5 of the best: ethical easter treats

Like all devoted Atheists, I love me a religious holiday. Easter is all about the beginning of Spring, and all the beautiful greenery coming back and making you forget Winter ever happened. I’ve been trying to get outdoors as much as possible to make up for my hermit ways this Winter and wandering around some woods just as everything is starting to go green makes me feel so amazingly awake. Today I’ve scoured the known universe for everything that Spring has to offer, enjoy these handpicked (and sometimes handmade) beauties.

Booja Booja Easter Egg · £9.99 · Planetwise

 

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It’s quite hard being vegan. It’s difficult to say if it’s worse constantly being asked obvious questions, or waking up feeling guilty (and replaying every animal abuse video ever in your head) because you drunk called Pizza. But Easter is not a time to be miserable. Spring is here, so why don’t you treat yourself to some delicious, organic and dairy free chocolate. Beautiful inside and out, this is the Beyoncé of vegan Easter eggs.

 

Rose & Frankincense Candle · £32.00 · Wildheart Organics

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Spring is all about beautiful and invigorating scents. I love the idea of a spring clean (although maybe not in practice.) Putting away the heavy winter duvets and being able to open the windows without fear of hypothermia. This candle, with rose, frankincense and geranium, has all those energising scents that you need to get you into the right frame of mind for Spring.

 

Eco-Friendly Yoga Mat · £87.00 · Blisscloud

 

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As the outdoors becomes more and more bearable, it becomes a lot easier to stay active. This year I plan to do a lot more outdoor yoga, which will be a lot easier with a beautiful mat like this, a mat I want to treat right and show the sights. The mats by Blisscloud are eco-friendly, recyclable and contain no nasty chemicals or toxic dyes.

Freesia & Pear Soap ·  £4.50 ·  The Honeybell Soap Company

 

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The morning routine is starting to get a little easier, as I’m no longer having to turn off my alarm in the pitch black. Regardless, I have never been a morning person and probably never will be, so I have to rely on little treats to tempt me out of bed. This soap has the most incredible scent, with patchouli, white musk, freesia and pear. It smells of spring, but without being too overpoweringly sweet. This organic soap is an essential.

 

Vapour Stratus Instant Skin Perfector ·  £41.00 ·  Vapour Organic Beauty

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And finally a little Easter miracle for you all. With spring comes lots of beautiful soft light, and the chance for your skin to escape the damaging Winter conditions. This year I am focusing on skincare rather than just covering, and the results so far have been fantastic. Enter this BB cream, with light reflective technology that will give your skin a natural and healthy glow in the sunshine. You can use this product alone, or under foundation to give that ‘lit from within’ look. On top of this  it contains indulgent anti-inflammatory botanicals to calm any skin worries you have. This is just the product to get me out of hibernation.

 

What are your Easter must have products?

how to style: matt & nat brave backpack

Matt & Nat are a fantastic sustainable brand, who use vegan leather within their beautiful bags. They’re an incredibly innovative brand who are constantly experimenting with different recycled materials, and have recently started using bicycle tyres! In appreciation of their company and their beautiful bags, I’ve put together a set using only ethical brands, perfect for the first blue skies of the year.

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Azur Backpack · £98.00 · Matt&Nat

Square Oversized Sunglasses · £192.00· Stella McCartney

Eyes To Mesmerise · £22.00 · Charlotte Tilbury

Lyocell Trousers · £29.99 · H&M Conscious

Pamela Heeled Boot · £149.00 · Bourgeois Boheme

Textured Stripe Front Top · £420.00 · EDUN

Full Fat Lashes · £23.00 · Charlotte Tilbury

brand spotlight: faith in nature

Shopping ethically on a low budget can be a real difficulty, since most of the sustainable/organic brands cater to a more affluent audience. Luckily this is not the case with Faith in Nature, a value-for-money natural skincare brand that began in a kitchen in 1973. They were trailblazers for their time, in that the brand started cruelty free and has remained so for forty years.

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I have decided to try their Coconut range, as I am a self proclaimed worshipper of the furry fruit. All the products I’m reviewing have a high concentration of coconut oil, making them extremely beneficial for all skin types. My favourite part of these products has to be the scent, the nostalgic, powerful and completely natural smell of real coconut. There is not the slightest hint of artificial aroma, which for me is a huge deal breaker (my days of smelling like a bottle of Malibu are fortunately far behind me)

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The Coconut Hand Wash left my skin feeling smooth as smooth can be, without a hint of greasiness. Coconut oil is anti viral, anti bacterial and anti fungal so there is no need for a harsh and drying hand wash, great news for those of you who suffer from skin conditions. The hand wash also contains Vitamin E, which protects the skin from environmental pollution and well as preventing inflammatory conditions in the skin.

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I was really satisfied with the Coconut Shower Gel & Foam Bath, a best seller on their website and a winner of the 2016 Natural Health International Beauty Awards. Putting a dash of this in your bath will instantly whisk you away to a sandy beach in a tropical paradise. It’s a fantastic multi tasking product, which performs well as both a shower gel and a bubble bath. It also contains Sea Salt which helps to cleanse pores and balance oil production.

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My favourite of the bunch was the Coconut Body Lotion. The texture was perfect, incredibly light and easily absorbed, but with the effectiveness of a heavier moisturiser. The scent is subtle, natural and lasts all day. It also contains Cetaryla Olivate, a natural wonder ingredient that moisturises and prevents water loss in the skin. Would definitely recommend this product.

pink, pink, to make the girls wink

We ask our daughters ‘why not another colour?’ as if liking a typically feminine colour is dangerous. We worry that a little girl wearing a pink princess dress will turn out to be an airhead. And maybe there is some truth in that, and maybe it’s the fact that we are telling our daughters that favouring the ‘girly’ colour is wrong. Maybe we should start telling them they achieve anything they want, even in a pink princess dress.

So in celebration of all things pink, here’s a selection of ethically sourced pieces, to help you escape the chills this winter.

 

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Trousers · £60.00 · Nomads Clothing

Betsy Necklace · $54.99 · Starfish Project

Backpack  · £65.00 · Fjallraven

Beanie Hat · £32.00 · PeopleTree

Loveheart Coat  · £70.00 · Tara Starlet

Scarf · £9.99 · Vito Road

brand spotlight: neal’s yard remedies

I’m not someone who often feels stressed. A combination of yoga, mindfulness and motherhood has made me a much calmer person. But deciding to uproot my five year old daughter from her new school and move to Spain has put me pretty high up on the stress scale. My skin has of course turned on me, as skin does in times like this. My usual combination skin is now dry as the Sahara, and adding foundation into the mix creates a sad flaky mess. A forehead that says, I tried, and I failed.

I’ve been meaning to write about Neal’s Yard for a while, solely because of their brilliant reputation.  In 2008, they were the first high street retailer to reduce their carbon footprint to net zero, they never use microbeads, and they are running a campaign to save the bees, alongside many others that you can read about here. I visited the Bury St Edmunds branch to find out a bit more. The ladies in the shop were absolutely amazing and so knowledgeable and enthusiastic about their products.

I was recommended the Wild Rose Beauty Balm which I will without a doubt be purchasing. The scent is both intoxicating and calming; it contains rosehip oil, geranium and starflower to list a few. The texture was surprisingly thick, so  I used a very small amount, which covered my entire face, and the results were incredible. My dry skin vanished instantly and was replaced by pure radiance. It is so rare for me to find a product that exceeds expectations but I am in love with this product. Not superficial love, like my love for Joe Manganiellobut true love.

Next I was keen to try a product from their ‘Bee Lovely’ range, so I went with the Bee Lovely Body Butter. The bee population is declining rapidly due to modern agricultural practices and the pesticides we’re using. Neal’s Yard support the movement to ban neonicotinoids and only use sustainably sourced honey. The body butter itself absorbed very quickly, and had a lovely energising scent, perfect for the morning. It doesn’t have any nasty chemicals either, so I was able to try it out on my daughter, who said it smelt like sunshine. Another firm favourite.

The third product that I got on well with was the White Tea Eye Gel. I very rarely use under eye products as I’m more of a hide-under-a-carpet-of-concealer kind of girl. For me, the eye gel was one of those annoying products that you don’t realise you need until you try it. My eyes looked noticeably brighter and more refreshed. Damn you Neal’s Yard, take my money.

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Wild Rose Beauty Balm ·Bee Lovely Body Butter ·White Tea Eye Gel

(Fellow Bee Lovers: ‘The Year Of The Flood’ by Margaret Atwood and ‘The Bees’ by Laline Paull, are brilliant dystopian novels concerning bee extinction, and also ‘The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History’ is a nonfiction novel by Elizabeth Kolbert, which looks at the impact of humans on animal populations.)

what to pack for a romantic getaway: marrakech

If, like me, you hate February and everything it stands for, you might want to think about heading a little further South. European weather is treacherous and cruel this time of year, but thanks to the beauty of budget airlines, Morocco is very affordable, and the weather will not disappoint.

Hordes of tourists, sexual harassment and very little green space means Marrakech is not the obvious choice for a romantic getaway, and it’s certainly not the relaxing kind of break. If you’re travelling there for romantic purposes, it’s better to see Marrakech as a ‘team building activity.’ If you’re early on in a relationship, you will definitely discover a lot about how you work together as a couple. Marrakech is a challenge, but it is well worth the trouble.

It’s important to remember that Morocco is a Muslim country, and although Marrakech is incredibly cosmopolitan, when you’re out in public, it’s respectful to keep your shoulders covered and wear a long skirt or jeans.  Pack light, because, trust me when I say, you do not want to be lugging a huge bag around the labyrinth of hectic souks.

Below I’ve put together a collection of bits to keep you cool and sane in this crazy city.

 

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Love Tie Front Shirt · £15.00 · Love @ ASOS

Dupatta Scarf · £39 · Chandni Chowk

Cargo Shirt · £19.99 · H&M CONSCIOUS

Barron Sunglasses · £109.99 · TOMS

Sunblock · £8.95 · LUSH

Wool Hat · £22.00 · Christys’ @ ASOS

Quartz Earrings · $28.00 · Soul Flower

Black Suede Boots · £42.00 · Minnetonka @ ASOS

Reclaimed Bralet · £25.00 · Reclaimed Vintage

life’s not fair but my knickers are

When I think back to my best Valentine’s day, it would most probably be waking up with my friend Emily, and us both downing a glass of whiskey 10 minutes into the day. It only got better from thereon in.  I like Valentine’s because if you’re loved up it’s uncomfortably soppy and if you’re single it’s depressing in the most hilarious way. Whatever your status this Valentines, beautiful underwear is essential, for the following reasons:

  1. You can use it to trick people into buying you food
  2. You can wear it whilst eating ice cream alone and feel like a queen
  3.  You can tell a lover/intercourse acquaintance that you are buying them a present, (the present is underwear, for yourself.) They will then feel obliged to get you a present. That means two presents. Well played lady, well played.

The idea of eco undies brings to mind something cotton and beige, but you shouldn’t have to sacrifice sex appeal when shopping ethically.  Though the ethical lingerie market is definitely very limited, there are some amazing brands out there holding the fort. Here are my picks of the sultriest pieces about.

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Bra And Brief Set · £66.00 · LuvaHuva

Peace Silk Bra · £34.00 · Ayten Gasson

Stiletto Red Lipstick · £17.00 · Too Faced

Swarovski Crystal Knickers · £136.00 · Buttress And Snatch

Lip And Cheek Tint · £10.00 · Cheeky @ ASOS

Silk Teddy · £60.00 · Sulis

· What is your go-to seductress outfit?

· What was your most memorable Valentines day?