Thursday, 11 October 2018

Bali Balm Bergamot & Grapefruit Lip Balm

Bali Balm Bergamot & Grapefruit Lip Balm* - £20

A heavy duty lip balm is an absolute must-have at this time of year. As the weather gets colder, my lips always get drier so I've been on the hunt for something to keep them properly hydrated. My latest & greatest discovery is Bali Balm, a luxury unisex lip balm. The rich, intensive formula is 100% natural, vegan & cruelty-free. Each lip balm contains active botanicals that are high in antioxidants & boast antibacterial properties. Most importantly, they make your lips feel incredible! Bali Balm is currently available in four different flavours: Bergamot & Grapefruit, Cinnamon & Burnt Orange, Lemon & Black Pepper and Sandalwood & Ginger. To create each flavour Bali Balm collaborated with Russell Batemen, a London chef well known for his fresh, innovative cuisine.

I decided to go for the Bergamot & Grapefruit lip balm as I love citrus flavours and I'm obsessed with Earl Grey tea which is heavily flavoured with bergamot oil. The balm is strongly scented & has the most wonderful citrusy aroma. Even though I obviously know what bergamot & grapefruit taste like, I was pleasantly surprised by the flavour of this lip balm. I expected something quite mild & sweet but it's actually pretty powerful & somewhat masculine. Bergamot oil is known to have both calming & uplifting effects, while the grapefruit acts as a purifying agent. It also features peppermint leaf oil & rosemary extract. Combined, these ingredients give the lip balm a clean, fresh & fruity taste that really packs a punch!

Some of the best lip balms on the market use beeswax, honey or lanolin as a base. However Bali Balm are a vegan brand so they don't use any ingredients that are tested on or produced by animals. Instead the lip balms are created from ingredients that are readily replenished without harming the environment. The Bergamot & Grapefruit lip balm contains coconut oil, castor seed oil, kukui nut oil & candelilla wax. Blended together, these ingredients create the most luxurious moisturising balm that almost melts into the lips. It's so comfortable to wear & doesn't feel greasy or sticky at all. The smooth semi-matte finish will appeal to all genders. A little goes a long way with this product and it instantly makes my lips feel more supple & hydrated. For a lip balm, the staying power is really impressive. This stuff stays on my lips for hours, shielding them from the elements & treating them overnight. It's one of the best cures for dry, chapped lips & it also makes a fantastic base for matte lipstick.

The lip balm comes packaged in this bespoke moulded gift box. The bold white & orange packaging feels expensive & high quality. The box is fully recyclable as Bali Balm are very passionate about looking after the environment but it's kind of thing you'd probably want to keep as storage for little bits & bobs. The product inside is wrapped in delicate tissue paper that matches the gift box. It all looks extremely classy & high end. It's the kind of thing you'd be thrilled to receive as a gift or a stocking filler. The lip balm comes in this green squeezy tube with a slanted applicator that really hugs your lips. The tube has a simple, elegant design that easily slips into your handbag. For £20 you get 15ml of product which might seem expensive but everything about this item screams luxury. There aren't many luxury brands that are so environmentally friendly or willing to donate to charitable causes so in my mind that makes these lip balms worth every penny.

One of the things I really like about Bali Balm as a company is that they seem much more environmentally minded than other brands. They created the 'Kiss The Planet Pledge' as a way to support eco-friendly, sustainable & cruelty-free practices in the production, packaging & use of their lip balm. Bali Balm really go out of their way to make sure that when you buy their product you're also contributing to organisations that are doing their part to make the world a better place. They even include a pre-paid envelope with every order so that you can send your empty lip balm tubes back to Bali Balm for recycling. I only hope that more beauty brands start up similar recycling initiatives to help reduce plastic waste as this is such an important environmental issue that affects us all.

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Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Neom Organics - Scent To Make You Feel Good

Aromatherapy is a powerful thing. Different scents have the ability to stimulate the mind & body, impacting on our overall wellbeing as well as our state of mind. Just a hint of a particular aroma can conjure old memories or make you feel a certain way. While I don't believe in aromatherapy as an alternative to traditional medicine, I definitely think that it's an effective tool for managing stress, anxiety & depression. Today is World Mental Health Day & as someone who really struggles with anxiety and depression I thought it would be useful to share how I use aromatherapy as a form of self-care. I'm trying hard to build up my resilience to everyday stresses & I've found that practicing different relaxation techniques helps me to cope with my anxiety. Aromatherapy comes in many forms. You can use an essential oil diffuser, room sprays, burn candles, perform aromatherapeutic massage or use pulse point roller balls. Sometimes I want to reward myself with a more luxurious form of aromatherapy & that's when I bring out a selection of goodies from Neom Organics. They have a whole range of products designed to have different effects on your wellbeing through the power of aromatherapy. All of their fragrances are 100% natural & made from blends of the purest essential oils. They smell simply divine & most certainly live up to their name as scents to make you feel good.

When I'm on the go I always carry aromatherapy products in my backpack to help soothe my mood or boost my energy. It can be especially useful when travelling via public transport as you never know what your nostrils will encounter on your journey! I love these little sprays from Neom because you can use them to spritz your own skin as well as the air around you. Spray the bottle upwards & let a scent cloud rain down upon you. Take this time to breathe deeply, allowing yourself to relax whilst inhaling the wonderful fragrance. This simple act can create a great moment of calm during a stressful day. My favourite sprays are the Mood Lifting On The Go Mist & the Energy Burst On The Go Mist. The Mood Lifting Mist features their signature Great Day fragrance made from a blend of eight essential oils, the most prominent of these being wild mint & mandarin. It has been specifically created to help lift your mood & calm the body. The scent is really fresh & instantly makes me feel a bit brighter. This is my go-to when I'm really stressed out & desperately need something to help me relax. It might sound weird but the smell instantly transports me to a happy place that helps me to get through the rest of the day.

When I'm going through a period of depression even the smallest things can seem overwhelming & use up all of my energy. Drinking loads of coffee or other stimulants can often make things worse so I prefer to use something more natural. The Energy Burst Mist does the job brilliantly with it's expertly created blend of seventeen energising essential oils. Citrus scents always make me feel more refreshed so I'm a big fan of this sparkling grapefruit, lemon & rosemary concoction. This glorious fragrance helps to invigorate the body, sharpen the mind & give you that much needed boost of energy. It immediately perks me up & motivates me to do everything I need to do when I'm feeling down. If you want something a bit more discreet then I highly recommend the Intensive Energy Boosting Treatment. It features the same fragrance blend as the Energy Burst Mist but in a roller ball format. You can use them individually or together for an even more intense experience. To activate these therapeutic oils simply roll it over the pulse points on your wrists, temples & behind your ears. Organic coconut oil is used as a base for the essential oils so it feels really lovely as you massage it into your skin. Aromatherapy is often said to be most effective when focusing on pulse points so this will ensure you get the most benefits out of the highly potent Burst Of Energy fragrance.

I'm very obsessive about washing my hands, to the point that I've sometimes made the skin cracked & sore! I hate getting sick & germs in general so I wash my hands a ridiculous amount of times every day. When you wash your hands as often as I do, it's important to use something that will gently cleanse & leave your skin feeling soft. I always try to find something with a wonderful scent too because if something smells good, I automatically associate it with being clean. I picked up the Great Day Body & Hand Wash as well as the Burst Of Energy Body & Hand Wash from Neom. They feature the same two scents as the On The Go Mists so you can continue to surround yourself with these fragrances even when washing. You can use them as a regular shower gel or as a hand wash. Personally I prefer to use Burst Of Energy in the shower & Great Day as hand soap but they're both fantastic for either purpose. These soaps are packed with mineral rich Japanese seaweed, anti-oxidising pomegranate & soothing aloe vera for clean, soft skin. The scents linger for ages in the bathroom as well as on the skin. They're both really uplifting & promote positive thoughts so washing with these products is always a great way to start the day.

One of my favourite things to do at this time of year is to get cosied up in bed with my snuggly dressing gown, a good book, a large cup of rooibos tea & bask in the soft glow of a candle. It's such a simple ritual but it feels weirdly indulgent. A relaxing bedtime routine such as this is one of the best ways to combat nighttime anxiety. Pricewise, Neom's treatment candles are definitely in the luxury category. Their travel candles are a great choice if you want to try them out but don't want to spend nearly 50 quid on a candle. I purchased the Happiness Travel Scented Candle which provides 20 hours of burn time for £16. The candles are hand poured using 100% natural vegetable wax & there's a massive 14-18ml of essential oils in each one. I think that Happiness might just be my favourite out of all the Neom scents! It features a complex blend of seven fresh, first pressed essential oils including neroli, mimosa & lemon. There's also natural fresh grass notes to evoke the scent of a fresh Spring morning. This fragrance has been designed to help you balance your emotions & feel more positive. The clean, floral aroma completely fills the room with joyful, mood-elevating fragrance even when not lit & is the perfect accompaniment to these dark Autumn nights. Every time I catch a whiff of this candle it literally makes me feel happier & I feel like it makes my home a happier place too. I can't get enough of this treatment candle & the three wick version is currently top of my wishlist!

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Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Dermasuri Deep Exfoliating Mitt & Rice Milk Brightening Face Exfoliator

Exfoliating my skin is something that I always look forward to every week. It almost resets my skin, unclogging pores & polishing the surface so that I'm left with a perfectly smooth canvas for makeup. Generally I like to go for gentle chemical exfoliants on my face & a more intense physical scrub on my body. I was stoked to try out these two products from Dermasuri because they certainly seemed to tick my boxes when it comes to exfoliation. Dermasuri are an award-winning skincare company passionate about bringing the beauty secrets of the East to the West. I'm already majorly into Asian beauty products so I was keen to see their take on these increasingly popular trends. Their skincare range promises to deliver glowing & refreshed skin using a blend of highly curated ingredients. Here I have the Deep Exfoliating Mitt & the Rice Milk Brightening Face Exfoliator. Both of these products exfoliate the skin but in very different ways & I have to admit that they are absolutely incredible!

Dermasuri Deep Exfoliating Mitt (£19.95)
I've tried so many different body scrubs but I've never been completely satisfied with my purchases. Most scrubs I find in Boots use sugar as an exfoliant & when I use those I feel like I'm literally letting money run down the shower drain. They might have a beautiful scent but my skin never feels significantly smoother afterwards. It's been surprisingly difficult to find something that can thoroughly polish my skin & leave it feeling unbelievably soft. After years of searching, I think it's safe to say that I've finally found what I was looking for. It doesn't have quite the same olfactory impact as the scrub I usually end up buying from Soap & Glory but this Deep Exfoliating Mitt is the best body product I have ever used!

Inspired by the green Italy towels used in traditional Korean spas, Dermasuri created the Deep Exfoliating Mitt as an at-home version of this hardcore treatment. It's quick & easy to do yet far more effective than any body scrub. The mitt relies on friction to exfoliate the skin so it's best to use it before any shower gel or hair products. For optimum results you should allow your skin to soften by going into the shower, bath or a steam room for five minutes beforehand. It should be used on wet skin but not running water so step away from the shower & gently squeeze the mitt to dry it out. Then you just have to vigorously rub it over the areas that you wish to exfoliate. You will immediately be able to see the dead skin cells being removed & the more pressure you apply, the better the results. It looks kinda gross to see all these weird grey rolls of skin coming off your body but it is also immensely satisfying. You might think that having a shower every day is enough to keep your skin clean but you will be shocked by all the grime that this mitt removes.

Unlike shower poufs, loofahs or scrubs, the unique fabric of this mitt grabs & sloughs off all those dead skin cells from your body. This helps to rid your skin of impurities & improve circulation resulting in noticeably smoother, healthier looking skin. I'm prone to keratosis pilaris which means that I get small bumps on my upper arms. Using this mitt has completely done away with them! It's pretty remarkable as I've had them for years & this got rid of them in just a few weeks. You only need to use this mitt once a fortnight to maintain the results so it ends up being really good value for money. As well as keratosis pilaris, it also works well on ingrown hairs & clogged pores. I don't use fake tan personally but I know that you have to exfoliate before you apply it & when you want to remove it. I'm sure that this would work wonders if you want a really even looking tan. If you're fed up of trying pointless sugar scrubs, give this mitt a go. I can guarantee that the results will have you shook!

Dermasuri Rice Milk Brightening Face Exfoliator (£29.95 / 25g)
As amazing as the Deep Exfoliating Mitt is, unfortunately you can't use it on your face. It'd be way too harsh on that area but thankfully Dermasuri have a much gentler alternative. The Rice Milk Brightening Face Exfoliator is a gommage style gel product. Much like the exfoliating mitt, this stuff also produces visible rolls but in a much gentler way. These rolls are the product itself balling up but somehow they manage to lift away the dead skin cells & exfoliate the skin. You simply massage a few pumps onto damp skin & it gets to work immediately. The more you rub, the bigger the rolls become so it's a good excuse to indulge in a bit of proper facial massage. Unlike the mitt you don't need to apply much pressure as the rice milk formula does it all for you. When you wash it off your face you're left with baby soft skin that feels polished & smooth. It makes my face feel really clean & fresh without stripping it of moisture. Plus it is completely unscented so if fragrance is an irritant for you then you should be totally fine with this. It's best to use it about three times per week to reveal a brighter, more youthful complexion.

The rolling gel formula strongly reminds me of the Ginvera Green Tea Exfoliating Marvel Gel but this product uses rice milk as the key ingredient instead of green tea. The enzymes in rice milk have brightening properties that make your skin look radiant. When used regularly it can lighten scars & pigmentation. It can also help to reduce oil production which means fewer clogged pores & blemishes. Skin whitening products are very popular in Asia, especially those featuring rice milk. It was said that women who worked in the rice paddies always had beautiful skin because they washed in rice milk & Japanese Geishas also used rice milk to keep their skin smooth underneath their heavy makeup. I think it's interesting that such a basic ingredient has such a rich history as a beauty product. This exfoliating gel also features hyaluronic acid & vitamin E to keep the skin hydrated & nourished. This product is so much fun to use because I'm addicted to seeing all the rolls coming off my face. I normally stick to chemical skin peels as I'm not a fan of face scrubs but sometimes you just want to physically see those dead skin cells being removed. The super gentle formula is also brilliant if your skin is too sensitive for acids or if you want to avoid them during pregnancy. The Rice Milk Brightening Face Exfoliator is such a wonderful skincare product & I'm utterly obsessed with it!

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