Faith In Nature Coconut Shampoo and Conditioner Review*

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

When Faith in Nature contacted me about reviewing some of their products I jumped at the chance. No I’m not one of those greedy bloggers who will review a lawnmower if they were offered the chance, I’m just one of those bloggers who really likes products with all natural ingredients (I say that while sitting with a good chunk of chemicals in the form of make up on my face).

Faith in Nature’s products are free from all the bad stuff and the majority of their ingredients are locally produced. They also offer a wide selection of products in the form of shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and even products for babies.

Despite there being a long list of rather delightful sounding products I played it safe and went for the coconut shampoo and conditioner. I would love to say there was a cool reason behind my choice but the reality is I’ve always wanted coconut smelling hair. Simple things.

Both the shampoo and conditioner come in 400ml bottles which, despite my excessive amounts of shampooing, will last me a rather long time. The bottles are made from recyclable material and are a strong, sturdy plastic so there’s no need to worry about any shampoo explosions should you choose to travel with them.

When it came to actually using the shampoo and conditioner I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. A quick sniff of both bottles made me assume my hair would be left absolutely reeking of coconut but in reality, only a subtle scent is left behind. This may not appeal to everyone but I really like the soft coconut scent that lingers on my hair. It just means I’m not forever daydreaming about holidays in the Caribbean all day.

My hair was a little dry thanks to the sea salt infused shampoo I have been using for a good few months now so I did hope Faith in Nature’s shampoo and conditioner would help with this. Fortunately for my icky hair the shampoo and conditioner did just that and my hair has been silky smooth ever since I started piling the coconut goodness onto it.

The only thing I can’t comment on is how well this shampoo and conditioner performs on freshly dyed hair. My hair is dyed black and had already faded before I began using Faith in Nature’s products. I’m assuming (I know, I know, you should never assume) that, as these are natural products my hair will stay black for as long as possible once I get round to dyeing it again.

I think it’s safe to say I’m rather enjoying using the shampoo and conditioner and they’ve actually given my usual favourites a run for their money. It’s rather nice to know that there is another brand I can go to for an all-natural product without breaking my bank balance. I think once I’ve ran out the coconut shampoo and conditioner I’m going to try out the chocolate shampoo and conditioner. Yes, you read that correctly, chocolate!

Yankee Candle Haul

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Every time I go to Edinburgh I take the shortcut through John Lewis to get to Princes Street but that shortcut always results in me pulling my purse out of my bag. You see, once you get out of John Lewis you end up in the shopping centre which just happens to have a Yankee Candle store. Do you see where I’m going with this – of course you do, you’ve seen the title of this post!

I couldn’t resist a little trip into the Yankee Candle store and, as I had my other half in tow, I was always destined to spend far too much money on four too many candles. My bad.

The blue candles are always the ones that catch my eye first. There’s no rhyme or reason to this whatsoever, I just seem to really like blue things. Since this is the case I ended up sniffing Garden Sweet Pea straight away. This candle is wonderfully sweet (funnily enough) and actually seems like a more exciting fresh laundry scent to me. It’s not too sharp or sickly so Garden Sweet Pea is a brilliant candle to burn when you want a more relaxing yet interesting scent to fill the air.

Vanilla Lime was also quickly picked up. This candle smells exactly like the title would suggest. It’s very vanilla-y (excellent description there) but it has that tangy lime scent to it. It’s not something I would typically go for as to be honest the name of it just sounds awful to me but the vanilla and lime work incredibly well together.

Shea Butter was purchased because, well, it reminds me of my mum. That sounds like such an odd reason to buy a candle but it’s a sad fact. It smells a lot like a moisturiser she used to use when I was a child so I guess Shea Butter is a bit of nostalgia for me. It’s a very clean, very calming scent and something that will probably end up in my permanent candle collection. Could I have made myself sound like any more of a loser there?

My other half was the one who picked up Fluffy Towels and kept it for himself. Okay it was actually bought for him but as it’s with him and not me I can’t really describe the scent – because I’m doing so well at that as it is. If I recall correctly it smells like fluffy towels, clean ones of course not one you’ve just used to dry your dog with. I bet you didn’t think it would smell like fluffy towels.

Turquoise Sky ended up in this haul because the Yankee Candle store was having a deal on the candles. Basically if you spent x amount of pounds (I think it was £35.00 but I could be wrong) you got a free candle from their reject bin.

I ended up choosing Turquoise Sky since it’s blue and it smells alright. I wish I could be more excited about it but it reminds me of a nicely scented bathroom. Maybe I’ll just leave this in the bathroom for when I want to make guests think my loo always smells nice.

I think I’m good on the candle front for a while (I also purchased a Shearer Candle in Cranachan from the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, whoops) so if you ever see me near any candle store throw rocks at me. Why are candles so easy to buy?!

Nars Barbarella Lipstick Review

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Recently I haven’t been able to wear lipstick thanks to my disgustingly dry and chapped lips. It’s been absolute torture (perhaps a slight exaggeration there) opening my make up drawer and seeing all my beautiful lipsticks but being unable to wear them. Fortunately as the warmer weather has appeared and I’m drinking more water again my lips are in better condition so its lipstick central here!

I’ve had Nars Barbarella sitting in a drawer just calling out to be worn. I stupidly bought it in the Winter which meant it had to sit with the rest of my unused make up. As I have been dying to use it since the day I got it I figured it should be the first lip product to grace my newly less disgusting lips.

Barbarella is a rather gorgeous peach in the tube and a very sheer orange with a hint of pink on the lips. I didn’t actually realise it was a sheer lipstick when I purchased it so I actually thought it was a pile of rubbish when I first tried it. I feel like a moron!

Admittedly I was rather wary of introducing a new lipstick into my collection right after my lips stopped being so hideous but fortunately Barbarella isn’t drying at all. If I apply a little bit of lip balm before Barbarella my lips will stay moist (ew) all day.

The lasting power of Barbarella isn’t something to go crazy over. I find it lasts for about 4 hours before it needs topped up and it transfers to glasses/cups/cheese like there’s no tomorrow. I guess this is to be expected with sheer lipsticks so it’s not a huge issue for me.

It’s also a bad lipstick to wear in strong winds as your hair will get stuck to it but it does hold its own against heavy rain. I wonder what kind of weather I’ve been wearing this lipstick in…

I’m not even sure how Nars Barbarella ended up in my wishlist but I’m so glad I followed through on the purchase. It’s not a shade I would typically wear nor is it something I already have in my collection but that’s part of the appeal for me. It’s a brilliant nude shade for when you want to be a little more dressed up but don’t want to go all out. Go Nars!

(Not Another) Lush Haul

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

While in Edinburgh over the Bank Holiday weekend I made a quick stop in Lush. It was a necessary visit as my dad wanted soap, I wanted shampoo and I was determined to make my other half want something Lush related too. I’ll literally use any excuse to throw money at Lush!

Top of my list of things to purchase was Big shampoo. I’ve been using this shampoo since January and this is now my second tub of the salty gunk. I am planning on limiting my use of this shampoo to once a week as I think the salt is beginning to dry my hair out but I still absolutely adore everything about Big. I’m going to miss rubbing its large salty particles into my hair every day.

I was also in need of conditioner as the one I’m currently using (Lush Veganese) is about to run out. I wasn’t feeling any of the conditioners until I stumbled upon Retread. This is a rather thick conditioner that promises to mend the outer shaft of the hair. As previously stated my hair is now on the drier side of things so I’m hoping Retread will deliver on its promises.

I’m afraid to say my list of purchases ends with just Big and Retread. I currently have a lot of Lush things to use at the moment so I decided I’d limit my purchases. My bank balance didn’t manage to get out completely unscathed though as I still had to get some things for my dad, other half and my mum. Trying to turn people into Lush fiends is expensive work!

My other half was told he could have anything he wanted so he went for a shaving cream and a cleanser. Dirty shaving cream was the first thing he picked up which amused me to no end thanks to his inability to grow facial hair. After his first use of Dirty he told me it’s “thick” and his skin feels “really soft”. The softness was emphasised by him feeling his freshly shaved skin while making some strange faces. If that’s not an informative review I don’t know what is.

Ultrabland was the other item he picked up. So far he’s described this as “oily” and seemed to have a lot of fun googling reviews for it. I really wish I could something else about Ultrabland but all I’ve got is oily. I should really force my other half into writing a review about it. Prepare for oiliness, odd remarks and faux bigheadedness.

From left to right: Karma, Mangnificent, Honey I Washed the Kids.

My male human’s picks were followed by me staring in confusion at soap. I played it safe on the soap front for my dad and went for the Karma and Honey I Shrunk the Kids stack that he’s had before and Mangnificent. All of these soaps appeal to him so I knew he’d be a happy little bald man (I say little but he’s somehow grown an inch at 53 years old).

Since I was buying things for my other half and dad I figured I would get something for my mum too. As much as I try she’s not really all that into skincare and all that jazz but I ended up getting her a rather delicious smelling moisturiser regardless.

Formnlae Know As is something I have myself so I knew it would be good enough for my mum. It’s a gorgeous, thick, chocolatey lotion and I hope she likes it! Something tells me this is just going to sit next to her tub of Sympathy for the Skin until it expires.

Our “on the whim” pick was the Soft Coeur massage bar. If you read the description on the Lush website you’ll probably start drooling at the mere thought of it, if you smell it in person you’ll probably throw it at the staff in Lush in your haste to buy it. Soft Coeur is honestly one of the best smelling things in Lush and I can’t wait to use it.

That's yet another Lush haul done and dusted. I think I’m going to ask the lovely people in Lush in Edinburgh to ban me from coming into the store for the next few months as I have too much already. I just want it all!

A Weekend In Edinburgh

Sunday, 10 May 2015

It's rare for my other half and I to have a day off together (thanks to working in a place that doesn't allow more than one person to be off at any given time) so bank holidays require a celebration. We were planning on seeing a play in Edinburgh on the Saturday of the bank holiday weekend but my other half decided to turn it into 2 nights away. So much win!

We ended up staying at The Minto Hotel on Minto Street for both nights which just so happened to be a 15 minute walk from the Festival Theatre. The hotel was very nicely decorated in the reception, bar and restaurant (just ignore the stale cigarette smell in the reception) but our room left a lot to be desired.

We were lucky enough to be given a room at the back of the hotel but our luck ended there. The room was very cramped, the bathroom was no bigger than my downstairs toilet and the bed was 2 single beds pushed together - I spent most of the night pulling my foot out of the gap that kept forming. It wasn't atrocious but it was definitely not worth the money we paid for it.

Our Saturday night was spent in the Festival Theatre seeing The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. We had a quick bite to eat in Biblos on Chamber Street before heading to the theatre. A veggie burger and fries always goes down a treat before sitting in a warm theatre for 2 hours!

The play itself was incredible. I read the book on a regular basis as a child but I could not for the life of me remember the storyline. I think that actually helped with my overall enjoyment of the play though as I walked in with no expectations.

The stage of the Festival Theatre is very small (I distinctly remember barely being able to see my dad when we were there for his gradation many years ago) but the cast worked that to their advantage. There were very little props but the simplicity of the set made it all that more exciting. If you're able to see The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time at any point make sure you do as it’s a great play.

Our Sunday was spent in the National Museum of Scotland on Chambers Street. We got there quite late in the day after not being able to decide what to do so we barely saw any of it. A lot of the exhibitions were closed so I guess we didn't miss much.

The majority of our time was spent in the "dead zoo". This is basically, if you haven't guessed already, a room full of taxidermy. It's a little creepy, especially when you're faced with a 4 metre crab and tarantulas but for the most part it's very interesting. Me being the grump that I am could've done without all of the kids though; I hope I wasn't as annoying as they were when I was a child!

Sunday dinner was provided by Positano, a rather authentic Italian restaurant on Newington Road. The decor, waiters, food and just general noise was "like being back in Italy" according to my other half. I played it safe with a margherita pizza while my other half had a pizza with rocket and prosciutto without any cheese or sauce. It was a weird concept to me but he seemed to thoroughly enjoy it.

Monday was our last day in Edinburgh so obviously we went shopping. My other half decided he wanted me to pick things out for him as he seems to believe he's a doll. We spent a good 2 hours picking out undies, socks, jeans, tops, a shirt and a belt for him; I've never known a guy to spend so long choosing socks in my life! Even after all of that he ended up with basically the same stuff he wears anyway. Mission not accomplished.

I played it safe and bought a few things from Lush for myself plus a white top in All Saints (that I overpaid for as it is literally just a plain white top!). I was all too aware of the fact I'd spent a lot of money on clothes a few days prior to going to Edinburgh and had only just been paid. Whoops.

We ended up having lunch in Jenners which my other half got far too excited about. I ended up with a red pepper and cheddar roll and ridiculously watered down Irn Bru while my other half went all out. He has a tuna panini with salmon and a lot of salad. His lunch is the equivalent of 2 main meals for me. The food was lovely but places like Jenners confuse me as I don't know the rules. Do I just take my tray and point at the food? I don't get it!

We did also plan on playing some golf (i.e. pitch and putt) in Musselburgh after the shopping but things weren't all they were cracked up to be. We got to Musselburgh fairly late in the day and discovered the pitch and putt was a tiny little golf course - and I mean tiny - in a park. We weren't even sure if you could rent clubs or if you had to bring your own. Needless to say we didn't play (probably a good thing since we were both so awful at mini golf the weekend before) and swiftly drove home.

We did have a rather jolly extended weekend in Edinburgh and would happily do it again soon (annoyingly I've been roped into working the upcoming bank holiday so it won't happen for a long, long time). Obviously we'd choose somewhere else to stay and would possibly agree on something to do on the Sunday a little earlier but hey, we got to eat a lot of Doritos while we mulled that one over so it worked out. Anything for Doritos!!!

April Favourites

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

I’ve been so bad at blogging recently thanks to all of my energy going into work and eating crisps. It also doesn’t help that every time I sit down to write a blog post my puppy immediately climbs onto my lap and puts his paws on the keyboard. Perhaps he wants me to start publishing his fabulous writing.

As a result of me being a bad blogger my April Favourites is rather delayed but let’s just pretend I actually posted this on May 1st like I originally planned. Here goes!

1. Kenzo Amour Perfume

I bought Kenzo Amour 8 years ago while in Paris and have loved it ever since. It’s a beautiful light vanilla scent that is perfect for the Spring and Summer. Granted it’s not the longest lasting of perfumes and I can’t detect it on my skin after 4 hours of wear but it’s such a pretty perfume I can kind of let that go.

2. Lush Whoosh Shower Jelly

Whoosh is a gorgeous blue blob of goo that smells zesty and delicious. This is my first ever shower jelly from Lush and I’m thoroughly enjoying using it. It’s a slippery little sucker though so it’s forever escaping from my hands while showering. I have another shower jelly from Christmas to use after Whoosh (along with a lot of soap and shower gel) but I’m sure I’ll repurchase Whoosh at some point in the future.

3. Estee Lauder Empowered

Ah yes this nail polish. How could I possibly resist putting this classic red nail polish into my monthly favourites again? There’s nothing better than to look at your nails while you’re writing an email for the 7th time and see this gorgeous red shade staring back at you. Show me a better red nail polish and I’ll eat my hat.

4. Lush Rose Jam Shower Gel

Okay I totally bought Rose Jam on a whim and was actually quite grossed out by it when I finally decided to smell it. I recently decided to take it on a weekend away and actually ended up quite liking it. As far as I’m concerned it smells awful in the bottle but incredible on the skin. It also leaves behind a subtle rose like scent on the skin that I can detect for most of the day. I somehow ended up with 2 bottles of Rose Jam so thank god I ended up liking it in the end.

5. Face Fashion by Nancy Riegelman

My other half and I recently went to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and he ended up buying Face Fashion from the gift shop for me. This book is basically an in depth look into drawing the perfect face for fashion designs. Granted I’m not studying fashion design but this book is so insightful and has such great tips I couldn’t resist it. Maybe I’ll just pretend I’m studying fashion design in a bid to justify the purchase.

Well that’s my April Favourites done and dusted. Now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to eat some crisps and cuddle my dog.
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