Toasty

Pages

Search This Blog

Popular Posts

It started with Nadia's review.

I'd been looking for something extra to add to my skincare routine, and there it was: a cruelty-free face mask that promised to calm down all my spot-related woes.

My complexion was the clearest it had ever been earlier in the year  I suspect it was the extra Vitamin D I got in Dubai that did it  but I've accepted that it will normally flare up at the first signs of stress, upheaval, and raging hormones.

And since over the past two months I've interviewed for, accepted and started a new full-time job, moved house twice, and had a car accident that's knocked my confidence in a huge way, my skin has been doing all kinds of weird and wonderful things.

(The positives are that I really like my job, have lovely housemates and am slowly getting back into driving, so there's still lots to be grateful for, but it's been overwhelming to say the least. This is why I haven't been posting on here as much as usual.)

I ordered Bloomtown's The Clearing Black Clay & Tea Tree Treatment Mask (v) for oily and acne-prone skin before all of that happened, but I was happy to have it on hand when everything kicked off.

I know there's more to self care than face masks  being kind to yourself, saying no to what stresses you out, and talking to the people you love are all important, for example  but there's something calming about taking the time to use one. I find that it slows me down after a busy day (and I always get a laugh out of how my face looks when the mask is on. Hello, horror film).

Bloomtown Botanicals The Clearing Treatment Mask

I'm also happy to support a brand like Bloomtown. You can read all about their ethical policies on their website, but here's a quick rundown:
  • They only use suppliers who treat their workers fairly.
  • They don't use palm oil or ingredients derived from palm oil.
  • They don't test on animals at any stage in the production process, and no animal ingredients are used, making them cruelty free and vegan.
  • All Bloomtown products are free from palm oil, animal products, wheat, sulphates, SLS, parabens, synthetic fragrances, colours and detergents.
  • Recycled and recyclable materials are used for packaging. Their packing peanuts and bubble wrap are biodegradable.

Ingredients list
Plant-derived glycerine; kaolin clay; natural black clay; radish root ferment filtrate; coconut fruit extract; tea tree leaf oil; white willow bark extract; bergamot fruit oil; cedar wood oil; pine leaf oil; juniper fruit oil; rosemary leaf oil; d-limonene; limonene

Tea tree oil, a known spot-buster, is anti-bacterial, while white willow bark is an anti-inflammatory. The black clay doesn't set because of the glycerine, which keeps moisture locked in the skin and stops the mask from being too drying, so you can still speak and move your face while the mask is on.

The smell of tea tree hits you as soon as you open the pot, which may not be to everyone's tastes, but I guess my brain just associates tea tree with skincare routines now, because I quite like it.

I used the mask the same day it arrived, scaring both my parents in the process, and saw a noticeable difference in my skin the next morning. All the redness and bumps had gone right down, and existing spots had dried up significantly. The gunk hiding in my painful, under-the-skin spots had been drawn right to the surface.

Bloomtown Botanicals The Clearing Treatment Mask

It wasn't a first-use fluke, either  I see results every time I use the mask. It calms down redness and has reduced the appearance of my acne scars, plus my chin in particular is less bumpy and has fewer blackheads.

What I really love is that The Clearing is gentle enough to use several days in a row if you've got a particularly stubborn breakout. It's not a mask to use before an event or big night out because it tends to bring brewing spots to the fore, but for significant, long-term results this is well worth the money. I'll be buying it again and again.

The Clearing treatment mask costs £12 for 100g of product (I've had mine since mid-August and I've got about a quarter of a jar left). Anyone who signs up for a Bloomtown account can earn stars to put towards discount vouchers, too. I'm tempted to do the whole multimasking thing and order their soothing face mask next...

Have you tried anything from Bloomtown before? What's your favourite face mask? Let me know in the comments!

Bloomtown The Clearing Black Clay & Tea Tree Treatment Mask

It started with Nadia's review.

I'd been looking for something extra to add to my skincare routine, and there it was: a cruelty-free face mask that promised to calm down all my spot-related woes.

My complexion was the clearest it had ever been earlier in the year  I suspect it was the extra Vitamin D I got in Dubai that did it  but I've accepted that it will normally flare up at the first signs of stress, upheaval, and raging hormones.

And since over the past two months I've interviewed for, accepted and started a new full-time job, moved house twice, and had a car accident that's knocked my confidence in a huge way, my skin has been doing all kinds of weird and wonderful things.

(The positives are that I really like my job, have lovely housemates and am slowly getting back into driving, so there's still lots to be grateful for, but it's been overwhelming to say the least. This is why I haven't been posting on here as much as usual.)

I ordered Bloomtown's The Clearing Black Clay & Tea Tree Treatment Mask (v) for oily and acne-prone skin before all of that happened, but I was happy to have it on hand when everything kicked off.

I know there's more to self care than face masks  being kind to yourself, saying no to what stresses you out, and talking to the people you love are all important, for example  but there's something calming about taking the time to use one. I find that it slows me down after a busy day (and I always get a laugh out of how my face looks when the mask is on. Hello, horror film).

Bloomtown Botanicals The Clearing Treatment Mask

I'm also happy to support a brand like Bloomtown. You can read all about their ethical policies on their website, but here's a quick rundown:
  • They only use suppliers who treat their workers fairly.
  • They don't use palm oil or ingredients derived from palm oil.
  • They don't test on animals at any stage in the production process, and no animal ingredients are used, making them cruelty free and vegan.
  • All Bloomtown products are free from palm oil, animal products, wheat, sulphates, SLS, parabens, synthetic fragrances, colours and detergents.
  • Recycled and recyclable materials are used for packaging. Their packing peanuts and bubble wrap are biodegradable.

Ingredients list
Plant-derived glycerine; kaolin clay; natural black clay; radish root ferment filtrate; coconut fruit extract; tea tree leaf oil; white willow bark extract; bergamot fruit oil; cedar wood oil; pine leaf oil; juniper fruit oil; rosemary leaf oil; d-limonene; limonene

Tea tree oil, a known spot-buster, is anti-bacterial, while white willow bark is an anti-inflammatory. The black clay doesn't set because of the glycerine, which keeps moisture locked in the skin and stops the mask from being too drying, so you can still speak and move your face while the mask is on.

The smell of tea tree hits you as soon as you open the pot, which may not be to everyone's tastes, but I guess my brain just associates tea tree with skincare routines now, because I quite like it.

I used the mask the same day it arrived, scaring both my parents in the process, and saw a noticeable difference in my skin the next morning. All the redness and bumps had gone right down, and existing spots had dried up significantly. The gunk hiding in my painful, under-the-skin spots had been drawn right to the surface.

Bloomtown Botanicals The Clearing Treatment Mask

It wasn't a first-use fluke, either  I see results every time I use the mask. It calms down redness and has reduced the appearance of my acne scars, plus my chin in particular is less bumpy and has fewer blackheads.

What I really love is that The Clearing is gentle enough to use several days in a row if you've got a particularly stubborn breakout. It's not a mask to use before an event or big night out because it tends to bring brewing spots to the fore, but for significant, long-term results this is well worth the money. I'll be buying it again and again.

The Clearing treatment mask costs £12 for 100g of product (I've had mine since mid-August and I've got about a quarter of a jar left). Anyone who signs up for a Bloomtown account can earn stars to put towards discount vouchers, too. I'm tempted to do the whole multimasking thing and order their soothing face mask next...

Have you tried anything from Bloomtown before? What's your favourite face mask? Let me know in the comments!
Lucky Cloud have been on my radar for a little while.

I saw a product of theirs in a blog post, thought 'Ooh, that looks interesting,' and then didn't do anything about it. So when the brand appeared on LoveLula, I decided it was about time I tried something and swiftly added the Sweet Orange + Vanilla Hydrating Body Balm* (v) to my shopping basket. I'm a sucker for anything with a citrus scent.

About Lucky Cloud
Lucky Cloud make luxury, cruelty-free products with natural, plant-based ingredients and everything is suitable for vegans. Their products are free from formaldehydes, sodium lauryl sulphates, sodium laureth sulphates, mineral oil, and animal ingredients. All their packaging is recyclable, including the shipping bags and boxes.

This is exactly the kind of approach I look for, so I was looking forward to trying the body balm for myself. Let's see if it lived up to expectation.

Lucky Cloud Hydrating Body Balm

The balm comes in a sturdy glass jar with a screw-top lid. Normally I would pick a tube or pump bottle over a jar (even though jars look that much fancier) but in this case it's much easier to scoop the product out because it's quite thick.

The first thing you notice when you open the product is the scent  it's very sweet, and smells like a Terry's Chocolate Orange, or the jelly part of a Jaffa Cake. The vanilla really comes through, but the sharpness of the orange is (thankfully) still there. Despite the scent being so strong, it's never irritated my skin, even the cracked, drier areas on my elbows and hands.

Ingredients List
Apricot kernel oil; hydrogenated soybean oil; sunflower seed oil; shea butter; cocoa seed butter; calendula flower extract; vitamin e oil; jojoba seed oil; orange peel oil; alcohol; benzoin essential oil; rosemary leaf extract; d-limonene; linalol

Lucky Cloud Hydrating Body Balm

The body balm's texture is thick and a little sticky, but not unbearably so. It reminds me of Vaseline, but this sinks into the skin and moisturises it, instead of just acting like a barrier.

The pot holds 60ml of product, so I reserve the balm for the driest areas of my body  elbows, knees, feet  and anywhere else that needs a bit of extra hydration and comfort (at this time of year, my hands always need help). I alternated using between this balm and Lyonsleaf's Calendula Cream when I had a cold last week, and both of them soothed the skin around my poor nose and stopped my skin from getting so flaky. It can also be used on eyebrows and eyelashes, post-shave, and as an aftersun.

At £16.50, it's not exactly a budget buy, but Lucky Cloud have created a lovely, soothing balm that will hydrate even the driest of winter skins. One to invest in if you want a natural, cruelty-free product (and you don't mind smelling of chocolate orange).

How do you feel about multipurpose products? Are they worth the money? Let me know in the comments.

*Product sent by LoveLula for consideration of review. As always, all words and opinions are my own.

Introducing Lucky Cloud

Lucky Cloud have been on my radar for a little while.

I saw a product of theirs in a blog post, thought 'Ooh, that looks interesting,' and then didn't do anything about it. So when the brand appeared on LoveLula, I decided it was about time I tried something and swiftly added the Sweet Orange + Vanilla Hydrating Body Balm* (v) to my shopping basket. I'm a sucker for anything with a citrus scent.

About Lucky Cloud
Lucky Cloud make luxury, cruelty-free products with natural, plant-based ingredients and everything is suitable for vegans. Their products are free from formaldehydes, sodium lauryl sulphates, sodium laureth sulphates, mineral oil, and animal ingredients. All their packaging is recyclable, including the shipping bags and boxes.

This is exactly the kind of approach I look for, so I was looking forward to trying the body balm for myself. Let's see if it lived up to expectation.

Lucky Cloud Hydrating Body Balm

The balm comes in a sturdy glass jar with a screw-top lid. Normally I would pick a tube or pump bottle over a jar (even though jars look that much fancier) but in this case it's much easier to scoop the product out because it's quite thick.

The first thing you notice when you open the product is the scent  it's very sweet, and smells like a Terry's Chocolate Orange, or the jelly part of a Jaffa Cake. The vanilla really comes through, but the sharpness of the orange is (thankfully) still there. Despite the scent being so strong, it's never irritated my skin, even the cracked, drier areas on my elbows and hands.

Ingredients List
Apricot kernel oil; hydrogenated soybean oil; sunflower seed oil; shea butter; cocoa seed butter; calendula flower extract; vitamin e oil; jojoba seed oil; orange peel oil; alcohol; benzoin essential oil; rosemary leaf extract; d-limonene; linalol

Lucky Cloud Hydrating Body Balm

The body balm's texture is thick and a little sticky, but not unbearably so. It reminds me of Vaseline, but this sinks into the skin and moisturises it, instead of just acting like a barrier.

The pot holds 60ml of product, so I reserve the balm for the driest areas of my body  elbows, knees, feet  and anywhere else that needs a bit of extra hydration and comfort (at this time of year, my hands always need help). I alternated using between this balm and Lyonsleaf's Calendula Cream when I had a cold last week, and both of them soothed the skin around my poor nose and stopped my skin from getting so flaky. It can also be used on eyebrows and eyelashes, post-shave, and as an aftersun.

At £16.50, it's not exactly a budget buy, but Lucky Cloud have created a lovely, soothing balm that will hydrate even the driest of winter skins. One to invest in if you want a natural, cruelty-free product (and you don't mind smelling of chocolate orange).

How do you feel about multipurpose products? Are they worth the money? Let me know in the comments.

*Product sent by LoveLula for consideration of review. As always, all words and opinions are my own.
Finding a concealer that suits you can be a mission and a half.

Is it a good colour match? Will it go cakey? Should you get a liquid, a stick, or a solid product?

I've found a couple of close contenders in my time, but so far the perfect concealer has eluded. So when Botanical Brands got in touch to ask if I'd like to try Living Nature's Concealer in Light*, I figured it was worth a go.

Living Nature is based in New Zealand and was created after its founder, Suzanne Hall, was inspired to use native New Zealand plants to heal her skin as safely as possible. The company only uses sustainably sourced ingredients that have been certified natural, their packaging is all recyclable, and they don't test on animals. Sounds promising, but did the concealer work the way I wanted it to? Let's find out.

Living Nature Base Products

Packaging
A sleek, matte black tube. I like this because it's easy to squeeze out the right amount of product, and it's more hygienic than a pot. It's small enough to take on the go, although if you're going to reapply it in the middle of the day then I'd recommend bringing a brush with you, too.

Key ingredients
Manuka honey for nourishment, manuka oil for protection, and minerals for skin health. It's also worth noting that it contains shea butter (albeit further down the list), which can cause some problem skins to break out.

Texture
This concealer is quite a thick liquid, which means it sits better over blemishes than it does on the delicate skin underneath the eyes. Unfortunately, it can cling to dry patches, even when applied sparingly. It blends well with a concealer brush, but doesn't do so well if you just use your fingers - it's all in the tools with this one.

Interestingly, you're meant to apply the concealer before your foundation, not after. I do this anyway because my foundation of choice is mineral, but if you prefer liquids you might want to experiment to see what works best for you.

Coverage
Medium. It conceals redness and dark circles with ease.

Shade match
I could just about get away with this when I first came home from Dubai and had less of a milk-bottle complexion, but after my skin returned to its usual, uber-pale state I found that Light was in fact too dark. Fortunately, my mum, whose skin tone is much warmer than mine, was happy to take the concealer off my hands, and she's really enjoying using it.

Living Nature Base Swatches

Staying power
This concealer lasts longest when it's been set with a light dusting of powder. It has better staying power on drier skins, but I wouldn't recommend it if you really suffer from dryness because of its tendency to cling. One for those for whom oiliness and dryness aren't too much of an issue?

Price
£22 for 7ml. Would I be prepared to pay this? No. I don't mind splashing out on make-up occasionally, but it has to be something special and this isn't quite right for me.

In short
Pros: Sleek, hygienic packaging; covers blemishes and uneven patches; blends well with a brush; stays put with a little powder dusted over the top.
Cons: Shea butter makes some people break out; clings to dry patches; light shade won't suit the palest skins; v. expensive.

Living Nature's Concealer doesn't come in the right shade or formula for me, but if you have a medium skin tone, or skin that tans easily, and not many problems with oil or dryness, then this might strike the kind of balance you're looking for.

What do you look for in a concealer? Let me know in the comments!

*Product was sent to me by Botanical Brands for consideration of review. As always, all words and opinions are my own.

Review: Living Nature Concealer in Light

Finding a concealer that suits you can be a mission and a half.

Is it a good colour match? Will it go cakey? Should you get a liquid, a stick, or a solid product?

I've found a couple of close contenders in my time, but so far the perfect concealer has eluded. So when Botanical Brands got in touch to ask if I'd like to try Living Nature's Concealer in Light*, I figured it was worth a go.

Living Nature is based in New Zealand and was created after its founder, Suzanne Hall, was inspired to use native New Zealand plants to heal her skin as safely as possible. The company only uses sustainably sourced ingredients that have been certified natural, their packaging is all recyclable, and they don't test on animals. Sounds promising, but did the concealer work the way I wanted it to? Let's find out.

Living Nature Base Products

Packaging
A sleek, matte black tube. I like this because it's easy to squeeze out the right amount of product, and it's more hygienic than a pot. It's small enough to take on the go, although if you're going to reapply it in the middle of the day then I'd recommend bringing a brush with you, too.

Key ingredients
Manuka honey for nourishment, manuka oil for protection, and minerals for skin health. It's also worth noting that it contains shea butter (albeit further down the list), which can cause some problem skins to break out.

Texture
This concealer is quite a thick liquid, which means it sits better over blemishes than it does on the delicate skin underneath the eyes. Unfortunately, it can cling to dry patches, even when applied sparingly. It blends well with a concealer brush, but doesn't do so well if you just use your fingers - it's all in the tools with this one.

Interestingly, you're meant to apply the concealer before your foundation, not after. I do this anyway because my foundation of choice is mineral, but if you prefer liquids you might want to experiment to see what works best for you.

Coverage
Medium. It conceals redness and dark circles with ease.

Shade match
I could just about get away with this when I first came home from Dubai and had less of a milk-bottle complexion, but after my skin returned to its usual, uber-pale state I found that Light was in fact too dark. Fortunately, my mum, whose skin tone is much warmer than mine, was happy to take the concealer off my hands, and she's really enjoying using it.

Living Nature Base Swatches

Staying power
This concealer lasts longest when it's been set with a light dusting of powder. It has better staying power on drier skins, but I wouldn't recommend it if you really suffer from dryness because of its tendency to cling. One for those for whom oiliness and dryness aren't too much of an issue?

Price
£22 for 7ml. Would I be prepared to pay this? No. I don't mind splashing out on make-up occasionally, but it has to be something special and this isn't quite right for me.

In short
Pros: Sleek, hygienic packaging; covers blemishes and uneven patches; blends well with a brush; stays put with a little powder dusted over the top.
Cons: Shea butter makes some people break out; clings to dry patches; light shade won't suit the palest skins; v. expensive.

Living Nature's Concealer doesn't come in the right shade or formula for me, but if you have a medium skin tone, or skin that tans easily, and not many problems with oil or dryness, then this might strike the kind of balance you're looking for.

What do you look for in a concealer? Let me know in the comments!

*Product was sent to me by Botanical Brands for consideration of review. As always, all words and opinions are my own.

Shop My Favourites


Beth, 23, South East England. I'm a writer with a love of books, lipstick, and the Oxford comma. I love beauty and I also love animals, so I only buy, use, and feature products from cruelty-free brands. (Seriously though, I am the person who stops to fuss over every dog she sees.) You can also expect posts about vegan/vegetarian food, and plenty of musings about life as a 20-something. Want to get in touch? Email me at beth.toasty@gmail.com

Keep Up To Date

Follow

Social

Blog Archive

Copyright @ Toasty. Blog Design by KotrynaBassDesign