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On My Bedside Table: Current Skincare
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It seems I haven't shared a skincare routine on the blog in the longest time! To be honest, I'm chopping and changing routine constantly so it often seems a bit disingenuous to share some kind of pseudo-regular routine. Saying that, I have actually been keeping to a routine lately as I've been having a nightmare time with my skin. I've been working full time for most of summer and I begin my Masters course this week; safe to say me (and my skin) are stressed.  

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In the AM, I like to use a gel cleanser. My usual pick is the Andalou Naturals Kombucha Cleanser but unfortunately I have just used it up and it has now been reformulated. I'm currently trying the Green People Oy! Clear Skin Foaming Wash* but I think, in the future, I would definitely prefer a thicker gel cleanser with a bit more oomph. This offering from Green People almost vanishes into the skin and I'm not really in to it. In the PM I preempt this with a cleansing oil and at the moment I'm loving the Vedani Botanicals Silky Face & Body Oil. This isn't currently on sale and I was very lucky to receive one from Mercedes as part of a giveaway prize. I absolutely love this oil and it also works as a great multi-tasker when I need to pack minimally for travel. I'm definitely not looking forward to when it finally runs out. It's absolutely fabulous at removing makeup but I do occasionally loosen off any heavy eye makeup with the Madara Micellar Water*.

Serum-wise, I'm currently testing some products from The Ordinary. They aren't the cleanest, but they use a selection of natural/organic ingredients and everything is cruelty-free and most products are suitable for vegans. I've been using the Advanced Retinoid 2% (now called Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion) in the evening as a super-charged de-clogging serum for my closed comedones. I definitely think it has been effective and I am happy to continue using it as my comedones are a constant battle that hasn't yet been improved that much by completely natural products. I've also been using the Salicylic Acid 2% as a spot treatment. It is the same strength as the Bravura peel but the thicker consistency makes it easier to apply to smaller areas. I haven't noticed a huge difference from using this but I may give it another go when it runs out due to the great price point of The Ordinary's products.

At the moment I am pre-empting any moisturising product with a good spritz of the Evolve Beauty Skin Defence Moisture Mist*. This is a relatively new release from Evolve and probably one of my favourite products of theirs that I have tried. I find this mist to be moisturising (without making my face greasy) and it provides a perfect base for any kind of face oil. I also love using it as a refreshing face mist post-gym! Skincare-wise however, I enjoy using it before my oil of the moment, the Vedani Botanicals Silky Skin Serum. Unfortunately this is also not available at the moment but if it ever pops up, pick this up. I absolutely adore this serum and I am going to be truly sad when it runs out - which will be soon. It's absolutely perfect for my skin, which is to be hoped as it was a bespoke blend from the lovely Mercedes. I really enjoy giving my skin a good facial massage with it before bed. In the AM, I'm loving the Hynt Beauty Sun Prep Broad Spectrum SPF30. This SPF is one of a kind in the green beauty world, in that it is almost completely transparent. It provides a smoothed and protected base before makeup and its light texture makes it perfect for combination/oily/acne-prone skins like my own. If you're going to try anything from this post, I suggest picking up a sample ASAP from Glow Organic.

What has been featuring in your skincare routine lately?

This post contains affiliate links.

Recent Empties #8

Come on guys, do I really need an intro for these things anymore?

Odylique Tea Tree & Herb Shampoo
This will forever be in my empties. No explanation needed (but I will be doing a full review soon). I’m trying to hunt down a cheaper alternative but unfortunately, I think I’m coming to the conclusion that nothing else keeps my scalp as soothed and itch-free, without the need for an ACV rinse. Also, it smells AMAZING.

Green People Quinoa & Calendula Shower Gel*
Green People sent me this a while ago along with the deodorant from the same line. I have done a full review, but in short, I do enjoy this shower gel. It has a really fresh scent but if I’m honest, if I’m to spend this much on a shower gel, then I’m probably more likely to spend the money on something like Bodhi & Birch that lasts about five times as long.

Acure Organics Argan Oil
I bought this argan oil way back when I first started using green beauty; in my first ever iHerb order in fact. I bought it with my hair in mind but actually ended up using it as a straight body oil in a bid to use it up. I also used it on my eczema and my skin actually reacted really well to it. However, I don’t think I’ll be repurchasing as there are other basic oils (like Soil Association certified sunflower oil from eNaissance – love!) that are easier to get hold of and have a similar effect on my angry skin.

Hugo & Debra Naturals Grapefruit Himalayan Pink Salt Scrub
This was a really lovely basic scrub with decent ingredients, a decent price, and decent availability. I got this as a Christmas present from my boyfriend’s Dad who bought it from TK Maxx. The grapefruit was refreshing but not overpowering and the ‘scrubiness’ was just perfect. TK Maxx can actually be a bit of a gold mine for green beauty. I assume he picked it up just because he just saw the words ‘natural’ and ‘vegan’ but damn, he did well. Leave a comment below if you’d like to see a post on the kinds of brands you can pick up!

Herbfarmacy Pure Hydration Serum
I have done a full review on this. I absolutely loved this product the first time around when I received it as a PR sample and this was my repurchase. However, I do think my love has waned and I can no longer justify its price tag. These days I prefer to use something with a thinner consistency and a higher concentration of hyaluronic acid that can be mixed with other serums. I’m now really enjoying this offering from Evolve Beauty. The Herbfarmacy has more of a milky consistency and can pill when used with other products. If you prefer all your products to be organic certified then go for the Herbfarmacy (they are certified by the Soil Association – my certification of choice), but I do find the Evolve to be a lot more versatile.

Hynt Beauty Skin Prep Serum (sample)
I was sent the Hynt Beauty Skin Prep as a free sample when I ordered by Sweet Canyon Palette. It’s a really lovely makeup primer which gorgeous botanical ingredients like algae (it does also contain carageenan though which I need to look into). I’d really consider buying the full size of this, but cannot decide whether I’d be more suited for their SPF version, the Sun Prep. Maybe I’ll try a sample of the later before I make my decision as I’m thinking of making another order for their cult concealer to see my dark circles through the early university mornings this winter.

Harper's Bizarre Bizarre Zombielicious Candle
Harper's Bizarre is my absolute favourite indie vegan candle company. They make the most gorgeous scents and although they’re not all from essential oils, they don’t give me a headache (important) and they make me extremely happy. Zombielicious was another of their limited edition Halloween scents that I bought last year. And, as Halloween is again fast approaching, I’ll soon be stocking up when I see them at VegFest London and/or Cambridge Vegan Fair in October.

Schmidt's Bergamot & Lime Deodorant Stick
This deo has HG status. Full review here. I have repurchased put decided to try the Cedarwood & Juniper scent.

Vedani Botanicals No. 21 Cleanser
Another one of my favourite products that needs no explanation. Full review here (I swear I'm not doing this just to be lazy). I have loads of cleansing oils to use up at the moment but I will be repurchasing in the future.

Botanicals Mandarin & Chamomile Cleansing Melt*
This is a really gorgeous product but unfortunately it makes me a little nervous because of the coconut oil. My skin has reacted badly to coconut oil in the past and so I'm hesitant to try anything bigger than this sample jar. I did enjoy it though and definitely suggest you try it if you have more combo/dry skin.

What have you used up lately?

Review: Vedani Botanicals No. 21 Cleanser

I have been trying to get this post up for almost a week now! Unfortunately, Squarespace was having some issues with my photos and therefore, failing every time I tried to upload. Everything seems to be working now (yay!) so on to my review of one of my favourite green finds of this year, the Vedani Botanicals No. 21 Cleanser; an oil cleansing specifically formulated for oily skin. I was originally introduced to Vedani through Twitter, and now, I'm really glad to see that they're becoming increasingly popular in the UK green beauty community.

I've been incredibly impressed with Vedani's cleanser. I'll say it now - I'm 99.9% sure that it's going to be my top product of 2016. I've been looking for a 'holy grail' cleanser for almost two years and yes, I think I may have found it.

As mentioned, the No. 21 Cleanser is an oil formula specifically formulated for oily skin. It contains beautiful organic ingredients such as hemp seed oil, tamanu oil, and some of my favourite essential oils, including geranium and bergamot. My skin seems to LOVE this formula. I've known for a while that I prefer oil cleansers, however I hadn't much ventured out other than using my own DIY jojoba and lavender blend. Vedani's offering has completely stolen my heart and at £22 for a considerably long-lasting 50g, I'm not too worried about paying the extra pennies. And let's be honest, that's a great price for the high quality and 97.8% organic ingredients that the cleanser boasts. And can we just appreciate that packing? Floral graphics, textured card, and miron violet glass? Dreamy.

Some of you may know that recently, I've been suffering with an especially stubborn bout of comedonal acne. I really think that this cleanser has made a difference when used in conjunction with acid exfoliators. Yes, acid exfoliators may not be the most natural option but this cleanser has been helping to keep my skin protected and healthy throughout use. With super clean products such as this in my routine, I am happy to use the occasional exfoliator to keep my acne at bay. The cleanser also comes with one of the best muslin cloths I have ever used and I may just have been convinced to stray from my usual cheap flannels.

As a last note, Sadie (the founder) is one of the loveliest brand-owners I have ever had the delight to talk to and I really do enjoy reading her rambling skincare emails!

Vedani also offer a matching moisturiser for the No. 21 Cleanser, using complimentary ingredients; something that I am really excited to try as soon as possible. If you're wanting to try either, Vedani have recently launched their organic skincare trial sets which cost £15 for a travel-sized sample of both the cleanser and moisturiser.

New In: Vedani Botanicals, First Aid Beauty, B. Brushes

Yay, I love Recent Buys posts. Mainly because it's an excuse to go shopping just so I can show you lovelies everything that I have bought. I haven't actually been buying that much beauty stuff but this month I may have gone a bit of crazy. Hint: this may be the first post of many.

Vedani Botanicals No. 21 Light Cleanser
After a desperate call for recommendations on Twitter, the lovely Annabel come to my aid with some suggestions for my incredibly unhappy and congested skin. And guess what? This cleanser has LITERALLY changed my life. I've only been using it for just under a week but I am seriously impressed. It's an oil cleanser with a divine texture and scent. I just two pumps all over a dry face and then remove with one of the Vedani bamboo cloths. I'm left with beautifully clean skin that is plump, soft, and glowing.

First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads
I know what you're thinking... that's not natural! However, my dear reader - the ingredients are actually really good and these bad boys have been doing some serious good work for my skin. This was my second suggestion from Annabel and damn... that girl is good. My skin is the absolute best it has looked for at least the last six months. These glycolic acid pads have been doing wonders for my lingering acne scars. The last step on my skin overhaul is my pesky comedones. But seriously... I've got something for that already. Keep an eye on the blog. I'll also be doing a post soon on why I'm making small (and well-thought out) exceptions when it comes to ingredients.

B. Blush/Contour Brush and Eye Shadow Blending Brush
For those who don't know, B. is Superdrug's own vegan and cruelty-free beauty brand. They recently released a new line of makeup brushes and these two are serious stand outs. They're both perfectly angled for blending - whether that be for eyeshadow or for contour. I actually think the Blush/Contour brush may be my new favourite; it's bloody fantastic. They're pretty cheap and I believe they're still on Buy 1 Get 1 Half Price. 

What have you been buying lately?