Yaoh – Organic Hemp Seed Oil Shampoo & Conditioner

Yaoh Organic Hemp Seed Oil Shampoo – Coconut and Lime (£5.99 240ml)

Contains extracts of rosemary, lavender and chamomile and is free from sodium lauryl sulphate and other harsh chemicals. The lime and coconut scent reminds me of a delicious holiday cocktail. I have tried shampoos in the past (most of the generic brands from big companies) that have left my hair feeling like tangled straw. I’ve tried shampoos that are a lot more gentle but didn’t really do the job. Yaoh shampoo removed a huge amount excess grease, dirt and product build-up but didn’t strip my hair of it’s natural oils. Sometimes I co-wash (meaning just washing with conditioner to gently refresh hair and re-define it’s shape) but I honestly could have sham-washed with this shampoo, it’s that gentle and nourishing.

Rating 5/5

Yaoh Organic Hemp Seed Oil Conditioner – Summer Breeze (£5.99 240ml)

I have to get this out of the way first; both me and my bloke hated the scent of this so I only used it on the back of my hair for the purpose of reviewing it and then my usual conditioner on the rest.

Rating 2/5 (only for that scent though)

Overall

My hair has never been so soft ever before, not even as a child. It’s like I have a totally new (and much calmer) hair type that just falls into shiny loose spirals – wow!

For 33% off all bath products Nov-Dec use code SHAM33

Chrissie

The Perfect Shampoo & Conditioner For Combination Hair

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Everyone has heard of ‘combination skin’ but many people also have ‘combination hair’ too. Y’know, greasy at the roots, average or coarse in the mid-lengths and dry or fluffy toward the ends. Most generic shampoos for greasy hair strip roots of ANY oil but pre-shampoo conditioning masks or oil based leave-in-conditioners can often only be used on ends. It can feel like a crazy balancing act with too many specific products, time and money.

Here’s my hero duo…

Faith in Nature – Brave Botanicals, Shampoo (£4.50, 250ml) Shampoo which cleanses greasy roots, while Demask rose and Argan tame frizz and replenish important oils, to give hair strength and shine. Certified vegan and Cruelty Free Internal/BUAV approved. This also quite kind to coloured hair I’ve noticed.

Noughty Intensive Care, Leave-in Conditioner (£6.99, 150ml) One of the very few leave-in-conditioners which doesn’t leave roots feeling flat or heavy. Argan oil, Shea Butter and Natural Source Vitamin E leaves hair naturally balanced and healthy. Oh, and I’ve just noticed this conditioner has won multiple awards and is certified vegan.

If your hair is long and combination like mine, this duo will reduce your shower time dramatically and save the strength in your arms for styling!

Chrissie

 

 

Slap Stick Foundation LUSH

I care a lot about environment because the planet is my home and also home to so many other people, plants and creatures who depend on it functioning properly. I’m doing my best to support companies committed to reducing waste packaging or using recycled/recyclable packaging so I was looking forward to trying Slap Stick £16.95, 30g from LUSH. It’s a solid foundation egg, flat on one side and coated in wax (so you have some part to hold), which lives in a little cardboard box…

…That was until I opened it and it already looked a mess and then when I tried to lower it back into it’s box, I covered the sides in foundation and when I tried to close the lid it skimmed some foundation off the top of the stick! I get that LUSH are trying to reduce packaging but to reduce it to the size that it doesn’t actually fit the product? Ah – no.

The second thing that really attracted me to this product was the range has 40 shades, including warm, neutral and cool undertones and yellow/golden tones in general. The website matches the staff from LUSH to the shades in videos and there is a handy comparison photo showing three peoples arms sampling the whole range. I think I have pale-medium skin with warm (yellow) undertones as my veins look purple and teal; not blue or green as is the most common way you are supposed to be able tell. So I chose 12W.

The line in-between the shadow on my face near my ear and the glow of light on the front of my cheek, is where I’ve left the foundation unblended. Perfect match! Even though the stick looks too dark, the colour is surprisingly sheer but the coverage is still medium.

Slap Stick contains a massive 45% coconut oil as well as Jojoba oil so it moisturises skin. I know that some people do tend to break out with coconut oils because of allergies so I’m a little surprised they chose this ingredient but fortunately my dry skin absolutely loves it!

The texture is like a cream to powder compact and the only way I was able to spread it was to apply, leave for a few minutes and then spread with the warmth of my fingers. It stayed put all day though and covered any redness I had.

Rating 3/4

Chrissie

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Monthly Round-up June

Style

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Find this in a pile of the Bloke’s old clothes and ‘adopted it’.

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I finally found two dresses, that hide my pizza handles; are a practical but un-frumpy length (at least for me) and aren’t too prom-dressy. Both from EMP.

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When you can’t be arsed hiding your natural resting bitch face, ha! This Casual Urban Summer outfit felt surprisingly cool (before the heatwave) and also worked well with gladiator sandals for casual evenings.

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I’ve been trying to find sunglasses like these very old ones but haven’t been having much luck, as I guess they are very early-2000’s in style. I’m also learning how to take selfies with a point and shoot camera…I need more practice.

Food and Drink

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Someone gave us an Aloe plant about a year ago and this is the first time that I used it in a drink. It tastes so bitter but if you only use half a finger, somehow that tartness goes away when you mix it with anything sweet, like perfectly ripe strawberries.

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The Bloke has bringing me veggie koftas by Gosh from the ‘posh’ Tesco in Didsbury. I don’t always have enough energy to make and fry my own falafel or to get to the deli before they close so these are a great alternative and last for ages in the fridge.

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We bought some chilli seeds around two months ago and now we have this lovely gangly thing. In the morning it raises it’s leaves and then bends toward the sun in an arch throughout the day. Just after sundown, it lowers it’s leaves again and stays still. I’ve just pollinated it, with it’s own flowers but I can’t see any yellow pollen so I have no idea if it worked and we will get chilli’s.

Beauty

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Hempz, Herbal range are some of the best products I’ve ever used to style my crazy, frizzy natural hair so they were a joy to review.

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These three are the most borrow-able items in my blokes bathroom and they smell great too so I thought I’d review them in Pinching My Blokes Skincare.

Lifestyle

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I was offered a free star map from Modern Map Art and chose to get one done for my Dad for Fathers Day. Here’s my review if you want to know more.

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I found this, which made me laugh as it was so appropriate at the time ^_^

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I’ve nearly finished series 5 of Gotham. It has it’s usual gangster slant and a new intelligent baddy for young Bruce. They’ve added more of a horror element this series and also the violence is less comic book and just plain graphic. I’m not a big fan of either of the above. Poison Ivy and Butch aren’t pictured here, probably for good reason, so as not to spoil the surprise of how they look.

I made this using the Geek Alphabet created by The Nifty Nerd. Such a great idea!

Chrissie

McCall’s Organics – A Great Resource for Dairy-free & Gluten-free Vegetarians in Manchester

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McCall’s Organics is located on Church Street, where the family have been trading since 1920! They stock fresh fruit and veg, baking goods, snacks, veggie pâté, veggie ready meals, fresh bread, spreads, healthy drinks, cruelty free beauty and household goods, dairy free cheese and chocolate.

Usually in a small-ish shop I have to really search to find anything gluten or dairy free and have even been so pleased to find something that I haven’t noticed it contained meat! McCall’s stocked every single veggie free-from thing that I usually buy, apart from the Genius brand, which I can get from any supermarket anyway. It was like someone had made a shop just for me!

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Here is my shopping, you might have noticed I’ve reviewed some of these before. I would have gotten more but this is all I could carry. (clockwise in a spiral sort of shape) Eat Real Quinoa Chips in Sundried Tomato and Roasted Garlic; These are so tasty and perfect for scooping up humus or guac. Free and Easy Tomato Soup; I’ve really missed Heinz cream of tomato soup and this is fairly sweet with a lovely thick consistency. V Pud, veggie black pudding which, although not perfect, is very recognisable as black pudding and very tasty. Vio Life Pizza Cheese; Not only does this melt well and grate well but it actually tastes of pizza! Bouja Bouja Hazelnut Truffles; Little sweet choccy truffles with a light dusting of bitter choccy on the outside (best kept in the fridge so they don’t go too gooey). Kingfisher Toothpaste (they stock various flavours) which is cruelty free of course. Free and Easy Vegetable Balti is a spicy vegetable stew type of curry, which is great with rice but surprisingly filling on it’s own. Weleda Calendula Shampoo and Body Wash for kids but I love it as it makes my course hair incredibly soft and shiny. Organic Smoked Tofu; I like this fried with white onion and yellow sweet pepper, with added salt and pepper. Faith in Nature Soap, which helps to balance skin, rather than dehydrating it. Ecoleaf Aloe vera Handwash (not seen), which is antibacterial, cares for skin and only has a subtle scent so perfect when cooking.

What are your favourite free-from and cruelty free shops?

Chrissie

Arbonne, Calm Range Review

I’ve only recently discovered Arbonne, traditionally a skincare company developed in Switzerland in 1975 and I’m impressed with the purity of their products and the ethically sourced botanicals they contain. Their products – now ranging from skincare and makeup to nutrition – are vegetarian, free from animal products or by-products, artificial flavours, artificial sweeteners, benzene, formaldehyde donating preservatives, mineral oil, parabens, petrolatum, phthalates, sodium laureth sulfates (SLES), sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), synthetic dyes and talc and gluten.

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I have mild heyfever so my skin gets irritated easily in spring and summer, so I need lighter, gentler products making the Calm range perfect for me.

Soothing Facial Serum

• Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis) soothes Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis) soothes and moisturises
• Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) helps soothe skin
• Liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) softens and soothes skin
• Mallow (Malva sylvestris), rich in vitamins, softens and soothes
• Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis) contains antioxidant properties
• Sea mayweed (Matricaria maritima) calms skin
• Japanese green tea (Camellia oleifera) helps soothe skin

It’s been so humid lately I’ve not needed to use any moisturiser (my skin sucks up the moisture out of the air so well) but my skin did need soothing and balancing, which is exactly what this serum achieved and without any oil slicks around my T-zone in the evening. I’m going to carry on using my usual serum for Autumn and Winter as it contains vitamin C and Hyaluronic Acid and retinol (which I know some people can be sensitive to so it’s understandable this wouldn’t be a suitable ingredient for the Arbonne Calm range).

Gentle Daily Cleanser

• Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis) soothes and moisturises
• Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) helps soothe skin
• Liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) softens and soothes skin
• Mallow (Malva sylvestris), rich in vitamins, softens and soothes
• Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis) contains antioxidant properties
• Sea mayweed (Matricaria maritima) calms skin
• Japanese green tea (Camellia oleifera) helps soothe skin

I think I’ve worn makeup twice this whole summer but when I did, it was a full face. This gentle cleanser removed all of my makeup (although I wasn’t wearing water proof mascara) and left my skin feeling clean, refreshed and nourished.

Soothing Eye Gel

• Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis) soothes and moisturises
• Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) helps soothe skin
• Liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) softens and soothes skin
• Mallow (Malva sylvestris) rich in vitamins, softens and soothes
• Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis) contains antioxidant properties
• Sea mayweed (Matricaria maritima) calms skin
• Japanese green tea (Camellia oleifera) helps soothe skin

I have to confess that I’ve been upping my salt and water intake to help me cool down in the heat and my gosh has it made a difference to my giant puffy eye bags! After using this gel (which I keep in the fridge and apply by gentle taping with my ring finger) my bags weren’t visible AT ALL. Can’t get any better than that!

Gentle Daily Moisturiser

After some gentle exfoliating with a fruit peel my face needed some moisturiser but I was dreading the feel of it on my skin and wondering if it would be too heavy. My skin absorbed this moisturiser immediately and any redness from exfoliating had subsided within five minutes. I also used some on my hands which were rather dry as it was to hand (please excuse the pun) and it worked really well. I would recommend this as a basic moisturiser to everyone, no matter what their skin type.

Overall Rating ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Chrissie

 

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e.l.f. Studio Flawless Finish Foundation & Studio Tone Correcting Powder review

Studio Flawless Finish Foundation £7.50

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Colour – Studio Flawless Finish Foundation  in ‘Natural’ is the first foundation I’ve ever bought that is the perfect match for my face. I have a pale golden skin tone so it doesn’t take much sun exposure for me to get a tan but my face always looks lighter than the rest of me, which I always forget. Meaning I was either fake tanning my face or I’d have to cover my whole face and even ear lobes in foundation so it matched the rest of me. This time I was determined to start off with foundation as pale as my face and slowly build colour in the right places with bronzer and blusher. Applying colour the right way around, basically!

Coverage – Medium to heavy depending on how many layers you want to add. When applied with fingers this spreads easily in an even layer. When applied with a beauty blender in a stippling motion it gives immediate heavy coverage which hides the severe redness around my nose and any blemishes. Because of the perfect colour match and the texture, my complexion looks flawless, if a little flat. I definitely need some subtle highlighter and bronzer to add more radiance and depth.

Texture – As I’ve gotten older and cut down dramatically on dairy, my skin isn’t excessively oily anymore but my T-zone still needs a little help in the evening. I usually use a serum with hyaluronic acid to attract moisture to my face and a mattifying primer before applying foundation but with Studio Flawless Finish I don’t need the primer at all. It stays put all day and evening! If you have very dry skin but still want full coverage I recommend using a really good moisturiser and maybe even a little facial oil in places first.

Overall verdict – I think Studio Flawless Finish Foundation is fantastic for average, combination or oily skin when you need a good level of coverage. The only criticism I have is that it has a tendency to gather in fine lines so I would suggest using a cream concealer in these areas instead.

Rating (for my skin type) ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Studio Tone Correcting Powder £5.00

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The blue powder balances orange tones, green neutralizes redness, pink brightens grey/tired skin, and yellow neutralizes purple tones.

I kind of wish that I hadn’t bought these two products together as the foundation gives such good coverage that I’ve not needed to use the correcting powder with it yet.

I use Studio Tone Correcting Powder with BB cream for days when I can get away with lighter coverage. The first time I used a big brush and swirled all of the colours together on my T-zone to absorb oil, which worked well but I still felt I needed help in correcting certain areas. It works best when I specifically use the green to correct redness (which works amazingly well) and I use the blue powder under my eye area which neutralised the sallowness which I’m prone to, and the pink around my upper neck area which always looks really dull, then I gently buff  the edges to blend everything. This creates a completely natural look, like myself but fresher and brighter! Very unusual for a powder compact. Again, if you have dry skin I recommend using a heavier moisturiser first.

Rating (for my skin type) ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Chrissie

Your Tea – Tea Face Healing Hydrating Tea Scrub

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Your Tea is a company which sells all kinds of tea, tea accessories and tea based beauty gifts. Tea Face Healing and Hydrating scrub ($24.95) is said to assist with a radiant complexion, healing scars, addressing uneven skin tone and drawing out impurities. It contains all natural ingredients including Rosehip Oil, Patchouli Oil, Jojoba Oil, Ylang Ylang, Cold Presed Coconut Oil.

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I thought this scrub would be messier to use than it actually was but the tea granules stuck together quite well as I scrubbed my skin in circular motions. I leaned back to chill out for 15 minutes to let the oils soak in before removing with a damp flannel and rinsing my face with tepid water. I was impressed with how effective the exfoliation of this scrub was as it left my skin feeling really smooth. It also looking radiant and a lot calmer than before. Some scrubs leave my skin a little red or flushed but Tea Face actually calmed down the redness that I had across my nose and cheeks.

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I decided not to use any moisturiser straight afterward as I loved my skin the way it was! I really like the packaging as it’s easily recyclable and I’m going to re-use the glass jar as I think it’s lovely. It’s important to keep the scrub in the fridge once it’s opened, which keeps it fresh and really adds to how refreshing it feels.

Rating ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Chrissie

e.l.f. Satin Lipstick, Cream Eyeshadow, Baked Eyeshadow & Eye Cream review

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e.l.f. Studio Satin Lipstick £6.00

Not the most moisturising lipstick I’ve ever used but it does glide on smoothly, doesn’t dehydrate lips and lasts an average amount of time. ‘Touch of Pink’ is a warm dusky pink shade which would flatter most people and is true to the sample shade on the UK website. Average-good value for money which e.l.f always is.

e.l.f. Studio Smudge Pot Cream Eyeshadow £4.50

This is the kind of eyeshadow that is easy to apply with your fingers but it’s also the kind which will end up in a line in the crease of your eye, unless you use primer first and even a tiny dusting of powder afterward. ‘Ain’t That Sweet’ appears paler in reality than on the website but used on the eyelids it’s the perfect shade for green or blue eyes or used sparingly at the highest part of the brow bone.

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e.l.f. Studio Baked Eyeshadow £4.50

I needed a rich medium-dark brown eyeshadow for my cut crease to add depth to my very hooded eyes and ‘Bark’ is the perfect colour. However, the sample square on the UK website makes it look like a matte grey-ish brown so do go off the full picture instead. A lot of people use matte shadow for this but I’ve found shadows which are slightly metallic help to open up my eyes more and makes them appear less ‘frowny’. Studio baked Eyeshadow is easy to blend when dry but the colour has more of an impact when applied with a damp brush.

e.l.f. Illuminating Eye Cream (normally) £12.50 for 14g

This free sample was included with my order. I actually prefer the cooling effects of eye gel which I normally keep in the fridge. I suffer from terrible under eye bags rather than dark circles and found that the Illuminating Eye Cream didn’t make much of a difference aesthetically but it did make my eyes feel much fresher and more awake.

Chrissie

The Vegan Kind (quarterly) Beauty Box

The Vegan Kind Beauty Box

I’ve subscribed to The Vegan Kind beauty box (£15 + £3.50 p&p) because it’s quarterly. That’s just enough time for me to use the products and not have then mount up, making every available space look like a beauty apothecary counter. Not that that’s entirely a bad thing.

The vegan Kind Beauty Box products

I really like that the box comes with an information sheet which describes each product in detail, and three codes for money off, encouraging you to buy from those very ethical brands in the future.

Twa Birds Woodland Rose Epsom Salts Bath Soak (RRP £2.00)

This has such a beautiful, comforting yet uplifting rose scent and the petals look really pretty in the water. My aching joints and back really appreciated this addition to my bath.

PHB Anti-aging Eye Gel, Argan & Rock Rose (RRP 16.95) handmade with 15% of profits going to charity

With active ingredients of Argan oil, seaweed, Rock rose, Lavender, this eye gel this eye gel is incredibly effective. I’ve been keeping it in the fridge for extra cooling and apply it every morning as soon as I get up. After an hour my bags are looking a lot less apparent and have decreased by around a third of there original size.

Fairypants Lemon Drizzle Lip Scrub (RRP £3.99)

This is delicious…I mean rather effective! Because I cheat and eat food I’m intolerant to once (twice) a week my lips freak out and get really dry and rough. This scrub helps to refine the texture of them and leaves them feeling moisturised for around three hours after, no mean feet, believe me. Oh and the little pot is utterly adorable!

Grounded Coconut and Lime Hair Mask (RRP £12.50)

This smells like the fruitiest cocktail you have ever ordered. Due to my sensory issues I somehow miss-judged the feel of how oily this mask is and put way too much of it all over my hair. I had to shampoo twice to get it out and my hair went greasy again the next day. However, a little bit used on mid lengths or ends will be incredibly effective and it will last much longer than I first thought. I’m so glad I’ve found this product!

Alva Natural Cosmetics Green Equinox Sparkling Harmony Mineral Powder (RRP £7.50)

Overall this looks gold to me. Different shades of gold in different lights, sometimes with a pale green tinge but I wouldn’t describe it as completely green. It glides on easily, is blendable, and highly pigmented although it doesn’t show up when confronted with a very bright camera flash but thats expected with most mineral make up.

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All of these products add up to £42.94 so getting this box at £18.50 (including p&p) rather than buying them individually is a huge saving of £24.44! All of the products here would suit a wide range of people as non are specifically aimed at a certain skin or hair type and the eyeshadow is universally flattering for all skin tones. This is another thing I really love about this subscription box.

20p from each box goes to Dr Hadwen Trust, the UK’s leading non-animal medical research charity who fund and promote the development of techniques to replace the use of animals in biomedical research.

This box was a back issue from Summer but you can buy the new 2017 Vegan Kind Beauty Box here.

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Twitter:

@TheVeganKind @PHBbeauty @alvaCOSMETICS @fairypantsuk @groundedscrub @TwaBirdsSoaps @DrHadwenTrust

Chrissie