World Hello Day

Hello! Today is a wonderful day. In case you didn't know, it happens to be World Hello Day. A whole day dedicated to demonstrating the importance of personal communication for preserving peace. And you can take part, just by greeting ten people.

There are 180 countries that take part and have done so for the past 44 years. It's an opportunity to express our concern for world peace. This year we have seen some of the most shocking events of the 21st century, and now, more than ever we need to come together to showcase unity and peace.

This day is intended to send a message to world leaders, encouraging them to use communication rather than force to settle their conflicts. As a global event, World Hello Day joins local participation in a global expression of peace.

So on this day I encourage you to greet as many people as you can. Go the extra mile and spread positivity to those around you. Smile, hold the door and be the good you want to see in the world.

Gem. x

Organic Virgin Coconut Oil | Dr. Organic

I am a great lover of natural skincare, looking for pure and nourishing ingredients. And for the last two months, I've been testing the Dr. Organic Virgin Coconut Oil range. Available exclusively at Holland & Barret, this is a line your skin will thank you for. We've all seen the recent explosion of coconut oil based products. From milk and water to skincare and makeup, we have gone coo-coo for coconuts.  And for a good reason.

Known for its nourishing and hydrating properties, Virgin Coconut Oil awakens dry and tired skin leaving it looking radiant and healthy. After just a few weeks my skin has completely transformed, and I am super impressed.

The weather has turned and whilst I can wrap up in layers to keep myself warm, I always find that my skin takes a hit. My hairline became dry, my skin lacked that glow and my lips were borderline cracked. At the beginning that is. After a few days of using the Dr. Organic Virgin Coconut Oil skin care range, my skin was back and softer than ever.

I was lucky enough to try five very different products, but with ten in the range, you will be able to smother yourself in coconuts from head to toe. So without further ado, here is what I thought.

Dr. Organic Virgin Coconut Oil Day Cream* -  With a super lightweight consistency this packs a lot of punch. It's absorbed quickly leaving my skin plump and smooth. Packed with plant extracts and organic oils this is a wonder to use every morning.

Dr. Organic Virgin Coconut Oil Hydrating Radiance Elixir* -  Perfect to use as part of my evening routine, this elixir is super hydrating. I use one pump after cleansing and awake in the morning with bright, beautifully smooth skin.

Dr. Organic Virgin Coconut Oil Eye Perfect* - Light and silky, patted under the eyes in the morning this brightens and tightens my skin. The pointed applicator means it's especially easy to swipe on even in the early hours. And it sinks into the skin sitting beautifully under makeup.

Dr. Organic Virgin Coconut Oil Lip Balm* - First of all, best lip balm ever. Hands down. This melts onto the lips leaving a silky finish, I can top this up every hour or so for beautifully soft lips. And relax knowing that they're protected against UVA and UVB rays with SPF15.

Dr. Organic Virgin Coconut Oil Body Soufflé* - With a light fragrance this is perfect for daily use. I keep mine by the shower and make sure to treat myself every morning. Like the rest of the range, this is enriched with plant extracts and botanical ingredients designed to nourish your skin, leaving it soft and smooth.

Every product in this range is phenomenal, seriously. It's not often that I rebuy skincare products, I always like to try new things but I've made several trips to Holland and Barrett already. With multiple Lip Balms stashed away and a Body Souffle permanently in my bathroom, I know that I'm onto some winners.

The next time I pop in I'll be picking up a few more bits. The Hand & Nail Cream and the Moisture Melt Body Oil look fantastic. I can't wait!

What winter adjustments have you made to your skincare routine? Are you a fan of coconut?

Gem. x

* PR Sample

Vegan Pumpkin Spiced Latte Recipe

The other morning I stepped outside and smelt autumn. That burnt, cold, leafy smell, you know the one. I can't describe it, but ever since I've been wrapped up in layers, keeping cosy with a hot water bottle and popping the kettle on at every opportunity. 

But one thing hasn't been the same. This is my first autumn being vegan and in case you didn't know, Starbucks Pumpkin Spiced Lattes are not an option anymore. So I decided to spend my Sunday afternoon creating my own. And it was so easy and tasted so good that I just had to share it!

This will make enough for two averaged sized mugs, so make sure to adjust the volumes to suit you.

print recipe

Vegan Pumpkin Spiced Latte
Forget Starbucks and try this vegan-friendly alternative.
  • 1 1/2 cups Sweetened soya milk
  • 1/2 cup Strongly brewed coffee
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Canned pumpkin purée
  • 1 tbsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Nutmeg
Prepare your coffee and pour into a small pan.Turn on the heat and keep it low, adding your pumpkin purée and soya milk.Stir in your spices and simmer for about 5 minutes. Making sure not to let the mixture boil as this will make it thicken.Optional: If you want to froth up the milk you can whisk gently for a few minutes.Taste and add any addition spices or sweetening agents. Take off the heat and pour into your mugs.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 2 servings

Here's to a fabulously vegan winter! Kick back, bundle up and enjoy. And if you do make this for yourself, then please take a photo and let me know! Tweet me @slightgem.

Gem. x

The A-Z of my wardrobe.

Now that Autumn is officially upon us, I've been thinking long and hard about my transition into the next season. My head is full of questions. Do my boots need reheeling? What needs replacing? Which styles will I opt for? And so before I started planning, I decided to sit down and write an A-Z of my wardrobe. What I'm aiming for and what I want it to become.

So far I've managed to work out what's missing, what to get rid of and a few new ways to style the basics. Whenever I see new pieces or something that inspires me, I take a look at this to keep me on track. Imagine simple silhouettes, lots of texture and attention to detail. So here we go...

A is for, Artisan.
B is for, Breton all year round.
C is for, Capsule wardrobe.
D is for, Denim.
E is for, Embroidery.
F is for, Flannel fabrics.
G is for, Gilet.
H is for, Herringbone.
I is for, Intricate.
J is for, Jacquard.
K is for, Khaki.
L is for, Layering.
M is for, Manageable.
N is for, Navy, of course.
O is for, Organic materials.
P is for, Power dressing.
Q is for, Quality.
R is for, Recycled, giving items a second lease of life.
S is for, Simplicity.
T is for, Tailoring.
U is for, Unique prints.
V is for, Velvet.
W is for, Wool.
X is for...
Y is for...
Z is for...

I thought it would be helpful for those of you that are looking to revamp your wardrobe for autumn. A little dose of inspiration. So grab a pen and get started on your own! Let me know if it helps, and if you find something for x,y,z! 

Gem. x


My Autumn/Winter Home Wishlist

As the weather cools down, I've been looking at a few pieces to add a touch of comfort to my home. Pale grey with depths of green accents. Rich organic materials and simplistic functional design. As ever Pinterest has been a major source of inspiration for me, with nordic homes taking the forefront.

There has been a burst of conversation around the concept of hygge (pronounced "HUE-gah"), and in a sense, it's the ethos of enjoying the simple pleasures in life. It's interpreted on an individual basis and to me it means embracing local culture, being content, spreading positivity, being kind to others and most importantly spreading that feeling to those around me.

Your home is a representation of you, and creating this environment is not only imperative to your own wellbeing but to those which come into contact with it. A magazine rack to inspire and encourage physical engagement, soft furnishings for comfort and warm scents to create a loving atmosphere.

1| Copper six compartment magazine wall rack, Urban Outfitters. Unique design, easily incorporated into a multitude of environments.
2| Velvet cushion cover, H&M. Various colours, 100% cotton.
3| OFELIA VASS quilt cover and 2 pillowcases, IKEA.100% renewable cotton and non-chlorine bleached.
4| Indoor Green: Living With Plants, Anthropologie. A journey into the world of house plants, hardcover.
5| P.F. Candle Co. Patchouli Sweetgrass 3.5oz Soy Candle, Urban Outfitters. Made from domestically grown soy wax and hand-poured,
6| Black wire basket, H&M. Multiple uses, with a raw design.
7| Pink mixed pattern floor cushion, Urban Outfitters. Crafted with soft cotton and flaunts unique patterns.
8| MOALIE grey throw, IKEA. Made of pure wool, spun to create a soft and cushiony feel.
9| Malachite Trinket Dish, Anthropologie. Made from Enameled malachite, a bright green mineral consisting of hydrated basic copper carbonate.

My shopping list isn't one entirely built by lust, but by function and shareability. I thought I would take a moment this afternoon to share it with you, and hopefully, inspire your own journey to hygge.

What do home comforts mean to you? Are you making any changes to your own environments this autumn? 

Gem. x

Welcoming Toner Back Into My Life | Akar Skincare

The recent change in weather has been taking its toll on my skin. One moment it's raining, the next it's hot and humid. The one thing that's been keeping it in check is the Akar Skin Lush Balancing Toning Mist*. Who knew that something with only five ingredients would be able to outperform in a multitude of ways.

There are three ways in particular that I use it, firstly, as a toner. After cleansing, this leaves my skin feeling fresh and hydrated. It's formulated to protect skin from free radicals, which are healthy cells turned bad as a result of damage.

Another, is to use this as a sort of 'perking up' spray. When I'm at work and my skin is looking dull, a quick spritz of this brightens and eliminates any dry patches. Perfect for when I'm particularly busy and don't have any time to top up my makeup.

And finally, when it's all getting a bit too much, flustered, overheated and stressed. A layer of this over this skin cools me down and the soft rose scent lifts my mood slightly.

With Rose and Neroli, this restores the skins natural pH balance and helps to tighten pores. It's 94% organic and 100% natural, suitable for all skin types, vegans and those that are cruelty-free.

Over the past few years, I've kind of gone off toners. I haven't used them at all but this has restored my faith in their multi-use formulas. And I'll definitely be taking a look at the rest of their skincare range as we transition into autumn.

Do you use toners? What do you think about multi-use products?

Gem. x

*PR Sample

Living Room Updates With Sass & Belle

It's been seven months since the boy and I moved into our first home and we still haven't finished decorating. It's been a long struggle trying to find pieces that we both love, that we can afford and that fits well with our lifestyle. One thing that we could agree on was our need for a terrarium. 

We have lots of cacti in white ceramic pots, the classic IKEA offerings. But with plenty of brass and copper in our living room we felt these were too bright, too clinical and we needed a replacement. Enter the Sass & Belle Black Cube Terrarium.*

This is perfect for small spaces or adding a little touch to your interior. Understated, simple and incredibly easy to transform. 

When it comes to filling your terrarium choose a selection of small cacti or succulents. For this size I would recommend one of either. Add a layer of stones, these act as a drainage layer and are an essential to prevent the soil from retaining too much moisture. Follow with activated charcoal, to purify the water. And top with soil, taking into consideration your chosen plants. As an optional decoration you could finish everything off with another layer of stones or as an added benefit, moss which helps to soak up any additional water.

I think that this looks fantastic both  in photos and in real life. And I cannot wait to fill more, I've been looking at this pyramid shape version and I think together they would look beautiful. I may even keep an eye out for large glass vases and use recycled ones too. The possibilities really are endless. 

What type of plants do you have in your home? What do you think of the Sass & Belle terrarium? 

Gem. X 

*PR Sample 


Be Kinder To Your Vagina | TOTM

This Sunday we're getting personal and we are going to get down to the nitty-gritty of feminine products. It's something that I've always felt quite strongly about, something that I'm constantly keeping up to date with and something that I feel should be spoken about more. 

New In: Beauty

It's been a while since I've made a substantial makeup purchase, and these were few long awaiting products. The past month has been a hard one for me, my skin has been tackling the worst breakout it's ever encountered and day by day I'm looking out for pick-me-up's to keep my spirits high. Those of you that struggle with your skin will understand how it really knocks your confidence. 

But I've seen amazing reviews for every one of these products, and after using them for a couple of weeks I have some mixed thoughts so today I'm here to share them with you.

Firstly, the Too Faced Born This Way Foundation has broken the internet with outstanding reviews, gorgeous packaging, and overall performance, all with its cruelty-free status. I had watched so many reviews on youtube and with each application, I just knew I had to try it for myself. So far I have mixed feelings, most of those are down to my skin's current condition. I've tried using a buffing brush, my fingers, and a beauty blender but cannot seem to get the polished finished that I've seen others achieve with this formula. It seems to settle in my pores and wear very quickly across the center of my face. But I haven't lost hope, I will continue to try it and am praying to see the results that I know this can achieve. 

It's cult counterpart, the Too Faced Replenishing Hangover Primer feels amazing on the skin. It's both super hydrating and brightening, giving the skin a healthy glow. So far so good, it's worked beautifully under lightweight bases as well as those with a medium coverage. I hope that once my skin begins to clear I will see it reach its full potential. 

When it comes to eyeliner I've always been a gel formula kind of girl. But there is just something so fluid and carefree when it comes to felt tip application. I can match both flicks within minutes which is mainly due to the size and point of the tip. Perfection. The one problem I have with the Soap and Glory Supercat Eyeliner Pen is its colour. I am so used to a thick intense black finish but this just doesn't give me the depth I expect when it comes to eyeliner. Like all products, I will continue to use it and give myself time to adjust. But what I'm really looking for is a gel liner with a similar application, that would be heaven. 

And finally my top rated product of the moment. The NYX Pump It Up Lip Plumper in Lindsay. It's no secret that I have tiny lips, but this gives them the little boost they need. Its shimmer formula is simply gorgeous and such a pleasure to use. I will say that it is a bit sticky, probably best to avoid using this if you're out and about because your hair will get caught in it quite easily. But apart from that, it's flawless. Second to lip balm this is my current most used lip product. 

With all of that in mind please let me know your experience with any of these products, do you have any tips with the Born This Way Foundation? What do you think of lip plumping products? Let me know in the comments below!

Gem. x