The Queen Bee Solid Hand Cream Bar

The Edinburgh Natural Skincare Company started on the outskirts of Edinburgh in the wavering hills east of bonnie Scotland in 2010. The mission was to create a truly fabulous skincare range that is 100% natural using the finest of nature’s ingredients. They have a shop off the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, and now they have expanded their distribution in North America due to the ever growing popular demand of organic and cruelty free skincare.

I suffer from chronic dermatitis on my hands, they are forever flaring up and causing me so much pain, that the only thing that can relieve the itch,, is steroid cream and cetraben.

I went to have a private skin allergy test back in February, and they determined that I was allergic to certain fragrance/ parfum groups, tea tree oil and cortisone. I am also lactose and gluten sensitive. My main concern was the fragrance groups, almost everything in skincare these day contains fragrances; but its not just skincare I am limited to, I also have to be careful with detergents and air fresheners.

Tommy Crooks at The Edinburgh Natural Skincare Company kindly sent me this to try; and it took my breath away. Literally…

I was impressed with the innovative design of a solid hand bar cream. The formulation was on point and reflected their ethos. “Natural means Natural”.

Their top  3 ingredients:

Cera alba aka beeswax- antiviral, anti inflammatory, antibacterial, seals in moisture without clogging pores.

Theobroma Cacao aka coconut butter- we all love coconut butter- moisturising, high in antioxidants, naturally healing for dry and sensitive skin.

Cocos Nucifera aka coconut oil- rich, skin conditioning fatty acids, protein and complex B vitamins, its purpose is to soften skin.

The rest of the ingredients are for its amazing luxurious scent, the essential oils for lemongrass, sweet orange and lime with a touch of zing. This box is not only beautiful to look at but once opened, it shares its amazing secret. This blend is so amazing! Luckily, I work in an office environment and I  can apply this whenever I want!

The reason why I bang on about how amazing this hand cream is because, firstly, it doesn’t cause me to flare up, I have used this over night and through the day and not once has it set me off. Usually my hands flare up almost immediately and I have to wash the hand cream off, followed by an antihistamine to stop the itching, a touch of steroid cream and followed by cetraben. Secondly, this is the second hand cream that works for me and I don’t need to follow it up with steroid cream in the evening. The first one was a Korean brand. Lastly, cetraben and steroid cream do not smell of anything, its so nice to be able to put something on my hands that smells so delicious!

I am planning on collecting the range

Why not pop across to their Instagram page and check out behind the scene posts with Tommy. Subscribe to their mailing list and get 10% off your first order and if you’re in the UK, you’re in for a treat! Free delivery on all UK orders! Alternatively give them a visit when you’re in Edinburgh, 57 Cockburn Street! If in doubt follow your nose!

Advertisements

Spatone liquid iron review

Just a bit of background first, I’m naturally low in iron, I was anaemic in my last pregnancy and it wasn’t pleasant. I do occasionally suffer from light headedness and I’m pretty much constantly tired, low iron levels and several health issues contributed to this. I have seen my doctor who advised me to take iron tablets, which I do but only when I need to because I absolutely hated the side effects.

We need iron in our bodies, it contributes to helping reduce tiredness, supports a healthy immune system, supports normal cognitive function, helps the body produce more red blood cells to carry oxygen around the body.

A little bit about Spatone, the water is 100% naturally rich in iron and comes straight from the source in Snowdonia, North Wales, it’s collected at the Trefriw wells spa. It’s scientifically proved to provide iron in a form that’s ready for the body to use, helping to safeguard the daily recommended intake and causing fewer side effects that often comes with taking iron supplements.

I saw the sponsored posts on Instagram and contacted Spatone for more information about stockists. You can purchase from Amazon and I found a box of the on the bottom shelf at Sainsbury’s too! They also kindly sent me a months supply of the Apple flavour.

These are perfect for adults, children over 2 years old and pregnant women, if only I had known about this at the time. It’s best taking these first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, giving 30-45 mins gap before eating foods that may reduce the absorption of the iron. Food and drinks that can affect iron being absorbed included teas, coffee, caffeinated drinks, dairy foods and supplements like calcium and carbonated drinks!

I have been taking these for a week and a half now and by day 3 there was a noticeable difference in my tiredness levels. There were next to nothing side effects. I would do what I need to do in the morning and before I get out the door, take the supplement, then commute to the school run and work. The Apple flavour is nice and strong, very tangy and hides the iron taste. The best thing about the Apple flavour is that it contains vitamins c to aid absorption. Spatone also do one that’s not flavoured and this can be mixed with orange juice before downing it!

I’m really pleased that I found an alternative to iron tablets.

Thank you very much Spatone.

Disclaimer: Please speak to your doctor or dietitian first before using any form of supplements in your diet.

Empties May 2018

TGIF!!

Here are my empties! I need to put them in the bin, they were creating a mess. I dislike doing empties 😂.

L- R

The Ordinary Advanced retinoids emulsion. Gentle and causes no peeling. Made my skin less oily and was the first retinol product I have used, this was my second bottle. I have no moved to Granactive retinol in squalene, have repurchased but in a different form.

Next up, The Ordinary Matrixyl, amazing peptide, particularly under my eyes and on my lips. Reduce fine lines and worked really well. I have repurchased.

Nivea sensitive micellar is after, really good at the time, great eye make up remover…. but not as good as Son & Park beauty water. I have not repurchased it nor finished off the bottle🙈

Hadalabo hyaluronic acid toner, amazing, absorbs well, can layer it on, best hyaluronic acid I’ve used after using TO hyaluronic which I thought was too thick. Will not be repurchasing this one. But I have the premium version!

Nature Republic Himalayan cleansing balm. Loved it, lightly fragranced, heavier than the Banila Co. Didn’t sting eyes and did it’s job! Repurchased in storage cupboard 🤣

Elemis superfood day cream miniature, liked it, soft matte finish on skin. Fragrance a little herby, eventually started stinging my eyes, I think due to to the fragrance. Me no like-y, no repurchase-y.

.

Glamglow, wanted to see the hype, wanted to feel the hype. Disappointingly, no hype, nothing. Stung a little on my face initially but no special results. Will not be repurchasing this over hyped pap!

Samples sizes used from @glamtouchuk (thank you) Pyunkang Yul moisture serum, mist toner, moisture ample, moisture cream, Ren anti- redness serum,, My Roo fragrance free facial cleanser and Rodial stem cell booster oil.

Liked them all bar the:

Rodial, to heavy on the skin.

My Roo fragrance free facial cleanser, a little too heavy, not too keen on the scent, I know it’s fragrance free but still… Pyunkang yul was great, didn’t break me out. Will probably purchase something from the range eventually.

Ren anti redness serum, it’s ok but I got a pimple, so no.

Yay! Now I can bin the empties!!

🙌🏻

Superfacialist Vitamin C Brightening Skin Renew cleansing oil.

I purchased this in Sainsbury’s as it was on offer. Usually it’s around £10.99 but I paid £7.50. I had just run out of my cleansing balm and that evening I was going to open a new one, when I saw this.

The first time I used it, I really liked the fragrance and the consistency. It’s a thickish oil and reminds me of DHC cleansing oil. This contains olive, grapeseed, rosehip, raspberry, sweet orange, passionflower, vitamin e and cucumber oil. It also emulsifies when mixed with water.

The brightening effects were not immediate but after using it day and night for 2 days already, the results were apparent. I didn’t think my skin would get any more glowy after using Pixi, but this cleansing oil did something that the cleansing balms and oils I’ve used in the past didn’t.

I would say that you must double cleanse if you use this, the oil is thick and would probably leave residue behind. I always use a flannel, have done since I was a child, old habits and that. I followed up with a gel cleanser like Cetaphil or LaCura hot cloth cleanser and the results are great.

There are 2 things I dislike about this but the pros do outweigh the cons. Firstly I don’t like the way it’s dispensed, it literally a hole and a flip lid, it’s messy. Please change this to a pump dispenser, this will be so easy and cleaner. Secondly, the fragrance, as much as I liked it, it’s quite heavy and for those who have sensitivity to heavy fragrances this may not be suitable.

Great news though, all of the Superfacialist range is cruelty free and suitable for vegans.

Have you tried this?

LaCura Moisture Complex sheetmask green tea extract review

I got these yesterday in my Aldi haul. I purchased 4 twin packs, one chamomile and the other 3 were green tea. £1.99 each. There were some pomegranate ones unfortunately I didn’t see them! 😩

It says on the packet, for intensively moisturised refreshed skin leave on for 15 minutes, the green tea extract sheet mask is for normal and combination skin for all face shapes.

On the back of the packet it says that these are an ideal accompaniment to your weekly skincare routine. inspired by the beauty secrets of Korea this innovative sheet mask is the perfect way to pamper your skin at home, infused with green tea extract and hyaluronic acid skin is transformed in 15 minutes.

These sheet masks are made from 100 biodegradable bamboo fibres they are also dermatologically tested and also suitable for sensitive skin.

I found these sheets are a very good quality fibre they fitted really well to my face and had plenty of serum on the mask but not much left over in the pack. When you unravel the mask the soft side goes onto the face and the other more plasticy side is peeled off. The only gripe is that the eyeholes were slightly small I mean, my eyes are quite small anyway!

Ingredients includes:

Aqua- water

Glycerin- a humectant, draws water from the air into the skins outer layer and helps prevent water loss.

Methylpropanediol- which is organic and helps with absorbing, erythritol – a natural humectant

Panthenol which is a provitamin of B5; primarily used as a lubricant, emollient and moisturiser.

1,2 Hexanediol a binding agent to help ingredients mix and a humectant

Allantoin, a non irritatant, softens, protects and smooths skin, stimulates cell regeneration and comes from the comfrey plant.

Hydroxyacetophenone- a preservative booster, ant irritatant and an antioxidant.

Polyglycerol 4 caprate- a conditioning agent and emulsifying agent.

Camellia Sinensis leaf extract – commonly known as green tea extract.

Sodium Hyaluronate – is a salt form of hyaluronic acid, it’s has the ability to fill the spaces between the connective fibres known as collagen and elastin.

Illicium Verum fruit extract- also known as aniseed? It can have potent antioxidant properties but it’s fragrant component can cause photosensitivity ( wear sunscreen).

Natto gum- is an antioxidant

Xanthan gum- a skin conditioning agent also an emulsifier.

Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate – botanical; improves the appearance of dry and damaged skin, restores suppleness and functions as a anti irritatant and is also anti inflammatory. It’s an effective treatment for atopic dermatitis too.

Tocopheryl acetate- a form if Vitamin E, skin conditioning and antioxidant.

Hydroxyethylcellulose – a thickening agent, increase viscosity and no none side effects.

Parfum- perfume/ fragrance. Some people may find this irritant, I have been tested for skin allergies and I am allergic to this ingredient, however, this has not caused me any unpleasant reactions, which probably means that it doesn’t contain a lot.

I do like this mask, it’s a hydration win!

Testing the Lexus CT200H

This review is based on my own point of view, I’m not an expert but I do appreciate cars and this review is based on mine/ our experience with the Lexus CT200H in the middle of the range specification. We’ve had her from 10am to 4pm.

Please note that cars are girls for me, we’ve always named our cars too, our IS was called “Ruby”, our GS is “Lexy” and my Civic is “Hermionie”.

Tell me, are we the only ones who do this??? …

Our own Lexus went in for her service on Friday. We took to her to the Leeds branch and decided to get a courtesy car, we were given a 3 month old (baby) CT200H and there was only 937 miles on the clock!

Lexus has been manufacturing hybrid vehicles for some time now, shunning dirty diesels in favour of petrol and clean electric. The CT200H we drove was a 1.8 litre petrol which is connected to an electric motor, together they produce a graceful 134bhp and 349nm of torque.

The car feels wonderfully solid in build, due to this its said to go from 0-60mph in about 10 seconds.

Our current Lexus is also a hybrid and due to her age and heavy size (GS) fuel consumption is around 25 mpg, but with this CT being so brand spanking new, I’ve read that driving this daily in and around town would give a reasonable 50mpg.

The CT200H is an amazing car to drive, she has exceptional handling, but I do feel that there’s a bit of a lag when pulling away, the sports mode does pack a punch and makes a difference to this! I would say that this mode may not be great for fuel consumption though. I love that the rev counter shows up on the dashboard when it’s in sports mode too.

Cruising back from Leeds to Harrogate (then Harrogate back to Leeds) on the A1 is a pleasant experience, the engine is quiet, but there was a bit of road noise when travelling at the national speed limit.

My husband who loves his GS for its smooth luxurious ride, finds the CT a more firmer ride in comparison. For me, I prefer this sportier ride, plus as a passenger, I still find it comfortable enough to be able to have a snooze!

When we got to Harrogate, we did have a few glances at the car when we stopped at the lights, hubs thinks it maybe because the car goes deadly quiet and they think we’ve stalled or something, however I like to think they caught sight of a beautiful lass in the passenger seat!

Seriously now, I think it was a case of car envy!

Looking at her, she is aesthetically pleasing, a very modern exterior with really classy lines. She is eye catching and stands out from the crowd in my case and to the drivers who noticed her. The F sport trim and the new front grille styling gives an extra touch of quality to her already beefed up modern design.

I like the interior, good quality, soft and smooth plastic, it has a lovely finish. The dashboard is ergonomically designed, the buttons and switches are within reach and also within your peripheral vision. The steering wheel is a lovely grippy shiny smoothly stitched leather.

I love the pop up easy clear view screen that’s set in the centre of the dashboard, it’s 10.3 inches in size, although I was a bit taken aback that it wasn’t touch screen, instead it’s controlled with a mouse track style controller and it was exceptionally easy to navigate.

There are 10 speakers for audio and the sound is clear. The gear stick is small and space saving, everything has its place and I felt it has a neat and tidy finish that’s easy on the eye.

The seats are half leather and half alcantara and has a quality feel to it . There was plenty of head room, I have long legs for someone who is 5”4 and there is plenty of leg room in the passenger seat and sitting at the back. It’s so airy and spacious.

I love the fitted sporty seats, they were very comfortable and had great lumbar and head support. My gripe is that the passenger seat has a manual lever for adjustments, I feel that electric buttons should be standard now, but this might be an option and yes, maybe it’s because I’ve been spoilt with the IS we had and the GS we currently own.

Boot space isn’t massively big though, for a weekly shop yes, for a couples weekend away yes but anymore than that it’s a bit of a tight squeeze.

I’ve made some comparisons with the IS and GS as I noticed some missing features in the CT, but I’m not sure if these will be available in the premium specification or because we haven’t played around enough to find out.

These are as follows:

In our old IS, my hubs set the speedometer to glow a bright orange if I ever went past 30mph, a useful feature to have these days.

CT has automatic daytime running lights, which I don’t think the IS and GS has.

CT has front and rear sensors the IS only have rear ones. The rear parking camera in the Lexus cars are generally pretty awesome to use.

The rear view mirror dims when there are bright lights coming up behind you, the GS’s wing mirrors dims too but the CT’s don’t, again I’m not sure if this is a premium thing or because it’s not been set.

The wing mirrors are quite big which is useful however these don’t automatically dip down when you reverse to park like the GS ones that do.

The Lexus Leeds staff service is second to none, the Leeds showroom has a partnership with John Lewis at Victoria gate Leeds.

If you’re a customer with them, as a thank you, they run a complimentary shuttle service to and from John Lewis and this is available 5 days a week. They drop you off and pick you up whenever you’re ready. With this complimentary service, you can also book yourself in for a free Clarins beauty bar 15 minute facial, a free hot drink at cafe Benugo, and a free blow dry at &beauty.

Our car was valeted to a high standard, and a thank you note was left with a bottle of spring water in the passenger seat. It’s the little touches that make a difference!

So my conclusion is this, if you’re looking for a car and you do mostly urban journeys, I think this is a great choice of car. She makes town driving an absolute doddle, the dashboard tells you the speed limits too.

Electric power and low emissions means it’s not overly expensive to run. I mainly do school runs and go to work, then I do the occasional once a week/ fortnightly trips to Leeds to see my family and so, this car is the bomb, it’s pretty close to perfect!

Thanks for making it to the end of my blog post! The photos don’t do the CT justice, she has to be seen in the flesh!

This post isn’t sponsored, we pay for our service contract. It was written as I really enjoyed the car and appreciated the service we received from Lexus Leeds.

The Yorkshire Soap Company

*Deep breaths*

Can we just take a moment to appreciate the beauty that The Yorkshire Soap has bought to the Harrogate high street!

I missed out on the bloggers event and I felt I needed to pay them a visit after I was unable to locate their shop in Knaresborough.

The soaps and bath bombs are pure indulgence without breaking the bank and so freaking pretty, like seriously wowza and goosebumps!

I write about skincare but it’s not just about the face, it’s about skincare all over your body, and I have noticed their products are cruelty free, never tested on animals, suitable for vegetarians and so proudly independent in good old Yorkshire!

I need to leave and make a wishlist for this shop now…