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It’s been blissful having a few days off, can we have a few more 4 day weekends?! I was on Cult Beauty this morning checking out what’s new and then I thought “what would I recommend this week that falls under the £20 price tag?”

These 9 products sprang to mind (Aurelia’s Calming Botanical Essence overlaps the 20-mark just by a whisker at £22, and everything except for 3 Concept Eyes’ Sparkling Liquid Eye Pigment (a glossy, pearlised, light-reflecting eye shadow) I’ve tried and can absolutely vouch for.



Top Row – Left to Right:

3 x Stila Liquid Lipsticks – this trio is £18, just £6 each, worth picking one up for summer if you’re low on lip glosses.

The Bamboo Charcoal Konjac Sponge – I know a couple of people who are not konjac fans (it’s a type of Japanese potato, these are natural fibres) but I personally am a huge fan. I travel a lot and I feel almost bereft without mine (I love the Pink Clay Konjac Sponge, but this charcoal one’s great if you’re prone to the odd spot or breakouts or have oilier skin). They ring in at £8.99 each and mine usually lasts up to 3 months. They’re hard and “crisp” when dry and moist when you wet them and they’re fab for gentle every day cleansing. I find they work best with a foamy, slightly creamy cleanser.

Aurelia Calming Botanical Essence – you literally cannot go wrong with this British brand, they’ve won over 40 awards I think in the last 3 or 4 years? Anyway the number is staggering!! One of my ALL TIME favourite cleansers is their Miracle Cleanser (deliciously creamy, in a pot full of botanicals, and if you like Liz Earle’s Hot Polish cleanser but feel like experimenting with others, this is a must-try). Aurelia’s products are all botanical heroes in my opinion and – quick side note here – there’s some very exciting news coming out soon so I’ll do a post as soon as it’s all official. This Calming Botanical Essence spritz is a fatigue fighter,  here’s the impressive list of ingredients below. This is a great de-stress, wake-up beauty tool to keep by your desk for when you’re starting to flag a little on particularly busy days…a bit of a splurge and worth it.

Aqua/Water/Eau, Bifida Ferment Lysate (Probiotic Culture), Lactobacillus, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Oil, Cananga Odorata (Ylang Ylang) Flower Oil, Tilia Cordata (Linden) Flower Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium Bourbon) Flower Oil, Juniperus Virginiana (Cedarwood) Wood Oil, Boswellia Carterii (Olibanum) Gum Oil, Anthemis Nobilis (Roman Chamomile) Flower Oil, Agonis Fragrans (Fragonia) Branch/Leaf Oil, Anthemis Nobilis (Roman Chamomile) Flower Water, Rosa Damascena (Rose) Flower Distillate, Santalum Album (Sandalwood) Wood Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Extract, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Camellia Japonica (Camellia) Seed Oil, Quartz Powder, Xanthan Gum (Naturally Derived), Lactic Acid (Naturally Derived), Lactose (Probiotic Bifidoculture Milk Extract), Milk Protein (Probiotic Protein), Whey Protein (Naturally Derived), Rapeseed Acid (Naturally Derived), Citric Acid (Derived From Lemons), Lysine (Amino Acids), Sodium Benzoate (Natural Preservative), Potassium Sorbate (Naturally Derived), Sodium Chloride (Naturally Derived), Glycerin (Vegetable Derived), Glucose (Naturally Derived), Benzyl Alcohol (Derived From Essential Oil), Dehydroacetic Acid (Ecocert Preservative), *Limonene, *Linalool, *Geraniol, *Citronellol, *Benzyl Benzoate, *Farnesol, *Benzyl Salicylate (*Naturally Occurring In Essential Oils)

2nd Row, Left to Right:


3 Concept Eyes (we’ve already covered this one, this is the product I have NOT tried yet but it looks worth mentioning – if you have, please let me know your thoughts?)…and now for one of the most fabulous Lip Balms of all…

NUXE’s Reve de Miel Lip Balm – yes amazingly, or rather very understandably, one’s sold every 28 seconds worldwide. Loaded with shea butter, anti-bacterial honey and plant oils, this lip protector’s got 2.5% grapefruit essence among the ingredients. I love the sweet honey-grapefruit taste and this 15ml pot seems to last for ages. It’s thick and very”dense”.

A “must” in winter (it was tested in some of the coldest parts of Canada) it doubles up as one of my summer lip staples, brilliant for protecting lips from drying out in the sun (don’t forget a Lip SPF) and it’s just a very nice, delicious-tasting, all-rounder. Also worth mentioning…it’s not glossy. So many lip balms are glossy – nothing wrong with that – but if you don’t actually want that, this one’s not – it seems to stay on longer,  it’s more dense and it works well to protect against moisture loss. Tick, tick, tick…

Living Proof – No-Frizz Conditioner £10

Living Proof was one of the highest scoring hair brands – ever – in our annual beauty awards.  If you haven’t discovered it yet, it’s phenomenally good. (IMPORTANT REMINDER: we don’t use affiliate links and we don’t run ads or sponsored posts so there are never any ulterior motives for mentioning a product…what’s really good, including a lot of our Awards winners, gets on to The Beauty Shortlist, it’s as simple as that. No #ad, no #spon, etc).

3rd Row, L to R:

Ameliorate Body Lotion. All I can say is “thank you Ameliorate” on behalf of anyone and everyone with “chicken skin” for creating this product. I’ve never had this problem but it’s a tough one to resolve. Enter the founder of Ameliorate, who formulated this multi-award winning problem-solver. It’s brilliant, it works and it’s also great, I find, if you have dry skin as it keeps it hydrated and gives it a healthy sheen. Cannot say enough good things…etc! £14.50.

Jouer’s Long Wear Rose Gold Lip Topper £13.50

Calling all Rose Gold fans…whooo! This one is a have-to-have. I first tested Jouer’s lip glosses quite a few years ago (their tinted moisturiser hits the spot, too) and these Lip Toppers are as good worn over lipstick as they are slicked on nude lips by the pool. Fab with a tan. Best enjoyed somewhere sunny.

Kneipp Bath Oil Gift Set £9.95

Little bath therapies…what’s not to love? In Switzerland, Kneipp is everywhere, in the UK it isn’t as much. These mini bottles are sheer heaven if you’re pooped and need a reviving or calming or muscle-relaxing bath, they’re just so deeply aroma-therapeutic. From the cheery Enjoy Life with sweet, lemony may chang (also called litsea cubea), to the eucalyptus-infused Cold Season, there’s one for everyone in this set of six 20ml mini-bottles and you just need a capful under warm running water so you’ll get more than one bath per bottle.

Last but not least, our 2017 Beauty Shortlist Mama & Baby Awards just opened for (EARLY BIRD) entries, so if you want to enter at the special intro rate valid until 1 May, here’s the Entry Form 

Our Mama & Baby Awards are 5 years old this year and once again we’ll be celebrating the top, clean, green products for babies, kids and mums, with new health and wellbeing categories in the mix for the first time, too, for 2017.

Early Bird entries opened last week and the special rate is valid until 1st May (the final deadline is 19th May for samples to reach us, shortlisted brands will be announced in early June, the winners in late June).

Look out for the official press release with Dates for the Diary on Monday 24 April.

Toddler testers at the ready!












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