DIY Wellbeing Gift: Lavender ‘Handkerchief’ envelope – REVIEW

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Someone on a social media forum gave me the idea to make a lavender sachet from a handkerchief that she could give as a Wellbeing Present. I thought it was a nice, quick idea and a little ‘pick-me-up’.

All she did was collect vintage handkerchiefs, add some edible lavender flowers and essential oil and just sew it up to make a cute and easy ‘fabric envelope’. Add a pretty button for effect.

I made this one which was really easy to make and it went down very well as ‘sleeping aid’.I am a hygge fan, and this is very hygge!

REVIEW: It felt a bit flimsy at first, but you could always put in some lining in, though you wouldn’t get so much of a lavender aroma. I thought it was cute and I hope to make some more. It went down very well to the person I gave it to as a surprise. I would give mine 9/10 because I forgot the essential oil – oops! It’s a nice way of remembering people who have given you handkerchiefs and using spare ones you have round the house. It gives old handkerchiefs a bit of life. If you do make any, let me know what reaction you get…..

Wellbeing: DIY Coconut Milk & Rosewater Facial Wash for Dry Skin – Review

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After watching some YouTube videos on making a facial wash, I thought I would be confident enough to crib together some of my favourite ingredients and ‘make up my own’ favourite facial wash and let you know what I thought of it.

This would be one that I would recommend to people and those in my family. It would be a ‘family secret formula’ that I would ‘hand down’, like ‘Granny’s favourite’ (not that I am a granny, but you know what I mean)

This one really is my ‘piece de resistance’; it just goes to show you how much I love it.

I am inspired by people from Asia, who use a lot of coconut milk for their skin and haircare. In Western culture, we seem to be obsessed with harmful chemicals, which I find really strange. I was also inspired by the Persians and Phoenicians who loved rosewater too, and used it for all sorts of things. I bought my large bottle of rosewater and almond oil from a good Turkish grocer in London and it lasts a long time.

I was actually making this facial wash for a friend who buys that nasty, chemically stuff from Boots (so I had to put a stop to that!)

For me, this facial wash is not only gentle to the skin, but it makes my skin feel super amazing and makes me feel great too, particularly when used at the beginning of the day, so it has that ‘warm, wellbeing’ ‘hygge’ factor. I feel like Cleopatra using it. I am a bit of a Roman freak and I love using rosewater which the Romans also loved. Ok, Cleopatra was Eqyptian.I like my facial wash to have a bit of ‘history’ in it.

I would go so far as to say this makes a nice DIY gift too, perhaps as a ‘thank you’. Keep it simple, and add a pretty tag to it.

Ingredients (Eyeball)

Castile Soap (a natural ‘must ‘in your house)
Rosewater
Distilled Water (to top it up) (you can boil it and let it cool down)
Coconut Milk
Honey (great to reduce spots)
A few Drops of glyerin (optional)
A few drops of johoba oil
A few drops of almond oil (brilliant for dry skin)
Poppy seeds

Method:

Just mix up the ingredients and give it a good shake before using.
I keep it in the fridge before I use it. It’s so refreshing

Tip 1: If you don’t have all the ingredients, you can get away with just castile soap and honey, although it won’t have that ‘luxury feel’. It is very natural too and honey is great for the skin and does so many good things to it.

Tip 2: This is a special facial wash, so use a pretty glass bottle for it. Some small vinegar or bath salts bottles can be very attractive. You can get some pretty bottles from charity shops too.

Tip 3: If you want to tailor make it for men, swap the rosewater with drops of peppermint essential oil (keep away from eyes) and remove the poppy seeds. However, if your man loves ‘rosewater’ leave it in!

Tips 4: Always use cotton wool pads for this facial wash, it really adds a touch of luxury and gets the nasties off.

Tip5: For heavy make up, go over with a few cotton wool pads of almond oil.

Review:

I would give this 10/10. My skin feels clean and moisturised, the almond oil gives it my skin a touch of silky luxury and the light scent of the rosewater really gives it a wonderfully ‘homemade’ luxurious touch. I will never go back to shop bought facial wash ‘nasties’ again.

London Review: DIY Orange & Lemons, Lavender & Poppy Seed Natural Hand Lotion

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I made this gorgeous hand lotion this afternoon and I really was pleased with the results.

To make this lotion, I was inspired by the traditional English children’s nursery rhyme and singing game, “Oranges and Lemons” which refers to the bells of several churches, all within or close to the City of London:-

“Oranges and lemons,
Say the bells of St. Clement’s

You owe me five farthings,
Say the bells of St. Martin’s

When will you pay me?
Say the bells of Old Bailey.

When I grow rich,
Say the bells of Shoreditch.

When will that be?
Say the bells of Stepney.

I do not know,
Says the great bell of Bow.

Here comes a candle to light you to bed,
And here comes a chopper to chop off your head!
Chip chop chip chop the last man is dead”

INGREDIENTS (I eyeballed these)

Coconut oil (in solid form (I got mine from Tesco which was under £3) (Avoid being ripped off by specialist health shops)

Shea butter (I always keep some of this in my cupboard)
Grated Lemon Peel
Grated Orange Peel
Lavender Essential Oil
Lemon Essential Oil
Poppy seeds
Lavender Flowers (edible version, I used some lavender tea)
Orange, Tangerine or Mandarin Essential oil
Olive Oil (a nod to the Romans)
Organic Beeswax (from a local farmers’ market)
A silicon soap mould of your choice or you can use the ‘square’ of a milk box

I heated the ingredients up by putting a bowl and saucer as a cover in the microwave for a few minutes (I checked it every so often). Hot oil is dangerous so keep away from small kids.

I then poured the content into a silicon mould, left it to set outside and then put it in the fridge.

Tips: Be more liberal with the beeswax to make the mould harder. Be generous with your grated orange and lemon peel but it needs to be dried so the lotion lasts longer. Try to keep the lotion in the fridge, away from each other.

Suggested uses: As gifts and, even better, as a random act of kindness! Love to hear if you do that….

REVIEW: 9/10 The first time I did this, I forgot the beeswax, which meant a lot of it was used really quickly as it was too soft. This time I used the beeswax and the lotion didn’t fall apart. I also used too much olive oil the first time, so it was a bit oily. This time it was perfect and I didn’t have to use much for it to go a long way. It has a really lovely vintage, summery smell, great for wellbeing too.

Lush Review: Unicorn bath bar

This product is a fairly new product from Lush in Tunbridge Wells. They did give me one from one of their blogger’s events and finally, I have got round to using it.

The unicorn is a ‘girly bar’ made with lots of rainbow, pastel colours and shaped like a unicorn horn. It has a novelty factor.

I put it in the bath tonight and the water went a nice shade of calming, rose pink.  It  doesn’t really have a very strong aroma at all.  Then, as I used all of it, I had absolutely tons of bath bubbles which was really annoying (sorry Lush!). I don’t think it is great for people who have lead busy lives who haven’t got time to spend minutes getting rid of all the foam. I was in a flatshare, and I didn’t want flatmates moaning at me for taking ages in the bath! It is fine for singletons though who just want a nice bath to relax in.

Verdict: 4/10  Sorry guys, not for me. I am a big fan of the stronger Lush aromas, and not into bubbly baths. I am more of  a ‘fizz’ person. One tip, just use a little of the bar so it doesn’t foam up so much.

 

 

Review: LUSH Toothy Tabs

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I was looking for a toothpaste that was different from the usual ‘mint and mint’ sort, which gets really unimaginative after a while and was pleased to see that LUSH in Tunbridge Wells do some fabulous ones, with essential oils.

I didn’t realise that LUSH even did toothpastes until I peered in their new #lushspring catalogue – this was great.

In fact, they do a  whole range  of these Toothy Tabs’: Limelight, Dirty, Miles of Smiles, Sparkle, Boom, Bling, and Oral Pleasure, which is the one I tested today. The name is a bit off putting and overtly sexual, as I am Ace, the whole sexual marketing is lost on me, but I just wanted a decent toothpaste, that oozed quality and freshness.

The product is even fluoride free, an added bonus, and the bottle carries the ‘fighting animal testing’ logo, and it is made of recycled plastic (this may not be perfect as it can still end up in our rivers, but at least the company is making some effort, unlike a lot of other businesses. I work on the rivers, and so far, I haven’t found any of these plastic bottles and I am glad that LUSH encourage you to reuse it or recycle it at home although there are only so many uses for this small bottle. Instead of sugar, each tab has sorbitol which is made from corn syrup (so  people watch out for that). 

A tab from ‘Oral Pleasure’,  tastes like passion fruit when you try one, and  can feel like you have a gloop of fizzy purple sherbet dip in your mouth, fortunately this soon goes, leaving you with amazing breath which lasts for hours. So when you are walking past someone, there is a nice smell of subtle, freshness about in the air without it being all overpowering. This is a great product for first impressions, and excellent to help raise your confidence too.

HOW TO USE IT

The instructions on the bottle say to nibble it, (yes, this is LUSH speak), but I think it just gets too weird and frothy, so I recommend you put the passion fruit tab into an egg cup, add a bit of water, dip your toothbrush in it, brush your teeth and spit it out. The best bit is afterwards, when you get this amazing fresh breath, that probably reaches space.

Would I use this again? Most definitely. I was looking for something for ‘Well-being’, and this is IT! I did get a free bottle, but I would have got it anyway, and I highly recommend this particular one. I gave a few away to a friend, who really wants to try them and I look forward to hearing what she thinks.

 

The Small print….

Price: 5.95 for a bottle of 50g. I recommend using them for special occasions, which would add more value. If you use it infrequently, it would be even more special.

 

 

My First Ever Bloggers’ Event at Lush Tunbridge Wells

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PHOTO: Fellow bloggers watching what Lush beauty products can  really do, besides making people feel great.

I was lucky to receive an Invite from Lush Tunbridge Wells on Saturday, 26th April 2016. They had a two hour evening event to raise awareness of their Fukushima Campaign and to learn more about their other campaigns and products.

I was regular Lush customer (visiting Lush Tunbridge Wells and the one in London Waterloo on occasions, who became interested in Lush because of its more natural products, progressive and inspiring Corporate Social Responsibility  and sustainable approach to its business. (They could certainly inspire other Tunbridge Wells businesses to do something similar). As I have said,  I am also interested in the Wellbeing factor, the products make you feel great. So Mental Health is a top factor for me. You can be beautiful, but are you really happy?  I’d like to see people with dementia use these wonderful smellies, just seeing the effect on them would be brilliant.  I can see myself using these products for the rest of my life. We all need a pamper, it is great for our confidence and self-esteem.

As this was very my first Blogger event, it was a whole new experience for me,  as I normally write about citizen journalism and do stuff on my own. As I also now do reviews, I found myself  in ‘serious mass blogger’ territory, and in this case, the Beauty Blog World. I never knew we had so many bloggers in and round Tunbridge Wells. In some ways, it was a bit worrying, as women are nowadays still very under pressure to ‘look beautiful’ all the time.

Of course, I felt out of place in this Beauty Blogger World, as being a Citizen Journalist  we don’t exactly want to draw attention to ourselves with all this heavy make up and stuff.In this case, I went as a hippy Blogger ‘who was interested in the Environment and Wellbeing rather than being focussed with all the beauty stuff. I am more into practical products.  I wore my  handprinted T shirt which I collagraphed from some marine plastic and beer can tabs, I found littering the Thames. That was as far as my ‘fashion statement’ went. I was ‘Living Art’. However, in Tunbridge Wells, it may have been a bit wild, but there we go, and I don’t really care!

As I work outdoors a lot, and doing environmental science work along the River Thames, I do get very messy  (I mean we are talking of a ‘possible risk of getting Veil’s disease’ as I work  closely with filthy water, so it is nice to come home and have a proper pamper and soak. I like really good stuff, rather than that nasty chemical junk from Superdrug and Boots.   I also get stressed,hence I like to be outside and away from everything, and anything that makes me feel great is a good thing. Rather have a quality, animal friendly, bath bomb than a hangover, I say. It was good to see young people do  something a lot more healthy and fun on a Saturday night that spending all the evening, boozing and splayed out all over the street, and wrecking their bodies. These young people clearly took care of themselves, and of the planet.

Sometimes having Mental Health issues is a good thing, we get to have a lot of fun, it is not all doom and gloom.

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PHOTO: Bloggers posing for a Fukushima Awareness Campaign

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Despite having social anxiety, I braved going on my own to this event. I did nearly back out because it can be quite daunting.  Normally I avoid mingly events liked the plague, but fortunately Lush staff didn’t leave you on your own a lot, and there was also lots to see and do. Most of us these days lead very stressful lives and for a few moments in our lives we get some time where we are transported somewhere else.  They also have exciting, innovative products that I have never seen anywhere else. And the art, ah the art…..oh, this just takes things to another level. And the products are of course,  fun, another Mental Health brownie point.

DID YOU KNOW?  that Lush in Tunbridge Wells raised money for a local children’s adventure playground, andfor a Tunbridge Wells Hedgehog Sanctuary?  How many other businesses really get involved with their local community? Some business have an appalling CSR record. Even on Good Friday, staff were raising money in Calverley Park, Tunbridge Wells, getting out there, meeting the locals, and taking action to improve the community.

And one more thing, DID YOU KNOW they even sell SPF 30 Sunblock? No? Well, I didn’t either so I will have go another time and stock up.

Lush are now running this excellent Fukushima campaign, and supporting survivors of the disaster. Look out for their Charity Pots which the campaign on them. Someone I knew was in the Kent Fire & Rescue when it happened, and he was sent over to Japan to help, just a few days after the event. I think it is really  important that Lush are remembering them all, and helping out with the support from Lush customers.

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PHOTO: Reece, making the ‘Cupcake’ facemask mix. This had a gorgeous chocolate cookie aroma, and some bloggers were tempted to eat it.(Note: The products are safe but if people accidently eat too much, they’d best go the doctor! This chocolate mix had a bit of mud in, though you would completely forget about that because of the enticing ‘just baked’ aroma. 

I was pleased to see Blogger Helen from the http://www.livingwithwarmth.com having a go at making the butterball bomb (yes, the bomb smelt like fresh butter freshly made from the farm).

Thanks to the helpful staff at Lush Tunbridge Wells for the lovely event, with the healthy snacks and non alcoholic drinks too, a bonus.  I had a great time making stuff and learning what Lush does.

 

UP NEXT!

So now I need to test these products out, and will report back to you later. I have also been set  to do ‘some homework’, that is, to spent a week just using Cruelty Free Beauty Products. I have also been meaning to write a Review of a newly launched Penhaligan perfume, and I can’t wait for this.

If you attended the event, let me know what you thought.