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Review: Inika Certified Organic BB Cream Foundation
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When I really fall in love with a product, it often happens that I forget to write a proper review as I'm too busy loving and using it. As much as this is a good thing, it often means I fail to share my fabulous discoveries. This is much exemplified by my feelings towards the Inika Certified Organic BB Cream Foundation*.  I fell in love with this product as soon as I started using it and I proceeded to use it almost religiously over the latter part of summer and autumn. I have always preferred the texture of BB creams to traditional foundations as, as much as I do suffer from acne, I do not enjoy the feeling or look of anything too full coverage. I like my skin to look like skin. This is definitely the feeling that I get with the Inika BB cream. It offers enough coverage to even out redness and cover small blemishes but is still natural enough to preserve my skin's own look and glow.

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I am using the shade 'Cream,' which despite not being the palest shade (shock horror), blends out into a shade that works perfectly for my neutral/yellow-toned skin. I was originally worried about about the formula being too moisturising for my combination skin. Luckily it is just fine and any excess oil is kept at bay with some powder, either translucent or a powder foundation for some extra coverage on special occasions. I am very much glad that it does not contain any coconut oil - something that is very common with BB creams - and so, even with all the oils, it has never been too heavy or caused any breakouts. 

It comes with the familiar BB cream claims of being a foundation, moisturiser, and primer in one but I will admit that I am yet to use it without some other kind of moisturiser underneath. This is mainly due to its lack of SPF (possibly my only criticism), and so I have been using it along with my favourite Hynt Beauty SPF - a mainstay of my long and everygrowing list of products to review on the blog.

If you are looking for a BB cream, I would urge you - no matter your skin type - to try a sample. Inika samples are readily available (and very well-priced) via the Lovelula website and have free delivery worldwide.

This post contains affiliate links.

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.)

 

Intro to: Savon Stories

Savon Stories are no doubt one of the most interesting brands that I came across during my travels around the Love Natural Love Organic/Allergy & Free From show this year. I was really impressed by their ethos, their packaging, and everything about their wonderful products. Savon Stories' speciality is traditionally-made and 100% organic castile soaps in both solid and liquid form. I was lucky enough to have a nice long chat with the founding family and I was amazed to hear that the brand is inspired by the founder's grandfather who lived to 115! He headed the family's century-old organic farm and eat fresh, raw, organic food in small portions. The family sum up the grandfather's ethos in the words "raw minimalism" and this is definitely translated in to the brand's products, explaining why Savon Stories consider high-quality raw organic ingredients to be of the upmost importance. Natural essential oils are added to a cocktail of nourishing base oils (virgin olive oil, coconut, castor, and hempseed), creating a delicious castile soap concoction. 

Funnily enough, my first encounter with the brand was actually in the show's pop-up toilets! A variety of soaps were available at the sinks and I was immediately attracted to the soap by it's truly beautiful packaging and lovely scents. And - thankfully - after testing the soap, I was astounded to find that my hands were super soft and moisturised! I often find that soap (and even natural soap) can leave my hands feeling really dry and tight. Obviously this can often be fixed by slapping on some hand cream but unfortunately, even this cannot undo the damage that drying soaps can do to my hands that are, like my feet, very prone to dyshidrotic eczema. These flare-ups can stick around for weeks at a time so I prefer to avoid all possible catalysts! So to sum up: their soaps are cold press organic, raw, vegan, palm-free, AND highly moisturising... Awesome!

I was lucky enough to be gifted a 300ml bottle of their Lime and Bergamot liquid soap* and I have been enjoying it so much. Although my Mum still uses regular soap around the house, I often have a natural bottle on the side for myself and Savon Stories has got to be the top contender out of all the liquid soaps I have tried so far. Lime and Bergamot is the perfect scent for me and I always find myself sniffing my hands after washing. The ingredients are brilliant (see below) and their liquid soap was even a finalist in the Natural and Organic Awards 2015 'Best New Natural Beauty & Spa Product' category. So, if you're looking for a new soap to try, please check out Savon Stories. They also offer natural shower accessories and now even a shampoo bar so they're definitely a brand to keep high on your radar.

Ingredients for the Bergamot and Lime liquid soap: spring water (aqua); organic extra virgin olive oil (sodium olivate); organic coconut oil glycerine; organic coconut oil (sodium cocoate); organic castor oil (sodium castorate); organic hempseed oil (cannabis satvia); organic essential oils of: lime & bergamot (citrus latifolia & citrus bergamia - naturally occurring citral, geraniol, limonene & linalool); natural fruit (citric) acid; wheatgerm vitamin E (tocopherol).