Katie Vibes
low-impact & conscious lifestyle

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Autumntal Bath Time with Living Naturally

Some months ago now I was sent some absolutely wonderful products by the soapnut-centric vegan organic brand, Living Naturally. They are a brand that's been on my radar for some time as I had been intrigued by their well priced, but luxurious sounding products. I was given the opportunity to try a couple and I've been suitably impressed. Many of the products contain ingredients derived from the soapnut, a naturally 'soapy' fruit. I'd heard of soapnuts being used as a laundry detergent alternative, but never in skincare! But what can I say, it works. Soapnuts are actually a great foaming agent alternative for those with eczema and/or sensitive skin as it's very mild and 100% natural. It also occurred to me that all of these products would be wonderful going into the autumn with their spicy and warm scents.

My absolute favourite product that I was sent was the Coconut & Chai Spice Bathtub Tea*. I'd actually asked to be sent this one because anything involving chai gets my spidey senses tingling. Coconut milk is also one of my favourite ingredients as I find it unbeatable at soothing the skin, especially for my eczema. The 'bathtub tea' is a gritty powder that you pour under a running bath. It doesn't completely dissolve, but it fills your bathroom with the most amazing spicy scent. Sometimes I can't help but to open the jar just to have a whiff. I've already used rather a lot of this and I have even decanted some for friends. I can definitely see myself repurchasing this next winter when I'm looking for something that bit interesting to add to my pamper sessions. 

I was also sent the Cardamom & Lavender Organic Sugar Softening Body Scrub*, which is, as it sounds, a sugar-based body scrub with a very light and non-offensive scent. This scrub definitely leaves a film on the skin (due to its thick base of castor), which although something I don't usually enjoy, is pleasant in the cooler months due to the fact that you don't really need to moisturise afterwards. My only issue was that the packaging leaks very easily - as you can tell from the picture above. This isn't the biggest issue as I tend to keep my scrubs standing in a cupboard, but I have had to clean up a few messes when it has fallen over or I haven't put it down carefully enough.

Finally, I tried the Rose Soapnut Soap*. To be honest, I don't really have much to say about this. It's a lovely, basic soap and thankfully, the rose scent isn't too strong. It lathers up well and leaves the skin really clean and smooth. I think it's a good size too as sometimes I can get a bit bored of a scent when I'm trying to use up a particularly large bar of soap. I have a lot of soap bars to use up at the moment but I do think I'd consider repurchasing as overall, this brand is just really brilliant value for money. In fact, everything I have spoken about in this post is Β£10 or under, which is amazing for a brand using 100% natural, vegan, and organic ingredients. 

Have you tried anything from Living Naturally?

Review: Botanicals Orange Blossom Body Balm

And here we continue with my obsession with Botanicals... This time looking at the Orange Blossom Body Balm*. Here we have a small jar of sunflower and shea based balm, perfect for moisturising post-bath or shower. And seeing so it's from Botanicals, you can be sure that it's made from only the highest quality organic (certified by the Soil Association) ingredients that will truly nourish your skin.

The shea butter is significant for me as I have found the ingredient to be highly effective when it comes to moisturising without the dreaded greasy feel. When applied to damp skin, shea butter almost completely sinks in to the skin, leaving a gentle glow. And this oil base with the addition of the wonderful scents of orange blossom, patchouli and neroli essential oils means that this is a truly deliciously smelling product. Botanicals are really starting to take the position as one of my favourite brands and this is another brilliant offering from them. 

As mentioned, I love to apply this after getting out the shower. I've never been the best person for remembering to moisturise my body but I find that this method (and keeping my products in the bathroom), really help to remind me. And how can I not want to moisturise with a product this good?! It really does sink in super fast and I find that I can get dressed in minutes without the worry of transfer. 

I've had a bit of difficulty with getting the product out of the jar but that's mainly down to it being a smaller sample size. Other than that I had absolutely no issues with the packaging and it does look super classy on your shelf... 

I definitely suggest checking this one out if you're looking for a new body moisturisier, and definitely check Botanicals out if you're looking for super good quality organic & vegan products at a fair price.

Have you tried anything from Botanicals lately?

Ingredients: Helianthus annus (sunflower) seed oil*, butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter*, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil*, prunus armeniaca (apricot) kernel oil*, cetyl alcohol, cetearyl alcohol, glycerine***, tocopherol, citrus aurantium dulcis (orange) peel oil*, citrus aurantium bergamia (bergamot) fruit oil*, pogostemon cablin oil (patchouli oil)*, cananga odorata flower oil*, citrus aurantium amara (bitter orange) flower oil*, zea mays seed flour*, linalool**, limonene**, benzyl benzoate**, benzyl salicylate**. (*Certified organic. **Natural constituents of essential oils. ***Organic origin.)

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A Moment with Skin Blossom - Vegan Brand Spotlight

So here we go, the 'official' Katie Vibes small vegan brand spotlight series! Over the next couple weeks I will be talking to a variety of 100% vegan small businesses about their products and why they find it so important to be a vegan brand. Brands will vary from makeup to skincare, and from widely-known to truly indie companies. Enjoy! 

First up, I spoke to a brand that I constantly recommend for value, Skin Blossom. I took a few moments with founder, Cris. 

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What brand do you represent and what is your title?
Cris, founder of Skin Blossom Ltd.

Tell me a little about your brand - what was the motivation behind starting it?
I started Skin Blossom in 2007 in a bid to make beautiful organic skin and hair care affordable to people. As a big fan of natural products I found that the nice organic beauty products were really pricey. So hence Skin Blossom was born!

Why do you find being a vegan brand so important? 
I love animals and wildlife so do not believe that they should be used in beauty products and we are completely cruelty free. The full Skin Blossom range is certified by the Vegan Society so customers can be sure of our integrity.

Tell me about some of your best-selling products?
As our range is quite small with only 12 products, it offers all you need for an effective organic skin and hair care regime. All the products are everyday essentials and sell quickly. If I had to pick one product to try as an introduction to the range I would suggest our Caring Hand Cream which is only Β£5.95 for 75ml. It is a lovely treat for hard working and dry hands!

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Where can we find you online?
www.skinblossom.co.uk or www.ocado.com. We're also available in health and beauty stores nationwide, please get in touch for more information.

Thanks Cris! 

Check out my review of the Skin Blossom Bath Soak here. Also PLEASE try the hand cream. It's good, I promise. Read about it here.

[Image credit: Skin Blossom]