Monday, 29 August 2011

DIY natural remedies in your own kitchen!

Hi Eden angels,

There are many reasons why natural/ organic products are much more expensive than generic brands. Some contain fancy essential oils, some like to ensure that all employees across the supply chain are paid enough and well looked after, some brands are so tiny that they need to charge enough to cover their overheads and make a little profit, some use organic ingredients, which with demand so low farmers have to keep their prices high to make a profit etc etc.

But you can use natural products and save money at the same time. After using many different natural beauty products for a while now and being extra vigilant by reading the ingredients lists, I'll be sharing with you some secrets that natural/ organic brands don't want you to know.

Make up remover
Olive oil works well as a make-up remover. It can also remove eye make up like mascara. I did find that the oil gave me spots and stung my eyes a little though. If you want to help prevent breaking out from using olive oil, simply wipe off the oil with a toner.

This is super easy to make. You can omit the alcohol and just add a drop or two of witchhazel or tea tree oil onto some wet cotton or muslin cloth and wipe across your face.

Any kind of fat can work as a moisturiser. In fact, some of those posh organic brands use sunflower seed oil as the main ingredient. My grandma uses olive oil and she has beautiful silky skin. If you have eczema or psoriasis, you might want to try out coconut oil, which I've heard works amazingly well.

Cuticle oil
Any oil works for this. Just massage any oil you have in your kitchen onto your cuticles.

I like to mix sugar and lemon together and scrub my face with it before washing my face. An alternative is to use sea salt and olive oil for a moisturising scrub. Either of these can be used on the face or body but sea salt is more gentle if you have sensitive skin.

Hair oil
Again, any oil an work but you don't want anything too smelly. My mother used to put olive oil in my hair, which also helped detangle it. I still put olive oil in my hair from time to time. This can work as a leave in conditioner or as a hot/ cool oil treatment before rinsing off.

Hair detangler
Fill a spray bottle with 1 part conditioner and 4 parts water and shake it up. Thanks to Groovy mom for this tip! If you don't have a natural conditioner then you might want to substitute it with coconut oil. I haven't tried it myself but it's worth giving it a go.

Body powder
Read the ingredients of a pot of posh body powder and it's very likely that you have the main ingredient in your kitchen cupboard, such as cornflour. Add a few drops of essential oil if you wish.

Tinted lip balm
If you have a natural blusher or eyeshadow, you can mix a little into some lip balm. If you don't have lip balm, you use coconut oil instead. A cheaper oil may work but it would be more runny and won't stay put as long.

If you like these tips, then you'll LOVE Marnie's blog, What Red Said. She has many recipes such as mouthwash and deodorant. So please check her out!

Have fun trying out these tips and let me know how you all get on!

Do you have any tips you'd like to share? I'll then publish my favourites.


Friday, 26 August 2011

A sneaky peek of Naked

Happy Friday Eden angels!

I was so excited to receive my order from Naked this morning. At 50% off, I went a little crazy as you can see. But at a massive discount, I see it as an investment for possibly a year's worth of essentials. I bought a Naked shampoo and conditioner a little while ago, which I'll review soon, and I wanted to try more of their products.

If you haven't heard about Naked before, it is a brand offering a range of different toiletries that are 97% natural. They are available at Boots and on their website as far as I'm aware.

I bought a bunch of stuff from their haircare, hairstyling, and body and bath ranges such as bath creams, hair conditioners, shampoos and a cleanser to name a few. I even picked up a few things from their Mama, Mini (baby) and Kids ranges (Whaddya mean I can't have toffee apple smelling hair??)

The products smell absolutely amazing! I especially can't stop sniffing the kids products. They smell like sweets and who wouldn't wanna smell like sweets all day?!

I'll probably need to take a few showers and baths before I can review all of these products but I'll definitely be trying some of these soon and post a review as soon as I can.

If you've missed out on this promotion, fear not! Boots tend to have offers on Naked quite often. At the moment it's 2 for £6 on selected Naked haircare as well as 3 for 2 on select baby products from various brands, which also includes the Naked Mama range.

Have you tried Naked? Do you have a favourite product?

Have a great weekend!


Thursday, 25 August 2011

Cioccolatina Karite soap review

Hello eco babes!

A while ago, Sheabutter Cottage kindly sent me a bar of Karite Shea butter soap (£3.65 for 100g)  from the Cioccolatina range as a prize (thank you!).

The Karite soap is made up of 70% shea butter, which is unrefined and fair trade. It is described that the soap is ideal for those with dry skin.

It has small grains in it, which I assume are the ground up shells of the shea nut. This makes it great for exfoliating the skin.

As there is no fragrance in this, it is suitable for those with sensitive skin.


I love the creamy texture of this soap. It is hard to find a natural soap that doesn't foam well. Cioccalatina got it right.

I also love how it exfoliates my skin. The little bits are quite small so it doesn't scratch my skin at all. It's actually quite relaxing how it massages my skin.

Normally, shea butter is very moisturising and it is described on the website that the soap is suitable for dry skin. However, I ended up with dry hands and dry patches around my face, which I can't explain. I guess it is a soap at the end of the day and many soaps can be drying. I don't normally have a problem when washing my face with soap.

As the soap is unfragranced, it didn't do anything to cover up any food smells on my hands.

Overall, the soap isn't bad at all. I love it's creamy texture and exfoliating properties but it is isn't suitable for my skin and I personally prefer a little fragrance to leave my hands feeling pretty. I don't know whether I could recommend this to those with oily skin as it is supposed to be suitable for dry skin. What I can say is that if you have sensitive skin and you're looking for an unfraganced soap then give it a go and see how it works for you. If you moisturise your hands and face each day (which I don't to be honest) then I wouldn't imagine that you will experience any dryness.

So a pretty much mixed verdict on this one I'm afraid. But I hope I've made some clear enough points to help you decide on whether or not it's for you.

Have a look at the rest of the Cioccolatina range. There are many other soaps which I hope to try soon. You can also find other bodycare and haircare products in this range, such as Olio Hair Food hair oil, which I've reviewed here.


Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Half Naked

Now that the cheeky title has got your attention, I have an urgent announcement...

You can buy Naked products at half price on their website! But be quick as this deal ends today! Just add the code FACE50 at the basket page. This is a deal especially for the Facebook likers so pop over there and say hello!


Beauty e-tailers reviews

One of the great things about Niche brands, whether manufacturers or retailers, is their customer service. With a smaller customer base than more generic brands, they can afford to spend more time and effort on each customer. I can't say that they're all great, unfortunately, but I only offer 100% honest reviews. I hope that those with not-so-great customer service would be happy to read some constructive criticism if they care about improving their level of service.

Today, I will be reviewing the beauty e-retailers.

I LOVE Love Lula. Their range of products is pretty big with different price ranges so there's something for everyone. The packaging is adorable! Perfect if you want to send the order as a gift to someone special.

You can tell that a lot of care has been put into packing the order. That does mean that I'm left with a lot of 'artificial hay' but that also means I can put it in gift bags for my friends. The p&p is pretty decent at £3 and free with orders over £30 but when you're only making a small purchase such as a bar of soap then you're better off buying it elsewhere.

UPDATE: Love Lula now offers FREE Super Saver delivery!

In terms of their website, what I like about it the most is that customers can add their own reviews to each product page so you can read about other customers' views before you buy. They also have a point collecting scheme so you can collect points whenever you shop to spend on their website.

I've never had any queries or complaints so I can't review them on how well they deal with queries.

Naturisimo has an even greater range of products. It is probably my favourite if I'm buying one product as they do free delivery, which is super fast. So if you're simply buying a few toiletries for the home or a new lipgloss you like, then you're better off getting it from here.

I also find that their products are much cheaper than anywhere else but it's best to compare prices yourself.

Their packaging is nothing special. Just some cute tissue paper in a bubble-wrap lined envelope. But that's not important to me, especially when their minimal packaging saves on delivery costs. Oh and don't forget to add five free samples to your order before you check out! Just don't pop the same sample in two different orders or you'll get a note on your receipt telling you're supposed to do that as I did :S

Again, I've never returned anything or sent a query so I can't review them on this area.

Amarya tend to stock mostly luxury brands so unless you can afford to spoil yourself regularly then you might find it a great website to buy luxury gifts. They also offer free delivery and a point collecting scheme. They used to offer free gift wrapping, which looked like this...

Cute, eh?

...but there are no signs of this service on their website anymore so I don't know how they package their orders these days.

They have a 28 day guarantee if you ever need to return anything. See their T&Cs. Last time I returned a couple of things and they gave me a refund right away and replied to my emails very quickly.

Puresha have taken a long break from trading and I really hope they come back as it is the only website that stock Cargo Plantlove products :( However, their products were quite expensive. I've only ever bought Cargo Plantlove products from them, which were on sale.

In terms of customer service, well it's kinda complicated...

I had a problem getting a refund for a product I returned as the shade was waaaaaay off how it looked on their website. It took weeks to be resolved simply because they were aware that they had problems with their customer service emails and didn't bother providing a new email on their website. Eventually I got a refund for the product and not the cost of returning it.

However, there are plenty of nice things to say about Puresha. Their staff are lovely and they seemed to be genuinely sorry about the problems I had so I forgive them. I'd rather not write about my negative experience but I want to be honest. I also love the cute furoshiki the order comes in...

I hope you enjoyed reading my retailer reviews. Have you shopped at these retailers or any other natural beauty retailers before? I'd love to hear your views.

I'll be reviewing beauty brands customer service soon so keep an eye out for that.


Monday, 22 August 2011

Diamond Geezer

Even though nail polish isn't applied on the skin, some of the toxins can be inhaled or they can pollute the environment once removed from the nails. I haven't come across any 100% safe and natural alternatives but there are safer options out there if you want to go three-free. This means free from Formaldehyde, Toluene and DBP.

I tend to go for very 'conservative' colours like reds, pinks and nudes but I wanted to try out a funky colour for a change. I've been meaning to try silver for a while and have recently been inspired by Catherine Pierce to be brave and give it a go. In the video of It Will Not Be Forgotten, she has very pretty metallic silver nails. The nail polish I bought is called Diamond Geezer by Butter London.

Diamond Geezer

I'm a sucker for cute packaging and the little
birdy on the lid is super cute!

With flash

Without flash

With flash, you can see that it looks kinda glittery and without flash it has a pretty cool mirror effect that I much prefer. So it all depends what lighting you're under.

I actually have two coats of polish in these pics. The first coat was wearing off by the next day so I had to apply another. With two coats, however, it seems to last pretty well. I've had it on for two days so far and on very close inspection it's only wearing off on the tips but nothing obvious.

Butter London have a huge range of shades. They normally costs £12 for 11ml but you can get it for £9.60 with free delivery from If that's too pricey, e.l.f. have three-free polishes for only £1.50 (10ml). I haven't compared the rest of the ingredients but they are free from Formaldehyde, Toluene and DBP.

Happy polishing! :)


Sunday, 21 August 2011

Tweet tweet!

Yes, I am now finally tweeting! So follow me on Twitter @lovefromeden. I look forward to your tweets :)


Amarya Beauty Box

A few days ago, I was lucky enough to win a Beauty Box from What is a Beauty Box? Well, each month for only £10 you get a beautifully wrapped parcel with surprise natural beauty products. Think of it as a monthly birthday.

I LOVE all the pink!

You would normally get one full size product worth about £20 plus minis and samples. This month, the beauty box had the following items:

Dr. Hauschka Lemon Lemongrass Body Oil (Full size 75ml)
John Masters Organics Blood Orange and Vanilla body wash (Travel size 29ml)
Herbfarmacy organic cotton cloth
Ananne Equilibrium day cream for normal skin (sample)
Santaverde Aloe Vera Hydro Repair gel (sample)
Amarya shopping bag

I was very happy with this selection. I was especially happy with the Dr. Hauschka body oil (worth £17.95!) and the John Masters body wash. They both smell beautiful! And you can never have too many reusable shopping bags. I don't normally like to use samples from sachets as I find them too fiddly but they're great if you really want to try a product you're thinking of buying or for overnight stays.

I think the beauty box is such a great idea and I would definitely recommend it. I have seen other websites offering the same kind of service but  none of which, to my knowledge, are only natural products.

What I would love Amarya to consider is that customers have different skin and hair types so not all customers would be happy with their 'surprises', especially if they have allergies. So perhaps if customers had the option to say what kind of skin and hair they have then Amarya can choose products that would suit them more.

If you're interested in the Amarya Beauty Box, check out their website. If you purchase a year's subscription, you also get a free gift worth £56! I'll be reviewing some of these products soon so keep your eyes peeled!


Friday, 19 August 2011

SLS in my natural mascara??!

Recently, I've begun to notice that my eyelashes are becoming quite thin and short. I never had long lashes to begin with but they were definitely much longer and thicker than they are now. Then I hear that both Love Lula and Naturisimo are not stocking Une mascaras as they contain SLS! Could this be the reason why my lashes have been damaged? I'm guessing so!

To my knowledge, SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) is considered safe but may be irritating to certain people. It may also have degreasing properties, which may leave some users with a dry scalp when using SLS shampoo. I'm no scientist but this is what I have found out so far from various materials such as Gorgeously Green by Sophie Uliano (amazing book! Get it from The Book Depository!). I haven't found any evidence to suggest that SLS have caused my lashes to become thin and short but I wouldn't be surprised.

I'm very disappointed that they would even think to put such a harsh ingredient in their products, especially a product that is used so close to the eyes! Thankfully, I don't have sensitive skin but I'd imagine that a customer with sensitive skin who trusts Une to be safer than other brands (as they supposedly care about their ingredients so much that a lot of their ingredients are organic) would be in shock!

So just a heads up and a reminder to read the ingredients list carefully because even brands that carry a lot of certified organic products may have an ingredient or two that would surprise you.


Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Tasty courgette soup

This has got to be my favourite soup ever. I can eat bowlfuls of this stuff. My family love it too. I first had it when I had dinner at Radisson but why eat at a fancy hotel when you can make it at home for a fraction of the price. And, yes, it tastes just the same. Very easy too when you use Kallo organic stock. I have tried it with their Vegetable stock and their Garlic and Herbs stock so far and they came out tasting great.

(Serves 4)

You will need:
  • 1 kg courgettes
  • 225g potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 2 cloves garlic (omit if using Kallo garlic and herbs stock)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp oregano (omit is using Kallo garlic and herbs stock)

  1. Wash and chop the courgettes and potatoes. It is best to leave the courgettes unpeeled but I prefer to peel them if they're not organic
  2. Slice the onion and crush the garlic
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and add the onions and garlic. Fry for about 5 mins whilst stirring occasionally
  4. Add the potatoes and cover with half of the stock
  5. Bring to a boil then leave to simmer for 15 mins
  6. Add the courgettes, salt and pepper, oregano and the remainder of the stock
  7. Bring to a boil then simmer for 10 mins, stirring occasionally until cooked
  8. Puree in a blender. You may need to add more water depending on the texture preferred. Reheat if you need to
Enjoy and let me know what you think!


Monday, 15 August 2011

Say NO to cruel cosmetics

You'd think that in this day and age testing on animals for the sake of vanity would be long dead. But not only are many companies still testing ingredients/ products on animals (or getting someone else to do the dirty work for them), EU officials are considering allowing it to happen beyond the previous ban deadline of 2013.

I personally think it's unfair that animals are being treated this way just for the sake of giving us even longer lashes (if you believe those ads),  100% more voluminous hair (I'm pretty sure those are extensions) or yet another wrinkle cream that doesn't work (I hear rosehip oil works wonders).

If you don't use products that are tested on animals then that's great but there are still many companies out there that get away with selling animal tested products to customers. One thing you can do to stop this is to fill in this petition telling the European Parliament that we are against animal cruelty and don't want animal tested products, and to urge them to vote against delaying the ban.

Remember to share this with your friends so we can get as many signatures as possible!