Last week I touched on my trip to Spain in a blog post (here) but since my vlog is up too I thought it was a great time to talk a little more in depth. I went with SantaVerde an Aloe Vera based, natural skincare brand which recently celebrated 25 years and is based in the south of Spain (although the business/brain side is based in Germany).

The truth is that I don’t know a lot about organic or natural skincare and, if anything, it has always scared me a little so it was a great opportunity to learn. We arrived on the plane in Malaga and headed to Estepona where the Santaverde finca is based and run by Kurt and his wife Sabine.

They welcomed us into their beautiful house and shared both food and their stories with us. They originally bought the Estepona fina as a holiday home but later learnt about the power of aloe from a Texan neighbour who gave Sabine some to try on her own skin. After falling in love with the effect the aloe had and with their entrepreneur background the couple thought it would be a great business opportunity.

They spent a long time researching, experimenting, planting and harvesting the raw aloe vera and although their initial plan was to sell it on to cosmetic giants they realised that the big worldwide brands were misleading and using barely any aloe in their aloe products, often opting for aloe powder, knowing that it wasn’t as affective.

Instead of helping the leading companies mislead their customers they decided they we going to both grow the aloe and manufacture the products on their finca as a 100% natural, organic and honest brand.

The finca is now filled with aloe vera plants and a glass building used to harvest and process the aloe. Whilst we were there we got to witness the harvest and I even got to pick my own leaf. We then got to help the lovely girls with the washing and peeling, which looked far easier than it actual was. It gets prepared to be sent to Germany where the products are made and the companys business side is run from.

Unlike most aloe products the final results are pure, it doesn’t have bulking agents or powdered aloe and is designed to really work rather than to mislead people. All the products are unisex and don’t catered to a certain skin type. Santaverde is certified organic, cruelty free and vegan!

The finca is compleltey opened to the public and to it’s competitors (so if you’re ever in Estepona- it’s a great place to go) really showing that they don’t have anything to hide or a fancy recipe,  I learnt so much on the short trip and has really made me think about were my cosmetics and skincare items come from, what in them and how good they are for the enviroment,

Santaverde is available online and in Harvey Nichols  

When I initially heard about the 1-day Acuvue Define contact lenses in Shimmer and Natural Sparkle I was instantly interested in finding out more.

Unlike coloured contacts that change your eye and even face quite drastically I love that these simply enhance what you already have by making them sparkle or shimmer more. I use makeup to improve what I already have and thought it would be a great way to further enhance my eyes.

I have never worn contact lenses so I booked in for a free consultation at Boots to try on the contact lenses, learn how to apply them and decide if they were right for me. Although it took me a few tries to get the contact lenses in the first time the people are Boots were really helpful and I was surprised that you really can’t feel that the contacts are in (I’m sure all you contact wearers know what I’m talking about). It’s quite nice that when I choose to wear them instead of my glasses I not only have the benefit of not wearing glasses but they also define my eyes more.

I tried on the Sparkle and the Shimmer but decided that Sparkle was the one for me as it has a brightening effect by adding luminosity to the eyes without making it obvious that you are wearing any contacts. Shimmer added much more depth and intensity. It’s a great way to enhance your eyes without anyone noticing, a little eyelash curler which are the perfect tool to opening up your eyes, the contact lenses are the perfect way to draw even more attention to your eyes. I have recently uploaded a video featuring a really natural makeup look where I shared a few tips on how to wear a very natural makeup look but still accentuate your best features and where I am also wearing these contacts.

If you are looking to also try contacts for the first time or want to swap from your traditional ones to contacts that help accentuate your eyes then 1-Day Acuvue Define are currently offering a free trial. Visit the below link to download your voucher and find your local opticians. You can also find out more information about the lenses and the inspiration behind them in the video below. 1-day Acuvue Define are also holding a national competition for an opportunity to win a years supply of contact lenses by taking the 5 day free trail.

*This is a sponsored post

Todays Guest blog post comes from a really fabulous blogger that I am sure you will all love! LaaLaa writes the beauty blog Dolce Vanity  where she writes regular and super informative posts. Today she is sharing her Skincare routine which includes largely natural products. Enjoy…

I’m an natural nut.

Products that come from natural ingredients are what my skin & body live for and in the last two years I’ve managed to find so many fresh & natural ways to soothe and treat my skin. Keeping my routine fairly simple and with products that are targeting specific problems for my normal / combination skin so hopefully I can help those who also are of that skin type!
Manuka Doctor · Bee Venom Cleanser

 From the apiclear range that’s aimed to target troubled skin – that being the breakouts I’m prone too. This foaming cleanser targets blemishes by controlling the toxin build up, dead skin cells and excess sebum. It calms and clears the skin and doesn’t leave my skin feeling taut afterwards which is a plus! I use this with my Body Shop Facial Brush to make sure I get a lot of dirt and a good scrubbing. [purchase]

LUSH · Tea Tree Toner

In high school I lived by The Body Shops “Tea Tree Range” once I entered Adulthood it didn’t do much for my skin but since I was introduced to this by a fellow reader / friend – I’m going through bottles. I’ve had toners before that have felt drying and with the combination of that and a drying cleanser the skin feels like it’s being tortured. Once this is sprayed it’s cooling and calming and the cotton pad just glides over the skin removing any last traces of dirt. [purchase]

Good Things · Miracle Mattifier

Containing Blackcurrent & Goji Berry this product is suitable for vegetarians & vegans like myself. Free from mineral oils, sodium laureth sulphate and parabens it’s perfect for my skin. If you suffer from oily skin this is great as it absorbs any excess oil and hydrates your skin. Your left with smooth and matte base and the skin is less prone to breakouts. I’ve been using this for nearly 2 years and it always ends up back into my routine. [purchase]

I treat my skin to an at home facial whenever I feel it’s necessary. I know it’s been said that you should only do it once a week or a mask however often the company tells us but I think we know our skin best – just don’t over do it.

Dolce Vanity · At Home!

After cleansing I move onto exfoliating my skin. This is where most times I do my homemade recipes such as a Milk & Honey or Honey & Sugar scrub. Honey is great antiseptic product so if you have breakouts honey can soothe that.

1 tsp. of honey
1/2 tsp. of sugar ( I prefer brown but either works )
*Choose your dairy*

1 tsp Skim Milk (Oily skin)

1 tsp 2% Milk (Normal or combination)

1 tsp Cream (Dry)

1 tsp honey

1 tbsp ground almonds (optional)

Mix your chosen exfoliator in a bowl and start gently scrubbing your face and rinsing off with warm water. Proceed to steam

TIP : Use some of that honey & sugar scrub and with a unused toothbrush, exfoliate your lips too!

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Manuka Doctor · Bee Venom Face Mask

Face masks this is the part where we can really relax and let the product do it all for us. There’s so many options with face masks, can make our own or purchase but whatever we do decide make sure it’s for our skin type and targeting our needs.

With mine being spot prone I want something that is going to soothe and balance my skin out while targeting scarring. [purchase]

Hope you enjoyed this post & a huge thank you to Sabrina for allowing me to be one of the guest bloggers while she is away.

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