Review: Fair Squared Coconut Body Scrub and Body Lotion

As you may have seen, I made the decision to buy only cruelty free cosmetics this summer. So, I’ve definitely had a journey in finding brands that offer cruelty free products but it’s been way easier than I thought!

Fair Squared is one of the brands I’ve encountered since and they’re so impressive to me. Not only are the PETA certified cruelty free but their products are vegan, halal, Fairtrade labelled and have the Natrue label, which I hadn’t seen before but is great if you want to look into it. So, as a brand goes, they’re pretty decent ethically!

I tried the Coconut Body Lotion and the Coconut Body Scrub from them and straight away I want to say how lovely the packaging is. They come in cardboard boxes which immediately makes them feel special. They would genuinely make such a lovely gift. They also both contain great ingredients including Fairtrade olive oil from Palestine and Fairtrade coconut from Sri Lanka and Thailand.

Coconut Body Lotion – £12.95 for 250 ml

I’ll say straight away that this is far more than I’d normally spend on a body lotion for myself. At the same time though, what I’ve usually bought in the past has a petrochemical base and isn’t cruelty free…

The lotion comes in a pump that you can easily turn back off – which I love because it means I can travel with it and put it in my gym bag. It’s also great now I often have long fingernails because I don’t have to awkwardly try and scoop a bit out, YES.

Onto the actual product. I was really surprised the first time I used this that it didn’t have that standard, slightly artificial, slightly too vanilla ‘coconut’ scent! It smells slightly nutty, slightly like fresh coconut as soon as you’ve cracked it open. It’s not too strong and doesn’t linger. The lotion is wonderful. It’s hydrating and sinks in so quickly. I can really recommend it for summer, for using after swimming or when you need to get dressed quickly. It doesn’t feel heavy on the skin, like so many body lotions can! They also have other scents such as lime and vanilla if coconut doesn’t appeal.

Coconut Body Scrub£12.95 for 250ml

I can’t find the small tub I have on their website, that one is £8.95 for 150ml. I do really like the idea of the 250ml bottle though as it has a pump! The idea of a scrub in a pump bottle is amazing as it’d mean it could stay so much more hygienic.

I LOVE love love this scrub and it’s something I would happily re-purchase for the price. I was very confused when I opened it up as it’s a kind of jelly like consistency. This actually turned out to be great as I could pour a small amount into my hand. The scrub is super ‘scrubby’ and is the first one I’ve used in far too long to actually leave my skin exfoliated (does anyone else get loads of body scrubs for Christmas?). It actually contains coconut flakes as the exfoliant, which I think is great. It also leaves my skin feeling hydrated and like I’ve lightly moisturised it BUT not oily. I used a scrub recently that left me feeling like an oil slick, ugh! Also, again the scent of this was so natural and inoffensive.

Overall I really like both of these products! I think they work well, have great ingredients and I love that they’re more ethical than my previous purchases. If you are interested Fair Squared currently have free shipping when you spend over £10 and you can choose a free lipbalm with each item!

xo Fleur xo

Disclaimer: I was sent these products to review but all opinions are my own and in my own waffling words! 

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Blogger Book Nook: Young Adult

If you’ve seen my last two posts Something New and Spooktacular you’ll know I’m loving the Blogger Book Nook! It’s a Facebook group where everyone gets to talk about books and share their book blog posts. There’s also a reading prompt and Q&A each month – this month it was Young Adult and I love YA books!

Ink and Bone Rachel Caine

Q&A

1. Young adult books sometimes have the reputation of being a bit cliche – what do you think about this? Does it spoil your enjoyment of a book if you can predict the ending?

I think I read enough of a variety of YA fiction to avoid this. Or maybe I just don’t notice it? I do think there can be a fair number of love triangles in YA books but most of them aren’t as obvious as the one in Twilight! I find that often they’re much more complicated and related to people trying to save their world. With endings I quite like being able to figure it out and going ‘HA I knew!’… If it’s way too obvious it can be frustrating but I haven’t encountered that too much in YA.

2. Lots of YA books such as The Fault in Our Stars, 13 Reasons Why, and Everything Everything have been made into movies/TV shows lately – have you seen them? What did you think?

I actually haven’t read or seen any of these! I am kind of terrible in sticking to fantasy in both my reading and watching habits… Also, I just can’t say that any of them caught my attention in a positive way.

3. Where does YA rank in your order of favourite book genres? Is it a genre you’d usually reach for?

It’s probably my most read genre alongside fantasy. Though most of the YA books I read are also fantasy… I love YA fiction because it has to be engaging, it generally has a moderate to fast pace and it’s interesting. It also covers heavier topics so well, in a way that isn’t as stressful as adult books can be.

4. Who is your all-time favourite character from a YA novel? Why do you love them so much?

How am I supposed to choose?! I love my sassy warrior characters, so Alanna the Lioness and Keladry of Mindelan from Tamora Pierce’s series. Also more recently, Aelin Galathynius from Sarah J. Maas Throne of Glass series. Characters like these meant I grew up wanting to be a knight and the fact that hasn’t happened is constantly devastating. Though steel plate or even leather armour doesn’t sound too fabulous in retrospect!

5. Pick a favourite YA series: The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, The Lunar Chronicles or The Mortal Instruments?

I read The Lunar Chronicles recently and I absolutely adored the series. It’s so well thought out, especially the way the stories link together. It’s also a popular YA series where the last book/books aren’t slightly garbage. It continues being excellent to the end. I think The Mortal Instruments also manages this but I didn’t love the story quite as much. This may well be because I watched the first season of Shadowhunters first and the plots really don’t line up that well – so it got fairly confusing!

Mini Review

This month I found The Great Library series by Rachel Caine in my local library – or at least I found the second and third books… I then went home and bought the first book on kindle so I could get started reading them straight away. The series currently includes the books Ink and Bone, Paper and Fire and Ash and Quill. The fourth book is coming out summer 2018 and I can’t wait! I’ll mainly focus on Ink and Bone in this review as I don’t want to spoil anything but all the books are excellent, with twists I wasn’t expecting.

Ink and Bone is set in a parallel to our world and timeline where The Great Library of Alexandria wasn’t destroyed. Where the library came to be protected by it’s own army, in it’s own land and controls all knowledge. Ink and bone follows the story of Jess Brightwell, who comes from a family that smuggles original books, as he tries to join the library.

I think the concept of this series is absolutely incredible. One where what you know can be completely controlled by such a powerful force, stronger than governments, basically unchallenged. They can also see exactly which books have been accessed by whom. Any book they don’t approve of, they destroy. The books are fast paced and full but they still leave time for decent world-building, I would love to step into that world (so long as I could quickly step back out again too). I’d certainly recommend them!

Do you love YA books? Are there any I need to read immediately? My TBR might be overflowing but I can always add more…

xo Fleur xo

Bookish This or That Tag

I haven’t done a tag post in ages and I love reading them and answering them. So when I saw that Jenny in Neverland had done one about books I knew I had found one to do!

Audiobook or textbook?

Textbook. I actually find it really hard to concentrate on audiobooks and don’t take much of the story in a lot of the time. I love them for when I just want to chill out or when I’m travelling (I get travel sick so easily). I also just love reading rather than being read to!

Paperback or hardback?

Paperback (or even better kindle ;)). I do love hardbacks for their glossy beauty and how gorgeous they look together on a bookshelf. I don’t enjoy reading from them though, I find they dig into my hands too much and they are SO heavy. As someone who has happily spent a whole day (week?) reading, comfort is important.

Fiction or non-fiction?

Yep, fiction. I LOVE fiction. Love it. I enjoy leaving my life behind and inhabiting someone else’s for a while. I will read non-fiction when I get a recommendation from someone who knows what I’m interested in. I won’t go out of my way to find it though.

Harry Potter or Twilight?

I’m really sorry to all the die-hard Harry Potter fans out there but I far prefer Twilight. Yeah, Twilight has massive issues and I didn’t love the last book but ehhh. I enjoyed the first 3 HP books, kind of liked the 4th and I really hated the ending of the last book *shrugs*. I’d happily read Twilight again for some autumnal vampire vibes.

Bookshop or online?

I used to think I’d always say bookshop but no. Especially now I prefer reading on my kindle, obviously I’ve become slightly addicted to Amazon. I do also enjoy going hunting for books in charity shops – I’ve found some amazing bargains this year, e.g. I got the whole Twilight series for £1. I enjoy wandering around bookshops but they’re pretty expensive and last time I bought a book for one I felt very judged for buying a Children’s book.

Standalone or Trilogy?

I love a good series. I always want more! At the same time though, when the whole series isn’t out yet and you have to wait for books it can be very frustrating! So I’m growing to love standalone books. Trilogies are the perfect length though…

Sweet and short or heavy and long?

Both? Am I allowed to say that? It totally depends on my mood. I loved Lord of the Rings and the Wheel of Time series (pretty sure that’s the definition of long) but I also love cute kids books that I can read in a couple of hours.

Cosy read or reading in the sun?

Cosy read! I love reading with my fairy lights on, a candle burning, my hot water bottle, fluffy socks, hot chocolate, loads of blankets… Pretty much the exact setup I have whilst writing this blog post. I find reading in the sun can be a bit blinding?

Hot chocolate or coffee?

I feel like I may have answered this one above… I do love a hot chocolate whilst reading. At the same time I’d be happy with any hot drink. A gingerbread latte sounds good right about now! Or a cup of tea.

Of course do feel free to do this tag yourself and let me know if you do! I think it’s an awesome one.

xo Fleur xo

Cover reveal: The Big Event

It’s not my normal kind of post but I’m so excited to be part of the cover reveal for The Big Event by Anne John-Ligali before I get to review it in January!

The Big Event sounds exactly like the kind of book I’d love to read on a chilled evening with a face mask and a glass of Baileys. It’s 99p to pre-order on Kindle – I’ve bought a LOT of eBooks for under £1 recently and it’s been so satisfying! It’s also free on Kindle Unlimited which is something I’ve definitely been considering getting.

Blurb:

Part one of the Friendship Online Short Story Series.
Constance Jeffries is excited when she gets the chance to meet up with virtual
friends at a get-together in a London hotel. She’s been tweeting and messaging her lovely
friends for years and feels they must be just as excited to finally meet her in person
too.

Or so she hopes.
A short story about the importance of ‘real’ friendships and how it’s the little things
that matter the most.

Bio: Anne John-Ligali is a writer and the founder of Books and Authors UK, a popular website featuring author interviews and book reviews.  She loves all things books: reading, writing, going to book events, and meeting other book lovers. She has written a series of short stories and is currently writing her first novel.

annejohnligali

Anne has always loved stories and read many books as a child, including the entire Sweet Valley High and Caitlyn series (I absolutely adored Sweet Valley High!). Her interest in writing fiction came years later, when she began writing for pleasure in 2007. Since then, Anne has been writing on and off and enjoys participating in writing groups. Twice in 2014, she won the monthly Novelicious Pintrest Prompt Fiction Competition (that’s pretty awesome, right).

When Anne is not writing, she is likely to be at soft play with her kids, taking long evening walks in Hyde Park, making green smoothies, window shopping, or having a pampering session at her local beauty salon (whenever she gets the chance). She can also be found watching box sets (albeit with a bit of shame at still having to catch up on Scandal, Grey’s, and Downton).

Originally from Peterborough, Anne now lives in London. After moving to London, she studied graphic design at the University of Arts and has held a number IT administration jobs in the city. Anne continues writing and aspires to write more women’s fiction books, a non-fiction book and several children’s books.

 

I’m really looking forward to reading this book! What do you think?

xo Fleur xo

PS I haven’t been paid to write this post or anything – it just sounded like an awesome book and a fun opportunity for my lil blog which I leapt at!

Blogger Book Nook: Spooktacular!

This is my second Blogger Book Nook post, you can read the first one here. I’ve been loving the BBN, Abbey is great at leading discussions about everything from what reading goals we want to achieve each week to which fictional place we’d love to live.

This months reading prompt was Spooktacular – so the aim was to find a spooky story! I had found loads of different options but they were all around the £8 mark… Then I saw the trailer for The Snowman film and knew I had my book.

Mini Review

The Snowman by Jo Nesbo is a crime novel but I’ll say it gave me a few nights of disturbed sleep. The book has some incredible imagery and sections that I found truly terrifying. It may not be ‘spooky’ but it’s certainly a little scary. It follows Harry Hole as he tries to solve a case of a missing woman, who disappeared taking nothing, with no sign of struggle. Harry and his team are soon convinced that they’re tracking a serial killer who leaves a snowman at the scene of crime.

The best thing I found about this book was how suspicion is placed on each character throughout the book. There was absolutely no one I had ruled out. I also found that the end of the book wasn’t clear cut or obvious.

The only thing I found frustrating was how halfway down a page Jo Nesbo would switch track and move onto a new character or storyline. This meant it could sometimes be a little confusing and I had to backtrack to work out what was happening! I do also feel like it would be nice to have a serial killer that doesn’t target women, maybe I’ve been reading the wrong books but I’m getting tired of reading about something that is all to real and horrible feeling.

I’ve seen the film too now and please don’t waste your time haha. It’s not scary, it’s barely a detective film, they’ve made it weird instead of creepy and they changed most of the plot. Read the book, avoid the film!

Now onto the Q&A!

Q1. Has a book ever scared you silly? If so, which one was it and would you recommend it?

I know there were several Point Horror books I read when I was younger that had me sleeping with the light on but I haven’t read many scary books recently. There was also an Elizabeth Hunter book in the Elemental Mysteries series that actually made me faint!

Q2. Who is the most terrifying character you’ve ever come across?

Honestly, Christian Grey from Fifty Shades of Grey. The thought of those books still send chills down my spine (and not in a good way). The idolisation of such an abusive character terrifies me. Tbh I feel similarly about Edward Cullen and of course FSOG was originally Twilight fanfiction… So not a typical ‘scary’ character but the kind that is actually terrifying in how they change peoples perceptions.

Q3. Zombies, ghosts, or vampires – which are your favourites to read about?

Vampires. Every day, any day. Or Werewolves. I’ve been obsessed with them forever. In fact one of my favourite books when I was younger was a compilation of Warhammer Fantasy stories about Geneviève Dieudonné – in fact if you’re looking to be spooked I’d recommend the collection. I also love the tv shows The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, Teen Wolf and Bitten.

Q4. Do you find horror movies or books scarier? Why?

Horror Movies. I can’t watch them anymore because I just can’t function for days or weeks afterwards. I even struggle to do things relating to the horror film (eg go for a walk in the woods) for years afterwards. I don’t enjoy them and it’s not worth it. I’m pretty ok with a book though *shrugs*.

Q5. What scary books would you recommend to someone new to the genre?

I honestly couldn’t suggest much as it isn’t a genre I’ve read much of. I would recommend The Snowman and The Vampire Genevieve though.

Do you have any scary books I should read? Did you read Point Horror books when you were growing up?

Have you read any spooky/creepy books this month? I’d still love to read a few more if you have any recommendations!

xo Fleur xo

Haul and Review

If you saw my last post you’ll know I desperately needed cruelty free alternatives for some of the makeup I was using. I do intend to use up as much of my non cruelty free makeup as possible and I’ve donated a lot of the makeup I can. Luckily I’ve nearly finished a few of the essentials – so I bought new products and may have just started using them before finishing anything up!

So here’s a little haul and review of products from Superdrug, Essence and The Body Shop!

First of all I went to Superdrug.

I thought the packaging of the MUA Luxe Velvet Matte Lipstick in 6 was stunning, so I had to choose a shade. I did want a decent Brown that I could wear every day to work. I ended up with a grey-brown that leaves me feeling a little deathly – it does look great paired with a purple eye look though. Also, it’s a great formula – super matte, easy to apply and long wearing. I think I’ll be going back to try some other shades.

In retrospect I’m not entirely sure the Collection Illuminating Touch Concealer is actually cruelty free but seeing as I didn’t love it *shrugs* it’s already on it’s way out! It doesn’t offer as much coverage as I’d like and it leaves my under eyes looking wrong somehow. I used to love this concealer, so I don’t know what’s changed – probably my massively larger eye bags haha!

I knew I’d love the Barry M Molten Metal Nail Paint in Copper Mine as I have a few of the other shades. I think this coppery colour is perfect for autumn and it’s been on my toenails ever since I bought it. I love how shiny these are and how long they last.

Next I went to Essence as I’ve heard so much about them but never bought anything from them. First of all, can I just say that the price of Essence products is amazing! I’m pretty sure these 4 items came to around the £10-15 mark?!

The Essence Volume Stylist Lash Extension Mascara rivals any I’ve used before for a third of the price. I thought I’d find it difficult to replace my non-cf mascaras but no. This gives me lashes that look awesome all day long AND when I ended up going for a 5km walk in the rain it didn’t budge. I got a tiny bit of flaking but that’s a whole lot better than previous mascara loves that would have been all over my face! Sure this means it’s harder to remove but I’ll take it.

The Essence Out of Space Stories Nail Varnish in Intergalactic Adventure is stunning. I expect amazing duochromes from high end brands, not polishes this cheap! It did chip quickly but my nails were stupidly long and I went swimming a few times – an easy way for me to ruin my nails. Overall I can’t wait to use it again! (And go back and buy all the other shades) I’ve put in a picture below and loooook!

The Essence All About Matt! Fixing Compact Powder hasn’t been my favourite but that’s purely because I don’t think I like white setting powders! It sets my eyeshadow primer beautifully and is very mattifying. However, I think because I’m heavy handed I end up with a bit of a white cast… and I’m pretty pale to start with! I will definitely continue to use this under eyeshadow though.

I thought finding a decent eyeshadow primer was going to be difficult too but the Essence Colour Intensifying Eyeshadow Base is potentially my favourite of all time. I have oily af eyelids too so if I like it that’s saying something! It dries down so nicely and makes my eyeshadow last my entire working day. I don’t know if it’s actually colour intensifying but it does cover up the few veins I have around my eyes. It also seems to be helping with the patch of skin that I can’t usually blend eyeshadow into. Win win.

Finally I popped into The Body Shop.

I wanted to try a new day face cream and face wash and I chose The Body Shop Aloe range. These feel gentle and don’t aggravate my oily skin. I’d say my skin has been calmer and less oily in the month that I’ve been using these. I do think the face cream smells a little like sun cream but having used it for a while now, I don’t notice it anymore.

The lip balm is just a strawberry lip balm… I like it! It smells great and sticks around.

The Body Shop Matte Clay Skin Clarifying Foundation is so lovely and I want to write a separate review of it. If you have oily skin/love a matte finish you may well love this one.

Overall, with just one product I really don’t like, I think this was a pretty successful haul! Even the products I wasn’t so sure about I know I can still use.

Have you bought any new products recently? Have they turned out well?

xo Fleur xo

 

A love letter to my kindle

This is a topic of conversation that comes up a lot for me, or I get involved a lot… probably the latter. That conversation usually being hating on kindles and eBooks in general. So I kinda wanted to write a little love letter to my kindle in the form of this blog post!

I’ve had my kindle for about 8 years now and I love it. It’s the best Christmas present I’ve ever received and that list includes tickets to see Taylor Swift, the extended edition box set of the Lord of the Rings films and book tokens. I love my kindle for so many reasons. Thank you awesome kindle & my mum for buying it for me.

I can have my own library – I hate getting rid of books but I also struggle to store all the books I have, let alone all the ones I’ll read in the future. Having a kindle means I can have currently 250 more books than I have room for at home.

It’s instant – this is probably a pro and con but when I’m reading a series, I need the next book instantly. With kindle, that’s possible. Sure it does mean I spend money I may not have (that pesky negative) but it means I can read on.

Never losing my page – I fall asleep whilst reading a lot. I’m also often restless and move around a lot. With physical books this means I constantly lose my page. With a kindle, I’ve dropped it off the sofa and it’ll still be where I left it!

It’s light – with smaller books this isn’t such an issue but I like to read stupidly large books. Large books are massively unwieldy, as I rediscovered this summer. A kindle makes reading every book a breeze.

Font size – for most people this won’t be an issue but I love having every book I read having the same size font and same font. It makes reading glide. It also means that people who struggle with small text can instantly make everything easier!

Truly one handed reading – yeah you can read a print book one handed but it doesn’t half cause cramp after a while. With a kindle I can read one handed lying upside down, lying at any angle!

Travel – when we used to go on holiday in the U.K. I’d always have another suitcase of just books. That’s just not possible when going abroad, it’s not really great for travelling within a country tbh HA. I love having options, more books than I know I’ll read, knowing I won’t be left stranded without a book.

Clean – I like to eat and read. Eating and reading gets messy, especially when it’s spaghetti. I can wipe my kindle clean if I have to hahaha.

The only thing I miss is book covers. My OH will regularly ask me what book I’m reading and I’ll have no idea because once I opened up the book I never saw the cover again. It also kind of sucks a little for taking photos. I get round it but how cute was that first photo because I could match the colours? Also, I love those cute #bookstagram accounts SO much and a kindle cover kinda doesn’t feel the same. Plus you can’t get a nice stack of all three books in the trilogy for that cute photo.

So I love my kindle, I much prefer it to actual books, which seems to be unlike most people I’ve met. (Including my mum who hadn’t used hers in so long that when she was trying to download books to it so she could take it to Greece, it just wasn’t happening!)

I’ve also used my OH’s backlit kindle recently and being able to read with just the fairy lights on and candles lit without straining my eyes? Heaven.

Have you used a kindle? If so did you enjoy it? Do you still prefer physical books? Do you like e-books but prefer a different device to read them on, like a phone/tablet?

xo Fleur xo