Summer Healing: DIY Charcoal Face Mask

Happy Tuesday everyone and welcome to post number two in my week long Summer Healing series. Oh how I love the irony of choosing to run a summer series during a week that has so far been filled with grey skies and rain. Got to love the British weather! Anyway this is therefore surely the perfect time to take a little break from summer indulgence and focus on a little pampering and rebuilding. So with that in mind, today I'm sharing a little summer healing for the skin with a DIY Charcoal Face Mask.

DIY Charcoal Face Mask

The idea for this post actually came a few weeks ago when watching This Morning beauty guru Bryony Blake make and trial this very face mask (spot the daytime TV working from home watcher!) I was instantly struck by how simple it was and decided I wanted to give this a go myself. 

Charcoal has been shown to have some great benefits for your health both inside and out. Activated charcoal causes any nasties you may have hanging around to bind to it and therefore it can help to rid the body of unwanted toxins. When applied to the skin it acts in the same way and draws out any unpleasant horrors that you may find lurking there, leaving your skin feeling fresher and more revitalised.

If you're going to investigate actually ingesting charcoal capsules then as with any supplement and tablet of this kind please make sure you do your research first and consult with a doctor if necessary. Always be aware of the potential risks as well as the benefits.

Face Mask Ingredients

There are many charcoal based face masks out there in the beauty world. I've tried a few but they're often very expensive and I've found them too astringent for my sensitive skin, stinging and turning me into a red mess pretty quickly after application. So I was intrigued to make my own, the ingredients in this sounded far more soothing plus the outlay was going to be far less expensive than some of the leading brands. 

I'm happy to report that my skin has absolutely loved this and feels cleansed, calmed and refreshed. The addition of Aloe Vera Gel makes this incredibly soothing and perfect for the warmer weather. The antiseptic properties of the Tea Tree Oil help with any unwanted breakouts and the star of the show, the Charcoal Powder, draws out any impurities and gently exfoliates and smoothes the skin. I will definitely be making this on a regular basis as a super skin treat. Plus it keeps in the fridge for a good week or so as well meaning that you can get a lot of extended use out of it. So without further ado here's what you need and how to put this simple but effective mask together.

Charcoal Powder

DIY CHARCOAL FACE MASK INGREDIENTS: 6-8 Activated Charcoal Capsules from which you gently extract the powder, 1 Tbsp Aloe Vera Gel, 1/2 Tbsp Water, 1-2 drops of Tea Tree Oil.

Mix the ingredients together and apply! You can adjust the gel and the water depending on the consistency that you prefer. Apply using an old makeup brush. I actually used a foundation brush that I don't use very often which was ideal plus it cleaned up perfectly fine anyway. Be aware that the charcoal may stain the brush though so don't use your favourite or most expensive one. The charcoal powder can be a bit of a messy customer so use with care.

Leave for 10-15 minutes to allow the mask to work its magic. When it starts to dry and you feel your skin slightly tighten then rinse away with warm water.

TIP: Unless you're planning to wash your hair immediately afterwards avoid applying too close to the hairline as you will find it a bit tricky to fully remove. Apply all over the face and neck if about to have a shower and wash your hair but if not then perhaps stick to the T-zone for an equally beneficial and slightly less messy treatment!

Finished Mask
Real Techniques Foundation Brush

So there we have a simple and cost efficient face mask. You can get a lot of use out of the remaining ingredients for soothing the skin especially at this time of year so I really think this is a good little homemade skincare treat. Just be careful not to stain your clothes and towels with the charcoal but with a little care I'm sure you will be happy with the skin clearing results. Best of luck if you decide to give this a go and I hope you find it useful.

Do you have any other DIY beauty ideas that you'd like to share? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Have a great day everyone.

Louise

 

Faith In Nature Coconut Skincare Review

So right now I'm probably lost in a field somewhere, possibly stuck in the mud, but hopefully having a good time at the wonder that is Glastonbury Festival - more about that and some festival photos and tips next week. However in my absence, today I wanted to share with you a review of some summery, coco-nutty loveliness that I've recently been testing out for the purpose of a review here on the blog.

Faith In Nature Review

You may have noticed my current penchant for organic products in recent blog posts. I don't primarily use organic skin and body care, but just like my food choices of late, I've started to seek out products that will do me good both on the out and the inside. When Faith In Nature asked me to review two of their products I was especially keen because of the far more purse friendly price points than some other brands that you come across in this line of beauty.

Faith In Nature Shower Gel

I chose to review the Coconut Shower Gel and Foam Bath* and Coconut Body Lotion* because frankly I love coconut and felt it would be a great summer option that is a little different from the usual sweet smelling floral or citrus fragrances on the market.

I've completely fallen in love with the shower gel. It's refreshing and has a really natural fragrance that actually smells like coconut! This comes in a very decent sized 400ml bottle, is easy to use and at £5.60 is definitely something I would re-purchase and keep in my shower as a great all rounder. It refreshes and cleans in equal measure, isn't drying or too astringent and it's nice to know that you're using something natural and healthy on your body.

Faith In Nature Coconut Body Lotion

The body lotion is a really lovely product too. It ticks the boxes for me in terms of the lightness of the texture. I hate anything that's too heavy and takes forever to soak in. Equally I can't be doing with products that are so light they don't have an effective enough moisturising result on dry skin. This product is perfect in terms of application and skincare pay off and I really love it for that reason. 

The only slight problem I had with this is that although the initial coconut fragrance is spot on and very lovely, after soaking into the skin it smells a little odd - well on my skin at least. Not horrible but not as nice and coco-nutty and fresh as I would like it to be. Having said that I would certainly buy this product again but I would probably give one of the other scents a go, Lavender perhaps.

I appreciate though that scent is a tricky one. It's very subjective and things can smell so different on different peoples skin. I'm still enjoying using this product and again think it's a good value for money skincare option. I would just personally try something different the next time around. 

Nature

All in all I have been very pleasantly surprised by the Faith In Nature selection. Having a look on their website I can see that they offer a number of different fragrances, skincare, body care and haircare options to try out and will certainly consider adding more items to my repertoire from this brand in the future.

Do any of these products appeal to you? Have you tried anything from this line that you would recommend? Let me know what you think and I hope to see you again very soon here on the blog. Have a great weekend all.

Louise

 


Made For Life: Behind The Scenes With Spiezia Organics

May I invite you for a moment to venture back to the coast of Cornwall with me. Yes you thought we had left those shores behind but I wanted to share with you one more lovely experience! As well as offer a little review of some beautiful organic skincare products produced by local business Spiezia Organics based in Truro, Cornwall and talk a little bit about their fabulous Made For Life Foundation.

Spiezia Organics

I was lucky to have the chance to have a little peep behind the scenes at Spiezia HQ during our visit to Cornwall back in May. Here I learnt a little more about how they make their beautiful organic products and what they get up to behind the scenes.

These past few weeks I've been trying out a couple of their skincare products that they kindly gifted to me during my visit. With all of that under my belt I feel it's time to share a little more with you here on the blog as well as impart my thoughts on the products that I got to test out. So without further ado...

Spiezia Organics

Spiezia Organics are based at the Health & Wellbeing Innovation Centre in Truro and it's from here that they make, market and sell all of their products. They also have a set of treatment rooms from which they are able to offer wellbeing treatments and advice to people suffering with cancer as part of the Made For Life Foundation. Being situated so close to the local hospital enables them to offer this exceptional service to patients who can head over and receive much needed treatment, pampering and support as part of their care and recovery.

The products are all completely natural with no parabens, chemicals or additives and are ideal for offering such a service, beautifully handmade to high standards on site. Cruelty free and ethically sourced, these products truly are a treat for your skin and mean that you won't be adding any unnecessary nasties to your face or body when you use them. Making you feel gorgeous from the outside whilst not doing any untold damage to the inside. Plus they are available from a number of online and national stockists so you don't need to venture to Cornwall to get your hands on them!

Spiezia Organics

Onsite at the wellbeing centre they lovingly infuse organic herbs and flowers in oil as part of the onsite maceration process (pictured above). Using the natural solar and lunar energy harnessed by the lovely bright and airy rooms in which they are situated, this 28 day process creates the starting blocks for these beautifully scented, natural products. At the end of this process the mixture is cold pressed to extract the lovely, final scented oil which is then bottled and stored in a dark room awaiting use in one of their beautiful products.

Everything is stored onsite, packaged and shipped to stockists and spas both nationally and internationally. I loved seeing how hands on the process and the team are in making the magic of these products happen. It really is a process of love and belief in providing a quality and caring product and sending it out to the world to be loved and enjoyed.

Spiezia Organics
Spiezia Organics Facial Cleanser

So to my thoughts on the products themselves having used them daily for nearly a month now. I've been happily trying out the Facial Cleanser* and the Rose and Vanilla Face Oil*.

Spiezia Organics Facial Cleaner

The cleanser is really very lovely. It smells divine and is one of those products that you look forward to using. A smooth but waxy like oil texture, this product is so gentle that even though it has essential oils in and you feel you may not be able to use it on your eyes to remove makeup you absolutely can. It doesn't do anything to irritate and only soothes and calms, leaving your face feeling smooth and soft. Safe to say I really love this!

If you're wearing a large amount of makeup then you probably will need to use the toner afterwards, as recommended, to remove those last few traces. It's very effective but after a night out with a little more eye makeup on than usual I needed something a little extra to remove those last few traces of eyeliner and mascara. Even so I would still use it in the initial cleansing part of my skincare routine and just follow up with a toner to achieve the full and final cleansed affect.

This is ideal for daily use in a healthy skincare routine. 

Spiezia Organics Facial Oil

The facial oil is recommended for use as a daily moisturiser and I can see it working that way if you don't wear that much makeup. I loved it but found it a little too much for daily, morning use. Oils don't always like my skin that much anyway so in that respect, as facial oils go this one went down very well with my temperamental face! I personally prefer to use this before bed as part of my evening routine and find that by the morning it has absorbed leaving my skin feeling nurtured and fresh. 

I also really love the smell of this and find it very relaxing so it's the perfect bedtime accompaniment as far as I'm concerned. It's not sweet and sickly as you might imagine for a product with vanilla in, I personally don't like overly vanilla scented products that much but I really enjoy using this as it is instead a very subtle blend. A lovely partner to the cleanser, both products smell divine and work incredibly effectively.

Spiezia Organics Facial Oil

For those of you who are fans of organic and natural skincare then you may very well want to give these beautiful products a go. They work beautifully, smell divine and look pretty snazzy on your shelf as well. I love the ethos behind the brand and the work that they do and was honoured to have the chance to learn more and share with you today.

I hope you enjoyed learning a little more and coming on my Spiezia journey with me and have a very Happy Wednesday all!

Louise

 


What's On My Desk? Getting Ready For Summer

Hello everyone and welcome to the merry summer month of June! I thought with the dawning of the new month and in the spirit of getting back to business after a bit of holiday time here on the blog recently, today would be a good day to run through some new items that will be gracing my desk and helping me navigate the upcoming summer months. So today I have for you an updated What's On My Desk?

What's On my Desk Summer

First I'm going to begin with a recent purchase that I think is ideal to mention at the beginning of June, half way through the year, the Daily Greatness Business Planner.

I personally really need to get my working life back on track after taking a little step back to reflect over the last six weeks or so. I'm trying to get involved in more freelance projects which need me to be mega organised and set targets and goals in order to ensure I'm actually getting somewhere. Plus I really want to spend the next six months looking at what I'm doing with this blog and upping my game, organising my content a little better and reaching out to more people in order to collaborate, interview and generally grow this little corner of the internet for the better (I hope).

I've mentioned before my passion for old fashioned paper and pen, and whilst I use my laptop, phone and various apps to organise my life on the go, I was still craving a place to really be able to lay out my thoughts, goals and actions in one place.

Daily Greatness Business Planner

I can't wait to get stuck into using this planner. It isn't dated, hence why starting it midway through the year is going to be completely fine, but it will help me organise my thoughts in a much more practical way than I currently seem to be doing.

With weekly, monthly and quarterly checklists, a place to write out your business plan, budgeting sections, prompts for weekly goals and general positive action points, quotes and ideas running throughout, I just know this is going to become my working life bible over the next few months. I'm so glad I finally decided to purchase one after a few months of pondering!

Daily Greatness Business Planner

Next up, when last having a browse around Rymans wondering what new stationery I could justify buying as I do on a regular basis, I decided to pick up this simple Acrylic Smart Phone Holder (link to similar) to keep by my side when actually sitting at my desk. 

At times I keep my phone on silent when I'm working in order to avoid being too distracted, especially if I have a lot to get done. I wanted to get something simple like this to prop up my phone so that I can still glimpse out of the corner of my eye if anything major happens in terms of phone calls. This is exactly what I needed, a no frills little stand that's just the ticket!

Phone Holder

Anyone who follows me on Instagram may have noticed a number of food posts coming their way recently. You may have read my previous post, Healthy Foodie Inspiration where I mention a couple of my favourite recipe books. Well, I'm still completely loving those but have recently added Get The Glow by Madeleine Shaw to my collection and have to say this is turning out to be a real winner.

Get The Glow Madeleine Shaw

The recipes are all incredibly delicious plus they don't really involve a whole lot of odd sounding and confusing ingredients, nor a great deal of time that you just don't have in the week in order to make delicious healthy meals.

I have so many favourite recipes from this book so far but a special mention has to go to the Ginger Beef Kebabs so simple and ridiculously delicious. As well as the Thai Chicken Soup with Toasted Peanuts (pictured below). We used unsalted cashews and added some wholewheat soba noodles to take it from a lighter lunch dish to a more substantial evening meal, but it was so good, so simple and definitely something we will be making on a regular basis. 

Thai Chicken Soup Get The Glow

On the subject of trying to maintain a healthier diet, for my next item I wanted to mention something I've taken to snacking on at my desk and on the go - the gluten free cereal bars from Nakd. My favourite flavour being Apple Pie as pictured below.

I've been making lots of my own healthy snack bites from the aforementioned cook books and having tried out a number of varied recipes. I will save my tales of homemade snack balls for another post! However if I'm out and about or just haven't had the time to make a fresh batch of my own snacks then I think that reaching for these Nakd bars is the next best thing.

Many such bars on the market are of course full of lots of added sugars and other nasties that take them quickly from the promise of a healthy to snack to something even worse than chowing down on a bar of chocolate. However I was recently watching nutritionist Ameila Freer discuss how if you must reach for something on the run then you want to look for snacks with the least ingredients. Therefore being as natural as possible and hopefully not so bad for you. 

The Nakd bars have very few ingredients, are cold-pressed and never baked therefore maintaining much more of their nutritional value and have no added sugars or syrups. Maybe not quite nutritionally perfect but they're pretty good as well as being blooming tasty too. Apple Pie is great - I also love the Banana Bread and the Cocoa Delight. Good to keep in your desk drawer or your work bag for any in between meeting emergencies.

Nakd Snack Bar

At the end of this month I'll be braving the Glastonbury Festival again for the first time in six years! So I wanted to invest in a portable mobile phone charger as I thought it would come in useful when on the go in general as well as hopefully provide a little extra power during the festival season.

I've opted to give the Anker Astro Mini a try as it sounds like a pretty useful piece of kit, is a nice compact size and well to be honest it was reduced from £39.99 to £9.99 so seemed like a worthwhile purchase for my particular purposes. I'm a bit cheeky including this here I guess as I haven't actually given it a proper test run yet but I thought I'd add it in then report back in a few weeks to let you know how I get on. Hopefully it will do the trick and provide enough extra power to render itself useful - I'm feeling optimistic!

Anker Mobile Charger

No edition of What's On My Desk would be complete without including a little notebook love! This time in the form of these three cute little paperbacks by Liberty from Waterstones (similar here). Bright and summery I couldn't resist these and they will play an important part in my summer note taking and planning. One is lined, one has squares (no excuse not to keep a note of my finances now) and one is simply pretty and plain with pastel coloured pages. Easy to carry with you, cute and perfectly formed. I'm looking forward to using these and feeling colourful and inspired as I do so.

Liberty Notebooks

Last but not least is the Orico Jazzy Moisturising Body Wash* that I was lucky to receive in a goody bag at a recent event and have really enjoyed using. Ok so body wash as part of a desk based post might seem a little odd. However, if you're someone who likes to take a trip to the gym or go for a run in your lunch break and are looking for something to really freshen and reawaken you before you head back to your desk in the afternoon, then this might be something worth keeping in your gym bag or desk drawer for such an occasion. 

The scent is fresh and revitalising - jazzy is certainly the right word here! It isn't drying in any way and will wake you up with a burst of fruity goodness from the Mandarin and Orange essential oils. It is also a certified organic and cruelty free product and is generally just delightful.

Orico Body Wash.jpg

 

So there we have my personal summer favourites and I hope some useful recommendations and ideas for you if you're after anything similar to the ideas above.

What are your summer work and desk side essentials? Have you tried out any of the above or do you have any suggestions or ideas you think I might like to try out? Do let me know, I love to hear new thoughts and hear your personal experiences with the same or similar products.

Bye for now everyone and see you again soon. Enjoy the rest of your Monday!

Louise