Welcome to my bathroom. It may be a little higgledy piggledy, and excuse the men's toiletries (sharing a flat has its ups and downs!) but behind the clutter is a carefully thought out selection of skincare and beauty products that I've deliberately acquired over the last few weeks.

I've come to a point where I know what I like and what I don't like. I don't like the itchy ingredients in the washing up liquid, and I love plant-based oils to wash my skin with. I know my mascara takes a little extra thought to remove than before (thank you, Korres Black Volcanic Mineral Mascara!) and that when buying any product for my skin, I refer to my handy 25 Ingredients to Avoid list.

On the sink, you'll find these two pretties from The Soap Co. Tapping into my minimalist black-and-white heart, their bottles of Hand Wash* and Hand Lotion* look so nice lined up together. They also hit the right spot when it comes to values: as a social enterprise, they employ blind, disabled, or otherwise disadvantaged people, and all their profits go back into the business. Their bottles are made from recycled milk bottle tops and the pumps can be reused too. This is something I value both personally and professionally, so it's lovely to have their products sat in my bathroom.

I do think alongside this, it's worth noting that their hand wash contains sodium laureth sulfate (SLS), which removes the natural oil of the skin and can be bad for sensitive skin, and their hand lotion contains mineral oil (paraffinum liquidum). There are better natural options on the market, and it'd be good to see The Soap Co. display ingredients on their website for people who are looking for a little more clarity.

When it comes to cleaning my teeth, I'm sticking to my no-fluoride guns (find out why here). I'm currently trying out Ecodenta Extra Black Whitening Toothpaste, which sounds like an oxymoron in itself but really means the activated charcoal within it is going to bring out my pearly whites. I've also got an oil pulling set* from Chi to try out, but after my first swilling session ended in retching, I'm too chicken to continue at the moment!

The final product is a little hero in my life - I'm talking about my Lavera Cleansing Milk. I've always been a bit nostalgic around cleansing milks, as it's something my grandma taught me about when I was little, and this one is a combination of my love for organic products and her wisdom. To use, I wash my hands, and then apply it with my fingers straight onto my make-uped face, swirling in circles until it's almost soaked in. Then I splash it all away with warm water. If my mascara is being extra stubborn, I swipe it away with a little coconut oil*.

When it comes to bathing, I really like to pamper myself. Daily showers don't give me that luxury, but I go all out for bath-time!

To start, I like to apply my moisturising Rossi Uvema Rhassoul Clay Face Mask* and leave to sit on my skin for 15 minutes. During this time I'll wash and shampoo my hair with Avalon Organics Rosemary Shampoo, which is one of my must-haves. I've tried many other natural shampoos, and just cannot get away from the way this one makes my hair feel.

For my body, I'm still a little old-school and like a bar of soap. I've been using The Soap Co.'s Black Poppy + Wild Fig Soap Bar* and have found it works really well with my skin. The poppy seeds exfoliate my skin, the fig smells wonderful, and it leaves my skin soft, and perfectly balanced. If I really need exfoliation, I turn to my DIY coffee scrub which I keep in a jar by the bath, or go for Melvita's L'Or Rose Refining Scrub* if I want to feel extra special.

When it comes to hair removal, I've got my trusty Philips Wet + Dry Ladyshaver (gosh I hate that they're called lady shavers... a shaver cuts hair, full stop). I upgraded to this as it charges from the mains, meaning I don't have to buy and throw away batteries, and for the obvious reason that disposable razors aren't environmentally-friendly. All that being said, it works well, leaves my skin soft, and tackles even the little pinpricks of hair that most razors miss.

Finally, when leaving the bath, I like to slather my legs in body butter. Right now, it's Ellovi Key Lime Body Butter*, although my Mio Skincare A Cream* has been a firm favourite for quite a while.

Looking back over everything, there's actually quite a lot going on, but it's the perfect mix for me right now. And as always, the more natural, the better!

It is time. I've been banging on about my new jumpsuit* for a good few weeks now, and only shown you glimpses... so here it finally is! Isn't it pretty?

I have followed fashion and lifestyle blogs for years now, and it's taken me just under two to finally strike a pose on my own. As my first solo shoot (thank you self-timer) I'm quite happy with the way it's come out too.

The first thing I thought when slipping the jumpsuit on was "Wow, this is soft!" During my first full day of wearing it, I kept having to glance down to make sure I wasn't still in my pyjamas! It's so light and comfortable, it's made the last week glide by without worry of overheating or just the general stickiness trousers bring. And even for a less curvy girl in the chest department (you know what I mean) everything stays covered, although a simple camisole does help me qualm and public indecency worries.

The jumpsuit is from Braintree at House of Fraser. As is the way with the majority of Braintree clothes, comfort is of utmost importance, being made from 100% organic cotton slub. I had to check up on what slub meant: it means cotton with slight lumps and imperfections, but with this dainty waves print you can't tell at all.

Being brutally honest, I didn't realise House of Fraser stocked Braintree, and was delighted when I found out they do, as well as People Tree (what is it with all these ethical fashion brands and trees?!). The website is quite difficult to navigate, so it might be why I struggled finding ethical fashion on there, and I do wonder why there isn't an Eco Edit akin to the one on ASOS. What they do have is variety, in spades. If you look at their dresses section, you'll find just under 10,000 of them to choose from!

From two days of padding around London in my silver Matt + Nat sandals and jumpsuit, there are two things I have found:

  1. People love a good jumpsuit. My boss told me he loved my outfit, my flatmate said he wants to steal it, and not one person made an MC Hammer reference
  2. Fashion is an expression of yourself. I know this is said everywhere you go, but I found that moving away from my usual uniform of black jeans and a top, not one person batted an eyelid; in fact, positivity was all I got back.

I'm looking forward to taking this beauty away with me on holiday in September (although I am yet to book it so we shall see...) And I also have an ethical sandals post coming up, so keep a look out for that!

My pursuit for wellness still springs up surprises from time to time. You'd have thought that with just under two years of blogging under my belt (one week until my 2-year blogiversary!) I'd have covered so many topics - and you'd be right, but candles had never crossed my mind until recently.

I'm considerate when it comes to the foods and lotions + potions I put in and on my body, so why not the smells I breathe too? I've naturally gravitated towards soy candles in the past (check out this cute one in my May 2016 Favourites) but never really stuck my nose in - pun intended - researching the affects candles and regular smellies have on your health, or the planet. Here's what I've found on my quest for the cleanest candles...

In other words, paraffin candles are toxic, as they give off a petro-carbon soot that isn't great for your respiratory system, and contains two known carcinogens (toluene and benzene) as well as staining your walls and ceilings. Soy candles are a natural alternative, as they are made from a plant-based oil that doesn't give off this petro-carbon soot, or any carcinogens.

Soy burns slower than paraffin candles, meaning you'll get a few more nights to enjoy your candles - and also bringing down the price difference between the two types too. Soy also burns more evenly, meaning there's less wax wasted once your candle has burnt out.

If you're vegan, soy is also a viable option for you over natural candles like beeswax. Either way, if you care about animals or the environment, including the one you (and possibly your pets) live in, soy is the cleanest type of candle to use.

If you're a candle-lover like me (I have one two boxes dedicated to them, and it's a rare and sad day when I don't light a couple in the house), there's a new natural candle subscription service I've been trying called MatchBox*. It's helped me turn over from the paraffin ones I have to locally-sourced, handmade natural candles in varying flavours. This past month's theme was 'Picnic Box' and included Strawberry, Prosecco + Orange, Fresh Cut Grass, and Rain, a nod to the British weather and also my favourite scent. It was also what got me started in thinking why soy is better than the regular candles you can pick up, so thank you MatchBox!
I'm back into smoothies! After a good six months in an inconsistent rhythm, I've finally found a routine that suits me and means I can fit in a smoothie in the morning rather than having a hurried bowl of cereal at work. It may also be partly down to my excitement to use my new Nutribullet* - I'm like a kid on Christmas every morning!

Before work, I've been making a delightful vegan protein smoothie using Sunwarrior Warrior Blend protein powder. I've written quite extensively on protein for vegetarians (see here and here) as it was something I really used to worry about. It's funny, the moment you tell someone you've turned vegetarian, they'll ask you how you're going to get your protein, and then observe you carefully for a few months after, half-expecting you to waste away. Lucky for me, I've always had quite a well-balanced diet, and I love to top up anything I'm missing in the tastiest way possible, hence the Warrior Blend Chocolate Vegan Protein!

My morning smoothie is a mix of slow-burning carbohydrates, in the form of oats and banana, vegan protein for an added protein boost, and Alpro Almond Unsweetened Milk* to keep everything churning. In fact, plant-based milk is often fortified with B12 and nutrients vegans and vegetarians need (see my post here about which plant-based milk is best and also find out why I don't drink organic plant-based milk) as well as other vitamins.

Serves: 1

1 ripe banana
1 scoop Sunwarrior Warrior Blend in Chocolate
1 scoop oats
1 cup Alpro Almond Unsweetened Milk

  1. In your blender, put in your banana in chunks, oats (I like ultrafine), vegan protein powder, almond milk, and pop the lid on
  2. Blend - for a Nutribullet, this will be 20-30 seconds, for a blender, a little longer
  3. Decant into a glass - if I'm running late, I like to take it to work in my glass bottle - and if you prefer it slightly colder, add a few ice cubes
  4. Enjoy

In the evenings this week, I've been craving ice cream. It's been so hot, it's the only antidote! As I'm eating well and so I don't think I can eat an ice cream every single day, I've come up with a healthy alternative. Mango smoothie ice cream! It's as delicious as it is a mouthful to say!

This doesn't take much to make: a mango, a drizzle of agave syrup, and Alpro Simply Plain yoghurt*. I gave this a shot on the weekend, and it was such a nice thing to come home to in the freezer. The beauty of this is that it's dairy-free, and also refined sugar free too.

Serves: 4

1 mango
2 tbsp agave syrup
250g Alpro Simply Plain Yoghurt

  1. Peel and chop up your mango
  2. Put it into the blender with all your other ingredients
  3. Blend until thick and smooth
  4. Pour into moulds and put into the freezer for 24 hours
  5. Run to your freezer and try not to eat all of them at once!

For more smoothies to try, look through the Curiously Conscious smoothie recipes, or head to the Alpro Smoothie Inspiration tool.

I've always been a little afraid of makeup. It's one of those things that no-one teaches you - and I can't be alone, because YouTube is a bubbling stream of makeup tutorials. However, growing up, YouTube wasn't half as popular, and I didn't even try wearing foundation until I made it to 18. A flick of black mascara from Body Care and a dab of the creamiest, spot-inducing concealer stick I had somehow  managed to lay my hands on.

Five or so years on, and I'm still nowhere near an expert. Even in the photo, there are imperfections; you'll have to excuse the wet hair as I like to leave my hair to dry naturally when I can, and give it a break from the harsh heat of my hairdryer. It's moments like this where I can take pleasure applying my makeup, applying oil to my hair to bring out a glossy sheen, and sit around in my dead comfy jumpsuit (I can't wait to show you it!).

In the time gone by, I've gone from makeup rookie to natural makeup maven, and while I'm still relatively light in the makeup skills department, it's with a conscious effort that I've avoided Kardashian-esque contouring and similar looks. I've always preferred enhancing my face rather than covering it up, so you may catch a blemish here or there, but my makeup will bring out my eyes, and give my skin a dewy glow. Think of this tutorial as a little guide to natural makeup, and a natural look too.

I start off on any given day with an intensive moisturiser. My skin is a little red demon at times, and can do with as much long-lasting moisture as possible. My lotion of choice is Green People's Beauty Boost Skin Restore, which is made with over 90% organic ingredients and soothes my skin, drying quickly without leaving it tacky to the touch.

I've been using beauty oils for a few years now, and they really turned my skin around. This is the real secret to dewy skin; finding an oil that fits with your skin, the season, and the makeup you wear is crucial. Right now, I'm using this organic moringa oil (review) as it's light and a one-ingredient product - my favourite. To apply, I put one drop on either cheek, and smudge in with my hands. On dry days, I do this twice, allowing the oil to soak in the first time and then applying again before foundation.

I am so stuck on this foundation*, and I'm still a little unsure whether I should be recommending it. This is the first and only 'natural' foundation I have used that gives me the coverage I desire, but on closer inspection there are ingredients I generally avoid in it. Looking past the parfum, glycols, and -cones, it lasts on my skin all day without issue, giving me completely even coverage, and provides a good base for bronzer, blush, and concealer. To apply, I take my foundation brush and swirl in circles, starting on my cheeks (to pick up the rest of the oil) and brush it across my face.

I have been using this for so long, and I cannot fault it. It's pretty in my little transparent makeup box, it isn't too orangey (I have it in shade 02 Warm Glow), nor too shiny, and it brings out the dew of my skin with its oil and foundation mix every single time. Once my foundation is all in place, I swipe this across the apples of my cheeks and up my cheek bones with a large bronzer brush.

Quite literally 'eyebrow pencil' in English, this little organic pencil is the most inexpensive item in my makeup bag, yet I doubt I would go without it since trying it. My brows are quite wild (I like to think more Cara Delevigne than Wolverine...) and I enhance this slightly with this pencil. Applying in little light strokes when the pencil is not too sharp, it covers up any tiny sparse patches and gives my brows shape. To finish, I brush all the eyebrow hair up with a brow brush, and then smooth the shape by running my finger along the top of both brows.

I have this eyeshadow in 'Coconuts About You' and I genuinely am coconuts about it! I recently rid myself of an old eye shadow palette I'd had for years (yes, makeup does go off, and yes, you should keep on top of it) and replaced it with this one little eyeshadow. I usually apply it with my little finger, smudging it in for a less harsh look.

The final part of the puzzle is Korres Black Volcanic Minerals Mascara*. A cruelty-free brand, this mascara is definitely a lot cleaner than its aforementioned foundation. I've really enjoyed the contrast between this mascara and my Green People Volumising Mascara (review), as the liquid and the brush create dark, thick lashes that go well with a dewier look than the long, glamorous swooshes of my regular mascara. In fact, if you're looking to take this look from day to night, I'd recommend this mascara switch-up, with a swish of black eyeliner too or perhaps a glossy lip.