Katie Vibes
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Current Favourites #4
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What better way to jump back into blogging than with some current favourites? I haven't disclosed too many products here (I thinking about getting back into monthly favourites), but I have been solidly using and loving these products for the last few months.

Starting with makeup, I've been using the Everyday Minerals Matte Base almost every day since I got it and I've actually nearly used it up already. I was recommended this by the lovely Sarah after I declared to stop using Alima Pure after discovering that they used carmine - something than I despise and seemed to have missed beforehand. And I'll be honest, I do really see much difference between the two products. The shade ranges are very similar, and the formula also seems to work in a very similar way on my skin. You may need to use a bit more of the EM foundation but I can still get a medium coverage that looks natural and skin-like. As mentioned, I am nearly out of this and so it definitely didn't last as long as the Alima but that's a compromise I am willing to make in order to support a 100% vegan company over one that uses such a barbaric ingredient. Everyday Minerals is also a great deal cheaper. You can either get it from Cocktail Cosmetics in the UK or (for an even bigger saving), ship it from iHerb.

The PHB Ethical Beauty Natural Mascara* is something I have mentioned before but a while ago they went through a particularly disastrous repackaging which left the mascara almost unusable. I am happy to report that we have now returned to the old packaging and the product is now back to its former glory. I always recommend this to people who are used to conventional mascaras as it is the most volumising natural mascara I have tried and it also has a similar price point to high street options.

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I've also been loving my essential oil diffuser recently. Mine is just a random cheap brand one from Amazon but I really like the faux wood detailing. You can also change the colour of the light and the timing of the mist. I've been using it alongside some blends from Tisserand and my favourite has been the Winter Warming Blendperfect for this season. This blend uses eucalyptus, clove, and rosemary and although not traditionally 'Christmassy,' definitely makes you feel all cosy and in the winter spirit. 

And of course, no favourites would be complete without some Isla Apothecary. I've been trying a good variety of Isla's products and the Immortelle Scar & Blemish Oil* has to be one of my top picks. I am sceptical of any product that claims to fade scars but I find this to be a really nice facial oil for oily/acneic skins and despite the slightly odd smell (similar to tobacco), I really enjoy using it. It's not too heavy, but still leaves my skin moisturised and glowing while helping to take down the redness and inflammation that comes with acne.

If you're interested in either the Isla oil or PHB mascara, Lovelula currently have a Black Friday promo on and you can save 15% with the code FRIDAY until 2nd December!

What have you been loving lately?

This post contains affiliate links.

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?

New In: PHB Ethical Beauty Pressed Makeup
L-R: Peony blush, Ash Blonde brow powder, Smokey Quartz eyeshadow, Grape eyeshadow, Dove Grey eyeshadow

L-R: Peony blush, Ash Blonde brow powder, Smokey Quartz eyeshadow, Grape eyeshadow, Dove Grey eyeshadow

PHB Ethical Beauty's pressed makeup collection isn't quite new, but it is still rather under the radar within the green beauty community. Natural pressed makeup is rare, and pressed makeup that is both natural and vegan? Well... it's the holy grail. PHB's new pressed line is both of these things, along with being halal-certified and great value for money. Yes, I know that the packaging isn't quite the prettiest to look at, but the pans can be removed and placed into a z-palette and the performance definitely makes up for this fact.

Over the last couple months, I have been testing a couple of the eyeshadows, a brow powder, and a blush. I chose the eyeshadow shades; Dove Grey, Grape*, and Smokey Quartz*. Overall, impressions have been good but I will say that the formula isn't quite perfect for me. I feel like the pigmentation can vary between shades (shimmer/metallic shades seem to work best), and they can kick up quite a lot of product. However, when you consider that most natural eyeshadow is loose, it really isn't that much of an issue. Their pressed form still makes them more favourable in terms of things like travel-friendliness. My standards when it comes to pressed eyeshadows can also be a bit high as I have recently got into pressing a lot of my indie eyeshadows (sneak peek above). The pigmentation for the Peony Blush* is brilliant and this super bright shade calls for an incredibly light hand. It does look a little metallic in the pan but goes on completely matte.

They definitely have an extensive eyeshadow shade range and hopefully this will continue to grow in the future. There's also a good selection of shades for the brow products and the blushes. However, they seem to currently be lacking in the base department and it would be brilliant to see some deeper shades for our darker-skinned ladies. I will say though, that the shades do seem to go pale enough for me (that can usually be an issue), and I've also found suitable shades in their new liquid base products - review coming soon for those. The Ash Blonde Brow Powder* is also a pretty good match and is ashy enough that it doesn't come up with too much red in it; a classic problem for 'blonde' eyebrow products! I still prefer to use a waxy product for my brows but occasionally it is nice to get a little more definition by following with a powder. It helps them stay in place on those nights out!

Overall, I'm rather impressed with all of the new makeup products coming out from PHB Ethical Beauty. They're one of my absolute favourite brands and I'm really excited to see them pushing the boat out for natural and vegan makeup! Check out their line at LoveLula.

The Spring/Summer #GreenBeautySwap 2016

Excuse the very belated post, but I am very excited today to show you what I received as part of the 2016 Spring/Summer #GreenBeautySwap! As always, the swap was arranged by my lovely friend Ria and I was actually lucky enough to be paired up with her this time around. I've got to say that Ria's choices for me were absolutely on point (insert heart eyes emoji here) and I've already been using and loving some of the items. Here's what she sent me:

Acure Organics Ultra-Hydrating Body Lotion
Acure Organics is one of those cult brands in the green beauty community and although I have tried a fair few of their products, I've never tried any of their lotions. I haven't opened this yet as I have way too many body moisturisers on the go but I'm excited to try it.

PHB Ethical Beauty Orange & Lime Sugar Scrub
PHB Ethical Beauty have popped up on my blog many a time and I'm definitely a fan of the brand. I believe that these solid scrubs are a relatively new product and although I already own one from a different brand (received in a previous swap), I am yet to give the method a go. I have an inkling that I may remain a traditional scrub advocate but this formula seems like a great option for those who like multi-tasking shower products. 

Josh Rosebrook Hairspray
My first ever Josh Rosebrook product and boy am I loving it. I don't really use any hair styling products other than my holy grail Yarok Feed Your Ends and so it has been fun to switch things up with a bit of hairspray. I wouldn't say that I'm a styling product convert but I am appreciating the extra hold when I'm in the mood to curl my hair. 

Blue Labelle Light and Balancing Facial Oil
Blue Labelle has been on my radar for the longest time but unfortunately, I have not tried them until now. I'm absolutely loving this light facial oil and it is brilliant for my combo/oily skin. It's working really well as a daytime moisturiser and keeps my skin hydrated without being greasy - even in this hot weather we're having. I was even able to use it while holidaying in Croatia which is pretty impressive. I never thought I'd be using a facial oil in 36 degree heat!

Neek Skin Organics Austrialia Lipstick in Sunsets
As a self-confessed lipstick junkie, of course I was happy to see a lipstick included in my swap package. Unfortunately, this offering from Neek turned up broken but I have managed to use the shade a couple times and it's really pretty. I don't think it's really my kind of colour, with it being a very pink metallic coral, but hopefully I'll get some good use out of it. 

Stick around for some more detailed reviews once I've been using the products for a little longer. Thanks so much Ria! x