Bouja Bouja – Caramel Pecan Praline Ice Cream – Too Salty or a Total Dream?

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  • Dairy free
  • Gluten free
  • Organic
  • Vegan

I mainly bought this Bouja Bouja Caramel Pecan Praline ice cream as it’s dairy free, plus it sounded amazing! When I first tried a chunk – I’m not going to lie – I found it way too salty and intense but I realised that’s it’s blended for a reason. Eaten all together the ingredients create a fantastic salty-sweet flavour.

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Even though it’s dairy free, it’s incredibly rich and filling so a 500ml gave me four desert portions, even though I was eating it out of the carton as you do. Also available are Chocolate Salted Caramel, Keep Smiling M’Gorilla Vanilla (!?), Hunky Punky Chocolate, good old Raspberry Ripple and Hazelnut Chocolate Truffle. 110ml costs £2.00 and 500ml costs £5.49, well worth the price in my opinion.

Which flavour do you want to try?

Chrissie

Bouja Bouja Organic Truffle Selection No2

I bought this. Bouja Bouja Truffle Selection (138g £12.98) online from Vegan Town based in Sheffield to treat myself for Easter. They arrived within two days! Organic and dairy free, these taste of sheer quality, especially when kept cool or chilled. I keep them under our kitchen sink – to keep them cool – not to hide them – mostly.

The packaging is made of that bouji cardboard that almost feels velvety. It hinges and has a card inside showing what flavour each truffle is and where it is.

Unfortunately I did a rather ‘Dyspraxic fantastic’ thing and knocked them all over so now it’s a lucky dip! Erm, yay!?

The ginger ones are strong so be prepared. My faves are the ones involving nuts and caramel. The Rhubarb and Vanilla Fool taste gently fruity and make a nice contrast.

These are such a luxe treat for someone instead of the usual egg and not crazy expensive like some I’ve seen.

Chrissie

PHB All In One Natural Mascara Review

natural mascara

PHB All In One Natural Mascara (15.95) is made with natural ingredients hence the word ‘natural’ in the tittle. It does not refer to the effect it gives lashes, which I’m glad about as I need all of the help I can get in that department.

  • Gluten free
  • Paraben free
  • Palm oil free
  • Mineral oil free
  • GM ingredient free
  • Organic
  • Buav approved
  • Certified vegan

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I have very long but very sparse eyelashes so I need a mascara which will easily build volume but also keep lashes separate, rather than spiky. That is exactly what this mascara does. It also glides on really easily without any clumps, no matter how many layers you add and gives lashes a slight glossy look. There is always a big blob of mascara on the end of the wand so I use it to add depth to the roots of my lashes. I haven’t even used eyelash curlers here – impressive result!

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As much as I love this mascara, it’s not very water proof so no going out in torrential rain or swimming.

The formula is increadibly gentle as I found out when I rubbed my eyes vigorously when really tired and managed to spread it all over my face and eyeballs. It didn’t irritate at all and I was oblivious until someone gleefully pointed out that I looked like Imperator Furiosa from Mad Max.

I’ve worn it a lot since and every time I’ve been too tired to take my makeup off before bed, I’ve woken up with lovely soft lashes that weren’t dry or broken. So I’d say this mascara actually cares for lashes too.

Rating 5/5

Which are you favourite cruelty free mascara’s? 

Chrissie

Dr Organic Lip Balms

As regular readers will know by now, I need industrial strength lip balm everyday and it needs to have natural active ingredients to have any effect.


Some natural, cruelty free lip balms can be really quite expensive but at £3.49, I like how reasonably priced the Dr Organic one’s are. I also like the fact that they have hardly any flavour so they don’t get in the way of anything I’m eating or drinking. They have an SPF of 15 and protect against UVA and UVB rays and are obviously organic.

Dr Organic Virgin Coconut Oil Lip Balm has a very subtle coconut scent. Dr Organic Aloe Vera Lip Balm has a pleasant fresh scent and Dr Organic Morrocan Argan Oil Lip Balm has a slightly stronger almond scent. All of them hydrated and moisturised my lips for over five hours and surprisingly smoothed the texture of them back to normal!

Rating ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Chrissie

Very Berry Lip Shades

You could call all of these colours  A/W shades but I think there is so much choice around at the moment you should be able to find a sultry shade thats multi-seasonal. I thought I’d compare the darker lip colours I’ve come across in the past few months ranging from opaque to sheer coverage.

The Dark Side: Lip Colours

Left to right: LUSH Liquid Lipstick – Confident, Rituals lipstick – Brown Red Chic, NYR Lipgloss – fig, The Body Shop Born Lippy Lip Balm – Plum

LUSH Liquid Lipstick – Confident £14.50

LUSH Confident liquid lipstick

Pro’s

I adore the packaging as it reminds me of the ‘drink me’ jar in Alice in Wonderland.

This is highly pigmented and has an tremendous depth of colour. As the name suggests, you have to be ‘confident’ to wear this!

The best staying power of any lipstick/stain that I’ve tried. Even after a big meal the lighter tonnes of this colour still remained tattooed to my lips.

It’s vegan.

Con’s

The soft padded applicator is more akin to a lipgloss, which makes perfect application really tricky. I recommend you either use a lip liner to give yourself a generous margin of error or use a lip brush instead.

You need to have incredibly smooth and moisturised lips for the colour to glide on smoothly, otherwise it will look patchy.

Note: Once applied to lips the colours are deeper than they appear in the jar.

Rituals Lipstick in Brown Red Chic £15.50

Rituals Lipstick in Brown Red

Pro’s

Smooth opaque even coverage.

Moisturising

One of the most wearable and flattering shades of deep red I’ve ever seen.

The packaging is so luxe – the case is bright red inside.

Con’s

Average staying power but you do look like the classic femme fatale when re-applying it.

Pretty pricey

NYR Lip Gloss – Fig £9.50

Neal's Yard Remedies Lip Gloss

Pro’s

It tastes of dark chocolate and spicy orange!

Impressive depth of colour compared to most lip gloss.

Moisturising.

Considering this stays firmly glued to your lips, it’s not that sticky.

92% organic.

Vegan.

Con’s

The oils can separate in the tube slightly so before the first use of the day, give the tube a squish first.

The Body Shop, Born Lippy, Lip Balm – Plum £3.00

The Body Shop Born Lippy Lip Balm

Pro’s

Tastes like jam!

Very moisturising

Perfect for adding a sheen and moisture to drying lipstick/lip pencils.

Fun pop art packaging

Con’s

Very sheer, you have to use a lot to get any depth of colour. It’s so cheap though, it’s not that much of a problem.

Note: Contains wheat, so not great for people like me with an allergy to it!

Which is your fave?

Dr Alkaitis Sample Review

Dr Alkaitis is a holistic organic beauty company which uses Aloe Vera gel as the base of their products rather than water, does not use any synthetic products or chemicals and all of their ingredients are biologically active and edible! It’s one of those brands that deliver products that are so energising, you only need to use a small amount at a time.

Dr Alkaitis Night Cream, Treatment Oil, Replenishing SerumOrganic Replenishing Serum

‘This vitamin-rich serum combines anti-inflammatory Aloe Vera with Wild Chamomile flowers and toning Witch Hazel to re-hydrate and restore skin balance.’

I sprayed this onto my face after cleansing, when my face was having a particularly blotchy, dry-patchy day and it had a lovely cooling and soothing effect on my stressed out skin. Later, after applying makeup I sprayed some more Replenishing serum over it to give me a more dewy look. It worked well and made my makeup look more natural even though I’d used powder.

Organic Treatment Oil

‘Regarded by industry experts as natures ‘miracle in a bottle’ this golden oil can be used on the face, scalp and body for intense hydration.’

I didn’t get to test this multi-award winning product as I had an allergic reaction to it. Luckily I’d decided to rub a little onto my nails as they were dry, rather than putting it on my face. Within a minute my hands and face were really itchy, my face turned an attractive tomato colour and I felt really hot. After washing off the product (and sticking my head in a cold bowl of water), I decided to read the ingredients – only to realise there were non supplied on the testers. I went onto the website and found the treatment oil had a large list of wonderful natural ingredients and oils (some of which I’d never even heard of before) but no milk or wheat which are my usual triggers, rather random! At this point I asked my bloke’s opinion, who’s experience of using skin products extends to shower gel, moisturiser and massage oils (the therapeutic kind). He found it to be ‘moisturising but not remotely greasy like usual oils are.’

Organic Night Cream

‘This luxurious overnight repair cream works to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and open pores.’

This is dreamy – literally, I gently massaged this into my face and neck before bed and rather than my usual 20 minutes of wriggling about, I fell asleep straight away. This lotion is really light and sinks in quickly to leave your skin feeling completely moisturised. It also has a lovely mild scent. I awoke to find that my combination skin was really balanced and moisturised and my pores were not as visible. My skin was so calm that I skipped wearing foundation, which is a big deal for me. After a week of using this, the small lines on my forehead look less noticeable. This cream is wonderfully effective!

Rating 5/5

NYR Wild Rose Beauty Barm

It’s been just over a month since I attended the Neal’s Yard Remedies bloggers event and received Wild Rose Beauty Balm in my goodie bag (along with other things I will shortly be reviewing), so I’ve had time to see the effects.

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Wild Rose Beauty Balm £37 for 50g

It’s a multi use product that cleanses skin, gently exfoliates it if you use the cloth provided and of course moisturises. It has quite a solid consistency but soon melts on contact with the skin. It also has the most heavenly rose scent that lasts for hours. I love how NYR display exactly how organic each of there products are on the label and I was pleased to see that this one is 99%. My face is usually oily to combination and needs an exfoliator which includes grains and a lot less oil. However, it has been incredibly effective for me in two ways:

  • When combined with the cloth, I use it to remove my old patchy fake tan from around my jaw line, neck and body. It’s more efficient at this than any other product I’ve tried.
  • Like most women my age I have cellulite and some mild stretch marks. Every day after I’ve had a shower, while my skin is still damp, I massage a little bit into my skin. It’s had such an amazing effect at moisturising and evening out the look and feel of my skin, I think it’s amazing! I read on the NYR FB page that one women likes to add some to her bath – brilliant idea!

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As I said, I’ve been using this every day for just over a month and it’s so effective, I’ve only made a tiny dent. I love it so much, I’ll definitely be replacing this product when it runs out – in a year or so!

Indian Head Massage: The Best Legal Way To Chill

A few days ago I was invited to Neals Yard Remedies for a complimentary Indian Head Massage (champissage) which is based on the principals of Ayurvedic medicine and massage. I expected to be sat upright on a chair and to just get a nice head rub. It’s actually more involved than that and incorporates the neck, shoulders and upper back to totally de-stress and relax you.

Before my therapist Rachel Wayte began she asked me to fill out a questionnaire about any medical conditions and bumps or bruises I may have. Rachel’s manner was so calming it instantly put me at ease. I asked her how long she had been doing holistic massage. She told me she had a total career turn about in 2010 and got trained in London at the Indian School Of Champissage which was founded in 1978 by a blind man named Narendra Mehta.

We decided that it would be nice if Rachel combined The Indian Head Massage with a Natural Facelift Massage to ease my eye bags and unblock my sinuses (from hayfever/allergies). I lay face down on a massage table then an organic base oil was massaged into my scalp with firm swirly movements, then strange but not unpleasant poky movements (like when you are trying to boots your roots up when your hair looks limp) and then finally a tight scrunching of my roots.

Then Rachel massaged my neck and shoulders which were pretty tense due to stress and me having a big chest balanced on a fairly skinny frame! I gradually realised I could hear a gentle distant voice and I had to drag myself out of near sleep to comprehend what Rachel was actually saying to me. I turned over and she gently tapped and held pressure points on my face which felt very calming. Right at the the end she stretched out my legs and ankles with a gentle pulling motion which felt simultaneously energising and relaxing.

When I got up my body felt incredibly relaxed and my mind was so calm I felt completely chilled out – almost like I’d been smoking something! I drifted into the main room and had a (slightly spaced out) chat with Rachel and another women working there and then I floated out of the door. Normally the thoughts in my head consist of all the tasks I need to do, random weird thoughts and a songs my subconscious has selected to play on repeat. At that point my mind was totally clear and when I tried to fill it with thoughts again I couldn’t focus on much of anything. This feeling was fantastic!

I highly recommend Indian Head Massage to anyone who is feeling anxious or tense. My shoulders were much more relaxed which, in turn relaxed my back as well. I also had a really peaceful nights sleep.

Rating 5/5

I recommend the natural facial massage to make your skin look radiant, reduce bags and to remove a build up of toxins in certain areas.

I’d recommend general massage to anyone really, wether it’s to relax your mind or your body.

All treatment prices are £12.50 for 30 minutes or £25.00 for an hour.

Neil’s Yard Remedies Blogging Event

Yesterday I attended the fantastic NYR bloggers event in Manchester, it was the first blogging event the company had held up North. It was a really good turn out and the atmosphere was really friendly and relaxed. There was always a member of NYR if you had any questions or another glass of bubbly.

Jane telling the story of how NYR started 30 years ago in a forgotten corner of London and how it has become the popular multi-facetted brand it is today.

Jane telling the story of how NYR started 30 years ago in a forgotten corner of London and how it has become the popular multi-facetted brand it is today.

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Stella doing my make-up and teaching me how to make my eyes look bigger using only eyeshadow. She also chose the exact shade of lip colour I would have picked for myself!

I was so please with the end result!

The awesome goodie bag containing:

Wild Rose Beauty Balm 50g

(This comes with a cloth so it can be used as a gentle scrub, face mask or soothing balm)

White Tea Facial Mist 45ml

Organic Facial Wipes

(I used these to remove my makeup that evening and they did a fantastic job)

Lip Gloss in Damask Rose

Eyeshadow in Hibiscus

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The eyeshadow (on the left) is a lovely rose gold colour and has a really nice gentle shimmer to it which I will use as my base shadow and highlighter. The lip gloss is wonderfully non sticky but has great staying power and tastes like a desert!

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I bought some vegan probiotics to help my body deal with my food intolerance’s. I bought the lipgloss used in my make-over and got a sample of Beauty Sleep Concentrate.

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I will be sampling the other products over the coming weeks.

I was so pleased that I attended this event for several reasons: Even though I’ve come into the shop a few times I didn’t realise how many treatments and therapy rooms they had. I can’t wait to book in for an Indian Head Massage after one of the other bloggers raved about it – in a totally blissed out way of course. Neal’s Yard Remedies also offer a massive range of tinctures for all sorts of ailments and vegan supplements. It was a great chance to meet other Northern Bloggers with similar attitudes to mine, who were so friendly. We swapped Twitter handles and blog names and they told me about the North West Bloggers page on Facebook.

FOCUS ON: The Buddha Beauty Company

THE BUDDHA BEAUTY COMPANY

I regularly browse Beauty Without The Beasts and they recomended The Buddha Beauty Company. Buddha Beauty sells hand-made products which are free from parabens and SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulphate a harsh chemical detergent) and contain 100% organic esential oils. The brand is BUAV approved and has been shortlisted by the 2013 Free From Skin Care Awards for the Hand and Body ‘Take off’ award. They are also a winner of the 2011 Vegan Non-Food Retailer of the Year award. They arebased in my home town of Manchester so I decided to speak to the founder (and the companies  lotion and poton maker) Llewelyn Thomas.

Llewelyn

Your products are mainly available online. Did having an online presence help to establish the brand?

“Not really, our brand awareness has come more from face to face interactions at various events; I do think that in the long term, once we have established a greater brand presence, our online presence will come into its own and do its job.”

Why take a far Eastern holistic approach to skin care?

“For the last 15 year I was employed by an airline as cabin crew and about 7 years ago, as a side line, I began my training in Holistic Therapy. The advantage of being cabin crew was that I had the opportunity to experience therapies and products in many different countries around the world and from these experiences I found that the Far Eastern rituals and products always exceeded my expectations. The fragrances were rich, exotic and completely enveloped the sense, I easily fell in love with all that the Far East has to offer and so my journey began.”

Are the aromatherapy aspects of these oils important in the effectiveness of your products as well?

“Each particular product is effective in its own rights, but I carefully choose the oil blends for there properties and benefits. I feel the consumer is much more aware of what they use these days and with this in mind I prefer to blend using aromatherapy oils instead of fragrance. ( I do have a survey on my Facebook page asking for feed back on the use of natural fragrance oils, essential oils and mane made fragrance oils).”

I’ll be sure to fill that in for you then.  Do you have any particular skin care regimes or beautifying tips you could share with me?

“I always feel that the simple things are the most effective, I know you will have heard this before but drink plenty of water, enjoy a good nights sleep and spend a little time to really read the label. Since my journey began I have only used my own products and have become a much more conscious shopper.”

Believe me, sleeping in is not a problem for me! Where do you hope to see the company going in the future – any plans for a make-up range?

“As the company grows we will be definatly going into make up thats for sure, and by the end of the year we will be offering facial oils, soaps, bath oils and more. We are always open to ideas and specific items if a customer writes to us asking for a product then we do try to make these.”

PRODUCT TRIAL

I decide my beauty routine is in need of an over-hall and I’m really excited about trying kinder more natural products on my sensitive (very high maintenance) skin.

All products

Organic Facial Cleanser with Grapefruit, Lavender & Frakincense

Facial Cleanser

The bottle has a pump which is handy and much better than getting a massive dollop in your hand and trying to put most of it back in. It has an amazing scent (my old cleanser did a great job but left my skin smelling of seaweed all day – urgh!) it isn’t too over powering though. The texture is rich and creamy rather than oily and a small amount removed the days makeup. It left my skin feeling moisturised without feeling greasy. I love this product!

Rating 5/5

Orange Water Toner

Natural Facial Toner

I’m very wary of toner as most contain alcohol which can be really drying (even the ones for sensitive skin) and make my skin bright red. I used the toner to wake my skin up in the morning and for the first time ever, I didn’t even need any moisturiser afterwards. The next day I’d had a makeup free day so I skipped the cleanser in the evening and just quickly used a bit of toner to remove any grease and remains of pollution before bed. I skipped my usual night cream (as I’d run out to be honest). I woke up in the morning expecting the usual combination-skin-blotchy-freak-out and my skin looked a little calmer and was completely balanced – surprising result!

Rating 5/5

Natural Body Scrub with Lemongrass & Bergamot

Natural Body Scrub

I give this a really good stir before I use it as the oil sinks to the bottom. The sea salt is an amazing exfoliant and because of the added oil it isn’t too harsh and very nuriting. The crystals do escape easily though so you have to keep scooping them together again. Again I don’t even need any moisturiser as it keeps my skin feeling super moisturized all day! The scent stays with you for hours so if you are planning on wearing perfume I’d get the fragrance free version.

Rating 3/5

Organic Body Lotion with Grapefruit, Lavendar & Frankincense

Organic Body Lotion

I use a bit of body lotion if my skin is feeling irritated from central heating or sun exposure rather to calm it .  This lotion is moisturising rather than greasy and sinks in quickly. I decide to use this after shaving my legs and before I apply fake tan (yes, I know that’s not very natural but I do use one as chemically free as possible). The heavenly scent does a good job of disguising that weird biscuity smell fake tan has and I get complimented on my new ‘perfume’ a few times – bonus!

Rating 5/5