Wednesday, 27 April 2016

BOTANICALS ORANGE BLOSSOM SOFTENING BODY BALM




Hi lovelies! I've got a review for you all today and I'm pretty excited about it, as it's from a brand that I've only recently discovered but have fallen in love with! The brand in question is 'Botanicals', a brand that aims to create products that are organic, pure, safe and as close to nature as possible. With the huge question mark as to what is and isn't safe in beauty products these days, I think it's a great idea to use products that are as natural as possible, so you can be assured that are no nasties making their way into your system! Botanicals products are hand blended using carefully selected ingredients that harness the power of plants, no harsh chemicals and no preservatives, meaning your skin gets only the best, purest ingredients with nothing synthetic. Why go for something that mimics plant based ingredients when you could get the real thing? If you're not already convinced, you may be interested to know that Botanicals are one of just a handful of companies in the UK that are licensed by the soil association, Europe's most well respected Organic certifying body. Pretty impressive!

So, the product I'm reviewing for you lovely lot today is the 'Softening Body Balm' in the Orange Blossom scent. This is a thick, moisturising balm for use all over the body. Despite being very thick, the product quickly melts into an easily absorbed oil when massaged onto the skin, making it perfect for use in the morning, after a shower or throughout the day when your skin needs hydration, but you don't want to feel sticky and greasy. I tend to use this in the morning before getting dressed as I love how quickly it's absorbed and the orangey floral scent is gorgeous and long lasting, while still being quite light and not too overpowering, which is lovely. This is fab as an everyday body moisturiser as it feels quite luxurious and that along with the lack of greasy feeling afterwards and pure ingredients is reason alone to love this product, but my favourite thing about it is now it has dramatically reduced the dry skin and little red bumps on the back of my arms in just a few days. I know a lot of people suffer with those irritating red bumps and dry skin on their arms and for me at least, this has been working wonders to reduce this.

As you can see from the images, the ingredients in this are really quite simple and many are certified organic, which is a definite plus! It has been proven that what goes onto your skin can and does go into your system, so loading chemicals onto your skin day in day out may well have a knock on effect on what's going on inside in the future and I think that's a little scary! What I love about this is that printed on the bottom is a use by date which only lasts until December of next year. While this seems like a long time, for a shelf life on a beauty product, it's actually not. This may sound like a downside but I think this is great for a couple of reasons. The first and most obvious being that it's not pumped full of unnatural, potentially unsafe preservatives and the second being that this actually can make you shop more sensibly. If you know your products aren't going to last years and years, you'll hopefully be more conscious of waste and start to actually use things up before buying new, which is much better for the environment and your bank account!

Overall, I'd highly recommend this product as its not only a beautifully scented, luxurious, softening body balm, but it's loaded with pure, safe ingredients and it actually works - you can't ask for much more than that!

What do you think? Would you like to try anything from the Botanicals range? What are your favourite natural beauty and skincare brands?

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Friday, 22 April 2016

THINGS I'VE LEARNED SINCE GOING VEGAN & TIPS FOR NEW VEGANS

Hi loves! Today, I wanted to share with you a few things I've learned in the past few months since going vegan. I started to transition to veganism in late January of this year, as my main and pretty much only New Years resolution was to clean up my diet. I've always watched what I eat, but I wanted to be more careful with processed foods and learn to cook my own meals more. Going plant based was my first step after I watched the eye opening 'Forks Over Knives' documentary, which discusses the health aspect of a plant based diet over the standard western diet. I then watched more documentaries on the ethical side of veganism and am now transitioning in all aspects of my life. So, as you can tell, I have done a fair bit of research, but I am also a very new vegan, so I thought it'd be fun to do a post on what I've learned and experienced in my first couple of months as a vegan. This is intended to be a light-hearted post and isn't intended to offend anyone or push my views onto others, I'm just simply sharing my experience for your entertainment!

People will ask questions and some will think you're crazy.
Even in the few months that I've been eating this way, I've had people - usually close friends and family members have a lot to say about it! 'OMG don't you miss meat?!' (more on this later), 'What do you even eat?', 'Are you getting enough protein?' etc. etc. Mostly it's just out of concern or genuine interest, other times people may just genuinely be a bit pissed that you're probably going to be a bit awkward going out for dinner (though check out this post to find out why you don't need to be!). I recommend making sure you're really clued up on the health benefits as well as the environmental and ethical reasons for going vegan, so that any worries and queries can be responded to with an educated answer. Most people are raised to believe meat, dairy and eggs are necessary in the average persons diet, so it's natural that people will be confused, but if you know your stuff, you can definitely put peoples minds at rest.

If you do it right, you won't miss meat, dairy or eggs.
When I say 'right', it's not to say there's a right or wrong way to 'go vegan', but of course, if you cut out all meat, dairy and eggs overnight and don't look into why you're doing it, it's going to be really easy to 'cheat'. For me, it took watching documentaries like Forks over Knives to learn the health benefits and short youtube film 'Farm to Fridge' (also highly recommend this to anyone, it's only a little over 10 minutes long and something I think everyone should be aware of) to see the ethical side to going vegan and most people won't even want to look at these products let alone eat them! This will of course have a different effect on different people, but if you're already considering going vegan, documentaries like these will help you stick to it.

You get better at cooking.
This goes hand in hand with not missing animal products, going vegan forced me to be more experimental in the kitchen as it's not as easy to throw in an oven pizza when you want something quick! There are vegan versions of convenience foods of course, but if you're trying to live a healthy lifestyle, you can't beat home made Also they can be quite pricey! That definitely doesn't mean you can't have quick easy meals though! As many vegan meals can be made in bulk quite cheaply (think huge lentil and sweet potato curries, bean and mixed veggie chillis, rice and bean burgers...), it's easy to whip up a big batch when you have time and freeze in individual portions for evenings when you have less time.

It's as restrictive as you make it.
It's very easy to think 'I can't have xyz on a vegan diet' as many things, particularly treat and snack foods like cakes, biscuits and sweets are not vegan, but it's actually surprising how much you can have. For example, I love to bake my own vegan cupcakes and surprise my family when I tell them there's no eggs or butter in the recipe, I throw together some three ingredient cookies and eat as many as I like safe in the knowledge that they're totally healthy! But there are also 'accidentally vegan' junk foods for when you fancy a treat, perhaps when you go out to the cinema or you're having a night in with your girls! This means foods that aren't branded as vegan, but don't contain animal products. Some of my favourites are Starburst sweets, Pringles (Original and Paprika, some other flavours contain milk), Dark Chocolate Digestive Biscuits, Lindt Dark Chocolate and Jelly Tots. A great source for 'Accidentally Vegan' snack foods and lots of other info on veganism is the PETA site, it's been like a bible to me!

You'll be smug AF when a very non-vegan friend enjoys your plant based meal
No shame in this. My boyfriend used to be a huge meat lover, he used to say he didn't get vegans at all and he could never ever do it, but now he eats vegan most days out of the week as I tend to do most of the cooking in our house. While he isn't vegan and doesn't plan on going full on vegan, he actually really enjoys absolutely everything I make and has admitted to actually preferring eating this way and keeping animal products as 'treat' meals when we go out or order in. I don't see these foods as 'treats' myself any more but I'm not going to force my views on him!

So I'll leave this here for now, as this is getting quite long, so let me know what your thoughts are! Are you vegan? Would you consider it?

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Tuesday, 19 April 2016

UPDATE & DELICIOUSLY ELLA GIVEAWAY




Hello loves! I wanted to get things straight today, not because anyone has been bothering me and not because I think I necessarily need to explain my every move, but because I feel I owe it to my existi followers to give you all a little update! As you may have noticed, my more recent posts (the odd guest post aside) have been mostly food related or focused on eco friendly beauty brands. Chloe's Way has always been a fashion, beauty and lifestyle blog and that is how it will remain, just with a few changes.

Most of you will know or will have guessed that in the past few months, I've gone vegan. It started out just with diet, but I am in the process of extending this to my entire lifestyle. I do have some makeup from brands that test on animals (though admittedly, I was very unaware of how much this still goes on!) and I am in the process of switching all these out for cruelty free brands. I also have some leather goods that I will still be using as I personally feel worse about wasting them, however I won't be buying any more. This means despite sill remaining a predominantly beauty and lifestyle blog, most of my posts will be featuring Eco-friendly, cruelty free brands in place of brands previously featured. 

I'm also absolutely loving experimenting in the kitchen right now, veganism has definitely made me a much keener cook and baker - which is something I never thought I'd say! I was always very fussy with any animal products in cooking and baking as I was so paranoid about things being cooked properly and being safe to eat and eliminating these products takes out that worry for me, so I'm really enjoying cooking and sharing my recipes with you all.

I'm still quite new to all of this and while I am very careful about what I share and fact checking everything I put out on social media, I am still learning every day, so take what I say with a pinch of Pink  Himalayan salt and do you!

Anyway! Onto the giveaway! If you follow me on Instagram, you'll have noticed that I recently picked up a copy of the Deliciously Ella Everyday cookbook. What I didn't mention was that I also picked up an extra one to give away to one of you guys to celebrate the change on my blog!

This book is full of amazing fairly easy plant based recipes that are perfect for  every day (hence the name!), it has lots of great breakfast recipes, lunches and dinners that can be cooked in bulk and stored or taken along with you to school or work as well as yummy baked treats - all using wholesome, plant based ingredients. It does contain some ingredients with honey, but this can be substituted if you're vegan, or these recipes can just be avoided!

So, all you need to do to enter is use the Rafflecopter Form below! The giveaway will run for three weeks and the winner will of course be chosen at random.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Let me know if you have any ideas or requests for future posts and thank you so much for reading!

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