Lush – Milky Bar Review

I’m loving Lush at the moment. I’m trying to rid myself of unnecessary plastic and this is a great way to do it. Do you remember the days when people just used a bar of soap instead of liquid soap in a plastic container?

I wrote a ‘first impressions’ style blog on my thoughts on my first shampoo bar from Lush, which you can read about here. Despite trying to resist the temptation to buy shed loads of soapy goodness in Lush, I did succumb and try their exclusive Milky Bar shower gel because it’s a cute concept.

As well as being cruelty free, this bar is also vegan, so thumbs up for that. It’s made from soya milk and has a Brazilian orange oil scent, and is marketed for hands and bodies so you can use it as a soap or a shower gel. It lasts an impressive amount of time and is so soft and gentle on the skin; it smells delicious, a bit like a sweet shop, but the scent is subtle and not at all over-powering.

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Lush shampoo bars – first impressions

Like practically everyone, I’ve been trying to reduce my plastic usage. Although I’ve always recycled since I was responsible for my own waste disposal, there’s a lot of stuff I never considered, and whilst being so concerned with finding vegan, cruelty-free shampoo brands I completely disregarded the fact that they come in plastic packaging.

Shampoo bars seem like the perfect solution but I’ve been reluctant to invest because it seems messy and ineffective. But I’m giving it a go now! I’ve bought a shampoo and conditioning bar from Lush to try over the next few months to see how I get on. I also bought one of little silver tins to keep it in to manage that worrisome mess.

Godiva shampoo & conditioning bar

A visit to Lush is a very sensory experience – there are so many interesting smells and pretty sights. I always want to try everything or at least sniff it all. I went into the shop specifically for a shampoo bar so I tried not to tempt myself with anything else. There is an impressive selection of shampoo bars, which are all around £6-8; this does sound pricey but when you consider it’s going to last you months and months it’s a good investment.

I went for the Godiva because it’s smells great and conditions as well, which saves me buying an extra bar. Not only is everything in Lush cruelty free (and cute and amazing!), many of their products are vegan, and the Godiva bar is completely vegan. It has a jasmine scent and contains a variety of oils and butters to give a soft shine to the hair.

It lathers up really well and it’s actually really easy and convenient to use. It’s not messy like I expected and I was impressed with the amount of lather you get out of these shampoo bars, and how long they last – 80-100 washes, so I’m told. I’m not totally convinced it’s going to be provide sufficient conditioning to my hair though so I’ll probably use a leave-in conditioning spray or a bit of coconut oil as well (which I already do.)

This shampoo bar is going to be really handy for travelling and for taking to the swimming pool as it’s so small and fits snugly into its little tin.

I also bought a milk bottle shaped shower gel but more on that later!

Cute Vegan Organic Skincare – Christmas Gift Set

Fair Squared are one of my favourite organic, natural skincare and beauty brands, and their products are all vegan and Fair Trade. They never test their products on animals – so they are right up my street. Fair Squared are one of those companies that have so many certifications that they can barely fit them all on the packaging; Vegan Society, Fair Trade, Peta, Natrue, and Fair Rubber.

They sent me this lovely Christmas gift set to try out.

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Fair Squared Christmas Gift Set *

4 cute mini skincare essentials, all certified vegan and Fair Trade, using natural ingredients. At £8.95 this is a really good idea as a Christmas gift set for a friend or family member who likes organic, natural, vegan, cruelty-free products, and a good introduction for someone looking to get to know an organic brand like this but doesn’t know where to start. I really love the simple packaging on these bottles.

  • Green Tea Body Lotion: containing the finest Fair Trade green tea from India. I love body lotions as I do get very dry skin, especially in winter. This bitesize bottle is perfect for handbags or leaving by the kitchen sink.
  • Vanilla Shower Gel: contains Fair Trade olive oil from Palestine. A cute sample of a classic in their range and convenient for taking to the gym for the post-workout shower.
  • Apricot Shampoo: contains Fair Trade apricot kernel oil from Pakistan. A lovely lather and a beautiful smell of apricots, which is not an ingredient I would immediately think to put on my hair, but the smell is so good that I would definitely use this again.
  • Olive Hand Soap: contains Fair Trade olive oil from Palestine. A really nice and supple soap, left my hands very soft.

 

You can buy more of Fair Squared’s range here.

 

* Denotes a gift I received. My opinions are nevertheless my own and I always give honest reviews.

ORGANii: Soap & Shower Gel Review

ORGANii: Soap & Shower Gel Review

I’ve been delving deeper into vegan & organic natural skincare recently and on my hunt for ethical, organic products I have come across a really great brand called ORGANii; their range includes shower gels, body wash, soaps, and sun cream, and they are all about natural, organic ingredients – and everything is suitable for vegans!

Today I have two products to review, which ORGANii have kindly sent to me to try out. They are both suitable for vegans and certified by organisations that guarantee organic ingredients; you can find out more about the Ecocert and Ecogarantie certifications here and here.

ORGANii Everyday Organics Shea Butter Shower Gel

I really like the cute packaging on this product – it looks like a little bottle of milk! It claims to be “delicately fragranced” with shea butter so the scent is mild and slightly nutty. This shower gel is so wonderfully gentle on the skin – perfect for sensitive skin and children – and lathers up nicely. Shea butter is known to be a great nourisher for the skin as it contains natural vitamins and fatty acids and this product really leaves my skin soft and re-hydrated – very impressive for a product designed for everyday use with no claims to spa-standards. It’s particularly impressive that they’ve made such a great everyday shower gel without all the usual stuff & nonsense that non-organic or non-natural brands feel it necessary to put in.

I’ve used it a few times so far and it feels like this 300ml bottle will last a lot longer than I’m used to, which makes it good value for money. Other scents include: aloe vera and bamboo, strawberry, argan, and liquorice, which I am really intrigued to try!

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ORGANii Everyday Organics Lavender Liquid Soap

Lavender is one of my favourite scents; in soap, in creams, in cakes, in my garden. So I was already pretty certain this soap would be a winner and I wasn’t wrong. I love the packaging again – it’s got cute little colourful hands and there is a little sprig of lavender on it as well. Again, this product is completely vegan, natural and organic, so it ticks plenty of boxes for the ethical consumer. It’s also full of organic olive oil so it creates a really nice moisturized effect, which I was very impressed with as I always feel like with other soaps I need to moisturize after washing my hands as many soap brands dry out my skin. My hands have always been quite dry and are the skin is prone to cracking in winter so this soap has come to me at the right time.

The liquid soap also comes in rose, citrus, and a neutral aroma-free – I can’t wait to try the rest!

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Both products:

  • Are tested on humans, not animals
  • Contain no animal ingredients
  • Suitable for vegans
  • No added colourants
  • No synthetic scents
  • No parabens, SLS, Phenoxyethonol, or PEG
  • 100% natural origin perfumes

ORGANii is a small independent British brand with products available in health stores and online at: www.organii.uk. You can read more about their ethos here and you can track down your nearest stockist here.

I cannot recommend this range enough – all cruelty-free, natural, organic, and vegan, with beautiful mild and gentle aromas. Both products come in at around a fiver so they are pretty affordable for a vegan organic brand. The natural/organic certifications are very reassuring because it means that I can be certain when using these products that they are sourced from organic, natural ingredients from sustainable sources; they are therefore cruelty free, better for the environment, and better for your skin.

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Autumn skin and hair care

1st of September and the weather changes and I need to dig out my scarves and winter boots. Rain, wind, and it’s all got a bit gloomy. As seasons change, I find different skin products assemble themselves in my cupboards and I need something more substantial to get through the cold, dark months.

This is the time of year I started noticing my skin drying out and my hair getting dull. So I’m looking into some pre-emptive product buying as I’m bored of all my other stuff. These are a few that I’m looking at experimenting with; all vegan, all cruelty free and natural. I found the Alba Botanica range in town and sampled a few things so I’ve narrowed it down to these.

Alba Botanica Deep Sea Facial Mask

 

I’m really into clay masks. They’re pretty much the only type of mask that truly refreshes my skin. This one uses Chinese kaolin clay and contains aloe vera and a blend of sea enzymes (which sounds intriguing). I’ve heard great things about the Alba Botanica brand as a whole and have come across people who use only their products.

Alba Botanica Anti-Frizz Serum – Haiwaiin – So Smooth Gardenia

My hair is always a monster of frizz and nothing ever, ever seems to work. I’ve tried so much and virtually given up but the good reviews of this product have made me optimistic.

Alba Botanica Hawaiian Hair Conditioner Coconut Milk

I do like my coconut products. They smell so great and natural and I dislike products that smell too floral or sweet so coconut is perfect for me – it has a certain neutrality. Coconuts are just amazingly beneficial for our health in general but coconut milk has so much in the way of nutrients and vitamins that it probably makes all the other fruit jealous. (Note: coconuts are not, in fact, a fruit; nor are they are a seed – they are a drupe. Whatever that is.)

Maybe you’re wondering why I’m so focused on cruelty free products? Am I just a self-righteous snob? Or is it actually really important – and easy – to make ethical consumer choices every day that make a difference? I don’t want to go into too much depth today and have already expressed my views here. There’s also a detailed article on the merits of going cruelty free on the Cruelty Free Kitty site that explains the position succinctly.

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August – Cruelty Free Skincare Favourites

Hello! It’s another monthly favourites post and this one of about some cruelty-free skincare products I’ve discovered recently.


For years I eschewed the idea of expanding my limited beauty and skincare collection for several reasons: fear it was tested on animals; a general mistrust of trying to look one’s best; and a basic laziness and absence of interest in make up. But since the Leaping Bunny stuff really took off I find I’m happy to put some time and effort into finding reliable cruelty free products. And today I’ll share a few that I’m loving.

Superdrug Oatmeal Vitamin E Exfoliating Facial Scrub: vitamin E, I’m told, is a vital antioxidant that can help to protect my skin from sun damage. This one uses oatmeal to help exfoliate and it does feel good, like I’m working my skin. It smells nice but the only downside it does take a while to rinse it all off.

Superdrug Tea tree cleanser and toner: this has a nice feel and is minty and refreshing. It certainly brightens up my skin and leaves it feeling smooth and with clean pores.

Superdrug Vitamin E Moisturizing SPF 15 day cream: I’m a big fan of Superdrugs Vitamin E range (can you tell?) and having read a bit about it I now find it has horse chestnut extract, which sounds very unusual and interesting. This is a great facial moisturizer and I can still feel that my skin is soft by the end of the day so it definitely does the job. It has added SPF 15 sun protection as well.

 

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