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26 December 2022

Green Beauty Brands that stood the test of time: A look back at 2011 Blog Posts

As 2022 draws to a close I thought it might be interesting to look back on my first year of blogging. It all began in May 2011 and I was curious to see how many of those early posts had stood the test of time. Sadly there a several brands that no longer exist but there are some products that remain staples in my home.

Whilst the Faith In Nature Cacao Body Wash has long since disappeared I'm still using their products. Currently in my collection I have the Jojoba and Avocado body washes and Dragonfruit hand wash. I've always found Faith in Nature to be a reasonably priced brand and these days you can find on the high street and local refill stores. I had paired up my original body wash review with a post about Nakd raw fruit & nut bars. I'm still a loyal customer and eat them on a daily basis. Current favourite flavours are Bakewell and Peanut.

I don't use Dr Bronner's as often as I once did but you'll still find it in my home as it's the best liquid soap to use for washing out makeup brushes. Over the years I found it a little too drying on my skin so for me, its main purpose is now household cleaning.

I'm still using Naturtint Hazelnut Blonde hair colourant but honestly I'm now contemplating whether it's time to ditch it and embrace the grey; only time will tell.

I can safely say that I'm still bitter that Alpro still haven't launched the Macchiato drink which I had on my trip to Amsterdam.

Konjac Sponges have remained in my life but I now only use the body sponges. Over the years I tried out several brands but we (my husband and I) are currently re-purchasing from Friendly Soap.

I'm still sadden to this day at the loss of Brownearth body butters. They were a favourite for a long time. You can of course find lots of decent green brands offering different variations of shea body butters either with this standalone ingredient or combining with others such as coconut or cocoa butter.

I'm can't quite believe that I first discovered Evolve Organic Beauty back in 2011. I remember the branding was very different back in the day. Evolve is definitely one of those brands that I revisit over and over again, dipping into products as the range has expanded. Currently I'm trying out the Bio-Retinol + C Booster and I've placed an order for the Bio-Retinol Gold Mask in the Boxing Day sales!

I remember using Organic Surge shower gels regularly back in the early years. I thought they were lost forever but recently discovered they re-branded to Organic Works (OW).

Oh my the photo on this post about TK Maxx is terrible but I wanted to say that I still visit stores looking for beauty bargains.

In my first month of blogging I wrote about my struggles with sun cream that was suitable for eczema prone skin. I just wanted to say that through many trials I eventually settled on Green People. This is a brand I had been using long before the blog started. It is very much a staple to this day. I am a fan of their scent free moisturisers and of course facial sun cream.

I hope that you have enjoyed this look back over 2011 and comparing it with 2022. At this time I'm not sure whether I'll continue blogging into 2023 but you can always find me over on social media if you'd like to connect.

Happy New Year to you all!

Sarah x

23 November 2022

Review Q&A Skincare Grapefruit Cleansing Balm

(I purchased this item)

I'm sure many of us are feeling like we need to watch the pennies and at times like this I've feel a little bit more mindful about my skincare budget. I was on the hunt for a new cleanser and stumbled across Q+A Skincare with a rather attractive price point.

You definitely don't have to compromise too much when it comes to budget friendly plant based skincare. Q&A promise to not test on animals, they don't distribute to places that require animal testing, majority of their products are vegan friendly, their ingredient partners are COSMOS certified and products are free from artificial fragrances and mineral oils.

The Q+A Oat Milk Cream Cleanser had initially caught my eye but I ended up ordering the Grapefruit Cleansing Balm because I prefer balm over cream. You may be wondering about the consistency of this balm cleanser as it's in a tube. It is very easy to squeeze from the tube as the consistency is more like a liquid but it has a silky texture which you'd associate with a balm. I think this is a very clever formulation which makes for an interesting experience.

The Q&A Grapefruit cleanser is super easy to use, simply apply to dry skin, massage in and then wipe away with a damp cloth. I always like to mention that during the day I wear an SPF and tinted CC cream so my nightly cleanse needs to remove daily grime alongside light tinted makeup. I have found the Grapefruit cleanser handles this easily and I don't feel the need for a second cleanse. I'm sure you can imagine the fragrance is fruity and refreshing. For those concerned about allergens it does contain *limonene but not linalool. 

I've been really impressed by this first experience of Q+A Skincare. I have been using the Grapefruit Cleansing Balm daily since mid October with no noticeable reactions to my complexion. That might be a weird comment to some but I have super sensitive skin so I think it's important to note how well I am able to tolerate new products. We are all different but it may be reassuring to some readers to know this little fact. For the price this is a good product and I'm keen to see what else I might be able to try from this brand. 

If you'd like to purchase this Grapefruit Cleansing Balm then note that I ordered directly from their website. I have also spotted a limited selection of Q+A products in Holland & Barrett. 

Sarah x

*Please check ingredients before ordering to make sure formulations haven't changed since publishing this review

10 November 2022

Christmas Gift Ideas inspired by Winners of the Free From Gift Awards 2022
Long time readers will no doubt be familiar with
Free From Skincare Awards but did you know about their 'spin off' The Free From Gift Awards? I'm unlikely to put together a personalised gift guide this year so I'm going to point you in the direction of the winners from these awards.

You may be interested to know that Winners and Medallists in The Free From Gift Awards are brands who manufacture products that are ‘free from’ some of the allergens, chemicals, additives and fragrances associated with skin sensitivities, allergies, and ethical, environmental and health concerns.

Congratulations go to Rhug Wild Beauty who took the Overall Champion prize for their Hand Wash & Hand Lotion Duo in Gift Box.

“A beautifully elegant duo in a chic box,” said the judges. “Gorgeous products, both of which include wild foraged ingredients from the Rhug Estate. A gift set which anyone would enjoy and would feel very spoiled and delighted to receive.”

Many of the medallists are brands I have supported over the years but it's always great to discover new ones. Let me recommend checking out the following -

Blue Labelle, Moroccan Spa Set
Made By Coopers, 'Sleepy Head' Sleep Kit
Silvan Skincare, Hands and Feet Gift Set
BEAM natural body care, Six half sized luxury soap gift set
Eco By Sonya Driver, Hydration Skin System
Green People, Be Kind
Bowe Organics, Get Glowing Face Mask
Sknfed, Rose Trio Gift Set
Lyonsleaf, Natural Skincare Solutions 04 & Hot Cloth Cleansing Revitalising Kit
Obvs Skincare, Well-Being Gift Set

There are more Gold, Silver and Bronze winners (in all categories) to discover so head over to

Sarah x

3 November 2022

Swap out your plastic bottles for solid beauty bars from Ethique
(Purchased products)

On our recent trip to Italy we travelled with only cabin allowance luggage and that meant a limit to the volume of liquids we could take with us. In an effort to cut back on toiletries I was looking for waterless products and decided to order a couple of skincare minis from Ethique.

The range from Ethqiue has you covered from top to toe. They specialised in solid bars ranging from shampoo, conditioners, cleansers, solid lotions, balms and deodorants. I was pleased to discover a handful of products that are fragrance free/unscented so I ordered the Mini Bliss Bar™ Gentle Solid Face Cleanser and Unscented Solid Cream Body Cleanser.

Ethique face and body cleanser bars are super easy to use. You simply need to rub in the palm of your hands to create a creamy lather. I will say that they are both of these bars are similar in their formulations with key ingredients of coconut butter, kaolin clay and vegetable glycerine. 

The Solid Cream Body Cleanser was just like using any traditional soap bar. I did find it gentle on my skin and didn't notice any dryness. I'd be more than happy to switch out my body wash for this one.
I was happy to use the Gentle Solid Face cleanser for the duration of our holiday. I didn't find it overly drying or disruptive to my skin but I must admit that I did miss my balm cleanser. As a long term skincare swap I don't think it would be for me but I find it perfectly acceptable for short periods. I know it's frown upon to wash your face in the shower but I do enjoy using it in this way for an early morning cleanse. I don't wear much makeup, it's limited to sunscreen and CC cream and for my evening cleanse I used the bar in conjunction with a cloth to make sure I'm thoroughly removing grime. 

To round this post up I was very happy to have tried these Ethique bars and they left me with a great first impression. I would be comfortable recommending to others and I'm thinking of gifting to family now that Christmas is on the way. Visit the Ethique website where you can find background information about the business and read up about their environmental ethics. 

Sarah x


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