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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?

Finally in the UK: A Zuzu Luxe Review

If you've been in the green beauty community for any length of time then you will know how much those pesky North American bloggers talk about Zuzu Luxe. Previously unavailable in the UK, this well established vegan natural brand is particularly known for their mascara and liquid eyeliner. They're cult natural products. Well thank the green beauty gods; these two products are now available in the UK through Amazon! Obviously, I was quick to give them a try. And guess what? They're absolutely brilliant.

The Zuzu Luxe Mascara in Onyx has a very similar formula to PHB Ethical Beauty's mascara. However, with the move to Amazon, the Zuzu Luxe is easier to get hold of. In addition, the Zuzu Luxe doesn't contain the controversial ingredient that is phenoxyethanol; something that I usually choose to avoid. I don't think that the mascara smudges on me and this is really impressive considering how oily my eyelids can be. The formula is quite wet to apply but it's definitely manageable and once dry, doesn't seem to move at all. It is a tad pricey at £17 but - if you're not an immediate gratification person - you could definitely source it a little cheaper by using a website like Vitacost. Despite this, it's still cheaper than a lot of other vegan options (such as Ilia). The brown shade also seems to be available if that's more your jam.

As much as I'm loving the mascara, the Zuzu Luxe Raven Liquid Eyeliner is without a doubt the stand-out product. Now, unfortunately the price for this one is still quite high (at about £19), but as someone who thrives on a cat-eye, it's definitely worth it as it performs miles better than the other vegan liquid eyeliner I've tried from The All Natural Face. The applicator is really similar to my previous non-natural favourite and so it's really easy for me to apply and the colour is strong and very black. Although the lasting power isn't exactly 12 hours, it's long-lasting enough for me and is also easy to remove with an oil cleanser. I'm not quite back to my daily eyeliner days, but I'm happy that I now have the option to rock a nostalgic cat-eye.

Have you tried anything from Zuzu Luxe? Will you be giving the eyeliner and/or mascara a go now that it's available in the UK?

Review: Green People Beauty Boost Skin Restore

I will admit that lately I have not been the best blogger in terms of keeping up with new launches - I've just been so damn happy with my regular routine. However, there has been one new addition to my skincare stash that has been seriously shaking things up. Let me introduce you to the Green People Beauty Boost Skin Restore*. As someone who is relatively unacquainted with the brand (despite them being my first ever green beauty purchase), they have really been grabbing my attention lately. I adored their newly launched Quinoa & Calendula Shower Gel, but this new launch has completely blown that out of the water.

The Beauty Boost Skin Restore confused me at first because the marketing campaign has been vague to say the least. Tagged as a 'radiance-boosting rescue cream', the product hasn't been marketed with a specific purpose. Different outlets and different bloggers will give you different outcomes; sometimes it's a day cream and sometimes it's a leave-on mask. Frankly it's great for either purpose but the specific reason that it has caught my eye is because of its similarities to a historic favourite that is unfortunately without the best ingredients and something that I no longer consider cruelty-free - the ClearCalm 3 Replenishing Gel Cream from REN.

My hang-ups with REN aside, the Beauty Boost Skin Restore is simply a much-needed improvement on an old favourite. It has a similar light and easily-absorbed texture that dries relatively matte, but with a ridiculously better formula. Beauty Boost's main active ingredient is wakame, a seaweed full of antioxidants that stimulate collagen production. It's also full of beautiful oils, flower extracts, and most importantly, comes without the alcohol denat, phenoxyethanol, and testing parent company that is now part and parcel with REN. I'm also a great fan of the price. At £18.50 for 50ml, it's a high-quality product that you can purchase without feeling too guilty.

I've actually been using this product daily as I find that it works brilliantly as a light day cream now that the temperature is creeping up. As I've already mentioned, it dries matte and creates a wonderful smooth base for makeup. It is also super soothing, with a formula that feels almost pain-relieving on my skin that can often be sore and raw from sensitivities and/or a naughty skin picking habit. Of course, because of all its wonderful ingredients, it manages all this along with being sufficiently moisturising for my dehydrated combination skin. A thicker layer can then be applied and left to absorb of an evening if you really need that serious 'beauty boost'.

It may be a bit early to say but I really think that the Beauty Boost Skin Restore will be featuring in my top products of 2016. Of course, we'll have to wait and see, but for now it's a staple in my routine and shall be a staple repurchase in the future.

Beauty Boost Ingredients: AQUA (SPRING WATER), ELAEIS GUINEENSIS (PALM) OIL*^, CETEARYL ALCOHOL (EMULSIFYING PLANT WAX), HELIANTHUS ANNUUS (SUNFLOWER) SEED OIL*, CANNABIS SATIVA (HEMP) SEED OIL*, BUTYROSPERMUM PARKII (SHEA) BUTTER*^, CETEARYL GLUCOSIDE (PLANT DERIVED EMULSIFIER), SIMMONDSIA CHINENSIS (JOJOBA) SEED OIL*, PERILLA FRUTESCENS (PERILLA) SEED OIL*, OENOTHERA BIENNIS (EVENING PRIMROSE) SEED OIL*, OLEA EUROPAEA (OLIVE) FRUIT OIL*, GLYCERYL STEARATE (PLANT DERIVED EMULSIFIER), SQUALANE (FROM OLIVE OIL), HYDROLYSED CAESALPINIA SPINOSA (TARA BUSH) GUM, ENTEROMORPHA COMPRESSA (SEAWEED) EXTRACT, GLYCERIN (VEGETABLE DERIVED), ROSMARINUS OFFICINALIS (ROSEMARY) LEAF EXTRACT*, HELICHRYSUM STOECHAS (EVERLASTING FLOWER) EXTRACT*, ALOE BARBADENSIS (ALOE VERA) LEAF JUICE POWDER*, UNDARIA PINNATIFIDA (WAKAME SEAWEED) CELL CULTURE EXTRACT, SODIUM STEAROYL GLUTAMATE (PLANT DERIVED EMULSIFIER), AROMA [LAVANDULA ANGUSTIFOLIA (LAVENDER) HERB OIL*^, CANANGA ODORATA (YLANG YLANG) FLOWER OIL*^, CITRUS NOBILIS (MANDARIN) PEEL OIL*, ZINGIBER OFFICINALIS (GINGER) ROOT OIL*, CITRUS LIMON (LEMON) PEEL OIL*, CINNAMOMUM CAMPHORA (HO WOOD) BARK OIL], CAMELLIA SINENSIS (GREEN TEA) LEAF EXTRACT*, PERSEA GRATISSIMA (AVOCADO) OIL UNSAPONIFIABLES, BENZYL ALCOHOL, SORBIC ACID, SALICYLIC ACID, LIMONENE*, LINALOOL*, GERANIOL*, CITRAL*.
What I've Read in 2016 So Far

Quick reviews on some awesome things that I have read lately because the book club reviews have kind of fallen into a black hole. And yep, I'm recycling the planned image - don't judge. 2016 is currently sitting at 32 books read. Could be better, but still pretty good.

The Gracekeepers - Kirsty Logan 4/5
After reading A Portable Shelter last year, I was eager to move on to Logan's debut novel, The Gracekeepers. This apocalyptic fantasy follows two girls through a world that is greatly submerged by water. Separated by the world's new class system, a circus girl and a gracekeeper find each other when they need each other most.

Beloved - Toni Morrison 4/5
A modern American classic if they ever was one. This sits at the top of my list of favourite university-assigned readings. We follow a former slave and her family, as they navigate the free world and encounter figures from the past along the way. Beautiful, and truly haunting.

Jellyfish - Janice Galloway 4/5
A Christmas present that I have only just got round to reading, Jellyfish is a stunning collection of short stories from well-known Scottish author, Janice Galloway. With a mystical beach trip and musically influenced arson; this collection goes right down to the bare bones, giving us witness to both individual and societal degeneration. Absolutely brilliant and I must read more Galloway right away. 

Awesome things also read so far in 2016:
Mona Lisa - Alexander Lernet-Holenia
Embroideries - Marjane Satrapi
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making - Catherynne M. Valente
Love Medicine - Louise Erdrich
The Fry Chronicles - Stephen Fry
Giovanni's Room - James Baldwin
The Atom Station - Halldór Laxness
The Crucible - Arthur Miller

To follow my reading, add me on Goodreads.

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