April 2020 ‎| Birchbox Beauty Box Review

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Birchbox Beauty Box Review

It’s been so long since I last reviewed a beauty box. I still subscribe every now and then but either I have been too lazy/busy/not great enough to publish a review or I just lost interest in writing it. However since the lockdown, I have had more time to myself and able to show some love on the blog again… especially now that I have had a big influx of people passing by since quarantine, it’s nice to keep busy whilst I’m off work. I also purchased March’s Birchbox which you can read here.

April’s Birchbox Review

First of all, I have to give a huge kudos points for Birchbox’s packaging for April’s box. It’s stunning. Photos actually do not do it any justice, it’s really amazing. This May’s box packaging is also fantastic and totally unique so check that out too.

The design was created in collaboration with Anthropologie – a lifestyle-fashion brand that sells everything from clothing and jewellery to homeware, beauty and gifts. Their designs are funky, unique and fun. I’m a big fan of their homeware and gifts section, I really like their fun and colourful prints. It’s one of the reasons why I really wanted to try out this April’s box.

Can I just say… I am really excited to try all of the products in this box! Apart from This Works and Percy & Reed, I’ve not heard of the other brands before. It might just be because I’ve been away from beauty boxes for a while but it’s a nice treat for me.

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The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Birchbox Beauty Box Review
Birchbox X Anthropologie
The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Birchbox Beauty Box Review
Lots of fab goodies to try!

So what’s inside…

  • KNDR Mood Balm in Positivity Pink
  • Huygens Infusion Blanche Purifying Face Wash
  • Brushworks Silicone Cleansing Pad (Birchbox exclusive!)
  • This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray
  • Percy & Reed Eau My Goodness No-Fuss Fabulousness Dry Shampoo

KNDR Mood Balm
I received this lip balm in Positivity Pink which is actually a bright purple colour. Once you apply the lip balm, the colour changes according to your lip’s natural pH level and adjusts to your very own tone of pink. Mine came out a light, bright pink. When Little Miss put hers on more, she came out with a subtle fuchsia colour. Very pretty and fun to use. It glides on smoothly and left my lips feeling soft. It’s also very hydrating, I got a few hour’s wear out of it before needing to re-apply.

 

 

I really love the packaging of the mood balm – the feminine design is super cute! The outer packaging is made from card and the inside packaging is card with a plastic applicator. It seems like a good idea but if water gets onto the balm, I’m not sure it’ll last! I’m also not the neatest with lip colours and you can see from the image, I already smudged the colour onto the white bit of the packaging already! I also chipped the top of the lip balm but let’s pretend you don’t see that. 🙂

Huygens Infusion Blanche Purifying Face Wash

During summer my skin tends to produce a little more oil than normal so I usually swap out my creamy cleanser for a gel cleanser or wash. I will be trying this one out and let you know how it goes. The face wash states that cleanses effectively without stripping essential moisture from the skin and is suitable for all skin types. Containing a blend of tea-tree (anti-bacterial), aloe vera (skin repairing) and glycerine (hydrating), this purifying face wash looks like it will re-balance skin types and leaves skin cleansed and clear. It does remove makeup but I’m not sure if it’s suitable for eyes.

Brushworks Silicone Cleansing Pad
This is a Birchbox exclusive product and one of the products I was really looking forward to use. Made from ultra-hygienic, flexible silicone with tiny bristles, it’s designed to lift away impurities and makeup whilst gently exfoliate the skin. Definitely gentle enough to use every day. Again, another product great for all skin types especially dull and dehydrated skin. I’ll be using this in conjunction with my Huygens face wash but also with my Aromatherapy Associations creamy rose cleanser.

This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray
This stuff smells super calming. The relaxing scent of lavender, chamomile and vetivert will definitely help to soothe your senses. It’s also been clinically proven to help you sleep quicker than usual and wake up feeling more refreshed. I’ll try it and let you know as I already have a product which I use when I’m feeling restless (Aromatherapy Associates Deep Relax roller ball). It’s the sedative aroma of vetivert that sends you off to sleep and it’ll take a lot to sway me from my AA roller ball, however I will say that a spray is definitely easier to dispense.

Percy & Reed Eau My Goodness No-Fuss Fabulousness Dry Shampoo
This product is not CG-friendly as it contains alcohol denat but I might give it a try near to the next time I’m doing a clarifying wash just to see how it works on my hair. I’m not usually a fan of dry shampoo but they do come in handy if you’re spending a night out or away from home ie on a city break, camping, glamping or on a trip where you aren’t able to take all your haircare with you.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Birchbox Beauty Box Review

So.. yay or nay?

Definitely YAY! I am so glad that Birchbox’s April beauty box was a hit with me. I remember a time when I loved beauty boxes so much but then what happens is the products start accumulating and I also end up receiving a lot of doubles from the boxes.

I love the fact that with the beauty boxes you can subscribe and un-subscribe whenever you want. There’s no contract to tie you down and if you want to save even more on your boxes, you can choose to pay for 3, 6 or 12 boxes in advance. If you’ve never given Birchbox a try but have tried other brands, let me know what you think of the box. Would you ever give it a try or do you think they’re all too samey-samey?

I hope you enjoyed this review, if you’d like to see more please do leave me a comment or click the like button if you’re also on WordPress! 🙂

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Want to give Birchbox a try?
You can subscribe online or find out more here: https://www.birchbox.co.uk/subscribe

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The Greenwich Mummy Blog | London Family and Lifestyle Blogger

March 2020 ‎| Birchbox Beauty Box Review

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Birchbox Beauty Box Review

Hey beauties!

Since London went into lockdown, a lot of us have been able to slow down in our busy lives and take things at a slower pace. For me that means being able to jump back onto this blog and show it some good love! I’ve missed writing and it has been a while since I could sit down and type it all out, especially where we’ve been needing the PC for Little Man to do his home school work.

I’ve been able to FINALLY review my Birchbox boxes for March and April 2020. You can find a link to the April box review at the end of this post. March’s beauty box design was inspired by International Women’s Day, which falls on March 8th this year. Women around the world celebrated, empowered and paid homage to each other.

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International Women’s Day

This was my first re-subscribed box of 2020 and the main reason why I had to get it was because of the cute packaging AND the beautiful Elizabeth Scarlett palm beauty bag. It was too beautiful to be without it.

The box packaging is super sweet! I love the diversity of women on the cover – a perfect theme for IWD; it encompasses all ages, ethnicity, hair type and even fashion styles. My Birchbox arrived on time as it was slightly just before COVID-19 had everything on lockdown. My April box was late and I’m sure subsequent boxes will also be slightly delayed as the BB team are hard at work making sure that all boxes are packed safely and arrive to us safely.

So without further ado…

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The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Birchbox Beauty Box Review

What’s inside…

  • Forgive Me Suzie liquid eyeshadow in Fairy Dust
  • The Beauty Crop Wing Woman liquid eyeliner
  • Balance Me Vitamin C Repair Serum
  • Daily Concepts Multi-Functional Soap Sponge Charcoal 
  • BOD Everyday Body Boosting Sorbet Petite
  • Elizabeth Scarlett Palmier make-up bag (BONUS gift!)

Forgive Me Suzie Liquid Eyeshadow **fave product**
This creamy, lightweight eyeshadow out easily with a brush or fingers (I use fingers!) and stays put without creasing or smudging. I got the shade ‘Fairy Dust’ which is a bright colour colour that looks fabulous on my skin tone, which is light olive/medium colour. In the summer I usually get a bit of a glow and I’m sure I’ll still be able to carry this colour off well on tanned skin. It’s a beautiful matte-shimmer tone. With a dewy makeup face, this eyeshadow will stand out nicely.

Balance Me Vitamin C Repair Serum **fave product**
Brighten up your beauty routine with a daily dose of vitamin C in the form of this innovative serum. Vitamin C helps to combat signs of ageing and minimise fine lines. My skin feels super hydrated after using this, thanks to the hyaluronic acid ingredient. I love layering my skincare and after cleansing, I’ll always use a toner, serum and moisturiser, oil (sometimes both if skin is really dry) on top. Eye cream is an added step I sometimes do if I’m bothered as I don’t really have bags, dark circles or puffiness. The serum sinks in fast and has a refreshing citrus smell – like orange zest. The serum leaves my skin so smooth I can go without moisturiser or oil on top but because my skin is quite dehydrated I always make sure I layer-up.

Daily Concepts Multi-Functional Soap Sponge Charcoal
This 2-in-1 soap-sponge-hybrid tool combines detoxifying charcoal body wash with a mild, exfoliating scrubber to really cleanse your skin. Slough off those dead skin cells and leave your skin looking brighter and more radiant. The charcoal soap is sooo gorgeous – somewhat reminds me of the African black soap smell which is really nice. This soap does contain SLES but not SLS so not great for really sensitive or very dry skin. I was using it regularly but then stopped as my skin’s a little drier than normal now. You can’t see it in my photo above as I’ve been using it and it’s been well used haha! You can check it out here: https://www.birchbox.co.uk/product/24117/daily-concept-charcoal-soap-sponge

BOD Everyday Body Boosting Sorbet Petite
This hydrating body lotion contains moisturising ingredients such as sweet almond oil and shea butter. It melts into skin quickly and delivers intense hydration. It’s said to have a tightening effect on the body (formulated with natural sugars) but I’m not convinced with the whole skin-tightening effect from a bottle… no matter how great the marketing is. Sure it can ‘feel’ tighter and toned but that feeling is gone once it wears off or you wash it off. IMO, the best way to a tighter and toned body? Exercise, plenty of water and healthy eating.

The Beauty Crop Wing Woman Liquid Eyeliner
No matter the look you’re going for, “the deep black formula will help you define your eyes without flaking or smudging”. I am a big fan of liquid eyeliner since my early twenties and I have not gone back to kohl pencil since. As much as I love the colour intensity of kohl pencils, I could never get the lines neat however I would still prefer to use pencil on my lower eyeline and if I wanted to do smokey eye but for an everyday look, I choose liquid liner all the time. This Beauty Crop one lasts well on my eyes and is easy to use. It’s a medium-thickness brush, not too fat nor thin.

BONUS GIFT: Elizabeth Scarlett Palmier make-up bag **fave product**
I LOVE LOVE this bonus gift from Birchbox. It’s sooo beautiful the photos do not do it any justice. The pink velvet is super soft and a pretty shade of pink. The cute palm tree print is embroidered and finished with glitter-gold thread to make it look really magical. I’d never heard of Elizabeth Scarlett before so it’s really nice to be introduced to a new brand. All of her designs are just as gorgeous as each other, with prices starting from £14 you can treat yourself to a bit of affordable luxury. 🙂

Check them out here: https://elizabethscarlett.com/collections/all

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Other beauty posts you might like:

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The Greenwich Mummy Blog | London Family and Lifestyle Blogger

For Kids: Craft Activity Packs List

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Halloween FAmily Things to Do

The online world is brimming full of wonderful things to discover. More so now than ever as we are all still quarantined and in lockdown.

BoJo has said today that the UK will be easing restrictions and going forward, it looks like schools may reopen in phase two which is due to start around June 1st. I’m not sure how I feel about this but we’ll have to just play it by ear and see how it goes. As for work, I work in a spa which is classed as hospitality so I’m guessing I’ll still be furloughed until they execute phase three.

Free printable and downloadable crafty activities

I’ve compiled a list of fun and free downloadable and printable activity packs, posters and projects for you to try out. I’ll also include a list of resource links where you can access even more crafty activities. I’ll continue to add to the list when I find more so it’s a little more comprehensive.

You can bookmark this page so you can return back to it at any time for more crafts.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Family Things to Do this Halloween Half Term
The kids love a crafty session!

Free Activity Packs for kids & families

1. VE Day Activity Pack – word search, drawing challenge, home scavenger hunt and more.

https://rbli.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/VE-Day-Kids-2020.pdf

2. Paw Print Family “Too Cool for School – at Home” Challenge Pack – for all ages from 3 to 18+ years. Challenges include DIY, family time, kitchen/food, indoors, outdoors and much more.

https://pawprintfamily.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Too-Cool-For-School-At-Home-Badge-Activity-Pack.pdf

3. Affordable Art Fair Activity Packs – includes creative mindful colouring and craft activities.

https://affordableartfair.com/inspiration/arty-kids-activity-packs/

4. Activity Village Printables – a complete list of downloadable and printable activity sheets from crafts to poems to flash cards. There’s so much on here, you’d not need to look elsewhere.

https://www.activityvillage.co.uk/printables

5. Penguin Activity Pack – includes colouring activities, crafts and creating stories. The pack is divided into ages and aimed for kids from 0 to 12 years.

https://www.penguin.co.uk/articles/children/2018/download-a-printable-puffin-activity-pack/

6. Bloomsbury Activities Page – a page full of colouring, craft activities, posters and even teaching notes for teachers and parents. Activities are divided into ages from 0 to 11 years.

https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/superpage/activity-packs/

7. Lonely Planet Activity Sheets – get kids excited about the world around them and choose from creative or educational activities.

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/kids/activities

8. ToucanBox Slime Activity Poster – learn how to make kid-friendly slime using home ingredients. Printable and suitable for all ages.

https://assets.toucanbox.com/pdfs/slime-ooblek//slime-ooblek.pdf

9. NOW Gallery SE10 Creative Activities – from creating cat masks and crocodiles to colouring in and memory test games, this art gallery has a range of quirky and colourful projects to get the children’s creative juices flowing.

https://nowgallery.co.uk/home-activities/

10. The Big Feastival Play Pack – a page full of colouring activities, spot the difference, crosswords and more.

https://thebigfeastival.com/kids-play-pack

11. Discover Children’s Story Centre Egg Box Caterpillar craft activity – create a cute and colourful caterpillar inspired by the children’s book, The Hungry Caterpillar.

https://m.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=3510616088967755&id=268810566481673&set=pcb.3510618592300838&source=48&refid=13&tn=%2B%3E

12. BookTrust Craft Activities – Pages full of activities that you can print out and enjoy. Includes colouring in, masks, picture frames, cut-outs and more.

https://www.booktrust.org.uk/books-and-reading/have-some-fun/activities/#!?q=&sortOption=MostRecent&pageNo=1

13. BookTrust Explorer Activities – print-out colouring activities and fun facts on bugs, mammals, dinosaurs and plants.

https://www.booktrust.org.uk/globalassets/resources/hometime/explorer-colouring-sheets.pdf

14. Hotel Chocolat – downloadable activity packs all about chocolate history, design your own slab and fun recipe ideas.

https://www.hotelchocolat.com/uk/easter-kids-activity-pack.html

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More coming soon…

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My TOP 5 sulfate-free shampoos (low-poo cleansers) for wavy hair

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | London Family and Lifestyle Blogger

Straight, Swavy and Wavy…

Type 1A hair is classed as poker-straight hair, 1B is straight hair with a few bends and kinks and 1C is straight-ish hair with a slight wave – this used to be called ‘swavy’ at one point. Type 2A hair is the ‘breakthrough start’ of wavy hair – hair looks loosely wavy and/or with a loose but visible S-curl pattern. When I started CGM ‘swavy’ was a curly girl term but it seems to have died out as I guess it’s more recognised as wavy hair now.

If the explanation above doesn’t help, I hope the image below does:

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Curly Girl Method Hair Journey
Type 1-2 / Source: Rebloggy

Most people’s wavy hair will be made up of a combination of straight, swavy, wavy, even curly hair so don’t be disheartened if your locks look like mermaid waves one day and then straight with kinks the next day – it’s completely normal.

Over the two years, I’ve now come to terms that my hair falls between type 1C swavy and 2A wavy. When I was following the CGM very strictly I did find that I was getting better wave definition and I was even getting 2B and a few 2C wavy strands. Unfortunately that didn’t last long as I continued to bleach and colour my hair like crazy. 🙂

It is an expensive learning curve as my hair doesn’t have any specific curl direction nor does it clump well. I think that may be due to all the colouring. The only way I would probably get better results is if I stopped the hair processing altogether… I might end up doing so but not yet.

I love that I’ve learnt so much about natural hair care and since CGM I am happy to say that sulfate-free shampoos, or low-poo cleansers for curl-talk terms, are really fantastic products and should be the way forward for everyone who wants healthier hair.

So what are sulfates?

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | London Family and Lifestyle Blogger
Credit: Matthew Tkocz via Unsplash

Sulfates are lathering agents in shampoos that are responsible for that “squeaky-clean”  hair feeling after each use. Sulfates are known as ‘surfactants’ (a detergent-like foaming agents) and removes dirt, oils and debris from the hair surface. However prolonged or excessive use ie. shampooing daily can actually clean the hair too well and end up stripping the hair of its natural oils. What this eventually does is cause your hair to go into overdrive and produce more oils leaving you with greasier hair quicker. So what do you do? You reach for the shampoo again thinking you are making it better but you’re actually making it worse. The scalp needs to re-balance.

This same process happens to our skin, when the skin ie. on our face becomes dehydrated, it produces excess oil as it needs to re-balance – but you think you now have combination or oily skin so you reach for astringent alcohol-based products that strip your skin and leaving it even more dehydrated. The result? A never ending battle of dehydrated skin that leads to excessive oil production and possible acne. It’s a personal battle of mine too and I only found out a couple years ago.

Shampoo.. Low-poo… No-poo… Say what?

The lingo for the Curly Girl Method takes some getting used to but I’ll break down these curl-talk words in layman’s terms:

Shampoo – lots of lather, contains sulfates (gentle ones, harsh ones, or both)
Low-poo – minimal or little lather, gel or fluid consistency, sulfate-free
No-poo – no lather, rich and creamy, sulfate-free, also known as ‘co-wash’ which is just short for conditioning wash

In addition to sulfate-free shampooing cleansers, I also make sure that my haircare is free from parabens, silicones and any other petrochemicals or nasties. Easiest way I found is to look for vegan-friendly products or botanical products. A lot of ‘natural’ products are not always that natural… always read the ingredients list!

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | London Family and Lifestyle Blogger
My type 2A waves on a good day. Day 1 after wash day.

Is a sulfate free shampoo (low-poo cleanser) right for me?

Personally, I think everyone can benefit from a sulfate-free cleanser, especially people who do not use a lot of additional products in their hair. Many of the low-poos (gentle cleansing shampoos) cleanses the hair well. The only downside is that you won’t always get much of a lather but you’ll get used to that. For straight or swavy/wavy (type 1-2A) hair girls, and guys, that do use a lot of product in their hair ie hairspray, gels, creams, hair oil, leave-in treatments, it might be a good idea to still use a sulfate-based shampoo every now and then to thoroughly clarify the hair.

However, make sure your conditioner is silicone free! It’s fine and dandy using a sulfate-free cleansing shampoo but if you’re following that with a silicone-based conditioner you are not achieving anything apart from perhaps greasier-looking hair. The reason for this is because as good as a low-poo is, it will not be enough to remove silicone build-up. So if your other hair products contain silicones, you’ll need to clarify your hair. There are also clarifying methods you can look at ie. Apple Cider Vinegar rinse and Rice Water rinse – the latter is recommended for coloured hair.

I wash my hair once (twice max) a week with a low-poo but when my hair feels a little more dehydrated I like using a conditioning cleanser, also known as a ‘co-wash‘ or ‘no-poo‘ as these shampoo/cleansers have NO LATHER. (As I am co-wash conditioning cleanser is my go-to product). Once every few months, I switch out my low-poo for a sulfate-based shampoo and follow with a deep condition or protein treatment for 15-20 mins. I’ve found that this routine works well for my hair but you can read more about that in my other posts.

What else should I avoid if I am following the Curly Girl Method and/or want to look after my hair better?

If you’re new to the curl game or just want to avoid haircare nasties, here’s a list of what to look out for and avoid: https://www.curlsbot.com/curly-girl-ingredient-list/

You can also take a look at this article on the top 5 mistakes wavies make when starting CGM here on NaturallyCurly.com. It explains more about what I’ve mentioned in this post in regards to clarifying and more.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | London Family and Lifestyle Blogger
Credit: Curology / Unsplash

Top 5 sulfate-free cleansers for swavy & wavy hair

I have personally used all of the cleansers below so it’s been tried and tested on my type swavy wavy hair. All cleansers are lightweight so I’d say they’d work better on fine to medium density hair. If you have medium-high or high density hair, you might need something richer/moisturising like a co-wash.

Hair porosity also comes into play – if you have low hair porosity, try a lightweight low-poo cleansers as your hair will be more susceptible to build-up. You can always layer up on moisturising styling products ie leave-in conditioners, creams, mousse or gels after. For high porosity hair, you might want to try a co-wash first or the Shea Moisture JBCO and Manuka Honey shampoos which contains shea butter for that extra moisture boost. Curly Cailín wrote a post on her favourite low-porosity haircare products and listed some really good products that I love too including the As I Am co-wash I mentioned earlier!

1. Shea Moisture Fruit Fusion Weightless Shampoo

I really loved using this low-poo cleanser. It lathers up nicely and a little goes a long way when using it. The coconut water hydrates the hair but as it’s so lightweight it’s cleanses well and doesn’t leave my hair feeling weighed down. I love using it in the summer as I get really hot and sweaty so this is a good one to keep my hair light and fresh. My waves also looked fab from wash day up to three days after – with a little refresh in between but fab nevertheless. It is one of my summer staples. It smells nice and fruity too.

Wash Rating: 5/5

2. Noughty Wave Hello Shampoo

This was one of the first wavy hair products I used and I enjoyed using it. I wasn’t a massive fan at first as it doesn’t lather much for a low-poo cleanser however if you’re already used to non-lather cleansers, you’ll like this one. It smells herbal which I love but some might not be a fan of the scent. As it doesn’t really lather, there’s not much slip so I always ended up using probably a lot more than I needed but I didn’t mind. As it was so gentle, I could do a double cleanse and rinse to really clarify my hair without it feeling stripped. I also love them because they are a British brand!

I wrote a review before on the Noughty Wave Hello collection here if you fancy another read.

Wash Rating: 4/5

3. Bouclème Hydrating Hair Cleanser

Another great British brand that I really love – the packaging is great, it smells delicious like sweet lemons or sherbets and is packed with glycerine. The hydrating cleanser lathers nicely and is very lightweight. It cleanses my hair well.

I usually have to use a refresher or curl cream with water to revive my waves after using this for my wash day as the air at home is really dry and it can leaves my hair feeling so light that I can feel the static – I don’t know if that even makes sense or it’s only me that experiences this static behaviour but it’s something I’ve noticed with my hair. It’s a little sad because I adore the rest of their line, especially their curl cream and curl defining gel. All of their products are also available in travel sizes so if you’re keen to give them a go without committing full, try the smaller bottle.

Wash Rating: 3/5

4. Shea Moisture JBCO strengthen & restore shampoo

I really love this low-poo and think it will always have a space on my bathroom shelf  whilst I have my bleached hair. It really helps to nourish my hair but also cleanses deeply at the same time. It smells amazing, the peppermint with shea butter makes it smells like butter mints. Yummy.

Wash Rating: 4/5

5. Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Yoghurt Hydrate and Repair Shampoo

I really like the Shea Moisture range (it’s one of the first brands I tried) and decided to give another shampoo from their brand a try. I picked this one originally for my daughter who has fine type 3A/B curls and found that all of the other shampoos I’ve used for her before just didn’t do her curls any justice – even the beloved Shea Moisture JBCO shampoo! I used this on her and it worked a treat! It cleanses well but the lather is so silky smooth, it made her hair feel so soft after rinsing that it felt like it could skip conditioner… obviously we didn’t but you know what I mean.

I used it and it made my hair feel silky smooth too, I really liked using it. It also had a really good lather, more lather than all the other low-poos listed above. A little really goes a long way with this one. It cleanses well too so win-win all around!

Wash Rating: 5/5

BONUS: Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat Shampoo

This is a product that I am waiting to try out. I got a small tester in my recent Look Fantastic purchase so I will give it a try on my next wash day. I’ve heard nothing but great reviews. All have said it cleanses brilliantly but leaves hair feeling soft and waves in check. The price range is also very affordable so a great product to try if you’re starting out your CGM journey. If your hair is glycerine sensitive, this is the perfect one for you to try as it’s glycerine-free unlike the others listed above.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Hair & Beauty

 


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How to plan a quarantine birthday party for kids

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | London Family and Lifestyle Blogger

With London in lockdown for five weeks now and counting, the government have said that restrictions are NOT going to be easing up any time soon. As the country tries heavily to control and slow down the risk of more deaths and a second wave, more people will be celebrating their birthdays indoors this year. Last week we celebrated my little girl’s fourth birthday and next week will be Daddy P’s birthday. Little Man’s and mine are in August so hopefully restrictions will have lifted by then.

Firstly, I can’t believe it’s been four years since Little Miss was born! Time really does fly by – with it comes many tears, tantrums, angry moments but also many loving memories, best hugs, lots of laughter and love. These two little monsters really have turned my world upside down but I don’t think my life would be as interesting without them!

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Throwback to four years ago…

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…Four years on (a rare moment!)

Little Miss’s birthday in lockdown

It’s been the first time we’ve celebrated the kids’ birthday at home. We don’t usually celebrate their birthday at home simply because there’s so many family relatives and friends to invite so we usually book for an activity venue instead.

We did two birthday calls via Zoom; one with friends and the other with family. It was fantastic! It was quite easy to set up and the video quality was pretty decent. There was a little bit of a lag-time with the audio but it wasn’t a major issue. Little Miss really enjoyed seeing her nursery school friends even though they were all a bit shy on the Zoom call (including us!). It was also my MIL’s birthday and she chose to do her call via Skype which was good but I found the video quality not as good and also couldn’t work out how to get all callers on one screen like I could on the zoom call.

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It took me around 2-2.5hrs in total to hang up all the decorations, blow up the balloons and tidy up the living room. Our space is not big as we live in a city flat but it was spacious enough for a little girl’s birthday with just the four of us. Please excuse the broken TV unit cabinet door. That’s what happens when your kids decide to play with the furniture and lose the screws that goes with it. It’s on our long list of things to replace in the house… (¬_¬’)

Birthday parties are as unique as the person celebrating; whether you choose to go all out or just get a few things to add around the house. Here are some helpful points to consider when planning your party…

How to plan a quarantine birthday party for the kids

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Credit: William Montout / Unsplash

1. Plan your party at least a month ahead

Seriously, a quarantine birthday party needs a little more planning than you’d think. Mainly because it takes that bit longer to source things for the party and there’s no way you can chance leaving things to the last minute if you want everything to go to plan. I started planning Little Miss’s party a month before, well as soon as London’s lockdown was announced in March I started to plan out what we’ll need for her party.

Things like party decorations, food, presents and birthday cake should be at the top of your list. Try to have a back-up plan in case it doesn’t go to plan or things you order go out of stock. If you’re inviting family and friends to join you online, you can even make party invites online using sites like Canva which you can then send as an image via email, text or whatsapp.

If you’re setting up your decorations on the day, make sure you’re up early enough to get it all done. When I was checking the time, the hanging decorations took just over an hour but it was blowing up the balloons that took me forever. If you have a pump use it, if you have a helium tank, even better! You could potentially put up all the other decorations the night before and leave the balloons for the morning.

Note: make a list of things to do, buy, organise with a checklist so you can tick off the completed tasks as you go along. Get those birthday pressies in advance!

2. Save money buy ordering party decoration sets

I ordered Little Miss’s party decorations from Amazon. I have Amazon Prime so everything arrives in good time but I ordered early to avoid ordering for next day delivery – just to be considerate for vulnerable or priority customers. I found this fantastic 79-piece birthday decoration set which was excellent value for money. I also bought a smaller set of decorations with hanging lanterns and honeycomb balls to add some variety to the decorations. Confetti balloons are a great touch to any party, even if you can’t get helium to blow it up (we didn’t!) the balloons still look fantastic. We got confetti balloons as part of our 79-piece set. 

If you also have any party decorations from previous years that you can use again, bring them out! No-one is going to judge you for having mis-matched party decorations. 🙂 These are the decorations we had for our party: Happy birthday banner, bunting, balloons and confetti balloons, ribbon swirls, tissue paper pom poms, honeycomb balls and lanterns, confetti cannons, party cups, party hats and poppers. You could also include party streamers, birthday crowns, plastic medals (for games), glow sticks, sparklers (use safely outdoors NOT indoors), glitter confetti to sprinkle on the table, party napkins, cups and cutlery.

Note: love sparkles? Get yourself a confetti cannon like this one or a glitter cannon. They’re cheap and you really get loads even in a small cannon – be aware, there’a lot of clean up though! If the glitter cannon is too messy for you, make sure you get a pack of party poppers for a true celebratory feel.

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Processed with MOLDIV

3. Save time (and money) with a supermarket birthday cake

We usually order a traditional Chinese birthday cake but with health and safety regulations, the Chinese bakers are not making any cakes – boo! I know that there are a few bakeries in London still open ie. Cakebox however we don’t drive so we wouldn’t have been able to collect. So we opted for a supermarket unicorn birthday cake instead which cost us £12 and tasted great! Asda do a range of celebratory cakes and birthday cakes from chocolate to vanilla sponge, in popular designs like unicorns, drip cake, Peppa Pig, Marvel superheroes. There’s even an option to create your own design in store. I think other big supermarkets like Sainsburys and Morrisons also have a great birthday cake department.

Note: if you decide to order a supermarket birthday cake, you can make it look extra special by adding a sparkler or number candle, personalised cake toppers, or anything else you’d like to decorate with. These can be also bought in store or online for personalised.

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4. Prepare your party food the day before if you’re a big family

If you’re going all out with party food and have a large family, you might want to prep some of your food the night before. Most party foods can be cooked in the oven which cuts down cooking time, and whilst they’re in the oven you can concentrate on the other party foods you need to get ready.

For us, we’re only a family of four so I decided to make our party food on the day. Little Miss asked for burgers so we had burgers with chips, and crisps, sliced apples and animal cookie bags for snacks. We skipped making dessert as we ate the birthday cake -we still had so much cake left over it took us 2 days to finish it.

Note: whilst you are preparing the food, keep the kids entertained by giving them a game or challenge to keep them occupied. When you’ve finished or can leave the food to cook in the oven, you can join in on the fun!

5. Get the party started with a party playlist

With apps like Spotify to help you out, you can’t really go wrong with this one. Download Spotify, select a playlist and you can leave it running in the background. Failing that, YouTube playlists are also great. You can select chart toppers or cheesy children’s birthday songs, it’s completely up to you. If you fancy compiling your own, you can do so on both platforms.

Our top songs to include in a children’s birthday playlist:

Happy – Pharrell Williams
Happy Birthday – Stevie Wonder
Move your feet / D.A.N.C.E. – Trolls movie
Girls like you – Maroon 5 ft. Cardi B
Mi Gente – J Balvin ft. Willy Williams

Note: why not have a game of musical statues or musical chairs just to have a bit of silly fun? If your children are older, they might not want to play but perhaps a game of guess who musical version ie. “guess who sang this song?” by playing a snippet of the intro or playing an instrumental version of the song. 

6. Ask friends & family to join in with you (virtually!)

Don’t party alone! Let the children enjoy their birthday party with family, friends and school friends. If you created a special playlist on YouTube you could even send a direct link to them so they can party along in their own homes.

We just kept it simple for ours and because our computer speaker isn’t that loud, we had our party with minimal music. We used ZOOM to host our birthday party call which allows up to 60mins of free unlimited calls of up to 20+ people. We only had 8 and that was big enough for us! We used the computer and could see all callers on one screen in the ‘gallery’ viewing mode. The screen is also much bigger than my iPhone 7 screen so I like using ZOOM on the computer for that reason.

Note: host your birthday party call on ZOOM or Sype or another conference calling platform. There’s so many you can choose from that there’s no excuse not to connect with others on your birthday.

zoom-birthdaycall
Zoom birthday call

If your child’s birthday happens to fall on a Sunday, you can party along with events organiser, Big Fish Little Fish events who host ‘virtual kitchen raves’ with their resident DJs every Sunday at 2-4PM via Facebook LIVE stream. It’s a family rave and has become so popular since the lockdown. I’ve been a fan of them since five years ago and still love the stuff they do.

Just log onto Facebook on their page and join the thousands of other families partying LIVE online. You can even request birthday shout-outs too! Check out their previous virtual raves here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/bigfishlittlefishevents/videos/?ref=page_internal

Bonus tip: be prepared for the after party (clean-up!)

Once all the fun is over, the clean-up commences. It’s no small task I’ll tell you that, especially if you went crazy with the confetti and glitter cannons like we did. I still manage to find bits of confetti hidden around the room but I don’t mind. It’s a nice little reminder of Little Miss’s special day.

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Credit: The Creative Exchange / Unsplash

She still wore her party hat and party dress two days after her birthday and we left the birthday decorations up for the whole week because I was too lazy to take them down. Plus… they looked too cool to take down earlier. 🙂

Do you have children celebrating their birthday in quarantine? If so, make sure they have a great time. Having a birthday at home should be just as enjoyable as going out. Sure, it is hard right now as we can’t visit family and friends but with all the technology around us we are even more connected than ever before so utilise it.


p i n  t h i s  p o s t !

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | How to plan a Quarantine Birthday Party for kids

Recipe: Easy Homemade Chickpea Burgers (V)

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Food: Chickpea Burger recipe

We’re currently low on rice and pasta at home right now. With no car to drive to the bigger supermarkets and our little Sainsburys Local and nearby Iceland has a long waiting queue that seems never-ending. A big shop is due soon and I managed to get a delivery slot one evening next week so hopefully that’ll tie us over for another month. I really try to not use the delivery service to let others and more vulnerable get a chance to order delivery but sometimes these little journeys to the local shops cause us to pay much more as they’re premium prices.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Food: Chickpea Burger recipe
Chickpea burgers that are easy to make!

We have a big bag of uncooked chickpeas that I’ve been wanting to tackle but couldn’t be bothered to… until now. We didn’t have all of the ingredients needed to make a curry so I had to re-think about what else we could make. Then I had the idea of making chickpea burgers! Why I never thought of it before who knows but I’m glad I came to my senses. Uncooked chickpeas need to be soaked in water overnight before they’re ready to use so make sure you do this too. Fill water to fully submerge the chickpeas and by the next day they’ll be softer. Boil them until they’re firm but soft enough to squish with your thumb and forefinger. 

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Food: Easy Homemade Chickpea Burgers Recipe

We had leftover buns from when we had Linda McCartney mozzarella burgers the day before. I can also make a really nice sweet and tangy fried onion garnish so thought that’ll do. I looked up chickpea burger recipes and went for the first link I saw which happened to be a recipe from BBC Good Food for chickpea & coriander burgers.

I knew I’d need eggs (which we had) but didn’t know what else to add to make the burgers. We didn’t have coriander or breadcrumbs but the burgers still came out amazing. Also we ran out of cumin so I subbed that with garam masala (has a similar warming taste to cumin), turmeric, ginger and smoked paprika. If you don’t have any of these then you can make do with salt, pepper and garlic, puree or fresh clove is fine (which I’d forgot to add but it was still delicious without).

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Food: Easy Homemade Chickpea Burgers Recipe
The ingredients before it’s blitzed (left), and the consistency you need after blitzing (right)

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Food: Easy Homemade Chickpea Burgers Recipe
Transfer mix to a bowl and add the onions

How to make your deliciously simple & easy chickpea burgers

This recipe is suitable for vegetarians however to make it vegan friendly, swap out the egg for a substitute, chia seed or flaxseed water creates a similar eggy-consistency which might work well.

When I made this the other day I kind of eye-balled the chickpea and water measurements so use your own judgement. The recipe in BBC Good Food called for more lemon juice and lemon zest but I found just 1/4 lemon juice was enough – this was fresh squeezed, not the bottle kind. I used garam masala which has a slightly more ‘curry flavour’ taste than cumin, try both and see which you prefer.

You should be able to make around 2-4 good-sized burger patties (6 at a stretch) with this recipe. If there’s only two of you, you could make four chickpea burgers and stack up them up.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Food: Easy Homemade Chickpea Burgers Recipe
Fry lightly in oil until golden brown

Choosing your bun

Choosing a bun really sets the foundation of how your burger will turn out, especially if you like to toast them (we do!)… our favourite is toasted brioche buns because they’re light, fluffy and taste buttery but it is loaded with fat and calories so not great if you’re looking for a healthier option. Here are a few bun choices you can choose from…

  • sesame bun
  • brioche bun (our favourite!)
  • white morning roll
  • wholemeal bun
  • roti or flatbread (healthier option!)

Adding your toppings & condiments

You can go wild with what you decide to top your burger with. There’s tons of condiments out there and who’s to say you can’t even make up your own version? We love our own version of pico de gallo which we make really simple with just tomatoes, onions and balsamic vinegar. Here are a few suggestions in case you can’t decide…

  • cheese or vegan cheese
  • sliced tomatoes
  • lettuce
  • spinach
  • bistro salad mix
  • pickles or gherkins
  • pickled vegetables (daikon, carrot, radish)
  • cucumber
  • fresh sliced onions
  • homemade salsa or pico de gallo (fresh, chunkier version)
  • ketchup
  • mayo or vegan mayo
  • sriracha hot sauce

We didn’t have a lot of ingredients at home so we had to keep it simple. Trying this recipe again, I’ll add in spinach, perhaps a few sliced gherkins or pickled vegetables to add more crunch and tang or go for a little pico de gallo instead. We ate our burgers with homemade potato wedges drizzled with balsamic vinegar. Yummy!

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Food: Easy homemade chickpea burgers recipe
Ta-da! Double stacked chickpea burgers with tomatoes, cheese and mayo

Without further ado, here’s the recipe…


Easy Chickpea Burgers Recipe

Serves: 2-4 people
Prep time: 20mins (minus pre-soaking and boiling of uncooked chickpeas)
Cooking time: 20mins

Ingredients

Patty mix:
500g chickpeas, pre-soaked and boiled from uncooked (drained, if from can)
1/4 lemon juice
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp garam masala or ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground ginger
Pinch of black pepper
Pinch of Aromat seasoning (use salt if you don’t have it)
1 medium egg
1/2 medium onion, chopped and diced
2 tbsp oil for frying

50ml water (have 10-20ml extra in case your burger is too dry/crumbly)

4 morning rolls (or any buns of your choice)

Method

With all of the ingredients above, here’s how to make your chickpea patty…

  1. Add into a food processor or blender (I used my nutri-bullet) the chickpeas, egg (or egg substitute for vegan option), all dry seasonings, garlic, lemon juice and 50ml water.
  2. Blitz on medium power or until the texture is smooth but a little chunky for texture. If it’s very smooth, don’t worry as the next step will add some texture to the patty.
  3. Transfer the contents into a mixing bowl and add the chopped onions. If the patty mix looks too thick and crumbly add in a little water and stir or mix with your hand. Make sure you don’t add too much water as the patty needs to hold its shape when frying.
  4. Turn on the cooker to a medium heat (number 3 or 4 on electric cookers) and add the oil to your pan. Take a small handful of the mix and roll into a ball. Flatten it into a patty/burger shape around 1cm to 1.5cm thick. I wouldn’t advise on patties thicker than 2cm.
  5. Place gently into the hot pan and fry for about 3-4mins or until golden (golden brown if you like crispy bits) then turn over and fry on the other side.
  6. Take off the heat and place on your bun.
  7. Add your favourite toppings – we topped ours with a really simple pico de gallo style dressing, mayo and cheese for Daddy P and cheesy sautéed mushrooms for me.
  8. Sit back and enjoy! You can team your burger with a side salad, homemade coleslaw, wedges (like us!) or chunky chips.

 

My Top 5 natural facial cleansers for all skin types

Cleansing your face should be one of the first and most important step in your skincare routine. It preps the skin for the next steps in your routine and is a must for those who don’t have a routine in place. With slightly more time on our side now, kick-starting your skincare routine might be a good idea plus it allows you to have more self-care time. 🙂

Why use a facial cleanser?

Cleansing helps to remove dirt and debris sitting on the skin – this goes for men and women. Think of it like washing your hands. Most cleansers will removes face makeup effectively but not all of them will remove eye-makeup or waterproof mascara so read the labels carefully. If the cleanser doesn’t state it removes eye-makeup then it won’t be gentle enough to use on eyes or take it off effectively. Micellar water is usually your best option for eye makeup removal and they’re usually a 3-in-1 (makeup remover, cleanser, toner) which means you can use it all over the face with no need to rinse off.

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Skin types can be broken down into the following categories: 

  • Dehydrated – skin that lacks water; parched skin can feel tight, it can look dull and sallow, uneven skin tone/texture, can also become red, sensitive, congested 
  • Combination – a combination of two or more skin types, generally combination skin is oily and dehydrated
  • Dry or Ageing – skin that lacks oil; rough texture, looks dry and flaky look, can be itchy, dry skin is more prone to ageing ie. visible lines and wrinkles are more prominent
  • Oily – skin texture may be thick and consistently shiny, may also be congested and/or acne-prone, if acne is active the skin can become red and sensitive
  • Sensitive – skin that suffers from redness, feels sore or irritated, affected by the environment (sun, heat, cold), may suffer from rosacea, reactive to ingredients in products, medication or diet, may also become prone to breakouts

I’ve not listed ‘normal’ skin types as even this skin type can become dehydrated so if you have normal skin, look for products that can improve dehydration and/or radiance.

The different types of facial cleansers out there:

  • Balmrich texture that is nourishing and comforting
  • Creammedium-rich texture that is heavier than gels or oils but lighter than balms,  moisturising and hydrating
  • Gel – lightweight texture that usually foams, leaves skin feeling refreshed and/or slightly astringent
  • Oillightweight to medium-rich texture that glides on the skin smoothly, usually great at removing all types of makeup including waterproof eye makeup
  • Micellar watervery lightweight, used on the face to remove makeup usually including eyes, cleanses and tones the skin without the need to rinse off

There are other types which include foaming washes, cleansing milk, 2-in-1 cleansers, solid bars, and cleansers that emulsify to a ‘milk’ before washing off.

Everyone’s skin type is a little different and can change depending on climate, weather and even the environment. Check out how your skin looks and feels regularly and if needed, switch up your cleanser but no more than twice a year (cold and hot seasons). I live in London, UK which is usually cold but I can tell that in ‘summer’ months, my skin is a little more dewy and hydrated so I’ll switch to a lighter cream cleanser or gel/foaming wash cleanser.

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My top natural skincare cleansers for your skin type

As a natural skincare junkie (and spa therapist) I’ve come across quite a few skincare cleansers. Some I love, some others love and some that are questionable. All of the cleansers I’ve listed below are labelled as suitable for all skin types but I’ve included my recommendations for which skin type I think is would get the best results from them. Ingredients like rose, aloe vera and glycerin are great for hydrating the skin – something which all skin types can benefit from.

None of these cleansers do not contain sulfates, parabens or silicones. As good practice, I’d advise you to always check the full ingredients list just in case. A cleanser might market itself as sulfate-free but could still contain parabens or silicones.

I’ve included the full list for you below too… you’re welcome! 🙂

Aromatherapy Associates Hydrating Renewing Rose Cleanser

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Beauty: Natural Facial Cleansers of 2020

This light but creamy cleanser smells gorgeous and feels so smooth on the skin. We use the AA brand at the spa – this natural brand that really does its job. As the cream is lightweight, it really is suitable for all skin types especially normal/dehydrated, sensitive and combination skin types. This is one of the few cleansers that can be used directly on the eyes to remove eye makeup and doesn’t sting the eyes.

Apply on with clean hands using circular motion and rinse off with water. As an extra step I like to rinse then use my wet face cloth to buff the skin so I’m getting a deeper cleanse and a little exfoliation. It’s really easy to use.

[Full ingredients: Aqua (Water), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride,Glycerin, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Phenoxyethanol, Rosa Centifolia (Rose) Flower Water, Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium) Flower Oil, Tocopherol, Xanthan Gum, Ethylhexylglycerin, Citronellol*, Geraniol*, Linalool*.]
*Natural Essential Oil Contents.

I’d highly recommend this for: dehydrated skin, dry/ageing skin, combination skin, sensitive skin


Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Beauty: Best Natural Skincare Cleansers

The Pro-Collagen range from Elemis has been their bestselling collections for over 5 years. I used Elemis during my training days and it’s a wonderful brand; it smells divine and products incorporate a lot of science to deliver on results. It’s much more science-y than Aromatherapy Associates and so they used to contain more chemical nasties however their new formulations now are more gentle and they’ve cut out a lot of those chemicals. This product doesn’t state it can be used on eyes to remove eye makeup so I wouldn’t suggest it. If you do, then do it with caution at your own risk.

It’s only rich once you put it on but that’ll change. Massage the cleansing balm into the skin using circular upward motions to work it into the skin to loosen up the makeup and dirt. Add a little water (emulsify) to get it going, this will allow the makeup to lift off the skin. Once it turns into a milk you wash it off and pat dry, leaving you with baby soft skin.

[Full Ingredients: Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, PEG-8 Beeswax, Cetearyl Alcohol, Sambucus Nigra (Elderberry) Oil, Sorbitan Stearate, PEG-60 Almond Glycerides, Silica, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Glycerin, Lecithin, Borago Officinalis (Starflower) Seed Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Cera (Wax), Padina Pavonica Thallus Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Acacia Decurrens (Mimosa) Flower Cera (Wax), Rosa Multiflora (Rose) Flower Cera (Wax), Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium) Flower Oil, Tocopherol, Lavandula Hybrida (Lavandin) Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Cinnamomum Camphora (Ho Wood) Wood Oil, Mentha Arvensis (Mint) Leaf Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Menthol, Eugenia Caryophyllus (Clove) Leaf Oil, Citric Acid, Linalool, Geraniol, Eugenol, Citronellol, Limonene]

I’d highly recommend this for: dry/ageing skin, dehydrated skin, combination skin


Liz Earle’s Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Beauty: Natural Facial Cleansers of 2020

This cleanser was one of the first natural products I tried and I do love it still. The smell of the cocoa butter with the menthol aroma of eucalyptus reminds me of chocolate-minty goodness. It can be used over the eyes to remove makeup but the menthol might sting a little if you have sensitive eyes.

This rich cleanser needs to be applied similar to the Elemis cleanser, dispense 1-2 pump(s) into your hands and massage onto your face and eyelids. Make sure you massage all of the cleanser in then rinse the cloth in hot (but not boiling) water and wring out excess water. Use circular motions to remove the cleanser off.

[Full ingredients: Aqua (water), Caprylic/capric triglyceride, Theobroma cacao (cocoa) seed butter, Cetearyl alcohol, Cetyl esters, Cera alba (beeswax), Glycerin, Polysorbate 60, Sorbitan stearate, Eucalyptus globulus leaf oil, Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract, Humulus lupulus (hops) extract, Chamomilla recutita (matricaria) flower extract, Propylene glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Panthenol, Benzoic acid, Dehydroacetic acid, Sorbitol, Limonene, Ethylhexylglycerin, Polyaminopropyl biguanide, Citric acid, Sodium hydroxide.]

I’d highly recommend this for: oily/congested skin, combination skin, dehydrated skin


A’kin Cleansing Micellar Water

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Beauty: Natural Facial Cleansers of 2020

Micellar water is actually one of my favourite beauty bag staples. Simply because you can take it with you anywhere, use it to remove makeup or even just freshening up your skin when out and about. A’kin’s micellar water is super gentle and can be used on all skin types. It’s cooling on the skin and removes eye makeup pretty well. It has a really fresh cucumber scent (one of its main ingredients) so if you’re not a fan of cucumbers, this may not be one for you. This micellar water is totally water-based however you can find some other micellar water includes oils.

Can be used to remove eye makeup. Simply use with cotton pads and wipe over eyes, face and neck area. No need to rinse off.

[Full ingredients: Water (Aqua), Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Water *+, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract (Green Tea)*, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Water*, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Juice*+, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Extract*, Glycerin*, Ethylhexylglycerin, Heptyl Glucoside*, Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate*, Sodium Levulinate*, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid*, Linalool^.]
+Certified organic.  *Botanical source.  ^From essential oil.

I’d highly recommend this for: sensitive skin, dehydrated skin, combination skin


REN Rosa Centifolia Cleansing Gel

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Beauty: Natural Facial Cleansers of 2020

I’m not a massive fan of gel cleansers however they are slightly better for my dehydrated skin in the summer than full-on foaming wash cleansers. Gel cleansers are super lightweight but will contain some lightweight oils to keep skin moisturised and balanced. I find gel cleansers also work best on combination and oily/congested skin types but ideally could be used for all types. Dry/ageing skin types might find that gel cleansers do not provide enough moisture or hydration and will probably do better with a creamier cleanser.

Apply onto skin with wet hands or emulsify gradually with water to cleanse the skin, avoiding the eyes. Rinse off with water and pat dry.

[Full ingredients: Aqua (Water), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Glycerin, Coco Glucoside, Polysorbate 20, Xanthan Gum, Panthenol, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Lauroyl Oat Amino Acids, Potassium Sorbate, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil, Parfum* (Fragrance), Rosa Damascena Extract, Cymbopogon Martini Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Rosa Centifolia Flower Extract, Lactic Acid, Citronellol, Geraniol]
*100% Natural Fragrance – Parfum 100% Naturel

I’d highly recommend this for: combination skin, oily/congested skin, dehydrated skin, sensitive skin

There you go!
It’s not a comprehensive list but enough to get you looking around and get you started this Spring on your skincare journey. Do you have a favourite cleanser? Let me know in the comments section what you think of these recommendations and whether you agree. x

Happy #WellnessWednesday


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