Manuka Yoga Eco Luxury Yoga Mat + Block

If you follow me on twitter or instagram then you may have already seen this exciting delivery from the lovely people at Manuka Yoga. I have been starting to get into yoga properly over the past few months and I have been loving it, even though I only do it at home, I'm noticing benefits! 

I have the *Manuka Yoga Eco Luxury Yoga Mat (£38) which is the first yoga mat I've ever had and I'm wondering why I didn't pick one up before! It is eco friendly as it is made of non-toxic materials and it's free from ozone depleting materials too. The mat is bigger than I initially expected, it's approximately 63cm by 183cm and it has a thickness of 0.6cm. I love the little details of the mat including the stitched label and the ribbon tie which holds the mat rolled up and secure until it's used again. Even though the mat is fairly lightweight and thin, it makes such a difference in terms of padding and comfort while standing, sitting and especially lying down. I've been using it every time I use my at home yoga dvds and I don't know why I haven't pick up a yoga mat before; it's such a simple accessory but it is essential, in my opinion. 

I also have the *Manuka Yoga Eco Yoga Block (£10) which is something I have never thought of using but I've personally found it really useful. The block and the mat are both latex free and they are made from eco friendly materials which is always a extra positive. The block can be used three different ways - at it's tallest, one it's side and laid flat so there are three different heights. I find that some days I'm not as flexible or I'm struggling with a certain pose, the block acts as a balancing factor and because of the three different heights, I can adjust it to my needs that day. It's not something I would use on a daily basis but when I need some help or if I'm starting a new or harder pose then I can use the block for extra stability. 

Overall, I'm really happy with both products, especially the mat and I love the quality of the products as well as the eco friendly ethos of the brand. I think that both the mat and block are going to last a long time! I'm a beginner and I find these products are already so useful and I have been doing my basic yoga sequences more often as I want to use the products; morning yoga is definitely the best way to start the day - it makes me feel stretched, awake and relaxed. I will have more yoga posts on my blog next month so stay tuned. If you have any beginner tips, tricks or at home dvd recommendations then leave them in the comments section below. Here is my mini Manuka Yoga wish list:



Have you bought anything from Manuka Yoga? What are your favourite yoga/fitness accessories?

Get Summer Ready With Yves Rocher

As you may know, Yves Rocher is one of my favourite brands! I love the makeup, fragrances, bodycare and haircare products that I have tried from Yves Rocher. I was kindly given the opportunity to try some Yves Rocher summer products from the lovely people at Baobella. 

The product that instantly caught my eye was obviously the *Yves Rocher Monoi De Tahiti Precious Dry Oil (£8.50 sale, 100ml) which is basically shimmery sunshine in a bottle! The dry oil comes in a glass bottle which isn't great for travelling but it looks and feels very luxe and pricy. The oil can be used on the body and hair to add moisture, illumination and it can emphasise a tan. The oil feels very smooth and silky and the glitter is quite fine but noticeable. The oil on the skin is a little too much in terms of shine/shimmer but when used in a very specific area it is effective and looks gorgeous - just use very sparingly. When used in the hair it looks so shiny and healthy although as with any oil, if you use too much it will make your skin/hair look very greasy. Overall rating: ✭✭✭✭✩. 

Another product from the Monoi de Tahiti range is the *Yves Rocher Monoi De Tahiti Lagoon Hair & Body Wash (£1.95 sale, 150ml). It smells slightly similar to the oil however this scent is far stronger. To me it smells like tropical flowers and very sugary sweets; it is quite summery and refreshing. I haven't used it as a shampoo but it is great as a body wash - it doesn't irritate my skin, it lathers very well and it doesn't dry out my skin. Overall rating: ✭✭✭✭✩. 

The next product is one that I have noticed a few times while browsing their website - the *Yves Rocher Radiant Rinsing Vinegar (£5.65 sale, 150ml). It's a bit of an unusual product, I haven't seen anything like it before. The product is to be used just before you rinse your hair for the last time after washing. It smells incredible, like raspberry sweets I had as a child (it doesn't smell anything like vinegar, if you were wondering). I have to apply the product directly to my hair rather than in my hands as it is very runny; it doesn't do anything when applied to the hair or when rinsed out. However when my hair is dry, it is definitely smoother, softer and shinier than normal. It doesn't make my hair look greasy or dry and it doesn't weigh my hair down at all. Overall rating: ✭✭. 

Lastly, the *Yves Rocher Delicate Cleansing Cream (£3.45 sale, 200ml). To be honest I didn't know what this product was when it arrived but there is actually an interesting concept behind it. This 'cleansing cream' was inspired by the 'no pow' no shampoo method in the US whereby instead of using a regular shampoo, you use one that contains cleansing agents so it is supposed to be less harsh, less stripping to the hair. This shampoo doesn't lather up at all - it doesn't contain sulphates, silicones, colourants or parabens (so no SLS which is great and probably one of the reasons it doesn't lather). It is very usual using a shampoo that doesn't lather at all, it feels like I'm using conditioner to wash my hair. The shampoo does seem to clean my hair but it also feels almost over moisturised and my hair became a little greasy quicker than normal. Overall rating: ✩. 

Overall, I love Yves Rocher products on the whole, the rinsing vinegar and precious dry oil are my favourite products from this set. While I think the cleansing cream would be fantastic for a lot of people, it wasn't as great as I expected it to be. I would definitely recommend the Yves Rocher fragrances, makeup, haircare and bodycare I've tried on the whole, it is a great affordable brand. 

Have you tried any of these products from Yves Rocher? What are your  favourites from Yves Rocher?

Essence Day to Night Challenge

Essence is one of my favourite cheaper makeup brands since they launched in the UK back in July last year (I was very kindly invited to the launch in manchester which was amazing and I received a gigantic bag of goodies to try - best blogger event ever!). I have been challenged to create a day to night look using only Essence products as as few products as possible...as with my previous Essence challenge I did cheat a little bit!

Here is my first look, the day time look which features a shimmery nude eyeshadow, glossy pink lips, light coverage and a tonne of mascara for a bright eyed, fresh look!
Firstly, I used the Essence CC Clear & Correct Cream in the shade Natural which I believe is the lightest shade - I had to use it VERY sparingly as it is far too dark for my pale skin tone. To add coverage and to match my skin better, I cheated and used the Essence Stay All Day Concealer in 10 Natural Beige which matches my skin pretty perfectly. It's a shame that the concealers are light enough but Essence don't made foundations/CC creams in lighter shades. 

Next up the eyes, I used an Essence product that I hadn't tried before, the Essence 3D Eyeshadow in 08 Irrisistable Vanilla Latte. I used the creamy shade all over the lid, brow bone and inner corner for a light wash of shimmer and it really brightens the eyes. For mascara I used the Essence Get Big Lashes Volume Curl Mascara in Black which is amazing for definition and length, in my opinion. For brows I actually used the Essence Long-lasting Eye Pencil in 02 Hot Chocolate which is matte and when used very lightly, can be great as a brow pencil - just brush through otherwise it will look crazy!

To finish the look I used the Essence lipstick in 44 Almost Famous. You could use this shade as a creamy blush if you wanted. You could also set the makeup with the incredibly amazing Essence Fixing Powder which I will always re-purchase. Now onto my night look using the same five/six products from Essence. 
This look is great if you already have your day makeup on and you need a couple of products to transform your look quickly and easily. To change up the day look, I used the Essence Long-lasting Eye Pencil in 02 Hot Chocolate to line the lower and upper lash lines as well as the lower waterline for definition. Blend with a brush or your fingers. To finish the eyes, I add more shimmer with the peachy shade from the Essence 3D Eyeshadow. 

To finish the look I add more of the Essence Lipstick in 44 Almost Famous which is a pretty pinky red shade. It is quite glossy and it is perfect for spring/summer. Again you could top up with the Essence Fixing Powder. 

Overall, I love Essence products, they are amazing especially for the price! You can easily create a couple of day and night looks with only five/six products. I would have loved to add more products such as brow gel and contouring but you can easily create a day or night look with so few products. You can buy Essence products from select Wilkinsons stores and on the Wilkinsons website. 

What do you think of the day and night look I created? What are your favourite products from Essence? 

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