25 September 2015

Turning your University Room into a Home

It's that time of year when students all across the country are heading off to university, moving into student accommodation and enjoying their new life.
One big part of moving into halls of residence is turning it into a cosy, happy place where you will enjoy spending time for one year at least.
Here are a few things that I would consider essentials when it comes to creating that perfect spot for relaxing and working.
Nothing creates a soft, homely feel in quite the same way as candles.
I find that if I'm stressed, fed up or want to relax, then I always want to start off by lighting a few scented candles to help me find my happy place. I like to go for sweet smells such as vanilla, but my total favourite is Yankee Candle Fireside Treats.

Fun, quirky stationery and work spots:
By filling your study space with fun, pretty things, you make it much more appealing. Lets face it, if you're going to be spending a lot of time studying, then you want it be doing it in a pleasant environment. Cute notebooks, stickers and a well laid out but visually appealing planner are perfect for keeping things positive and organised at the same time.

House plants:
Good for the mind, the air, and also very pretty, a house plant or two will brighten up the room perfectly.
I really like seeing plants grow so we have plenty dotted around our little home. Cacti and succulents are a good choice for dorm rooms because they're small and need little attention. Peace Lilies are another good choice because they are one of the top 5 air purifying plants, don't need much sun light and are near impossible to kill, meaning that even inattentive owners should manage to maintain one.

High quality bedding:
Nothing makes a bedroom feel more special that luxury bedding that feels amazing when you climb in after a long day, or can enjoy a long lie in. Companies such as Parachute offer beautiful luxury bedding that looks lovely and lasts a long time. Parachute also have a scheme in place where $10 from every sale of their Venice set is used to fund malaria nets in developing countries which I think is a lovely gesture.

What would you say are the university room essentials? What will you be taking?

Annie xx

18 September 2015

Campaign for Clarity with Nourish Kale Enzymatic Exfoliating Cleanser

This week is Organic Beauty Week, and to coincide with this, the Soil Association have launched their Campaign for Clarity (#campaign4clarity #organicbeauty) which aims to spread knowledge of genuinely organic beauty products and ingredients, and show the companies who claim a product to be organic due to tiny amounts of an organic origin ingredient, that this simply will not wash with consumers.
There is currently no legal standard in place for organic beauty, which means that companies are able to get away with branding their products, that may be full of chemicals and unpleasant ingredients, as organic simply from the addition of tiny amounts of organic ingredients or in some cases, no additions at all. This is hugely misleading to customers and fundamentally wrong.
Certification from an accredited organisation is the only way that you can ensure that the beauty products you are buying are truly organic and contain ingredients that are kinder to your skin. You can guarantee that certified products adhere to the detailed requirements on ingredients and manufacturing process that are demanded, meaning that the quality and ethics that you would expect from an organic product are preserved.

One of my most loved organic beauty companies is Nourish. They produce beautiful products using ethically sourced, natural ingredients and pure essential oils and are accredited by the Soil Association and Cruelty-Free International.
My latest love from their collection is the Kale Enzymatic Exfoliating Cleanser(*) which is a highly effective product that can be used in three different ways.

The creamy scrub can be used daily as a gentle cleanser by massaging over wet skin and rinsing straight away which is perfect for a quick refresh.
It can be used as a daily exfoliating mask by smoothing over dry skin and leaving for 2 minutes before rinsing with warm water. This is how I use the product most days, I like to pop it on whilst waiting for the shower to warm up and then washing it off when I get in.
The products third use is as a weekly revitalising facial. You apply the product in the same way as you would a mask and leave it for 5-10 minutes before spritzing with a little toner or water to soften and massaging gently and rinsing.

The reason that this product works so well and leaves your skin feeling lovely is due to its amazing ingredients. Phytoactive pomegranate enzymes gently exfoliate and stimulate natural cellular renewal, kale extract protects the skin from damaging free radicals and increase suppleness, healing probiotics oxygenate the skin and griffonia extract provides a protective shield against environmental stresses.

I have been using the Kale Enzymatic Exfoliating Cleanser every day now for three weeks and the difference that I've seen in my skin is amazing. It is visibly brighter and less clogged, I've noticed less blemishes and it also feels so much smoother and fresher. It really does live up to its claim to reveal smoother, healthier skin and I will definitely be continuing to use it daily.

You can pick up a tube *here* as well as discovering more products from Nourish. You can read more about the Soil Association's Campaign for Clarity *here*.

Do you support the Campaign for Clarity? Do you try to use organic products where you can? Or is it not something that bothers you when choosing a product?

Annie xx

16 September 2015

The Tipsy Botanists Pop-up Cocktail Bar

I've never been one to turn down a cocktail and when I heard about The Tipsy Botanists, a new and exciting company setting up in my home-town of Bath, I had to share with you.
The Tipsy Botanists are a unique pop-up bar which specialise in creating "wild cocktails" using beautiful fresh, local ingredients that have been sourced from the rich Somerset countryside. They combine these with edible flowers and rare and unique flavourings.
Run by Gracie and Georgina, who met whilst working behind the same bar and bonded over a shared passion, The Tipsy Botanists craft many of their own syrups and also forage for some of their gorgeous ingredients, whilst sourcing others from local farmers markets so you can really trust them when they say that they believe in the beautiful.
Each season has been considered in their sample menus, using the best ingredients available at any given time of year, including peaches and blackberries in the summer and sloes and damsons during the winter.

The Tipsy Botanists offer a beautiful pop-up bar that is perfect for weddings and events, where they work closely with their clients to build a bespoke menu, to guarantee that the client and guests are always 100% satisfied with the options and give every event that special touch.
Also available are special Tipsy Masterclasses, which are run by Gracie and Georgina. These are a fun and informative two hour session where the group can learn to make a range of different cocktails, complete with non-alcoholic varieties which ensure everyone can join in. On arrival, each guest is treated to a seasonal Bellini before getting the chance to get involved and create two cocktails each.
What I find particularly lovely, and very true to the image of The Tipsy Botanists, is the "Infusion Class" that you can add on to the Tipsy Masterclass, where each guest also gets to infuse a bottle of sugar syrup to take home as a keepsake from the day, which seems a particularly nice touch for hen parties or birthday celebrations.

You can take a look at their website *here* and also find their beautiful sample menu which has me feeling envious *here*

Annie xx

15 September 2015

Look Fantastic 1st Birthday Box

September marks the 1st Birthday of Look Fantastic's much loved beauty box. I was actually rather surprised that they've only been putting together boxes for a year, it feels like a lot longer to me, but to celebrate their mile stone, Look Fantastic have put together a special birthday box which is full of lovely little treats with a real emphasis on pampering and spoiling yourself.
Inside the box which this month is decorated with sprinkles, wrapped in pretty blue paper, were 8 good sized samples which were more than I was expecting. There were also lots of little postcards with vouchers from the likes of GHD, MyProtien and Coggles to enjoy as well.

What first struck me about this box was that there was lots inside to try, and I was really happy to see the likes of Bliss and Claudalie which are two brands I love. I did notice, however, that the one thing lacking in this box was any form of makeup product, which I think would have turned it into the perfect box (perhaps a lipstick or eyeliner sample instead of one of the hair products) but that might just be me being picky.

So, what's inside?
My box included the Vinosource S.O.S Thirst Quenching Serum and Moisturising Sorbet from Claudalie which are both products that I absolutely love, and have already built into my daily routine. It also included Scrubbing Cream from a French brand called Codage which I also really like because of their regular use of organic and gentle ingredients.
Hair care lovers will also be happy to find three products aimed at making sure locks are kept beautiful; Penetraitt shampoo and conditioner from Professional Sebastian which are designed to strengthen and repair and one of four deluxe samples from PHYTO Paris, mine was the Intense Repair Mask,
Beauty box regular Bliss is also included with a travel size bottle of their Fabulous Foaming Face Wash which is a 2-in-1 cleanser and exfoliator that is suitable for all skin types.
Finally, a Tan Maintainer from Tanworx by Monu Skincare which works to extend the life of your summer tan as well as giving it a little boost and moisturising skin at the same time.

So, like you can see, a pretty full box this month with some really nice products with a real pampering focus, just right for their birthday celebration. The box costs £15 *here* with free delivery and is worth £55 as well as containing lots of voucher codes.

What do you think of the 1st Birthday box? Have you treated yourself to one?

Annie xx