Katie Vibes
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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?

 

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 £10 or under, which is amazing for a brand using 100% natural, vegan, and organic ingredients. 

Have you tried anything from Living Naturally?