Sunday, 5 August 2018

Review: The July Natural Beauty Box

This month's lovely Natural Beauty Box featured seven gorgeous plastic-free products.

The theme for this month's box was Zero Waste to coincide with plastic-free July. This is an important topic for me as I'm doing my best to minimise my plastic consumption and more and more, packaging of beauty products is starting to bother me.

 A very familiar and welcome brand, I've been using Friendly Soap since last year and I totally love them. Their price is great, their ingredients are minimal and palm-free and you don't get any more eco-friendly than a cardboard box. I've used their face soaps and body soaps but I haven't tried this variation before.
It's lovely of course. The peppermint essential oil fragrance is really strong and refreshing. The soap is rich and creamy and leaves you feeling fresh and clean, a perfect choice for summer. As well as FS being fab I like to support them because they are a Northern brand, from Todmorden, not too far from where I was born. I urge everyone to get on board with them!

Buy here

I had heard of this company but hadn't tried anything previously. This lovely offering comes in a little tin, which I'm a huge fan of having my products in as it's so eco-friendly, reusable and portable.
The balm is thick and so fragrant with ylang ylang and palmarosa. It's got summer written all over it and it melts into the skin and leaves the hands so soft. I've been using it last thing at night and I love it. Definitely one to repurchase.

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This new-to-me brand features masks, oils and scrubs for problematic skin and this one contains Australian pink clay, hibiscus and cacao in a base that you reconstitute with liquid. I was intrigued by this as I've had recent outbreaks of spots and it's really got me down so any natural help I can get is a bonus.
You can mix the mask with literally anything, but I was boring and chose water. It took me a bit of experimentation to get the consistency right but finally, I was caked in brownness and making my son laugh. I had a bit of tingling at first and was nervous I would have a red face afterwards as mentioned on the bottle, so I only left the mask on five minutes. It does dry out during this time but I spritzed it with rose water.
Afterwards, my skin was very clean and soft, with no redness or irritation. My spots felt soothed and my spirits lifted at the thought that I now have a mask that will target my blemishes with regular use. Nini Organics also do a natural detox facial oil as the perfect follow up to this mask for those who need help like me.
It should be noted that you only need a tablespoon at a time so this little bottle will last for ages. A real winner and I'm looking forward to some serious long term use of this mask to see the results.

I've heard of Zao but haven't tried their products. They're a Leaping Bunny approved brand and most of their products are vegan. Their packaging is made from bamboo and is refillable. Doesn't get more eco-friendly than that!
Number 105, Golden Sand is a pearly shadow and contains rice powder and micronised silver powder. It also comes in a refill which is £9.
Unfortunately this shade wasn't for me. It was so lightly pigmented that it didn't show up at all on my pale skin (the photo shows the shade swatched on my hand to the left of the picture), and not even over darker shades. I'd try more from this brand though as they have some great darker shades and a good range of make-up and I love that packaging.

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I was totally thrilled to get these Kubes as I've been eyeing them up for a while and heard so many good things about them. The company make shampoo kubes and both body and shampoo kubes. The latter are 74% organic and contain lemongrass, bergamot, cedarwood and sweet orange.
So, the Kubes are simple enough to use. You put one in the palm of your hand, add a bit of water from your shower and crumble. It makes a paste which you can use on your hair and body and one is enough for me as I have very short hair and a small body. 😝 They left my hair very clean. I didn't try one without conditioner as my hair is dry but when I buy these in future, I definitely will.
These are perfect for travel and perfect for the environment. You can't go wrong really.

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I absolutely love getting make-up or related items in beauty boxes and a brush is such a real treat. Flawless are a vegan company who make brushes with sustainable bamboo handles. I was really impressed with this one. It's a little tiny pointed one and I don't have any brushes like this in my collection. I found it perfect for highlighting the corners of my eyes and it's also great for smudging too. I'm a huge fan of make-up brushes and Flawless's prices are great so I'll certainly be checking out the rest of their range.

Buy here

Another new-to-me brand, I was very excited when Emma revealed this product before box shipping because I just love chocolate skin care! Sknfed are natural, vegan and Soil Association certified. And frankly I got nearly as much of a thrill from unwrapping this bar as I would from a real bar of chocolate. 😝

Look at this bad boy
The packaging and presentation of this bar is such genius. You break off one square which is a good size for a face wash.
This is where it got surprising. I expected the soap to crumble and disintegrate, hence making each square single-use. Not at all. It was like a regular mini bar of soap. I kept it in a little dish on the sink and after five uses I stopped counting. I estimate that each square does around ten washes before it's too small to use. 
And the verdict? It lathers up great, it doesn't make a dirty protest stain on your muslin and it leaves skin feeling so soft, clean and revitalised. I love it!
The one reservation I have about this product is that it contains palm oil. I try my best not to use this in my beauty products so I'm disappointed by its inclusion. However, I've emailed Sknfed for clarification and I'll update this review when I get a reply.

In summary, this month was a bumper box of zero-waste goodies. So nice to be able to just put paper packaging in the recycling bin and not plastic. This collection has definitely given me an incentive to look at my plastic use as there are plenty of alternatives out there offered by fantastic, dedicated companies. I loved getting seven products this month and the bonus of the three Beauty Kubes. I can't wait for August!

You can sign up to the Natural Beauty Box here

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