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The Mini Vegan Christmas Gift Guide

Admittedly I have been a bit pants when it comes to gift-guiding this year. Unlike the troves of beauty bloggers who are actually prepared for Christmas content, I am drowning in uni work and have barely any time to eat let alone buy fancy Christmas decoration for my pictures (in case you were wondering, that handsome reindeer sits upon our windowsill all year long). Therefore, I've submitted to doing but a 'mini' gift guide, including some cute present ideas pertaining to natural and vegan beauty. Enjoy!

Bath Treats
Of course, everyone loves a good bathe and there is something distinctly 'winter' about sinking into a nice hot bath with a candle burning. Talking of candles,  Harper's Bizarre Candles recently released their Christmas selection and my pick, Let it Snow, is absolutely to die for. This peppermint and vanilla scent is pretty universal and non-offensive and so is likely to be enjoyed by everyone. Harper's Bizarre candles are adorable and the cute tins mean that you could probably just get away with popping them in a gift bag.

More bath options include the fabulous Living Naturally Bathtub Teas that I reviewed here. I absolutely adore the Coconut Milk & Chai* variation but they also offer Coconut & Rose, Calendula & Comfrey, and Hibiscus & Lavender. These can be a wee bit messy but they're one of the only bath products that don't irritate my eczema and they create the most relaxing bath. And come on, who doesn't want to smell like a chai latte? For more traditional bath options, I really love the Deep Steep range and the Brown Sugar & Vanilla Bubble Bath is a lovely Christmas sweet treat. I've linked it from iHerb but you can often find Deep Steep products in TK Maxx. 

Traditional Gift Sets
Green People create some really beautiful gift sets and it's hard to say no to their wonderful butterfly gift sets. Their Joyful Body Wash & Body Lotion set* has a super clean and fresh scent that any family or friend would love. It's a little more expensive but the gorgeous presentation makes up for it. Green People are a brand that I trust in terms of effectiveness and ingredients and so I'll be happy to pass this on this Christmas. Secondly, we have the Mallow & White Soothe range which is great for all skin types and would make a great introductory gift for someone only just getting into green skincare. Unfortunately I don't have the actual gift set to show you and I haven't tried the face oil, but I have tried the other two products from the Soothe range (the Cleansing Oil* and Face Mask*) and love them both. The Facial Kit includes a full size facial oil and a full size mask.

Stocking Fillers
And to end, just a couple cute stocking ideas that are a little different. Firstly, this wonderfully presented Women's Fragrance Sampler from Ravenscourt Apothecary. This little set contains samples of all of Ravenscourt's literary inspired women's botanical perfumes including Alice, Anne of Avonlea, Elizabeth Bennett, and Jane Eyre. All of these perfume oils are created with natural ingredients and are available in equally as gorgeous full sizes if any tickle your (or your lucky friend's) fancy. Finally, Nailberry nail polishes are the definition of green luxury and they make brilliant stocking fillers. They come in a variety of vegan & 5-free shades, with something for everyone. I have the shade Blueberry*, a dark royal purple but other winter appropriate shades include Berry Job, Number 69, and Pink Sand.

What have you got your eye on this Christmas?

 

Recent Empties #8

Come on guys, do I really need an intro for these things anymore?

Odylique Tea Tree & Herb Shampoo
This will forever be in my empties. No explanation needed (but I will be doing a full review soon). I’m trying to hunt down a cheaper alternative but unfortunately, I think I’m coming to the conclusion that nothing else keeps my scalp as soothed and itch-free, without the need for an ACV rinse. Also, it smells AMAZING.

Green People Quinoa & Calendula Shower Gel*
Green People sent me this a while ago along with the deodorant from the same line. I have done a full review, but in short, I do enjoy this shower gel. It has a really fresh scent but if I’m honest, if I’m to spend this much on a shower gel, then I’m probably more likely to spend the money on something like Bodhi & Birch that lasts about five times as long.

Acure Organics Argan Oil
I bought this argan oil way back when I first started using green beauty; in my first ever iHerb order in fact. I bought it with my hair in mind but actually ended up using it as a straight body oil in a bid to use it up. I also used it on my eczema and my skin actually reacted really well to it. However, I don’t think I’ll be repurchasing as there are other basic oils (like Soil Association certified sunflower oil from eNaissance – love!) that are easier to get hold of and have a similar effect on my angry skin.

Hugo & Debra Naturals Grapefruit Himalayan Pink Salt Scrub
This was a really lovely basic scrub with decent ingredients, a decent price, and decent availability. I got this as a Christmas present from my boyfriend’s Dad who bought it from TK Maxx. The grapefruit was refreshing but not overpowering and the ‘scrubiness’ was just perfect. TK Maxx can actually be a bit of a gold mine for green beauty. I assume he picked it up just because he just saw the words ‘natural’ and ‘vegan’ but damn, he did well. Leave a comment below if you’d like to see a post on the kinds of brands you can pick up!

Herbfarmacy Pure Hydration Serum
I have done a full review on this. I absolutely loved this product the first time around when I received it as a PR sample and this was my repurchase. However, I do think my love has waned and I can no longer justify its price tag. These days I prefer to use something with a thinner consistency and a higher concentration of hyaluronic acid that can be mixed with other serums. I’m now really enjoying this offering from Evolve Beauty. The Herbfarmacy has more of a milky consistency and can pill when used with other products. If you prefer all your products to be organic certified then go for the Herbfarmacy (they are certified by the Soil Association – my certification of choice), but I do find the Evolve to be a lot more versatile.

Hynt Beauty Skin Prep Serum (sample)
I was sent the Hynt Beauty Skin Prep as a free sample when I ordered by Sweet Canyon Palette. It’s a really lovely makeup primer which gorgeous botanical ingredients like algae (it does also contain carageenan though which I need to look into). I’d really consider buying the full size of this, but cannot decide whether I’d be more suited for their SPF version, the Sun Prep. Maybe I’ll try a sample of the later before I make my decision as I’m thinking of making another order for their cult concealer to see my dark circles through the early university mornings this winter.

Harper's Bizarre Bizarre Zombielicious Candle
Harper's Bizarre is my absolute favourite indie vegan candle company. They make the most gorgeous scents and although they’re not all from essential oils, they don’t give me a headache (important) and they make me extremely happy. Zombielicious was another of their limited edition Halloween scents that I bought last year. And, as Halloween is again fast approaching, I’ll soon be stocking up when I see them at VegFest London and/or Cambridge Vegan Fair in October.

Schmidt's Bergamot & Lime Deodorant Stick
This deo has HG status. Full review here. I have repurchased put decided to try the Cedarwood & Juniper scent.

Vedani Botanicals No. 21 Cleanser
Another one of my favourite products that needs no explanation. Full review here (I swear I'm not doing this just to be lazy). I have loads of cleansing oils to use up at the moment but I will be repurchasing in the future.

Botanicals Mandarin & Chamomile Cleansing Melt*
This is a really gorgeous product but unfortunately it makes me a little nervous because of the coconut oil. My skin has reacted badly to coconut oil in the past and so I'm hesitant to try anything bigger than this sample jar. I did enjoy it though and definitely suggest you try it if you have more combo/dry skin.

What have you used up lately?

Harpers Bizarre Candles

Nothing screams autumn like a candle... am I right? And, of course you could escape that pun. Today, I'm talking about some delightful candles from Harper's Candles. They're seasonal (or as seasonal as Halloween can be anymore), smell delicious, and come with equally as delicious graphic packaging. 

I had tweeted the other week about wanting to try a new brand of vegan soy candles and Harper's was so enthusiastically recommended to me. After taking a quick look at the website, and being super impressed by their ethos and options, I was quick to order some candles. I opted for 'Scary Mary', 'Dirty Crow', and 'Zombielicious' - all from the Halloween-inspired collection. The collection also includes 'All Hallows Eve' but unfortunately, I could only afford three this time.

I have only tried 'Scary Mary' so far, but I'm really impressed with what you get for a simple £8. The candles are gorgeously packaged in a neat little tin with lovely & unique matching illustrations on the labels. The candles are double-wicked (which I've always preferred), and their scents are strong enough to be noticed, but not strong enough to over-power. 'Scary Mary' is actually quite a 'springy' smelling candle - very floral - but it also really seems to work for the colder months. 

I haven't tried the others yet but 'Dirty Crow' has really caught my eye (or nose?), with it's amazing scent. It's coined as a mulled wine candle and this is quite appropriate. It's scent is rich but fruity, and I absolutely cannot wait to burn it. 

I'm 100% going to make another order with Harper's - they have so many options and I've recently been coveting some of their 'Patisserie' scents. Harper's are Vegan Society approved and actively support dog sanctuaries which makes them extra awesome. They also have a running offer that allows you to buy 3 of their candles for £20 so they're definitely worth the click. Make sure you check them out.