I injured my knee in 2001, since then I've been plagued with flare ups since, I went for physiotherapy where they told .me it seemed like it was the symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis -
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. This means that your immune system – which usually fights infection – attacks the cells that line your joints by mistake, making them swollen, stiff and painful.
Over time, this can damage the joint itself, the cartilage and nearby bone.
- and that I should do stretching exercises such as yoga / pilates as physio to help strengthen my knee. Many years later and when it's cold I'm prone to flare ups. It got exceptionally cold at points this year and my knee started to suffer, leading me to have to find alternatives to help ease the pain, there's only so much sitting wit my leg up that I can do (I can't sit still for long!). I was sent two different types of healing products. I've used these both and here's my run-down.

Living Nature Vitality Body Oil 100ml 
The wonderful thing about oil is that it can be applied directly onto the skin or into a warm bath, giving me the benefits of both worlds. I love to put the recommended 15ml (1tbs) into my bath at night to give what I feel the maximum benefit. The added warmth and massaging into the knee helps to ease the pain. It's also relaxing scent wise, I find the peppermint seeps through quite a lot but also the clary has a slight breakthrough, it eases the knee as well as the mind. If I'm going to use this to massage my knee I will do it at night too but I don't wrap my knee at night I just make sure I'm wearing something warm enough to not reverse what I'm working to fix. This is exclusively available at Botanical Brands, they are the sole UK distributor for Living Nature.
Prunus amygdalus dulcis (almond) oil, Triticum vulgare (wheat) germ oil, Arnica montana extract, Citrus medica limonum (lemon) oil*, Kunzea ambigua oil*, Juniperus communis (juniper) oil*, Mentha piperita (peppermint) oil**, Salvia sclaria (clary sage) oil*, Tocopherol (vitamin E). *From natural essential oils: Citral, Citronellol, Limonene, Linalool.

**Certified organic

Aromatherapy Associates De-Stress Muscle Gel 150ml
This is a gel, it gives a soothing and cooling effect on touch. Beginning to massage it into the skin very gently and it keeps this cooling sensation but it's not unbearable. I do apply it over moisturising cream as the gel I find isn't that hydrating but it doesn't dry out the skin it leaves a soft feel to the skin, the essential oils starts to feel warm. I prefer to use this one during the day at most as I will wrap my knee in the support and it begins to warm and aid my knee. The scent of the lavender and rosemary are soft but warming.
aqua (water), lavandula angustifolia (lavender) flower distillate, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) distillate, lavandula angustifolia (lavender) oil, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) oil, melaleuca cajuputi (cajuput) oil, parfum**, pogostemon cablin (patchouli) oil, juniperus communis (juniper) oil, zingiber officinale (ginger) root oil, pinus sylvestris (pine) oil, piper nigrum (black pepper) oil, sodium hydroxide, carbomer, dehydroacetic acid, benzyl alcohol, citral*, coumarin*, geraniol*, linalool*, limonene*.

*natural essential oil contents **natural plant extracts

Boots Pharmaceuticals Knee Support
I had no idea where I lost my last support so I picked this up after hobbling around the shopping centre. Picked up a large to make sure it fit over my swelling and onto my thighs so it's not tight but it gives good support. Of course I got mine in black! It slides on well and aids the support well. It can be noticeable over leggings but the more layers in this weather the better anyway to keep the joints warm. Putting this over the gel or oil keeps the heat in and it might not be the most sought over accessory but hey, gotta do what you gotta do!

Since using these on a regular basis I'm noticing that my swelling during the cold days aren't as painful. As the flare ups are unpredictable I just put a few drops of the oil into my bath to help as these nights are getting dangerously cold. I'd advise anyone with any joint pains to try these products or get essential oils that help joint flare ups and keep them wrapped and warm, it's important to keep your joints moving to relieve stiffness but it's also important to rest them. Spend at least up to 10 - 15 minutes just massaging the joints, it'll help the muscles around the knee to relieve pain.

Coping with Knee Pain in Winter

Yves Rocher is a cosmetics brand that has been around since 1959. It's been the first time I've used this on myself and there's a few products I've got to share:

Lash Plumping Mascara - Waterproof Black What I liked is this mascara didn't clump while applying my three coats and separates the lashes but it didn't add any length or volume. It was quite natural looking and it didn't add any wow factor. It also started to flake slightly as the day went on.

Moisturising Cream Lipstick - Orange Muscade I'm quite cemented with what I like when it comes to my lipsticks. I like opaque finishes with my lipsticks & glosses best. When I applied this it needed roughly 3 - 4 applications to get more of a colour onto my lips. This is a sheer finish almost like a tinted lip balm if swiped on but it is very moisturising. It glides on smoothly but fades quickly. The colour in the tube isn't what appears on the lips. I think this will work well for those who enjoy tinted colour on their lips if you want to try bold colours without the impact.

Flowerparty by Night Eau de Parfum 50 ml with notes bitter almond essential oil, star anise and bourbon vanilla absolute extracts, this is a food based / edible scent. It's amazingly gorgeous, I found it to be fresh with a bit of a depth to make it a night perfume, it's definitely one for a girls early night out, not as heavy and seductive for being a late night scent. The packaging is cute, the carved out flower cap adds the appeal with this gradient blue bottle. The gradient reminds me of going from a late afternoon into a dark night. You can't beat a fruity, floral scent. The price isn't bad at all currently at £19 instead of the RRP £38.

All in all I wasn't blown away unfortunately by the make-up. It didn't suit my preferences but the perfume was a nice touch, so it wasn't all a disappointment but I doubt I'd purchase anything from the brand now I've tried a couple.

Have you tried anything from Yves Rocher?

Yves Rocher | Tried & Tested

This Christmas Eyeko have an exclusive Make Up Bag Gift Set. Looking for a last minute gift for a make-up loving friend this could be it. You get a leather make-up bag (not pictured) Mascara Off Wipes, Hydrogel Eye Patch, Black Magic Mascara & Eye Do Liquid Eyeliner.

Out of this lot, I really love the Eye Do Liquid Eyeliner, once it's on, this thing doesn't budge, therefore it doesn't allow for much mistakes when it comes to doing your eyeliner. It's not the blackest of the black but you can go over it a few times and deepen the shade. The tip is flexible but firm and thin, allowing you to get a thin or thicker desired line. Black Magic Mascara is a curved brush applicator, it cups the lashes as you apply and conditions them as it coats with keratin and shea butter also allowing it to glide off easily when removing it. It doesn't give me longer lashes which I would of loved a good point to make is, I've noticed no flaking or clumping.

Though this is a gift for someone who can treat those eyes, the Hydrogel to prepare the eyes for the day or night ahead or the morning after, revive those tired looking eyes. Keeping the Mascara Off Wipes handy reminds you to take off that face after a partying night. This was my first time trying the Eyeko brand, I wouldn't rule them out and I will still continue to use.

Have you used anything from Eyeko?

Eye Wardrobe £38.00

Eyeko Eye Wardrobe

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Philips via Mode Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Philips.


The end of my Philips Lumea Precision Plus Hair Removal has arrived. If we revert back to my first post and read my initial expectations, I wanted to remove most my hair from the upper lip, underarm, arms and legs but leading up to the second update I just kept it to the underarms and legs.

Conclusion
I started to really get the hang of the appliance, you have to slide and press either upwards or side to side. I prefer upwards on the areas I've treated, the slide & press is an easy technique as you can move it away more accurately from the last treated section. I did find for awhile the adjusting was getting the armpits done. It's recommended to stand in front of a mirror and do it and I wanted to make sure that I've got every inch even if it's a small area as I don't want to repeat the last bit of skin I've just treated.

Around the ankles it's slightly more delicate and I still stand by what I said in my last post on this, during my cycle I feel the heat more but it's still bearable and there's always the choice to put the level lower. A couple of weeks ago I started to notice the hair on my legs have started to stunt. Honestly I was surprised, only on the premise that a lot of things don't work but this actually has, there's still some areas that are growing back but I'm positive that it will adapt to the rest of my legs.

If I was to reference in a popular make-up company foundation shade if you're below a NC50+ / NW45+ but DON'T use this if you have naturally light white / blonde hair and you're looking to get rid of body hair this is suitable for you and I would 100% recommend this. The most important thing is that you are consistent with the treatment if you want to see results within the 8 weeks. I'm definitely going to keep up with this but I'm going to take it to the face especially after seeing these result and being a positive one. Lumea, the secret to beautiful hair free skin, for up to 2 months, so what you wanting for, treat yourself.


Philips Lumea Precision Plus - Conclusion

The first time I was introduced to Conscious Skincare was last year when I sent their body butter which I LOVED! Of course when I was directly contacted by the company to work with them, did I refuse, how could I, so thanks ♥

This set I would recommend for yourself or for a gift on the premise that if you're unsure about a product you can try out a selection from the brand before putting out the money and maybe not liking something. Where with a set you've got a pick & mix and you can see which one you prefer over something else. For £20 you get a selection of 6 travel sized products with a canvas zip bag that you can store and keep them together.

The bag itself is a freeset one. Freeset is a business that help to restore what has been stolen. Hundreds of women who were trapped in India's sex trade it gives them freedom from a life that robbed them of their dignity and hope. These women are given the opportunity to choose a new job and regain control of their lives once again in a community that is caring. The bag's lining is made from different recycled sarees, making each bag unique.

Included inside is:
Body wash 50ml -Grapefruit and Cedarwood, I may have pointed out that this year I've had issues with bubble bath which sad but SLS isn't doing my skin any good so organic - natural is the way forward as my skin is hydrated not being stripped of natural oils and it's safer for me. This too I've had no issue with, I put it on my sponge and allow them to work in conjunction to get a generous lather and clean my skin.

Body lotion 50ml - Grapefruit and Cedarwood, it's a runny lotion but don't pour out a lot. Seriously a size of a 10 pence piece can moisturise my arm from wrist to shoulder. Shocking. Didn't try my leg as there's a lot more skin there lol but it's a light moisturiser absorbs limitedly, felt mildly sticky when I was rubbing it in but that didn't linger and isn't an issue.

Bath Soak 50ml - Grapefruit and Rosewood, great to put into the bath at the end of the day. It's recommended to do that and to help soothe muscles so probably a good one for those coming from the gym or have muscle problems to help soak and relax them temporarily. I pour it directly into the running water for a perfect bath.

Body Oil 50ml - Sweet Orange and Frangipani (aka Plumeria) what a beautiful combination, never have I had a Frangipani plant (but they are beautiful) and this combination of sweet orange (cue the citrus fiend), extremely relaxing and generosly sweet, not quite the citrus smell I might of expected but pleasant. The oil itself isn't oily oil, it's moisturising and absorbs easily while leaving a soft coating to the skin. My hearts skipped a beat stroking my wrist lol.

These two below come in tins with screw off lids.

Body Butter 50ml - Sweet Orange and Frangipani, my favourite seriously if you get a chance to use this. Do! It's more moisturising than the oil is and you can feel that in comparisson but it still has an oil to it as well as a butter and it mixes together well to moisturise and protect the skin. I could live in this and the oil.

Body Polish 50ml - Sweet Orange and Frangipani, opening this I screamed, it was too much - the citrus was real in the aroma and it reminded me of something homemade, it contains organic glycerine organic sucrose, sweet orange oil, frangipani oil, sandalwood oil. It's not coarse but it's very exfoliating as it feels very pure and just nothing extra added to 'water down' that exfoliation.

Concious Skincare certainly blew my mind with the rest of their products. Suitable for all skin types so nobody is left out of this. The gentle lingering smell and just that home made feel about them makes it more comforting, they are hand blended, just take a minute to read about their philosophy and it puts you more at ease with the company itself as that's just as important as the products themselves.

Conscious Skincare Indulgent Organic Mini Spa Set

Around this time last year, I started my juicing and it's something I've continued for the past year. When I was contacted by Domu I was asked what's ideal for my blog and yes juicing is something I enjoy and like sharing on here, twitter and Instagram when I find some recipes. I settled on this blender by VonShef Premium Jug Blender & Grinder*. The last week and a bit I've had a fever and been feeling very run down but on top of having this fever when the temperature drops, I'm feeling that outside temperature too, a lot. What's more fitting to make and share than soup!

A little about this blender, it's 600w with 5 speed settings. Low (1-2) - This setting is ideal for light usage e.g. with liquids & High (3-5) - Perfect for ingredients of a solid consistency there is also a Pulse setting - For ice crushing and short, powerful impulse movements. There's an additional grinder that you can grind such things as coffee beans, spices, breadcrumbs, you just take the jug off and replace it with the grinder and put it pulse I suppose, I've not used this function yet but I'm sure down the line I'll need too!

First use, I washed it and left it to dry before use, switch it on and I notice where the setting dial is you get blue LED light that indicates it's on which you can clearly hear but it's a nice touch. During my blending I noticed a smell, that burning of new product smell (urgh, I hate that smell) but it begins to wear off and has no affect on the foods taste / aroma. The design of the blender in general is sleek the stainless steel made chrome bottom with a glass jug gives it more of a luxury feel and looks more than it's price. The jug in itself is quite weighty due to the glass and I really do prefer it to plastic.

Let's get onto the recipe!

This is for everyone, I've included the a lacto-ovo & vegan option but the main objective is that it's meatless. Yum!!!

Brocareeze Winter Soup

Prep+Cook Time
Prep : est 5 - 10 minutes
Cooking : 35 minutes
Total Time : 40 - 50 minutes maximum.

Utensils
Jug blender
A saucepan with lid

Ingredients
1 tbsp butter
1 medium onion - peeled and chopped
1 large carrot  - peeled and sliced
1 large head of broccoli - florets and stems separated and stems chopped up
salt & pepper
250 ml vegetable stock
100ml double cream (lacto-ovo)
Cheddar - grated (lacto-ovo)

Method
- Melt the butter in a saucepan on medium heat. Put in the carrot, onion and broccoli stems. Gently cook for 10 minutes. Pop the lid on to give it a good steam.
- Season with salt & pepper and stir in the broccoli florets.
- Pour in the vegetable stock, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Take off the fire and allow to cool before placing into your blender. Pour the ingredients from the pan into the jug and blend until smooth.
- Transfer back into the pan and reheat.
- Add the cream & cheese and stir until melted ( for the vegan option for this step, read below )
- Pour into a bowl and enjoy.

-----
Vegan Cheese Option :-
I found this idea for the cheese from OhSheGlows (and it works just as well)
Ingredients:
1.5 cup unsweetened, unflavoured almond milk
3/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tbsp Earth Balance or other non-dairy buttery spread (UK residents I use Sainsbury's freefrom spread)
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1 tbsp + 1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1. In a skillet or pot, melt the Earth Balance over medium heat.
2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour and 1/4 cup milk until all clumps are gone.
3. Whisk in the remaining milk (1.25 cups) as well as the milk and flour mixture into the pot. Now whisk in the nutritional yeast. Reduce heat to low-medium.
4. Add Dijon, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper to taste and whisk frequently over low heat until the sauce thickens up, for 3-5 minutes. Be careful not to burn it. Remove from heat once thick.

If you try this let me know! Or share with me your favourite home-made soup recipes below.


VonShef Premium Jug Blender & Grinder £39.99

Broccoli + Cheese Soup Recipe

Let the Bee buzz if you don't wanna get stung.

Vaseline have released their fourth limited edition tin, Queen Bee*. A light honey scented petroleum jelly lip therapy in a shiny striped tin a rich gold and black colour scheme, it's a nice addition for the clutch this party season if you're a Vaseline lover.

In preparation of becoming an up & coming busy bee I was sent a box with contents that'll give me the chance to showcase my Queen Bee. I was wondering how this was going to happen so once the box came it was filled with stuff to do on a cloudy afternoon....glitter (wa-hey!!), paints, gel pens, brush, PVA glue, stickers and jewels and of course a Queen Bee!!

I didn't want to stray too far away from the traditional body of the bee. I decided on textured pink and purple mixed wings, jewelled eyes, crown and some pouty lips fit for a Queen B.


Vaseline Limited Edition Lip Therapy - Queen Bee £3.99

Vaseline Limited Edition Lip Therapy - Queen Bee

You might of noticed this gorgeous headband in yesterday's post? I was contacted by Cameliha.com with the idea of me choosing and item to share on my blog. I love helping out companies especially those that are handmade like the majority of the stock that is available on the website.
One thing you might not know about me is, I have so many hair accessories that I rarely use, I'm talking a box full - Shameful I know. I decided to chose this headband because it looked Autumnal, festive and you can't go wrong with gold. The leaves are on one side with brown beads weaving through the leaves on this black ribboned headband. What I like is that you can wear the leaves on whatever side of your head that suits your preference or hairstyle. I noticed no hair pulling or tangling which is good. There's a range of different styles and items that could be nice stocking fillers or ideal for you if your a hair decor lover.

Gold Forest Headband £6.50

Cameliha Gold Forest Hairband

It's rare that I use a hairdryer to dry my hair so I've used the ghd aura roughly 3x on myself and once on someone else. The hairdryer itself is surprisingly light. Gone are the days where the arm aches from holding the dryer, that's a huge bonus.

The biggest thing to note is that it's definitely not as loud as it's predecessor or other hairdryers I've had, I like that cos I like to either watch tv or listen to music whenever I blow my hair. It takes me roughly 25 minutes to dry my hair, that's fast as I blowdry my hair in sections for a blow out and I've used it when also setting my hair under my hairdryer hood, this takes a lot longer and that's because it has to be used on the lowest heat. I noticed that my hair still had a lot of moisture when I was setting it in the hood, there wasn't a halo of frizz so kudos.

When I'm blowing my hair out I'll use it on the middle setting. I thought the other day I was the smartest and used it on the highest - just don't - big mistake. No point rushing it. The cord..the cord on this is the longest, 4m in length, I have the worst sit down timing rate and so you'll see me walking around my room going to other rooms with this lol.

The only thing is, I can never wash, dry my hair and go. A lot more has to go into styling my hair for me the hairdryer only dries the hair, I personally can never style it with only a dryer it just ends up looking wild and not in a good way. Below in the video I share with you a routine from wet to top knot style. Enjoy!



Products used in the tutorial :
Lenor Greyl Shampooing Crème Moelle de Bambou //Conditioning Shampoo for Dry Hair
Lenor Greyl Condition Naturelle — Heat Protective Styling Spray
Cloud Nine Magical Potion
Lenor Grely Volumizing Styling Mousse
Argania Oil Light
ghd aura hairdryer
Cameliha Gold Forest Headband (in image)

ghd aura hairdryer £145*

ghd aura hairdryer + top knot tutorial


Cloud Nine is a company I've heard of and seen around but never used anything from them. When I was asked if I wanted to review the Magical Duet set I was apprehensive due to other mishaps with brands and my hair but I thought let me give it a go from the perspective of hair that is mixture. When my hair is straight it favours more European hair in the aspect that it's bone straight, doesn't need much product, mostly oils and very fly away. When it's in it's natural curly 3b state it's more afro texture & needs a lot more product and moisture and oils to keep it hydrated.

Magical Duet
Magical Potion
Is an extreme heat protection and also a product that helps to speed up the drying process of your hair by up to 50%. Heat protectant is a necessity with any hair and working with heat. The drying process, erm I didn't like this part of it. Whatever is in the product to help it speed up the hair drying process just sucks out too much moisture out of my hair that I need. My hair lives for moisture, it's own and additional. Therefore speeding it up, leaves it straw like dry. I think it would work better for hair that doesn't need as much moisture and maybe for a roller set but for me - no bueno!
- edit : After having a conversation on twitter about it, throwing a few ideas on how to make it work. One suggestion was it could probably be used best when air drying instead of using additional heat on my hair. I'm going to try this when I'm speeding up my curls to dry. Might work better!

Magical Remedy
This is to pro-long hair colour, shine, smoothness and silkiness inbetween washes. I wrap my hair at night which helps to keep the hair smooth but I did like to use this on the ends of my hair when I was ironing it out as it says it could be used on dry hair. The cream is light and absorbs into the hair well (side note:- all these products smell amazing!) it's not that wet that it reverses my hair back to any curls. Once it's in my hair I will then chase the straighteners through following a comb and I've got smoothed out ends that aren't crispy or dry. I'd definitely use this as a conditioner and see how it works on my curls opposed to my straight hair.

It could be a great gift for a friend whose hair this could work with or even you, if your the type who washes the hair before work and need a speed dry, the magical potion will work for you. The Magical Remedy I think could work for most hair types including mine out of the two it was the most favoured but for the Magical Potion, unfortunately for my hair, I'll stick to the air drying when possible.

Have you tried anything from Cloud Nine or is there anything you'd want to try?

Magical Duet £16.90

Cloud Nine Magical Duet