Organic makeup doesn't have to be exclusive. I say this because the majority of what I wear or try comes with a larger than average price tag - and while I really do believe in investment pieces and paying more for better quality, ethical products, sometimes cheap makeup is just needed.

Along comes Avril - a French organic makeup brand with the tiniest price tag I've ever seen! Those three products cost just over £20, and they are actually of surprising quality too.

Out of the three, my favourite item is the Le Crayon Sourcils* (or Eyebrow Pencil), and is less than £3. At first, it took me a while to really warm to it, as I was using a soft, thick, warm brown pencil. When I switched, I was so scared of the harsh edge and deeper ashy brown colour - it made my brows look far too made up, with too sharp edges.

However, now that I've blended it down slightly, I've begun to love it. Why is it that the majority of eyebrow pencils are so warm coloured? This pencil has definitely shown me the error in my ways, as it fits perfectly with my naturally darker brows, and hides sparse areas well too.



As for the blusher*, I've found it gives a light, sweet colour that I occasionally enjoy on an evening out. I chose this in Terre Cuite (Terracotta), which works well with my beige skin-tone, giving a healthy glow, even under harsh lighting.

For the foundation: if I'm honest, it doesn't give me what I need. Even with my fitness routine and healthy eating, I still have light red blemishes across my cheeks, so my skin needs a good balancing out. Le Fond de Teint* (Foundation) in Miel (Honey) sits squarely between foundation and tinted moisturiser, applying a light veil across your skin. It doesn't cover uneven skintones, blemishes, or spots, but it does add a nice tone perfect for a lesser made-up occasion like going to work. However, after hiding inside for the wintry months, I would also go for a shade lighter next time too!

All in all, these are a great option for anyone looking to move into green beauty products, as the organic certification by European body Ecocert actually makes them a shade greener in my eyes than high-street alternatives such as The Body Shop.

I recently discussed with my friend and blogger extroadinaire Sara Steele the first products I changed when I got onto the green bandwagon. In fact, you can watch the video all about this right here. I mentioned why deodorant was my first big thing to go, even finding that aluminium-free ones weren't good enough due to the synthetic chemicals they contained. What I failed to mention, is my period products changed too.

This is something I'm not afraid to talk about here on Curiously Conscious; generally, periods shouldn't be something women are ashamed to acknowledge and discuss. The vast majority of us do it once a month, and will do - or have been doing - for years. So why aren't we caring so much for our nether regions as we are for our faces, hair, and diet?

Here are the four key reasons I switched over to organic cotton tampons, pads, etc. from TOTM when I went green - and why I urge you to do the same:

1. BETTER FOR YOUR BODY
Did you know that since the 1930s the bulk majority of tampons and sanitary towels have been made from rayon and viscose? These are synthetic fibres treated in harsh chemicals that you put against your skin for hours on end, leaving you dry, sore, and even with reproductive issues.

The beauty of organic cotton tampons and sanitary towels is that they are naturally hypoallergenic, the same pH as your body, and have not been treated in chlorine, perfume, viscose, rayon, pesticides or chemical fertilisers.

2. BETTER FOR THE PLANET
As a natural product, cotton is completely biodegradable and compostable. This means whether you chuck it in your composter or throw it in the bin, it is guaranteed to break down and support a natural ecosystem. Plastic, viscose, and rayon don't afford this benefit. TOTM is also good on the front that it does not use chemically treated wood pulp in its products, which prevents felling trees.

3. BETTER FOR THE WORKER
You might remember my first post mentioning TOTM, where I cover the general field of organic cotton and why it's so important to make the change. A large part of that was driven by an article I had read about a family in Burkina Faso, whose son had died after eating food contaminated with cotton pesticides. Burkina Faso is one of the largest producers of cotton in the world, and while business for chemical-ridden cotton is booming (it's the number one crop to be sprayed with pesticides and be genetically modified), the workers are not benefiting from this. Barely equipped with safety equipment, they come up close and personal with the sprays and poisons that are applied to their farmlands, and don't have the protection they need.

Organic cotton stops all of this illogical nonsense. While it may give them an initial reduction in cotton yield, the certification (earned after three years of farming organically) enables them to be paid more for their crops and thus cut out the danger and reliance on man-made materials.

4. BETTER FOR YOUR PEACE OF MIND
I've been using TOTM for over a year now, and one thing I love about their service is that it's tailored to you and your period. Their site is designed to let you set up an order each month, or for however regular you are - you simply tell them how often you want them, and your tampons etc. will be delivered direct to your door. It takes out the hassle of having spares stored for those 'just in case I forget' moments, and also means you don't need to awkwardly run out to the shop when it does get to your time of the month. Plus, if you're not the average monthly regular, you can stick to ordering as and when you need to.

This post is sponsored by TOTM.

Reading has always been a pleasure of mine, and even though I read less now than I probably ever have (it's something I'm working on, but there really isn't enough time most days), I do enjoy the odd sit down with a healthy living book. It's a combination of two of my passions, and I get to learn something from every book I read too! Here's a round up of my favourite healthy living books of 2016 so far:

THE HEALTHY LIFE BY JESSICA SEPEL
This is my most recent find, and so far I am loving it! Unlike a lot of cookbooks, The Healthy Life* takes you on a journey that Jessica herself has traveled, and you learn to trust in her wisdom as you fill out pages about your mind, body, and diet. It shows you almost immediately how to improve on your current outlook on food (and as a mindful eater, this is something I love - an easy, fun way to get involved with healthy eating is always alright in my book!), plus the holistic approach to food, skin, hair, and positivity is something I'm a real fan of. Well done Jess!

THE SOCIAL KITCHEN
Right on the other end of the scale, The Social Kitchen* is actually more of a naughty pleasure book than healthy living. Rooted in the wonderful Tucker family kitchen, the food in here is hearty and great for anyone looking to get into local food over healthy food, with recipes ranging from nutty butternut salad to baked cheesecake. Even more heartwarming is the aim behind the book - Shally Tucker's daughter, Dani put the book together after her mum passed away after suffering heavily with auto-immune skin diseases. Dani's goal is to raise £50,000 for Dermatrust through the sale of this book.


DELICIOUSLY ELLA EVERY DAY
Healthy living powerhouse Ella Woodward is back with another beautiful cookbook, inspired by her plant-based blog. As a massive fan of Deliciously Ella's first book, I was gifted this one by my boyfriend's mum (thank you Sue!) to keep my plant-based cooking alive. I'm going to say something quite controversial here: I think Deliciously Ella Every Day is better than her first. And almost to the point where I would recommend trying this one first - I much prefer the way it has been laid out, from breakfasts to salads to big batch cooking. And as always, Ella's preface is personal and lovely as always, urging fans to eat what makes them feel good rather than try to change their entire lifestyle to match hers.

HEALING SPICES + HEALING BERRIES
My final picks are sisters: Healing Spices* and Healing Berries* both come from author Kirsten Harvig, an acclaimed nutritionist, medical herbalist and naturopath. What these books lack in pictures, they certainly make up for in education: I don't think I've ever questioned where my turmeric comes from or what rose hip is good for. And now I know! On top of the knowledge, there are very helpful recipes in the back of both to help you try out new spices and berries and see their effects for yourself.

#WhoMadeMyClothes? That's what everyone's been hollering online this week. Spring-boarding from Fashion Revolution Day 2015, we've made it to a full week of people wondering who and how their clothes were made.

On 24th April 2013, over a thousand people were killed in the Rana Plaza garment factory collapse. It brought the treatment of workers in the fashion industry to the forefront of people's minds the world over, and made us start to question at exactly what price we were happy to sacrifice our ethics and turn a blind eye so we could buy cheap fast fashion items from the high-street.

Today marks the third year in which this disaster has been marked, and as someone who is conscious of all the items I put in my shopping basket, it's time to reflect on the positives that have come out of this week - and what we can all do to help support the creation of an accountable and ethical fashion industry.

AWARENESS
Awareness is the first step in pretty much any recognition of wrong-doings, and each year that has passed since Fashion Revolution began, there is more and more coverage of the event. I've seen a good few demands on Twitter calling out so-called 'responsible' high-street brands to let us know who made the clothes they sell, and this really does mark the beginning of change.

TRANSPARENCY
While we're starting to see responses from fashion retailers, we really need an independent adjudicator (cue the referee from Gladiators - "Topshop, are you ready?"). In an effort to shine a light on the effort that fashion companies are going to be transparent, the good people at Fashion Revolution and Ethical Consumer partnered up to bring us the Fashion Transparency Index. Research into 40 of the largest fashion brands uncovered their efforts in the form of Policy & Commitment, Tracking & Traceability, Audits & Remediation, Engagement & Collaboration, and Governance.

This year, we see a few stand out brands, and a few hideously underperforming ones too. It makes me shudder to think that haute couture fashion houses such as Hermes, LVMH, Prada, and Michael Kors dare to operate with a transparency rating of under 25%, and Chanel coming in last place with a poor 10%. These are the powerhouses of industry, where design and flair is sold on a pedestal, not to mention the giant price tags, and yet they have no remorse or care for the people that make their clothing. What does that say about the way they think about their consumers?

On the flip-side, we have Levi Strauss & Co., Inditex (think Zara, Pull & Bear, Bershka), and H&M all making the top list. I'm going to be honest, when I've rarely been out onto the high-street, I've avoided H&M and Zara like the plague, with the rationale that they are the epitome of fast fashion. There are no longer seasons, with sales and new ranges coming out every few weeks. So it's nice to see that they are in fact leading the way for the current fashion industry to pull up their socks in terms of transparency, although there is a long way to go for the care of the people and environment that contribute to their success.

PEOPLE CARE
The last time I mentioned to someone that I only buy ethically made clothes or second-hand, I heard a snigger and a "yeah right" in response. However, it's true that more and more people are beginning to care about where their clothes come from, and how the people who made them were treated. If you treat your money as a form of voting, by spending it at independent retailers who strive for welfare of people, environment, and great clothes, you're essentially promoting your own ethics.

Celebrities jumping aboard the good ship #FashRev included Melissa Hemsley of Hemsley + Hemsley,  Livia Firth, Creator of Eco Age, supermodel Amber Valetta, and more.

#HAULTERNATIVES
I should probably add a little apology for the amount of hashtags right about now, but the #Haulternative trend is really starting to take off. Moving away from careless shopping and idolisation of bags and bags of new clothes, you can see video upon video here of people sharing their alternative ways of enjoying fashion. This is chiefly through vintage, second-hand items and homemade pieces, which support a culture of recycling and creativity - both of which are really easy to get into.

In fact, this last month I bought a gorgeous Whistles dress from eBay for a fraction of the price new, and have been enjoying the pictured swimsuit from Ruby Moon, an ethical swimwear brand that is completely transparent in its supply chain, and also supports women in less fortunate situations get a loan to start their own business.

Depending on your time and money situations, there are ways that slow fashion can suit you too. If you've got the skills, get on a sewing machine and create some beautiful bespoke pieces, and if not, try finding local vintage shops. And for online shoppers like myself, eBay, Etsy, Folksy, and independents striving for sustainability and ethics are definitely the way to go. If you need a few recommendations, have a look through the Style section of the site, or comment below (I look through all of them).

Any kind of revolution takes time and shared support, and there are plenty of ways to get involved. Perhaps next year we'll been a few steps closer to a high-street looking after the workers, like People Tree does in the True Cost documentary. My fingers are crossed!


Switched over to natural hair care and now afraid of the hairdressers? I know from the times that I've been stuck without my favourite Avalon Organics shampoo that going back to the regular stuff really messes with my hair - which leads me to my new favourite find in London: Natural Colour Works!

By changing over to green hair care, the main big things I have cut out are SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) and PPD (paraphenylenediamine). Both of these strip hair of its natural oils, and can cause irritation of the scalp - which I've recognised from the few times I've been caught out and had to use a regular brand. Every time, my hair has gone back to being quite frizzy and full of fly-aways, especially if I've skipped over conditioner (something I've got a distrust of... I think shampoo should be able to clean hair without needing another product to replace things it has gotten rid of already. But that's just me).

So, when I moved from Birmingham to London late last year, I had to say a sad goodbye to my favourite organic hairdressers there - Puro. I've actually always been quite nervous visiting new hairdressers, thanks to a childhood full of bowl cuts and horrendous feathering, but I was put at ease when visiting Natural Colour Works.

Firstly, this was because I was meeting with Sara - a friendly face to me, and probably one you know already too. If not, you should check out her wonderful YouTube channel and blog! Sara's actually going to open a very cool new chapter of her life soon, so if you'd like to see her personally there, I'd recommend booking in quick!

Secondly, I felt at ease because the salon shares the same ethos I do. Its products mirror those that I use, in the fact that they are cruelty-free, and chiefly organic, with its speciality being natural hair dyes. Even though I only went for a wash, cut and blow dry, you can see just how healthy and glossy my hair looks after a good scrub and heat treatments.

The other reason I really enjoyed my time at Natural Colour Works is because of the way I was treated. I've been to a good few hairdressers, from low-end independents to high-end high-street names, and there's always been some form of awkwardness, whether its the fact that I've been held back or hurried out of the chair, that I've not been consulted before my cut, or in one case, had a dog start slobbering on my leg. The atmosphere in Natural Colour Works lends itself to that of a high-end independent, which it is, but there's a friendliness and appreciation of you as a client; drinks are served beautifully, you're asked if you're comfortable with their product choices before application, and above all, you leave feeling relaxed and like you've been pampered, which is exactly what a hair cut should make you feel.

All in all, I'm happy to say that Natural Colour Works is my new salon of choice, and I hope to become a regular there. It's not often that I feel comfortable in such an intimate treatment situation, but I did there and know I will again!

Spring is finally upon us! Has your skincare routine evolved to match the elements?

I do wish the weather was warmer than it is, as some days do feel like they're stuck in a wintry slumber still... But April has brought with it a shy sprinkling of sun and of course April showers, so it's time to evaluate your skin and its needs.

I recently took to commuting to work by foot (I moved to central London in February and am loving it) so skincare has become ever more important to me. Walking through the elements combined with air pollution for over an hour per day has meant my skin has progressively dried out and needs even more moisture than before. As the beautician at Spa London Kensington told me, my skin is strained and needs nourishment both inside and out. That means a lot of water, a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables, and a lot of deep moisturising products.

However, I'm not a fan of tacky creams, taught serums, or quick-drying oils, all of which start to reappear around this time of year. Lighter skincare can be just as nourishing as deep moisturising winter creams!

And this is even more apparent with green skincare. I recently stepped up my skincare routine by adding in an extra step - facial serum. You can read my full post on Skincere's Facial Serum here, or take my word for it when I say it's essentially a skincare primer that leaves skin smooth, plump, and ready for moisturiser.

It's the stepping stone to spring skincare that I needed. In alongside the serum, I swap between Rossi Uvema's Rhodiola and Gingko Bilboa Face Cream* and Green People's Beauty Boost Skin Restore*, both lighter alternatives than a moisturiser, but both with different benefits. On days where I feel like my skin is plump and soft, the Rossi face cream keeps it balanced throughout the day, whereas on days where my skin is drier and rough (basically the days where it's calling out for a face mask but I don't have time to apply one) the Skin Restore remedies its condition.

I've also been loving Melvita's Rose Face Care Oil* from their range of facial oils to sustain a dewy glow under my foundation. If you've been reading my blog for a little while, you'll know I'm a massive fan of facial oils and alongside mascara wouldn't sacrifice it for any other skincare or beauty product. An organic facial oil of any kind will do you well, but I would recommend choosing something that fits with your skin type - oily skin does well with oils high in linoleic acid, whereas dry skins are better with those high in oleic acid. The two things I would like to see improved in this oil is that the sunflower seed oil is organic (and thus not bleached, modified, or containing any pesticides) and that the rose scent is toned down slightly - I'm not one for overly sweet scents in general.

Finally, good housekeeping dictates you keep up a healthy routine of cleansing, toning, and moisturising, as well as keeping up a good fitness routine to clear pores and wearing sunscreen where appropriate (which is all the time, although that's something I need to work on...).


Do you remember when I visited the BBC Good Food Show London last year? I had such a good time! I remember being very impressed by the amount of healthy options, from felafel wraps to macadamia nut butter, I don't think I've run around an arena so quickly since my 10th birthday party in a ball pit! You can read my full post on it here.

Well, I've got another giveaway for you to enter, and this time you can win tickets to one of the BBC Good Food Shows that's close to home! With shows across the UK, one lucky reader will win a pair of tickets to a show of their choosing, on either a Friday or Sunday.

EDIT: I've now been informed that tickets will only be available for the London and Birmingham shows. Apologies to anyone who entered for other shows.

If you'd like to enter, you'll need to live in the UK, and follow the instructions in the box below to gain as many entries as possible. Thank you to BBC Good Food Shows for these tickets, and good luck!



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What are soap nuts

Have you ever come across soap nuts? These little brown balls could be revolutionary to your cleaning routine.

It's rare when a green idea works better than its common counterpart. Soap nuts is an example of this: a natural resource from the lychee family, they are dried fruit pulp that froth up when washed with clothing, generating a natural detergent substance that cleans clothes just as well as liquid detergent.

In fact, when I say common counterpart, I mean that of the one you'll find in the supermarket. Soap nuts have actually been used for thousands of years in Asia and North America - and seem to be the latest well-kept secret I've stumbled across in my quest to live a cleaner and greener lifestyle.

It's also rare to find an idea that catches on so well. Since adding a kilo of soap nuts* to my kitchen cupboard, my flatmate has also started using them, finding them easier to use than detergent. If you purchase these from E-Natural Products, you'll also be supplied with a small cotton bag to keep your nuts in, and can throw this in a wash with your clothes around six times before the nuts need replacing. Six times! That's a lot of washing.

You may be wondering about tougher stains, and you're right in thinking that they aren't strong enough to remove these by themselves. However, add in a scoop of bicarbonate of soda, and you've got a perfect recipe to deep clean your clothes, without synthetic chemicals or fragrances.

As for my friends with sensitive skin, these work a dream too. I can't recommend them highly enough, as they've helped clean up sweat rash as well as save me money (coming in at under £7 per bag) and also save the environment. Fruit pulp is, of course, biodegradable and compostable.

Without sounding too much like an advertisement, this is one of the green swaps I am incredibly impressed with! Let me know if you are thinking about trying them, or if you have questions!
I'm going to be frank - I think I've been using facial serum wrong. How awful! A green beauty blogger that doesn't know how to apply beauty products properly.

Or at least, I've found a much better way to use skincare. I've levelled up! I recently took the time to read Sali Hughes' book, Pretty Honest: The Straight Talking Beauty Companion, and found that skincare should be applied in the following order:

Cleanser
Toner (although not always necessary)
Facial serum
Moisturiser

Facial serum before moisturiser? Who knew! Since my first cheap bottles of cleanser, toner, and moisturiser (I remember just how much that so-called "toner" stang too), I'd never really dabbled with any other skincare, not until I turned 20. And by that point, remedial face masks seemed really, really appealing - my skin had changed a lot since reaching adulthood, and by that point I had developed dry, strained skin that needed a lot of love. Now, I'll really pamper my face to make sure it never reaches that sore stage it had got to.

And on that, I gave Skincere's Facial Serum* a go. It differs a lot from the facial oils I have been regularly using, and in fact, its performance gives way to my usual application method, despite some of the oils also being called facial serums:

Cleanser
Toner
Facial serum
Moisturiser
Facial oil

Whew! It sounds like a lot, but my thirsty thirsty skin needs it, even while I drink a boat-load more water to help out on the inside. So, why's this facial serum so great?

In all honesty, it's the feel that really keeps me hooked. This serum glides on, dries quickly, and makes the skin taught and soft like no other natural beauty product I own. It's as close as I have got to a natural primer (anyone found one yet?) and it permits me to apply a good moisturiser and facial oil base before foundation (or no makeup at all).

In fact, it's rare to find an entire skin care range that really performs on an equal footing - especially with my sensitive skin. However, with natural beauty getting better and better these days, I'm happy to say that Skincere performs well across all its products (day cream, night cream, eye serum, cream cleanser, and of course, facial serum).

The pleasure with Skincere is that it ticks a lot of boxes too. While it's not certified organic, it is preservative free, alcohol free, wheat free, soya free, dairy free, and free of synthetic fragrance too. I am a bit dubious about the claimed anti-ageing properties on its website, and I'm also very much a believer in standalone beauty products so would prefer a moisturiser to a day and night cream combo, but other than that, top marks!

My best advice for facial serum is to apply it as lightly as you can, in broad sweeps without massaging into the skin. This will stop it from breaking up and going bitty, which both the facial and eye serums do if played with too much. Other than that, it's a real delight to use!

Ethos is the place of Instagram dreams. I'll be honest, it's probably also the closest I've come to a place that resembles my (secret) interior design Pinterest board... I would love to create a living space similar to its style, although perhaps not as cluttered (or with as many guests!)

I've saved this post for a while, as I wanted to reserve the time to really explain just how much I enjoyed visiting Ethos. For my my birthday last month, I spent my lunch-break at work looking up vegetarian restaurants in London, and came across Ethos. Hey, I may be a Londoner now but the city is pretty big and I haven't had all that much time to explore! On a whim, I decided it was the perfect place for my boyfriend and I to visit to share my birthday meal.

What I truly loved about going is the way the place operates. All of its food is vegetarian or vegan, and very clearly labelled - my first love. I still don't understand how in this day and age, food in certain restaurants isn't labelled, or takes a member of staff 10+ minutes to check the recipe for me. Ethos took away all that stress.

Secondly, its very polite staff were happy to show us exactly how to pick our food. I hesitate to call the food a buffet if I'm honest (does anyone imagine see 90's potato salad and plastic plates when they hear the word?) but this is probably the best example of a vegetarian buffet that I've ever visited. The food is split between hot and cold stands, with plates being weighed at the end of your time self-serving to tell you how much you need to pay.

As you'll see from my plate, I went for a lot of different foods! Anything that seemed a little more outlandish than what I already cook had to feature, although looking back I should have really hit the cold counter more, as I missed out on a few lovely looking salads. From memory, the best bits were the chickpea curry, courgette frittata, and sweet potato chips... but I wouldn't say no to eating any of it again. Everything was just delicious.

For those of you wondering, my eyes were actually pretty spot on with my belly, going for a plate that cost around £15. My boyfriend made the mistake of stocking up on potatoes dauphinoise and paid £20+ along with a stomach ache afterwards... Poor boy!

Overall, Ethos feels like it was my first real taste of the vegetarian London scene - accommodating, stylish, and fun too. It's my go-to recommendation for when I've been asked where to eat (vegetarian or not, although I'm yet to gain a real thorough view of eating out in London yet) and I know I'll be back there soon enough too.

Coming from a household with an eclectic mix of British and Middle Eastern foods in the kitchen cupboards, I'm no newbie when it comes to dates. However, it's taken me this long to process them into these little balls of peanutty joy - I just couldn't get past a soft, ripe date as it is!

These energy balls are like a cross-over between trail mix and Reese's Cups. And if you don't like peanut butter, there's always almond butter (or cashew, or pumpkin-seed... the list goes on). I would recommend snacking on these when the 4pm hunger pangs set in at work, or as a mid-morning boost. Either way, try not to eat them too far into the night, as dates have a tendency to stick in your teeth, and you shouldn't brush for at least an hour after eating fruit to avoid acid erosion.



PEANUT BUTTER BALLS
Makes roughly 22

200g almonds
400g dates
4 tbsp cacao powder
2 tbsp peanut butter
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp chia seeds

  1. In a food processor, crush the almonds until all chopped up
  2. Pit the dates, and add into the bowl along with the cacao powder, nut butter, oil, and seeds
  3. Start to process, but add a drop of water to ease it in
  4. When the mixture has turned into a big lump, roll into balls
  5. As an added extra, roll in cacao powder - it adds a bittersweet element to the treat!

Guys! I finally tried a plant sponge! I'd been avoiding shelling out a tenner on one for months, and then came across this little beauty when browsing the Be.Loved skincare store.

The question I've always had for these things is how effective are they really? They remind me of the hard pumice stone my Grandma always keeps on her bathroom shelf, and surprisingly it does get quite hard if you leave the sponge to dry out after use. However, when soaking wet, it holds water and is soft and - well, squishy is the only word for it - that it's a real pleasure to use on my sensitive skin.

Made from 100% voodoo lily plant powder, my Voodoo Lily Sponge* has changed up my cleansing routine for the better. It makes application and washing of my face so much easier. For some reason, one of my pet hates is splashing my face with water and applying creams to my face with my eyes shut - it just sucks. Water up my sleeves, all around the sink, cream in my eyes... It's messy. But with this I've been enjoying a simpler, less stressful skincare routine.

The best thing about the sponge is that it's 100% biodegradable. As I start to garden in my new flat, I'm aiming to put together a compost bin and it's been making me think a lot about all the minor bits and bobs I buy that really can't be recycled, like ear buds. So at least for sponges, this one is a perfect replacement!

I've also been trying out Be.Loved's Organic Aloe Vera Gel*. This was at my request as I love aloe gel for all sorts, but I've yet to purchase organic aloe gel, with the exception of the new plant in my kitchen (photos will follow, I promise). However, I've found this gel to be more of a light spray than anything... It's perfect if you need a soothing skin spray, but I'm not quite sure where it fits in my regular skincare routine. My next mission is to use it as a wetting agent before a face mask à la Chrissstttiiine, but usually once something falls out of my routine, I rarely pick it back up later.