New In: Natural Beauty Product Favourites

Friday, June 23, 2017
I haven't posted a beauty favourites post for a while and I used to love writing them so today's post is all about the more natural, gentle and environmentally friendly products I've been loving recently from a range of brands, some that I've loved for a while and others that are new to me but all of which I'd definitely recommend if you're looking to change to more natural products.

You know that I'm a Dr Botanicals brand ambassador so every month I review a new product and include a discount code for it so you get a massive saving! The code for this months product is: HEATHER2 if you want to buy the June product at a discount price - RRP £64.90 - with the discount code £19.99.

The *Dr Botanicals Cleanse & Tone is a 2 in 1 cleanser so it's perfect for this time of the year when my skin and beauty routines are simplified because the heat will ruin everything anyway and I don't have the energy to have a full on skincare or beauty routine in this heatwave! The cleanser contains elderflower extract, peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil, vitamins, aloe vera and more amazing natural ingredients; all of their products are suitable for vegans and are not tested on animals which is amazing!

I've ben using this cleanser constantly as it's such a time saver with the pump dispenser and 2 in 1 formula so I just remove my makeup and cleanse but I don't need to use a separate toner. It is a gentle cream cleanser that feels so nice on the skin and it leaves my skin smooth, soft and cleansed. Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5.
Next up, the *Bodhi & Birch Botanic Dew Hand & Body Wash (£16, 200ml) which has been one of the products that has helped me through this awful humid heatwave (yes, I'm British, we don't stop talking about the weather). Icy showers and this gorgeous, heavenly scented shower gel have been perfect when it's been a ridiculous 30 degrees in Manchester which is frankly unacceptable.

The 'Botanic Dew' hand and body wash has such a divine floral, earthy and woody scent to me but it is still refreshing and it makes be feel more awake and refreshed in this muggy weather. It lathers so well so a tiny amount goes a long way and one bottle will last weeks and weeks! I also adore the Ylang Ylang version but this one is perfect for spring/summer! Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5.
A newer release from the incredibly lovely people at Bodhi and Birch, the *Bodhi and Birch Body Oil Mini Collection - Nordic White, Chinois Blue, Sicilian Rose (£20). The body oils are composed of 100% natural botanicals and they are handmade in small batches to ensure the best quality. Also the packaging and bottle are both 100% recyclable.

I do love body oils but only if they are lightweight and absorb well and these definitely tick those boxes. I tried the Nordic White scent first which is inspired by Sweden; it's a tonic of spruce, cypress, one, sweet fennel and frankincense. It has the most wonderfully woody and earthy but green and refreshing scent, I adore it!

Sicilian Rose is a lighter scent of lemon, verbena, rose, geranium and pink pepper that is a heavenly feminine and spring like scent that will be a hit with so many people. Rose scents can be quite old fashioned and dusty which isn't my thing but this one leans more towards the fresher and sweeter side thankfully.

Lastly, Chinois Blue has notes of hyacinth, honeysuckle, ginger, blue tansy, gingerly and pomegranate making it a such a unique and interestingly scented product. The scent to me is very rich, luxurious and velvety as well as being slightly powdery floral and exotic - it's unlike anything else I have in my collection!

All there oils smell divine and this mini set would be perfect to try all three! They feel as luxurious and decadent as they smell and they leave the skin so incredibly smooth, soft and nourished but not sticky, too greasy or cloying. I've actually been using them on the eczema on my hands as it is perpetually dry and so uncomfortable but these oils when used minimally have been helping so much by making my hands look and feel moisturised and comfortable. I cannot recommend Bodhi and Birch products enough! Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5.
Next up, the only haircare product in todays post, it's the *Naturtint Styling Mousse (£10.99, 150ml). I'll be honest and say that from my experiences of sticky hair mousse in the 90's and 00's, I'm a little terrified to try any others, even now. This styling mousse is free from parabens, silicones and claims to have no stickiness or greasiness - it's also cruelty free!

I'll be honest and say that I'm not a fan of the packaging or the artificially fruity scent but the product itself is great; it's the only mousse I've tried that hasn't left my hair in a sticky mess. The hold for me is quite light, maybe because my hair is so thick and waist length. Unlike every other mousse I've tried, it actually leaves my hair feeling soft and lightweight which is amazing and I'd definitely recommend it although I would prefer slightly better hold and a different scent but that's just my preference. Overall rating: ★★★★☆, 4/5.
We all know how much I love facial oils, especially during the colder months so I'm always happy to try another especially when the packaging and bottle have a gorgeous rose gold/copper foil design (I'm a sucker for packaging). The *Rosa Rosa Mosqueta Antioxidant Facial Oil (£24,99, 30ml) strengthens the skins barrier, protects against pollution (which is unlike any other oil I've used) and it visibly restores radiance while repairing the skin.

I love the packaging as it has a dropper/pipette dispenser which makes it so much easier and less messy to use. I've only been using a tiny amount on the drier areas of my face in the evenings as it has been really hot and humid recently in Manchester (30 degrees celsius!) which makes a change from the dull, rainy weather we have.

The oil contains lots of fantastic natural and certified organic ingredients such as cranberry seed oil, vitamin E, sunflower seed oil, vitamin A and many more. It has a slightly formal scent that I love and thankfully the oil isn't nearly as heavy as the other facial oils I rely on during the colder months which makes it much more suitable for this time of the year. It leaves my skin so incredibly smooth, soft and nourished which is what my dry and sensitive skin needs. Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5.
Last but not least is one of the most unusual products in my skincare collection and it's one that been all over youtube and instagram - bubble masks! The *Janjira Instant Brightening Bubble Mask (£24) claims to detoxify, brighten and reduce the appearance of dark spots. It contains a range of ingredients such as vitamin C, vitamin B3 and Algowhite ™.  I've tried this mask a few times now and the first time wasn't very impressive, actually it left my skin a little red around my t-zone which is the area I mainly applied it to but apart from the slightly redness, it didn't irritate my skin.

The mask has a pump dispenser which is really useful and when applied with a brush it has a gel like feel but within a few seconds it starts to bubble up and the longer it is left on the skin, the more foamy and bubbly it becomes! The feel of the bubbles on the skin is actually so relaxing, refreshing and cooling so it's perfect for the heatwave we've had recently. Apart from the initial redness from the first use, it's been fantastic and I'd definitely recommend checking it out as the bubbly effect is so unique, relaxing and unusual! Overall rating: ★★★★☆, 4/5.

Have you tried any of the natural beauty products? What are you loving lately?

New In: Crown Rose Gold Brushes + Lip Stain

Thursday, June 22, 2017
I have so many makeup brushes but none quite a pretty and photogenic as this set that I was kindly set from Crown Brushes a couple of weeks ago. Rose gold makeup brushes are a beauty bloggers dream! I have been seeing this style of brush on Instagram for a while now and I really wanted to give them a go as the shape is so unique and very different to anything else I have in my collection.

*Crown Brushes Rose Gold Full Face Contour Set (£29.99)
The set contains three gorgeous rose gold brushes that are cutely free and suitable for vegans to use which is fantastic! There are three sizes in this set which are designed for highlighting and contouring but I've been using them for so much more! I have been using the largest brush as a foundation brush as it's so large and makes applying and blending my foundation so quick and easy; I've also been using it for primer and powder too as it's so large it applies and blends so much quicker than my regular smaller brushes.
The medium sized brush is the perfect size for contouring as it fits into the hollows of my cheeks and along my jaw line perfectly. I use it with my NYX blush in Taupe as well as some of my more cool toned and ashy bronzers. It blends my powder contouring powders and blushers effortlessly, unlike some of my other brushes, it places and blends the contour exactly where it needs to be. I think this brush, or this set in general, would be perfect for makeup beginners as they make makeup application so quick, easy and fuss free.

Also the handles of the brush are easy to hold and they have a bit of flexibility to them which means that you don't use too much pressure and the handles won't break. The bristles for all three brushes are so incredibly smooth and soft but they're densely packed too so precise application and blending is so easy.
Lastly, the third and smallest brush in the set is what I've either been using for my highlight, concealer under my eyes or for applying powder to smaller areas such as to set my concealer. It's a really handy little brush that has so many uses, even blending the edges of my contour or precise foundation/concealer application.

I love this brush set, I've been using it every time I apply my makeup and I cannot recommend it enough. I hadn't tried this paddle style of brush before and I love it - the set is definitely worth checking out especially as the brushes are so versatile. Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5.
*Crown Pro Long Lasting Matte Lip Stain (£9.99 - LLS19 Caliente)
I have been loving liquid lipsticks and stains at the moment, I've tried quite a few recently and this one is definitely one of my new favourites. I like the packaging and I love the rich classic red shade! The formula is quite dry but it isn't flaky or very drying like others I've tried.

The stain is so pigmented, it applies easy and it's easy to correct mistakes with concealer and a small eyeliner brush or to just neaten up the edges. It feels comfortable on the lips for the most part and it lasts really well through out the day and through eating. It's not the most long lasting stain I've tried but it's pretty fantastic. Overall rating: ★★★★☆, 4/5.

Have you tried anything from Crown Brushes? What do you think of the products I've reviewed? 

Luxe Early Birthday Wish List

Wednesday, June 21, 2017
My birthday is less than two months away and I'm going to be the very distressing age of 25 *I'm already having a quarter life crisis*. I'm thinking about my birthday early this year because I'm going to be in London for my birthday with my family and we're going on a Buckingham Palace tour which I'm can't wait for so it's got me thinking about what I've love for my birthday and what I want to treat myself to but this post is a luxe version. However I think I'm going to treat myself to the iPhone 7 and maybe the iPad Pro very soon!

H For Harry Potter Knitted Jumper  -  Canon 1.8 50mm Lens  -  iPad Pro Rose Gold  -  LOTR Box Set  -  Clive Christian X Feminine Edition Fragrance 

I visited the Harry Potter studios tour last summer, I saw this cosy jumper in the gift shop and really wanted it but it is very expensive for a jumper however I'd love it! I've also wanted the Canon 1.8 50mm lens for a while and as bloggers are such enablers, I now know that I definitely need this lens!

I've been a Apple fan for years so any time they release something new (apart from the Apple watch), I've wanted it. The new iPad Pro is very high on my list particularly because of the new pen - I love painting so I think the pen would make creating illustrations so much easier.

Fragrances are always something I'd opt for as a gift for someone or myself and this one is definitely a treat. It's a jasmine perfume which is one of the notes I look for and the bottle just looks so fancy and luxurious.

Are any of these products on your wish list? What luxe items do you want? 

*This is a sponsored post
*Images from Google

*How To Plan The Perfect Makeup Look For Any Occassion

Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Image from Wear Daisy Went via Pinterest
We all know how incredible makeup can be, it has the power to create cheekbones that don't exist, noses too perfect to imagine, and winged liner that you never want to take off but what about for special or formal occasions? How can you get it right? It's one thing to look good, but how do you know what's appropriate for certain events? Well, here's all you need to know.

Formal
If you're going to a more formal setting, like a wedding, you don't want to look absolutely covered in makeup. So maybe a ‘no makeup, makeup look’ will be perfect for this occasion. It's all about the skin! Mix and match foundations or use a foundation lightener to get your perfect match.  Prep the skin accordingly with an exfoliator, good cleanser and moisturiser, then you can apply your primer to make your makeup last throughout the day. Maybe keep eye makeup to a minimum with winged liner and some shadow blended along the lower lash line for definition. You could even rule out eyeshadow all together and just stick on some feathery lashes to open your eyes up.

Nights Out 
If you're planning on a big night out, you've already booked to be on the project guestlist, you already have your outfit and heels, AND you know how you're wearing your hair - all that's left to do now is plan your makeup. As always, what you wear can have a big impact on your makeup! Create some drama around your eyes, so for example, a smokey eye will work wonders for this and it doesn't just have to be a black eyeshadow as you could go with a deep purple, navy or a glitter option! Remember, you will want that gorgeous' highlight on the tops of your cheekbones, under your eyebrow, down your nose and on your cupids bow to finish the look.

Holiday 
Going on holiday for me usually means packaging ALL THE PRODUCTS and then only using two...You can still look good without all the products. For your skin, besides using a good sun cream to protect yourself from UV rays, you can use a BB cream for light coverage. Follow that by contouring with a bit of bronzer instead and a coat of waterproof mascara and you're good to go. Now you know what to do, you can prepare accordingly for the big events that you have coming up. Remember, makeup is just a tool to enhance your natural beauty. It shouldn't be used as something to hide behind. Everyone is unique and what you may hate - someone else may love. So don't change yourself - you're beautiful.

What are your go-to makeup looks for formal occasions, nights out or on holiday? 

*This is a collaborative post
*Image from Pinterest 

Recipe: Vegan Carbonara with Seaweed Bacon

Monday, June 19, 2017
I have been on/off vegan since January last year and I've discovered some amazing recipes and techniques - I've shared some on here already including a heavenly vegan pizza, chocolate and raspberry muffins, handmade chocolates, cinnamon rolls, pancakes and more! But I was recently sent the *Seamore I See Pasta Tagliatelle and the *Seamore I Sea Bacon Seaweed Bacon (€6.95) to try out so I thought I'd combine them with a recipe.

Both the Seamore Seaweed Bacon and the Seamore Seaweed Pasta are as you would have guessed, made from 100% seaweed - it's wild organic seaweed which is harvested from Ireland and France. It's obviously suitable for vegans, it's gluten free and it's derived from a sustainable source; also it's a low carb and low calorie option.

Now onto the recipe which is for a alternative vegan carbonara with seaweed bacon. This recipe is incredibly quick and easy, it's filling and looks so delicious, I think so anyway. I used wholewheat pasta as it's healthier than traditional durum wheat pasta but you could use whatever pasta you want; you could even use some of the seaweed tagliatelle. I haven't included precise measurements for this recipe as it's all relative depending on how many you're cooking for and your preferences but I've included some rough guidelines.
Ingredients:
- 250g approx. of pasta
- 200g - 250g of mushrooms (I used mini portobello but shiitake or chestnut would be great too)
- LOTS of fresh parsley and chives
- Seasonings (onion powder, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, nutmeg)
- Alpro soya cream or make your own cashew cream
- Seaweed bacon
- Lemon zest/rind

Step One: 
Cook your pasta for a minute or so less than the packet instructions so it's more al dente and start chopping up your mushrooms, it doesn't matter about the size as long as they are all of a similar size. You could add frozen peas with the pasta if you wanted to boost your greens.

Step Two: 
Sauté your mushrooms in olive oil on a medium heat until soft and cooked through (about 8 minutes). You could add in some fresh diced garlic and shallots a few minutes before the end if you wanted but I used onion and garlic powder in the sauce to make it easier/quicker as I wanted to get back to reading in the garden. While the mushrooms and pasta are cooking for around ten minutes total, grate the rind of one small lemon and chop up your herbs for later.

Step Three:
Drain your pasta and leave to one side. Add the soya cream or cashew cream to your mushrooms along with the herbs, lemon rind and seasonings and heat through. If you're sauce isn't thick enough, dissolve half a teaspoon of cornstarch in a teaspoon or two of water and add to the sauce then heat up on a medium heat to activate the cornstarch - keep stirring! When it's reached the thickness you want, add to the pasta and mix well! If the sauce is too thick then thin it out with unsweetened plant milk e.g.: oat milk, almond milk or water/vegetable stock.

*For this sauce I mixed half soya cream and half my garlic hummus as that's what I had in the fridge at the time but you could use all soya cream or cashew cream. To make cashew cream you just need to soak a handful of cashew nuts in water or unsweetened plant milk (I use oat milk) overnight then blend them in a high speed blender (I use my NutriBullet) to make a creamy, smooth and vegan sauce).

Step Four:

For the seaweed bacon, you can add it in raw and the heat of the sauce/pasta will cook them very slightly or you can do what I did and fry them for a minute or so. You only need a tiny amount as a little goes a very long way but it does add a salty, slightly smoky/meaty flavour.
I also tried the *Seamore Seaweed Tagliatelle (€4.95) which I combined with rice noodles, sesame oil, coriander, mushrooms and soya cream to make a mismatch of a meal but it tasted really good, if I do say so myself although next time I'm going to use a lot less seaweed as a tiny amount goes a long way! It's not showing up well in the photos but both have such a creamy, dairy looking sauce that's so good!

I liked the seaweed pasta but I definitely prefer the 'seaweed bacon' as it's much more user friendly because it's so small and much quicker to prepare compared to the seaweed tagliatelle which needs to be soaked for a while and I prefer the flavour.

What do you think of my vegan carbonara recipe? Have you tried seaweed pasta or seaweed bacon? 

How To Style A Trench Coat + Wish List

Sunday, June 18, 2017
There's one item of clothing that I've tried and failed to style for years and I've finally given up and that is, the trench coat. The trench coat style is over 100 years old and is inspired by mens military uniforms and style which is one of the reasons I love the trench coat. The unisex style, simple design and practical form have made it a classic wardrobe staple for years, both for men and women.

The classic British trench coat is a common choice among chic celebrities such as the ever gorgeous Clémence Poésy, Miranda Kerr, Alexa Chung, the amazing Emma Watson and the ever popular Duchess of Cambridge. Although some of the iconic celebrities from Old Hollywood and the original supermodels were the original advocates for the classic trench coat such as the beauty that was Marlene Dietrich, Bridget Bardot and the timeless Audrey Hepburn.

The trench coat is been revamped throughout the years with pink, navy, shorter, less fitted and oversized variations but whatever style you choose, they are all wardrobe staples and perfect for this time of the year in the UK where one minute the weather will be sunny and warm, the next it will be muggy and hayfever inducing (my favourite) or the weather will then turn rainy and grey.
To help with the seemingly impossible task of finding the right trench coat and then styling you're newly acquired trench coat, Jack Wills have created a guide on how to style a trench coat which you should definitely read. Their trench coats are also gorgeous, especially the Hathershaw Cropped Trench Coat which is currently on sale and could be styled with jeans, a cropped breton jumper or tee and ankle boots.

The Duncombe Trench Coat is Jack Wills' most classic but practical trench coat which is the style you see the most being worn again and again by so many celebrities and it could be styled so many ways, making it the most versatile option. Even though it's an iconic piece of British clothing, it could be taking to a french chic level with a breton tee, denim of your choice and maybe a dupe of the gorgeous Gucci red brixton horse bit loafers. Or for a more British and formal feel, pair with black denim, a crisp white shirt and floral heels or sandals a la Dolce and Gabbana SS17 or even some quirky flatforms as seen at Gucci and Balmain.

Here's my mini Jack Wills trench coat and trench coat pairings wish list:

Will you be checking our Jack Wills' trench coat styling guide? Do you wear trench coats? 

*This is a sponsored post
*Images from Pinterest and Jack Wills