunning clothes, bags, shoes and jewellery, they also have an incredible beauty department, with lots of own label stuff including make up, skin care and body care. I haven’t looked at the face stuff much yet, but that’s only because every time I go in I get distracted by their unbelievably beautifully scented body care.

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Although they have a huge selection of stunning scents, I think Fig Fiction is my favourite. I adore the scent of fig, and the fragrance in this body wash is incredibly well developed. It’s so vibrant and fresh, with sweet notes and aa bit of wood. It’s one of the most wonderful smells. In fact the reason I decided to photograph it on these bedsheets is because this body wash kind of makes my nose feel the same way that they make my eyes feel.

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& Other Stories uploaded this to their Facebook recently, isn’t it beautiful? It’s a breakdown of the different scents in their Fig Fiction range. Currents, pepper, plum and rosewood, combined with fresh fig. Perfection. The other thing I absolutely adore about this body wash is that it leaves my skin feeling unbelievably soft. To the point that I noticed it after I got out of the shower and wondered what on earth I’d done to my skin! It would have been easy for them to just make a generic soap with a gorgeous scent, but they’ve actually made an amazing formula too. Plus, it’s only £5!

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My boyfriend bought his mum a body lotion and body scrub for mother’s day, in the Shinjuku Bloom fragrance. When we visited at easter I tried the scrub, and it is amazing. The scent is fresh and light but still really sweet. It’s a sugar scrub and extremely thick, so it’s seriously effective. When my Jurlique Exfoliating Gel runs out I think I’ll be getting one from & Other Stories, especially since they’re £7 instead of £28…

& Other Stories is a beautiful shop with a great ethos, amazing products, clothes and accessories. If you’re in London, pay them a visit, and if you aren’t, pay them a visit.

Silky Underwear from Lush is the Best Thing Ever

Silky Underwear, Lush’s luxurious dusting powder, first caught my eye when I was around 13. Lush was pretty new where I lived and it was very exciting. My mum would talk to the sales assistants and I would wander around the store, reading and smelling everything. Obviously as a 13 year old it caught my eye because it sounded ‘naughty’.

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I didn’t pick it up because I thought I’d get told off. Then as I grew up it seemed like an unnecessary frivolity, so I never used my pocket money or student loan to try it out. Then I got a grown up 9-5, and I thought ‘I’m the kind of person who buys this now’. And now I regret the 25 years I spent without it, because I’ve found several different uses for it already, which would have been great for a teenager or student. You live and learn.

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Everything about Silky Underwear is amazing – the gorgeously sexy scent, the soft, light texture, the way it sinks in and nourishes the skin better than many creams…

Jasmine is one of my favourite scents. I live near the Langham Hotel in London, and on the way home on nights out in the summer I would take a shortcut up Regent’s Street, past their jasmine bushes. The night-blooming flowers would fill the warm air with their perfume, a beautiful treat after the car fumes of Oxford Circus and the sweaty clubs I’d been in minutes earlier. I used to pick a couple of blooms so I could wake up with the scent on my pillow. Naturally, I can’t wait to cover myself in this powder for in the summer. For me, jasmine is the ultimate summer scent. It’s heady, but light enough that it doesn’t feel cloying in the heat.

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It’s just as well that jasmine goes with summer, because Silky Underwear can be used for thigh chafe – I get this sometimes when I wear dresses (I think it depends on what shoes I wear, which should tell you a bit about how ridiculous the concept of a ‘thigh gap’ is. I’ve used it on my underarms instead of deodorant, and it actually kept them dry (and odourless!) So I think it’s going to work great on any thigh issues I may experience.

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The soft, light powder contains cocoa butter to moisturise the skin (I don’t fully understand how they’ve managed to turn cocoa butter into powder, but I’m a fan) and cornstarch, along with magnesium carbonate and kaolin rather than nasty talc. My geologist boyfriend really enjoyed explaining where these two ingredients come from and what they do…I chose not to share this with you, you’re welcome. The scent is jasmine absolute and vetivert oil (which is apparently an aphrodisiac…well helloooo), and it is D I V I N E. IMG_5879

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As you can see here (you might have to squint, I am about as white as the powder) it sinks straight in. My skin is left SO soft, and the scent lasts for ages. It’s a different experience entirely from using a cream as the skin is dry, but incredibly well nourished. This really is the perfect way to moisturise in the summer. I’m in love.

IMG_5875In fact, I loved it so much I actually bought a bottle for my friend in Canada for her birthday – I used the Canadian website* and my PayPal account (and her husband, who kindly messaged me their address and phone number without telling her), and it arrived within three days. The wonders of global connectivity! In the UK Silky Underwear is a mere £4.50, and if you’re of the Canadian persuasion (or know someone who is) then it’s just $7.95

Thank you Lush, we both LOVE THIS 🙂

*didn’t think there was much point trying to send a bottle of white powder across an entire continent in the post.

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Weleda Wild Rose Bath Cream Review

I’m a big fan of Weleda’s Body Care, and would struggle to pick a favourite product (though my favourite from their entire product range is without question the Oat Hair Treatment, oh my god). I adore the Wild Rose, Sea Buckthorn and Birch products in particular, so when I got this Wild Rose Cream Bath as a leaving present from my last job I was pretty chuffed (yeah, they knew me well).

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This is a really thick bath cream, with a massive amount of jojoba oil and olive oil in it. Jojoba is the oil our skin absorbs most easily so you can imagine what sitting in a warm bath full of it will do. Olive oil is really richly nourishing, but takes longer to absorb, so the warm water of the bath allows the oil and the skin to partner up much more readily than normal, and your skin will reap the benefits. IMG_5822

There’s also some rosehip seed oil in there, which is ridiculously good for the skin. Anti-aging, scar fading, good for spots, there’s pretty much nothing rosehip seed won’t at least try and do for your skin. Soaking in it once a week is a bit like giving your skin a lovely nourishing mask. My skin really did feel lovely after I towelled off, and boy was I chilled out.

Then of course there’s the scent. It’s heaven. Weleda are definitely one of the best brands when it comes to rose scented products, and this Cream Bath is probably the most delightful of them all. When you smell it in the bottle its incredibly strong, but once you’ve poured a glug of the creamy liquid into the bath and swirled it around, it is absolutely, perfectly, balanced.

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Treat yourself to one of these beautiful bottles of loveliness. You deserve it. And even if you don’t, I’m sure you will at some point in the future. Get it here, £12.95 for 100ml.

Stress, eczema and Eau Thermale Avène

I’m not going to go into much detail about why I abandoned this blog (a blog that I was really quite proud of to be honest) for six months. What I will say however, is that about two months ago I woke up to an itchy rash all over my torso. Having never seen anything like it before, I was horrified. Apart from dry hands I haven’t had any issues with the skin on my body at all. I ran off to my doctor immediately, and was diagnosed with eczema. When I told the doctor that this was the first time I’d had it, he seemed confused. Was I under any particular stress, he asked.

After I described to him exactly what kind of stress I was under, he sent me off with a steroid cream prescription, an IAPT appointment and instructions to come back if it got any worse. Suffice to say, I am coming out of this experience MUCH stronger, and FAR wiser.

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As I walked from the GP’s to get the prescription, my skin was on fire. I sent my boyfriend a text screaming for help, and he suggested a bath. What on earth was I supposed to put in a bath when I had this all over me? Everything I use is full of essential oils something you should never put on eczema. Lucky for me, my lovely local pharmacist knew exactly what I needed. Eau Thermale Avène Lipid Replenishing Cleansing Oil.

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I put about five pumps of this into a mildly warm bath, and my skin was so, so soothed. The irritation went right down, and I actually didn’t need to use very much steroid cream at all. I used the Cleansing Oil for about two weeks in the shower after that, by squeezing it onto a sponge and using it like soap. It foams up really nicely, and leaves the skin feeling clean and soft.

If you’re struggling with your skin I can’t recommend it highly enough. The soothing nature is incredible, I found that my skin felt calmer as soon as I rubbed it on. I’m so happy I had it.

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Since my skin healed quite quickly, I wasn’t sure what to do with the rest of the bottle (you get a LOT for your money). Then one night I ran out of the makeup wipes I’d been using. I thought this stuff, being so gentle, must be ok for use on the face, and boy was I right! My waterproof mascara melted away after I lathered up twice. So if you decide to try the Cleansing Oil for a pesky skin condition, (which it then ends up curing) I highly recommend using the rest as a makeup remover.

I was having a rough time, and I would like to take a end by saying that IAPT stands for Improving Access to Psychological Therapies, and is the NHS’s attempt to make sure people can get help when they first need it. If you’re struggling with something in your life, and haven’t gone to a doctor about it, you CAN now. This initiative is designed to prevent irreparable damage being done to your mental health, and no matter how mild you think your problem is, they have something in place for you.

Review: Niki’s Organic Original Balm

First things first, I want to say thank you to anyone that shared my post about Kew Gardens, I was blown away by the amount of interest, and I will be talking more about it soon.

I bought this little pot of Niki’s Organic Original Balm almost a year ago, from an exhibition at a health show. I kind of forgot about it and it just ended up in a nondescript box of things in my bathroom.

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I knew it had loads of uses, but having so many other products to use I never had a reason to get it out. Until I actually got it out, and tried it on a spot that was taking ages to heal. And wow, is it amazing! I’ve become obsessed with it, and have been putting it on all my ‘healing’ blemishes. I’m of the opinion that spots that are coming to a head need completely different treatment to ones that have already done their damage, and are calming down. So, Weleda Aknedoron when they’re red and angry, Niki’s Organic Original Balm when they’re healing.

I can really see the difference in healing since I’ve been using it – my skin is prone to hormonal outbreaks so I tend to spend one half of the month trying to control spots and the next half dealing with the aftermath. Now, I literally have nothing apart from a few marks that haven’t completely gone away yet (I’m still not showing you my face without makeup though). I scoop a bit out with a clean nail, and just pop it on the problem area in the evening after I’ve washed and moisturised. It goes on so smoothly, and feels lovely when it’s on!

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The balm smells absolutely beautiful – and no, there isn’t any lavender in there but I have a whole bunch of dried buds which I needed to use for something. The smell is zingy and refreshing, and comes from lemon tea tree which I’ve never heard of before, but I like it very much. The balm itself is one of those gorgeous mixtures that blemishes and skin problems don’t stand a chance against:

Calendula oil – gentle healing, anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory and protective

Hypericum – healing and antibiotic

Tea tree – antibacterial

Rosemary – stimulates microcirculation to enhance healing

Beeswax – antibacterial, healing and protective

Sunflower oil – gentle carrier oil, nourishing, protective, non-comedogenic

Vitamin E – good for scarring

Lemon Tea Tree – yummy scent

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I’m so impressed with Niki’s Organic Original Balm, and really pleased I came across it when I was last at home! Make sure you check out the list of uses on the website, because it’s really versatile. At £4.99 for a 10ml pot, I think it’s amazing value because you don’t need to use much at all, and it’s really effective. You’ll also be supporting a handmade product which is really important – there are some absolute gems out there in the independent market. This is unquestionably one of them.