Katie Vibes
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Hygge for Self-Care

'Hygge' - the Danish concept of cosiness - had a bit of a moment towards the end of 2016. Countless books were published, claiming to unlock the secrets of Scandinavian happiness. I will admit, I was a little sucked in, especially as I was planning a trip to Northern Europe for the summer. Hygge can be implemented in nearly every area of one's life, and today I'm going to be focusing on implementing the ideas of 'hygge' into your self-care and suggesting some easy-to-source products (all available from LoveLula) to step-up your routine.

'Hygge (pronounced 'hue-gah') is a quality of presence and an experience of belonging and togetherness. It is a feeling of being warm, safe, comforted and sheltered.'
The Book of Hygge

Setting the mood
Creating a relaxing, safe, and cosy atmosphere for your self-care is really important. I suggest lighting a candle (as long as your living situation allows it), and something along the lines of this Joik Masala Chai soy wax candle* would be perfect as the warming spices really help to invoke a feeling of comfort in this time of year's harsh weather. A good herbal tea will also help to warm you up and calm you down. Beauty Brews offer a completely organic loose tea named appropriately 'Hygge'* made from beautiful ingredients such as orange, cinnamon, and apple. Finally, if a lovely smelling candle isn't enough for you, try an aromatherapy roll-on to calm the senses. I love the Ground roll-on from Yogandha*. Frankincense and sandalwood are great for crafting a 'hyggelig' atmosphere and this roll-on also doubles as a beautiful light perfume.

The beauty picks
To me, 'hyggelig' beauty products need to be natural, soothing, and multi-purpose. My first choice for this was of course the fantastic Lyonsleaf Beauty Balm*. This totally vegan balm is an amazing cleanser, moisturiser, mask, and more. The formula is oily-skin friendly (no coconut oil) and it's really affordable. I love to put a thick layer of this on before a shower as a mask but it's also great for removing makeup and/or giving your heels and elbows a little TLC. Check out my full review for more information. If you want a moisturising mask but your skin is definitively on the drier side, check out the Madara SOS Hydra-Moisture and Radiance Mask*. I find this to be a little rich for my combo skin but it would be a great option for those with drier skins who want something you can just slap on and leave overnight. You could also use the Lyonsleaf on your lips but for something more specialised, try BEING Lip Service*. Another completely vegan product, this lip balm has a really interesting mint & basil scent and its waxy texture is great for moisturising without being too greasy. BEING is a new company to me but their simple aesthetic and small-batch nature is really appealing.

Do you 'hygger'? What elements, for you, make up an effective self-care routine?

 

New In: RMS Beauty

I haven't done one of my 'new in' posts in a long time! It seems however that I have been gaining beauty products at an alarming rate recently and so you can assume there will more posts on the way. Today I'm going to be talking about two new products from RMS Beauty that I have been testing out.

RMS Beauty Ultimate Makeup Remover Wipes*
These wipes are quite the innovation for the green beauty sphere. You won't find wipes more natural; they're formulated with nothing but pure coconut oil. Coconut oil is generally a no-no for my skin due to its pore-clogging nature - it rates quite highly in terms of being comedogenic for acne-prone skins. However, these little wipes have been proving quite handy for quick makeup removal when staying at my boyfriend's house. I don't think I'd repurchase due to them being comedogenic but as long as I follow them with an acid toner, my pores seem to be fine for now. They're quite pricey but if you have super sensitive skin (and are partial to a face wipe), they're probably worth a try.  

RMS Beauty Swift Shadow in Tempting Touch TT-76*
I was super excited when I heard that RMS would be releasing a vegan-friendly line of pressed eyeshadows. The shade range is a little confusing (you'll definitely need to rely on online swatches), but after perusing a few blog posts I settled on the shade Tempting Touch TT-76, a beautiful warm bronze shade. This shade is perfect for an all-over wash of colour and is absolutely spot-on for autumn and winter. The pigmentation didn't totally wow me - as I'm used to super-pigmented loose shadows - but it's good enough for what I've been used it for and it is handy to have such a versatile shade in a single pan for travel. I've heard that they work brilliantly wet so I look forward to trying that and possibly trying some more shades. Again, they're not cheap, but they feel super smooth and luxe in spite of the slightly disappointing pigmentation. 

Have you tried either of these new products from RMS Beauty?

 

 

Alternative Winter Nail Polish Picks

When I think about the nail polishes that I have been reaching for recently, it seems I've been going for slightly non-conventional choices considering it is now winter. I've also been trying a few new brands to me and I'm quite impressed! Here's what I've been reaching for:

Nailberry Blueberry*
Look at this packaging! Something about Nailberry as a brand absolutely screams luxe. But unfortunately, this luxury is definitely reflected in the price of their polishes. So, when I was given the chance to try them through the LoveLula blogger programme, I was quick to jump on it. I chose the shade Blueberry which is a really lovely royal purple creme shade. It applies really beautifully and I can't help but feel a little fancy when I use it.

Little Ondine Karma
I only own a couple polishes from Little Ondine but they are not that new to me. I bought this last year and I have done a full review on this particular shade in the past. Karma is a really lovely teal shade that is super flattering on the nails. I really enjoy the formula of this shade (as long as it is used with the dedicated base/top coat), but I have experienced some inconsistency within the brand so I cannot speak for the performance of other shades. Little Ondine have a really innovative formulation so I would like to think their other shades work just as well as this one!

Maggie Anne Jasper*
Maggie Anne is another new to be brand, who offer 6-free gel effect nail polish in a variety of beautiful colours. I've been testing out these two shades and the gel effect top coat and loving all of them. Jasper has probably been my favourite; a slightly mauve nude shade. Totally unconventional for winter, but super pretty and professional-looking for work. I'm addicted to wearing this and I've just decided while writing this that I'm going to be applying it next!

Maggie Anne Pearl*
You can't really beat a plain black nail polish and I haven't owned one in years! This colour definitely looks more chic on long nails but the high-shine gel effect definitely helps with it looking a little more grown up than the black polish we wore to school. Just like Jasper, I really like the formula of this and I especially enjoy the size and shape of the brush. It totally reminds me of the Essie brush, something that I really used to get along with. I'm excited to possibly try some more shades from Maggie Anne in the future!

 

Review: PHB Ethical Beauty Botanical BB Cream & Pure Skin Foundation

When deciding on my picks for the LoveLula Blogging Programme last month, I was SO excited to see that PHB Ethical Beauty had gone ahead and released two new liquid base products to their ever-growing makeup collection. Enter the Botanical BB Cream* and the Pure Skin Liquid Foundation*. Both products come with all the certifications and accolades that the brand boasts including being 100% natural, vegan, and halal. They're Leaping Bunny certified as well as using a great range of organic ingredients. Both products have been formulated to work for a variety of skins and their slightly odd natural scent is an indicator that they have not included any essential oils - great for those with the most sensitive of skins. They come in really gorgeous frosted glass bottles and although the plastic lids are a bit of a pain to keep stuck, they do look very pretty on my dressing table. Both products also include SPF (the foundation has SPF30 and the BB, SPF15) which is really great.

The shade range is decent and I was able to find options that worked for my very pale skin. However, as with most green beauty brands, PHB are let down here by the fact that their range does not go to far in the opposite direction. It would really be nice to see some more diverse colour options for the darker skinned among us. I picked up the Pure Skin Liquid Foundation* in the palest shade available, Cream. I will say that this was complete guesswork and a sample service would be greatly appreciated in this regard. The shade is good enough for me, albeit a little bit pale and it blends easily into my skin. This foundation has really impressive performance considering its fabulous ingredients and modest price tag. It is 'mid-range' compared to most green beauty foundations, coming it at just under £20. It does require a bit of blending work, and it doesn't really come close to the Sappho foundation, but it's a really great option if you don't want to spend £40. It has a semi-matte finish and although it says suitable for all skin types, I would air on the side of caution if you have dry skin because it can look a bit cakey when I'm dehydrated. In spite of all of this, if my skin is in good nick, it looks great and lasts really well. It has a true medium coverage and also covers up redness and acne quite well.

I picked up the Botanical BB Cream* in the shade Fair, and let me tell you, this really is the star of the pair. It looks a bit dark in the picture above but Fair blends out perfectly on my skin and provides a decent amount of coverage for a BB cream. It far outperforms the famous 100% Pure Tinted Moisturiser and seems to excel in every area that the former fails. It has a satin matte finish, dries down quickly, provides good coverage, and doesn't have that awful six month shelf life that comes with all 100% Pure products. I also often feel confident enough to wear it without the addition of any kind of setting powder and that's something that I could never do before. I've been using this nearly every day since getting it in the post. It's fair to say that the BB cream has become a new favourite and I've already started pushing it to my friends...

Have you tried the new base oferrings from PHB?