Love your Face & the Planet: I&G Eco Natural Make Up Remover Kit

Do you worry about the amount of waste you are creating? I definitely do, particularly within my beauty regime, from the amount of single use plastics in my products packaging, to using baby wipes that I know go in to landfill, to the minuscule plastic beads found in body scrubs. Like most women, I cleanse my face each night using cotton wool pads and throw them straight in the bin sometimes using two or three at a time.

Cotton wool is not recyclable and the disposable nature of it makes it not only wasteful but also harmful to the environment. Harmful pesticides are used in the farming of cotton and the cotton farming industry is a major source of environmental pollution using almost one quarter of all the world’s insecticides and 10% of all pesticides. During the production of cotton cleansing pads, chemicals are used that will eventually leach into the sea, rivers and soil when the pad is disposed of. The argument to not use cotton wool is a powerful one but for most of us with busy lives (oh hello full time job, blended family, part time business) it’s often hard to not take the easiest option.

Enter I&G Eco… A fantastic small brand aiming to do big things. They say – “We believe, looking after our planet is the responsibility of all of us and small acts multiplied by millions of people can transform the world. Join in and make a difference!”

The I&G Eco natural make-up remover kit is a great little set comprising of 16 x bamboo makeup remover pads, 2 x sisal soap bags and a cotton mesh wash bag all packaged in recyclable packaging.

So, what do you get in the box?

You get 16 super soft bamboo makeup pads. These are made of 100% bamboo fabric, great quality, biodegradable and according to the packaging, BPA and polyester free so it doesn’t impact the environment like ordinary single-use cotton wool pads. They are machine washable and can be washed up to 1000 times each.   

Also included are 2 sisal soap pouches meaning you can use your favourite soap and stop using single plastic use shower gel bottles. You simply put a bar of soap inside the pouch and gently massage your body to exfoliate dead skin. You can also use smaller bits of soap together as the bag holds them all together, making your soaps go much further.

The final piece of the set is a cotton mesh wash bag which you can place your used pads in as you use them ready for washing. I washed my pads weekly in the mesh bag and they washed very well. The bag also doubles as a storage or travel bag keeping everything neat and tidy.

There is a lot to like about this set – it is obviously a great idea and eco friendly but it also is a really nice beauty product too. The pads themselves are so soft, very easy to use and wash really well. I was concerned after using and washing them a few times they would start to feel a bit ‘scraggy’ and not fresh like a new cotton wool pad but I can honestly say they feel lovely every time I have used them. They are a larger size than I expected too and have 2 layers meaning you can use both sides during make-up removal and the pad still feels clean, soft and fresh.

After going cotton wool free for a few weeks now, I am really feeling the love with this set, the brand and its ideals. We have developed into a throw-away society, filling up our environment with rubbish that we cannot dispose of and something has to change. Doing my bit for the planet without comprising on everyday time-savers is what I strive for and by simply swapping to clever eco friendly and sustainable products like this can really help the environment, as well as saving a bit of money in the long run too.

This set is ideal for all types of skin, plus can be used on adults, children and even babies. The bamboo pads can be used for applying beauty products, such as toners and serums as well as the removal of all types of make-up, even really heavy applications.

I really liked the feeling of the pads on my skin and found they removed all my make-up while absorbing the Micellar water I use each night. They all washed really well and the additional soap bags made me consider my other toiletry usage and look at where I could be more eco friendly.

So, will I go back to good old cotton wool?

Its a 100% no from me!!! Using bamboo pads is definitely the way forward – they work great and fit in to my busy life really well.  And best of all – no waste and no guilt!

Want to try this fab kit for yourself?  The I&G Eco natural make up remover kit costs £12.99 and can be bought from Amazon here or directly via the I&G Eco website.

It’s time to start making a difference…

*I was gifted this product but all views stated are my own. For more information please see my disclaimer section.

Uniqlo/Marimekko collaboration

Sometimes theres just a coming together of two favourite brands that you cannot ignore. This happened recently when Uniqlo announced that their next designer collaboration would be with Finnish design house Marimekko.

For those not familiar with Finnish design house Marimekko, their style is bright, fun and vibrant and having started in the 1950’s has a very retro feel.  They create fashion and homewares and their fabrics are often used within interior and retail design projects.

The collaboration itself is a range of 6 different prints repeated into dresses, tops, trousers, bags and shoes with all the price points sitting within Uniqlo’s affordable set pricing structure.

After visiting the store and trying on a few pieces (being a Japanese brand I find Uniqlo clothing can come up a little on the small side) I settled on two t-shirts and a dress. I could of bought lot more but was strict on myself as my wardrobe is already bulging at the seams.

This is what I bought…

Dress – £19.90

Uniqlo Marimekko fashion range via www.AlwaysaBlueSkyGirl.com / Blueskygirlie

The print itself is named Polle (Horse) and is based on an image the Marimekko design team took of what they describe as the “round hoof prints left by a plump small pony.” so I’m already in love this print!  This is a comfortable slightly A-line fit, t-shirt dress and I went for a small which would fit a 10-12 fine. Its sizes run XS – L, is 100% cotton and costs just £19.90. Oh and did I mention it has pockets!!!

T-shirt – £12.90

Uniqlo Marimekko fashion range via www.AlwaysaBlueSkyGirl.com / Blueskygirlie

A boxy shape, I went for a size medium for a slightly roomy fit. It has all its print to the front, is available in sizes XXS – XL, is 100% cotton and costs just £12.90.  The Pompula (pompom) pattern depicts flowerpots. According to Marimekko, its been used as flowers are a warm way to remember friends, family and loved ones on different occasions.

T-shirt – £12.90

Again a boxy shape, I went for a size medium for a slightly roomy fit. It is white with just the print on an oversized chest patch pocket featuring that aforementioned plump pony print! It is available in sizes XXS – XL, is 100% cotton and costs just £12.90. Perfect with jeans and trainers I loved the cute simplicity of this tee.

All the items are all beautifully made and fantastic quality for the price.  Sizing can be a little confusing and I’d recommend a try on session but as ever Uniqlo has come up trumps.  It even comes in its own lovely paper carrier bag…

The range is available now in selected Uniqlo stores now and online here.

On Wednesdays we wear pink!

Ok, Mean Girls is a fantastic movie but as you become more *ahem* mature, how easy is it to wear pink?

I would say that I’m not a particularly ‘girlie’ girl but I do like wearing a bit of pink in moderation. Lets be honest, it is the most feminine colour and its always nice as a woman to feel pretty – that doesnt stop when you’re over 40. Actually, the need to feel pretty is probably even stronger (thanks magazine photoshopping/the worlds love of youth/women becoming invisible after a certain age etc) One of the ways I ‘do’ pink is by wearing the colour in a less girlie way such as the pink jeans I have on today.

F&F pink jeans & Primark top via Always a Blue Sky Girl fashion blog

I have styled these pink jeans from F&F at Tesco with a cute cropped boxy top from Primark and some pretty flats from New Looks teen range 915. These rolled up jeans are so versatile and easy to wear and for sizing I am wearing a 12 but they are available in sizes 8-20. Being petite I have just rolled them up at bit more than they were when I bought them.

The cropped top is pretty with its print but not overpowering but I have kept jewellery to a minimum with just a couple of bracelets and a simple chain necklace.

F&F pink jeans & Primark top via Always a Blue Sky Girl fashion blogA skinny white belt and white caged shoes complete the look and keep this pink look from feeling too Barbie.
F&F pink jeans & Primark top via Always a Blue Sky Girl fashion blog  F&F pink jeans & Primark top via Always a Blue Sky Girl fashion blogSo, what do you think – love it or hate it? Whatever your age and regardless of what day of the week it is  – are you ready to wear pink?

Top – Primark

Necklace – Primark

Jeans – F&F

Belt – Primark

Bracelets – Dorothy Perkins

Shoes – 915 at New Look

Black, White & Orange 

Todays outfit is a simple piece of styling – a monochrome print with a bright statement necklace. This piece of styling works with any black and white pattern and any colour of statement necklace.  Simple!

The dress is a cotton shift dress from ASOS (last season) and I have added one of my favourite J Crew inspired bubble necklaces.  I just love these necklaces – see my blog on them here.  On my feet are just a simple pair of plimsol style pumps – comfortable shoes for busy days are a must for me.

I love the ‘pop’ of the necklace against the dress and find this style, with its longish short sleeves is a very wearable day dress.  I love orange as an accent colour so love the boldness of this necklace.   
    #ootd ASOS dress bubble necklace look via always a Blue Sky Girl blog 
 

Simple styling maybe, but very effective I think!  Now off to do my day of running around fitting in kids, chores, work and anything else that crops up.

Dress – ASOS

Necklace – eBay

Shoes – Primark

Coat of Dreams

The other day I bought probably one of my most favourite things ever from Primark.  A baby blue and grey bonded trench coat made from a scuba type material.  It is just perfect and I adore it! Primark Atmosphere  scubs fabric tench coat #ootd via Always a Blue Sky Girl blog

I am wearing it today with a very simple outfit as when something is this nice you want it to stand out.  Simple grey t-shirt, skinny blue jeans and grey pumps – all from Primark too!  Elegant yet still fashionable – perfect for a 42 year old that still wants to embrace the wonder that is fashion.  For sizing I am wearing a size 10 (EUR 36/38).

Little details like the roll up sleeves make it great for warmer months – lets be honest, in the UK you still need a light coat most days.  The scuba material is soft and light and definitely can be worn most of the year.  It has a double breasted press stud fastening and traditional trench coat styling of epaulettes, rain guard and gun flap.

Primark Atmosphere  scuba fabric tench coat #ootd via Always a Blue Sky Girl blog Oversized vintage sunglasses and wavy hair add to the slightly retro look….Primark Atmosphere  scuba fabric tench coat #ootd via Always a Blue Sky Girl blog

Primark Atmosphere  scuba fabric tench coat #ootd via Always a Blue Sky Girl blog   These skater style shoes are only £4 in store now at Primark which is amazing value.  You’ve got to love a bit of extra co-ordination, it can make all the difference.  If you’re quick you may find the coat as well, although I found it in the sale section.

Primark Atmosphere  scuba fabric tench coat #ootd via Always a Blue Sky Girl blog

So it appears Joseph wasn’t the only person with a dream coat!  Thanks Primark for dressing me beautifully today – I seriously never want to take this coat off.

Coat – Primark

T-shirt – Primark

Jeans – Primark

Shoes – Primark

Sunglasses – vintage

Attachable Collars

I do like a collar detail, especially when wearing a jumper and I couldn’t resist buying one of these detachable collars from eBay.  Shipped from Hong Kong they cost next to nothing (well less than £3) and after the longish wait for them to arrive, I think they’re rather good!

Heres some examples from eBay of the types you can get…    

EBay sellers have a wide selection of different styles but I went for a traditional white shirt style collar with white button.  You wear it like a necklace with the button doing up round the front but there are also versions with a yoke part that tucks in, if you want something that will fit any neckline.  

So this is me in my pink jumper.  Pretty non-descipt…  
And this is me wearing the collar.    

What do you think?  I think its a great way to update an existing top or create a shirt effect when it might be too warm to wear two layers.   And all at a bargain price too – and that seems like a winner to me!

Find similar items from eBay here

Copenhagen H&M shopping haul

I recently blogged about a great trip I had to Copenhagen, Denmark.  I love fashion and I love H&M and the stores out there (being Scandinavian) were amazing!  In fact there were about five different ones in the city centre alone!

Today I thought I’d share with you what I bought… 

I love a dress and ended up buying a few, plus a top, jewellery and accessories.  Danish Krona equates to about 10: £1 and although the items weren’t hughly cheaper than the UK a lot of items that have only just launched in the UK were heavily reduced in their sale.h&m haul via Always a Blue Sky Girl blog

Jewel Print dress – £5.00 (reduced from £29.99). I have loved this jewel print range and seen pieces on other bloggers but not been able to track any pieces down. This is a mini dress/tunic top with wide 60’s sleeves.  I wore it out recently with wet look leggings and heels and felt very ‘Megan Draper from Mad Men’! The print is just gorgeous.  It is a loosish fit and the size 8 (H&M size 34) fitted me perfectly.h&m haul via Always a Blue Sky Girl blog   

Palm detail dress – £5.00 (reduced from £39.99).  This is a heavyweight lined cotton mesh dress and very unusual – I love the french knot embroidery detail and its casual fit.

h&m haul via Always a Blue Sky Girl blog  

h&m haul via Always a Blue Sky Girl blog Striped top – £17.99 – an absolutely classic, elegant look with a high turtle neck.  I’m planning on teaming it with white trousers or wide leg jeans.h&m haul via Always a Blue Sky Girl blog  

H&M loves Coachella lace dress/cover up – £14.99. The minute I saw this on the mannequin I knew I had to have it. I thought it was a total bargain at £15 and the bright coral crochet lace is very nicely done. It can be worn as a beach cover-up but I will wear it with a slip underneath as a short summer dress.  On my boyfriends advice I went for a size small for a more fitted shape. h&m haul via Always a Blue Sky Girl blog

And then the accessories…

Divided Keys necklace & padlock earings – sale price £2.50 for all.  I have worn this necklace loads since we’ve got back and absolutely love its uniqueness.

h&m haul via Always a Blue Sky Girl blog

Blue necklace – £2 (reduced from £9.99), star keychain – 50p (reduced from £4.99), starburst earings – £2 (reduced from £6.99)h&m haul via Always a Blue Sky Girl blog

Gold earings – £3.95.  Wanted some simple drop studs for ages (where part hangs under your ear) and these were a total bargain.

h&m haul via Always a Blue Sky Girl blog Lips purse £2 (reduced from £10) and lips cosmetic bag £2.99 h&m haul via Always a Blue Sky Girl blog

If I’d of paid to store my luggage in the hold I would of bought even more!   Many of these items are instore now at H&M UK.  Look out for them all in future outfit posts.

Visiting Copenhagen

My partner and I have made a promise to ourselves to see a new city and do a new thing every year and this Easter was the turn of visiting a new place. 

I’ve wanted to visit Denmark for a while.  Its one of the most stylish places from a design perspective, is a totally different experience from travelling in southern Europe, embraces English as a language and is said to be one of the happiest place to live.

I instagram’ed A LOT while there so let me share with you what I saw, discovered and felt…

The airport – yep, Denmark scores high in the design department, even the airport is stunning.


Tourist attractions – theres so much to choose from but heres a few I loved…

There are a lot of royal palaces to visit as various ones were built, burnt down or replaced since the 1700’s. The current royal family live in two modest palaces (similar to an English stately home size) protected by Bearskin wearing guards not unlike ours. 

The Little Mermaid has to be THE thing to visit while in Copenhagen.  It can be reached on foot and is quite amazing to see in real life. Hans Christian Andersons legacy can be seen all around the city and gives it a magical air. I have to say I got quite emotional seeing it in real life.  There is also a ‘Big Mermaid’ to visit further up the shores edge where you can also do watersports and sail.

Copenhagen is quite unique as it has a theme park right in the middle of the city. Tivoli Gardens was founded in 1843 and has become one of the cities biggest attractions. Hans Christian Andersen visited many times, as did Walt Disney who was said to of used it as inspiration for Disneyland.  Part of Tivoli Gardens’ secret is that there is something for everyone – the scenery is beautiful with exotic architecture, theres fantastic food and drink, it has historic buildings and of course the famous gardens. At night, thousands of coloured lights create a fairy tale atmosphere that is completely unlike anywhere I’ve ever been to. It is quite expensive if you want to go on all the rides and eat dinner but its definitely worth it.  I will never forget how magical it was.

  

For a great view of the city visit the Rundetårn (The Round Tower) which is a 17th-century tower built as an astrological observatory. It is most well known for its corkscrew style path instead of stairs leading to the top, and for the great views over Copenhagen.  We liked the glass floor where you could look down and see how high you were plus we got to do one of our holiday traditions of kissing at the highest point we can find in the city!

  

  Food and drink – 

Denmarks food is fresh, simple and tasty. Copenhagen is expensive to eat and drink so it was great to have a good breakfast at the hotel before we started our day. Hot breakfasts arent really a thing in Denmark so expect boiled eggs, breads, meats to make sandwiches, yoghurt and many types of pastries.  Open sandwiches with variations of salt beef, roast beef, fried eggs, beetroot, herring, liver paté and rye bread should definitely be tried for lunch.  And for dinner?  Well I loved their steaks…

  Nyhavn – 

If you picture Copenhagen you will probably picture the postcard prettiness of Nyhavn (New Harbour).  Bright coloured buildings line the side of the canal with lots of beautiful boats moored there.  Its a great place to eat and drink or take one of the sightseeing boats round the city – we did both.  Absolute holiday perfection.

 
Love Locks – 

Last year we visited Barcelona and left a engraved padlock there and it has now become a holiday tradition to do so.  This years padlock is now happily amongst the others on the bridge at Bryggebroen where you will find hundreds of other peoples padlocks too. 

If you don’t know the idea, also seen in many other big cities, it is that couples come and lock their padlocks (decorated with their names, dates and other messages) to the wires of the bridge, then throw the keys to the water below as a sign of unbreakable love. Pretty romantic, eh?  See our love lock below…

Modern Architecture – 

As well as the old, Copenhagen also has some amazing modern architecture.  It really takes your breath away as it is such a stylish place. My favourite was the ‘Black Diamond’ building (seen below with us reflected in it) built to reflect the water all around so ever shimmering like a gem and close second was the Opera House (seen after). 
Shopping – 

I did some shopping of course!  Strøget, the main shopping street in the city is Europe’s longest pedestrianised thoroughfare, running for well over 1,000 yards.  The selection of designer homewares is amazing with recognisable Danish brands everywhere plus lots of antique shops.  There’s also a real ‘healthy’ feel to shopping with the biggest selection of fitness clothing across different shops that I’ve ever seen including specific departments just for kids.  Clothing wise, H&M rules the high street and its not hard to see why.  Look out for further blogs on what I bought there!  My partner loves Lego and he was not dissapointed either.  Made in Denmark its presence is strong in department stores, toy shops and its own stores and it looks great.

  

Bikes – 

Continuing the healthy feel, there are so many people riding bikes.  It is a very ‘green’ city and you can hire bikes and park them pretty much anywhere.  This leads to a very laid back vibe, with the streets clean and quiet. 

We found everything really easy in Copenhagen. You can fly there cheaply (our flights only cost us around £50 each return and that was during the Easter break), the people are very friendly, everyone speaks English and signs/announmcements are all in both languages. The weather in April was warm and not that different to the UK.  Its easy to get from the airport to the city centre (about 20 mins on the train) and the city can be navigated easily on foot or by metro/train.  It has definitely become one of my favourite places and I would highly recommend a visit.

Its the perfect city break!  

I am a runner, hear me roar!!!

I am a runner.  I run 5k (3.5 miles ish) 3 times a week. Not a big deal?  Actually it is.

Two years ago I couldnt run for 5 minutes. And 5 years ago I was more than 90lb heavier than I am now. So to me its a huge deal…and I’m very proud of myself.

I run obsessively.  I rarely miss a run and run regardless of weather, illness or date (I even ran on Boxing Day). Me and my fiancé even do runs on our holidays – we’ve done runs in France, Spain & Denmark so far!!! It has changed my life…as well as my body – in the last year my weight hasn’t changed much but I’ve gone from a UK 12/14 to a size 10.  My anxiety (which I’ve suffered from for as long as I can remember) has pretty much disappeared and I feel for the first time, totally in control of my body and health.

But today lets talk clothing – what to wear for running when you love your clothes.  Fashion is one thing but running gear needs to be fit for purpose, so I stick one one brand – Karrimor.  I buy it via Sports Direct where it is greatly reduced and in my opinion its just great – many runners swear by the brand.  Its tight fitting but great! 

On my feet I wear Puma Descendent’s – I have 2 pairs I alternate, one older black and pink pair and a newer white and pink pair (more for summer) plus supportive/padded running socks.

THE KIT:

Fitted long sleeve running top – this is great as a base layer or as a top when its a bit colder. For summer, short sleeve versions are available (plus vests for the 3 days in the year its hot enough 😄).  Whats great about them? Bright colour and reflective stripes for visibility, mesh panels to help the body breathe and a tight fit that wont stretch or go out of shape. 

karrimor running clothing via blueskygirlie at Always a Blue Sky Girl blog

karrimor running clothing via blueskygirlie at Always a Blue Sky Girl blog  

Running tights – yes they are a bit scary if you have a few lumps and bumps you want to hide, but my view is, if anyone dared to make a comment youre the one running and theyre the ones sitting on their lardy asses! They are strangely flattering actually and where they are tight they act like shapewear.  Whats great about them?  Zipped back pocket, reflective details, zips at ankles.

karrimor running clothing via blueskygirlie at Always a Blue Sky Girl blog  

Hat and headband –  whether is cold or hot these do the job.  A hat is imperative in the winter and I love the headband to cover my ears on windy days when my hair is tied back. Whats great about them?  Reversible hat (pink is great for visibilty), a tight fit that wont stretch or go out of shape. 

karrimor running clothing via blueskygirlie at Always a Blue Sky Girl blog

Underwear – you definitely can’t start running without a sports bra!  That and trainers are the two things you can’t do without. I personally find Berlei bras really good and use a non wired version that you can also wear as a crop top. High impact is definitely the way to go. Obviously depends on your bust size but as I’ve still got D cup boobs I need them contained! Pants wise I’m still working on finding the perfect solution LOL. Some runners adocate going commando but I’m not so sure.  My view currently is to wear seamless high waist pants that wont ride up or be too fussy – not sexy but hey, youre working out.  Plus your bum is going to look a lot sexier in the long run!!! 

Vest & cropped leggings – in the summer I go lightweight as I can’t stand being too hot. Capri leggings or shorts are perfect and a vest replaces my normal runnung tops.

Whats great about them?  Breathable panels, zipped back pocket.

  

 Trainers –  Puma Descendents.  Whats great about them?  Lightweight, supportive, breathable mesh toe section.

Puma Descendent trainers via blueskygirlie at Always a Blue Sky Girl blog  

Puma Descendent trainers via blueskygirlie at Always a Blue Sky Girl blog 

Fitness clothes do not have to be expensive – my last pair of trainers cost less than £20 and the running pieces start from around £4 at Sports Direct.  A word of warning though, once you buy a few bits you just cant stop building up your running wardrobe!

If I’ve inspired you to try running at all I’d recommend the c25k app which trains you from walking to doing a full 5k run (and beyond).  I was terrified but it really works. Give it a go, it might change your life!

All clothing – Karrimor via Sports Direct

Sports bra – Berlei 

Trainers – Puma