As the saying goes 'less is more,' so while I was mindlessly scrolling through Instagram I saw an advertisement for simple white soy candles with 3 decorative half donuts sticking out the top that I was instantly drawn to. I absolutely love companies who can successfully pull off the simplistic packaging and rock it.
Ei-Co Designs is a small online company based in Whenuapai, Auckland. It was founded by two sisters; Robyn and Jamie who last year both gave birth to baby girls within 4 weeks of each other, so when they decided to start their own company together they decided to name it after their babies, Eilah and Cooper. Jamie and Robyn started Ei-Co as something they could both do together, and a way to share their creativity and create quality home decor for customers who will love and enjoy them, like me!
Ei-Co Designs have 8 different flavours to choose from in both the candles and melts;
Vanilla | Lavender | Cinnamon | Strawberries & cream | Frangipani |
White chocolate macadamia | Coconut & lime | Fairy floss
450ml soy candle is $40 | 300ml soy candle $30 | 4 pack of soy melts $10
Shipping is $5 NZ wide or free on orders $40 and over!
There was a problem with NZ Post at the time Ei-Co sent my candles, we both thought the candles had been lost in the post so Robyn personally come out and delivered the candles herself, if that isn't great customer service then I don't know what is! I was so excited about my candles that when I received them at work I showed everyone who walked through the door and made them smell the heaven which I held in my hands! Also the melts very convincingly resemble and smell like cookies so I couldn't stop myself opening the lid to both containers to sniff them throughout the day. But Murphy's law I got home to find the original parcel of candles sitting on my living room table!
I purchased my candle in the strawberry and cream scent and the packet of melts in chocolate and macadamia, the melts are so damn fantastic they actually started to mislead me in to thinking someone had baked a sweet afternoon treat when I got home from work. After realising there wasn't a diabetes inducing meal on the bench I can't say I was disappointed by the smell of chocolate and macadamia filling the house! My mum and I were both so amazed by how strong the melts were, for years my mum has purchased different melts from different brands with different ingredients only to be disappointed when the air was only slightly tinted with a hint of whatever was burning above the candle. The Ei-Co melts would fill the whole house so there was no way to escape the beautiful sugary goodness seeping up your nose, and that obviously isn't a bad thing!
Besides the main point of difference with these candles being the donuts sticking out of them, I love how the wick isn't an ordinary string wick that is found in most candles; the wood wick is reasonably wide which creates an awesome large flame, (just don't have it sitting under or near any flammable surfaces, as the sister of a volunteer firefighter I thought I would chuck in that fire prevention warning!). As sad as it was watching the donuts melt, the colours of the soy candle and pink donuts created a gorgeous pool of glitter within the candle, also the smell? Strawberry and cream is a beautiful light scent that filled my living room! As this candle is made from soy the wick shouldn't make a gaping hole in the middle of the wax like traditional candles do, the soy will melt evenly and look good right to the end of its life!
Even when not alight the candle and melts still let off a reasonably strong smell, and they make great decorations when not lit either. The candle makes a great centre piece for any flat surface, and the melts are stunning space fillers if you have a small corner table that needs complimenting.
Go and visit Ei-Co Designs on Facebook and Instagram! If you would like to order some of their delicious candles or melts as a gift, for a friend or simple to bask in the glory of sugary heaven then just simply message them on Facebook with what flavours you would like. They are very responsive and will usually get back to you within the hour! And if you mention my name when you order you get 10% off!
Ei-Co has stalls at both the Devonport market and Factory Markets in Albany lined up for next month, so if you want to go test their scents before you purchase then take a day to go out and visit Robyn and Jamie!
Now I'm off to set up my oil burner and melt a soy donut in my room, au revoir!
I have a small passion for locally made beauty products, theres something about them being made so close to home that makes me want to swipe my card through the eftpos machine before I am even asked if I want "just that one for today?"
Creative + Co. was founded by Katelyn Brooke who completed her degree in hair styling at Servilles Academy in 2013, and she is also a local to West Auckland! Katelyn is experienced in creative hair colours, clean blondes, moody brunettes and everything in between.
I have been following Katelyn on Instagram for quite a while now, and I am always so captivated by the vivid hair colours she does on her clients, so when she started rolling out her own vegan conditioners I became fascinated by the various colours she would make them in. When you get your hair coloured by Katelyn in a vibrant colour she can make and supply you with the corresponding coloured conditioner to help maintain your rainbow hair! But if you're like me and are currently sticking with your natural colour, don't fret! Katelyn also makes conditioners just without the colour added to it.
I purchased the 300ml jar of Creative + Co.'s conditioner for $20 and am experiencing absolutely no regrets!
I applied the conditioner to the ends of my dry hair, ensuring it was thoroughly rubbed throughout the ends then tied my hair in a bun and left it for an hour. When I washed it out I made sure I only lathered the shampoo into my scalp and avoided washing the ends besides rinsing out the conditioner.
Before using Creative + Co. conditioner my ends were quite matted and took a lot of conditioner to be able to brush it out with ease, but now since dry conditioning I have been able to limit my in shower conditioner and my hair stays smoother, and more hydrated for longer, and my hair feels so much more healthier and is a lot easier to manage! Even after 2 hours of dancing on a hot dance floor at Longroom on Friday night I had comments on how soft and smooth my hair was.
The main ingredients are coconut oil and argan oil, both of which are easily absorbed and are fantastic moisturisers, the coconut oil stimulates hair growth and promotes scalp health by fighting against problems like dandruff, and also prevents hair breakage and split ends! No wonder my hair feels like God's gift! All ingredients are vegan and aren't tested on animals!
I asked Katelyn about her conditioners and she said that she tested a bunch of recipes on her hair to figure out which worked best; felt the most moisturising, helped with adding keratin back into the hair and detangling as she said she always suffered knotty hair.
I can quite happily raise my hands in the air and announce that I haven't come across one knot since using this conditioner once a week.
Before I forget, pom pom earrings have made a hit as the current trend and Katelyn supplied me with a pair for only $10! Why not match your pom pom earrings with beautifully moisturised hair?
You can purchase the conditioners or earrings by contacting Katelyn by visiting her website Creative + Co. or follow her on Instagram and Facebook!
I have been an avid user of The Body Shops’ skin care range for about 3 years now, since developing oily skin when I was 17 I played around with various supermarket skin care products until I was sick of the burning and itchy feeling I was left with.
Once I left school I began working at The Body Shop and after taking home various testers of their skin care I soon fell in love with the Seaweed range, which paired perfectly with some Tea Tree products for my combination skin which was prone to blemishes.
Every day I wash, tone and moisturise my skin, as well as once a week I either apply a face mask or do a deep clean exfoliation. I find if I skip my routine even for one day I begin to break out ...what a blessing!
I'm not going to tell tall tales and mislead you in to thinking that I found my perfect routine right away, it took me a good year to really understand my skin and how each product affected it individually. Up until recently I used the Cool and Creamy Tea Tree wash religiously and would be an advocate for it at any chance I got, but last month I found out it had been discontinued and I nearly had a beauty related breakdown in the middle of Lynn Mall's Body Shop as I had to decide on a new face wash. Settling for the skin clearing wash I haven't been disappointed!
With my current skin care regime I mix it up between Tea tree, Seaweed and Shiso whitening range, and I even jump ship to the YesTo brand for my night cream. All of which work well with my combination skin that can be quite prone to breakouts.
The only range I would say be careful around is Tea Tree; as it’s made for blemished skin some of the products can be quite harsh. If you have sensitive skin do not go anywhere near these products unless you appreciate the burning feeling on your face. I find that with the skin clearing wash I only need to wash my face once a day, any more and I feel my skin drying out.
The Body Shops’ commitment is ‘to enrich, not exploit’ which means they work fairly with farmers from around the world who supply their ingredients for their products, and the product ingredients are never tested on animals. (Can I get a whoop whoop?)
The Body Shop caters for all skin types; From oily and blemished skin, to normal, dehydrated or sensitive skin, to anti ageing creams and mature skin and theres is also a mens skin care range that smells great. Because I cannot vouch for The Body Shop enough I have decided to do a small giveaway!
Congratulations to Georgia for winning the below pack!
The Vitamin C range is made to brighten up dull skin; the microdermabrasion scrub is one of the most popular facial exfoliators and the face spritz is perfect for setting make up or for a quick refresher during the day. And I thought I would chuck in one of the most popular body butter flavours because who doesn't enjoy feeling soft and moisturised for 24hours!?
If you want the chance to go in to the draw to win any future giveaways then sign up below!
Earlier this week I was in Whakatane visiting family, and on Sunday it was my cousins birthday which she received a beautiful face mask, lip plumper and body scrub from one of her friends from a local cosmetic brand called Bossy Cosmetics. After a quick look on their website I went hunting for this stuff as the factory was only a three minute drive from my Aunties house. I was told of a store that sold most of their products and I had a difficult time choosing what to buy! Bossy make everything from bath and body care to aromatherapy, skin care and make up! Their products are so colourful and the packaging is so simple and straight to the point which makes it so appealing that I just wanted to buy it all! I made the best 3 choices possible; one skin care option, one bath and body option and one personal hygiene option!
The best thing about this brand, besides all their intriguing colours and smells, is that all their products are 100% PETA approved vegan and made in New Zealand, I don't think cosmetics could get much better than that? Support local businesses and help the environment at the same time!
The Charcoal & Clay Facial Bar made my face feel absolutely amazingly clean and fresh, one of the main ingredients is coconut oil which makes it suitable for all skin types. This facial bar helps reduce the appearance of acne, rosacea and eczema. It's also packed full of essential oils so even after you have taken it off your face smells like you have dived head first into a gypsy fair.
Using the Cookie Dough Scrub in the shower was like running naked through a field of pureed raspberries then being rolled in edible glitter. I smelt like candy floss heaven for the rest of the day and it was absolutely beautiful. You only need a small pinch for each arm and your body, it's a great every day body exfoliator as it's not harsh at all!
The Butter Balm Deodorant I was a bit hesitant about purchasing because it's human nature to not like change, and going from a mass produced, supermarket bought roll on deodorant to a locally handmade, creamy, vegan deodorant in a plastic container can be quite daunting, in the fact that you don't want to take the leap of faith but then end up stinking like B.O. But I was ecstatically proven wrong, after 3 days of wearing a pea sized amount on my under arms I can put my hands up and say there has been no trace of body odour! The deodorant has small grains through it so while applying your underarm is also getting a slight exfoliation, and with the lack of harsh chemicals including aluminium it is better for you and your skin, and the product itself smells so sweet yet fresh.
I think I'll be ditching the roll on for now on and stocking up on Bossys' Butter Balm, you only have one body so why not look after it?
So if I haven't made myself clear I think I'm falling in love with this brand; their vibrant colours and simplistic packaging make me want to live a life of being a pastel fanatic and walk around with glitter in my hair with multicoloured eyebrows. I can't wait to make my next bundled purchase from Bossy Cosmetics, one simply cannot have enough Bossy!
I made my purchases from Whitegold on Boon Street off The Strand in Whakatane, next to Michael Hill Jeweller. The ladies there are absolutely lovely and are so informative about the Bossy brand. So if you are ever in the area you have to make time to pop in even if its just for a look, they have the coolest stuff for sale as well as Bossy Cosmetics.
Check out their website Bossy Cosmetics to view their whole range, they are perfect for gifts or just to treat yo' self!
I am a sucker for anything colourful, and cruelty free! So when I heard Jeffree Star was bringing out liquid lipsticks that dried matte I was at my local make up store every other weekend checking in to see if their order of them had arrived. Nearly a year down the track and my collection of his Velour Liquid Lipsticks have grown to 5 and I’m seeking out my next colour to add to my collection, if they didn’t sell out so quick on his website I’m sure I would have more already!
These lipsticks are a must-have to add to your beauty arsenal, they don't smudge and dries matte within seconds. I must say the best thing about these lipsticks is that they are cruelty free and vegan, so no bunnies are having horrible concoctions dripped into their eyes causing searing pain just for millions of women worldwide to have multi coloured lips.
The second best thing is that you can apply this before going out, and not worry about re applying every hour because it dries on your lips! So you can meet and greet and give kisses without worrying about leaving marks on peoples cheeks or leaving residue on your wine glass.
Before applying it is best to exfoliate your lips so your lippy runs on smoothly, you can do this with a light brush of your tooth brush, or a pinch of sugar on your lips and rub it around for a few seconds.
To remove you will need to use a make up remover that's oil based, coconut oil suits well! As I tried using just my tooth brush with water one time and the colour didn't budge at all, proof that it lasts!
Below I am wearing two of my favourites, mainly because they very rarely clash with any of my outfits; Unicorn Blood and Celebrity Skin. (Please excuse my eyebrows, lacking some TLC)
If you're keen on buying these beauties then head to Jeffree Stars' Website!
I bought the Ice White Teeth Whitening kit last month and was so excited to start using it. I read the directions thoroughly and it seemed easy enough to prepare the teeth moulds; dip them in cooled boiling water for a few seconds and place in mouth. Easy right? Wrong! I did exactly as the instructions said but all that happened to the mould once I placed on the top row of my teeth was that little indents were made from pushing so hard, so I tried with straight boiling water and although that did a better job, there is no way the mould resembled teeth like it does in the pamphlet or the countless pictures online. I eventually gave up with trying to mould both to the rows of my teeth and just left with little indents in each.
So over the next 9 days I was applying the whitening gel to the insides of the moulds and placing on my teeth, holding the UV light in my mouth for 10 minutes but keeping the moulds in for as long as possible, sometimes up to 40 minutes each time. Now on the back of this box it states not to use this gel for 14 consecutive days, so you would think you would start seeing signs of whitenings maybe after 7 days, I saw absolutely no change in the colour of my teeth! Not only did I have a horrible taste in my mouth from the gel and the accumulation of saliva due to the moulds but my teeth were still the same shade of pale yellow as they were before I even started using this kit.
Now I don't drink coffee, nor do I smoke and I didn't drink alcohol during the time I was using this teeth whitener, so I don't believe I was doing anything above average to slow down the whitening process, but then again it could just be that my teeth don't respond well to whitening gels.
I remember walking into Postie+ one day with my mum, I was about 11 years old and a random woman came up to me and said what beautiful brown legs I had and asked what faked tan I used. I thanked her and told her that it was natural, I just tan really easy. She laughed and asked me again, and I told her that I don’t use fake tan, I don’t even know how to apply it. Then she gave me a snarky look and walked off calling me a liar. It wasn’t until then that I realised how much women strived to look beautiful, even if it meant calling a young girl a liar because you can’t artificially obtain the same shade of brown she did.
When I was younger, I use to hang out for those days in the summer where I could lie on the beach or by a pool and get an awesome tan. For years I would hang out in the sun with friends, lying on the field at school with our skirts hiked up, sleeves rolled to our shoulders and shoes and socks kicked off, cooking our skin under the New Zealand sun; because being tan was beautiful, right? But somehow leathery skin, wrinkles, and freckles/sun spots are not desirable looks, even though those are the result of repeated sun damage.
For years I was educated on UV A and UV B rays, and how dangerous the sun is in NZ because of the hole in the ozone layer. It wasn’t until one summer a few years ago when I got rather badly burnt and I was out the next day buying a wide brimmed hat, SPF tinted moisturiser, sun block, and a loose fitting beach dress to cover myself when not in the water. Even as I write this I am sitting on the steps outside, still enjoying the heat, but I'm in the shade lathered with SPF 50 sun block.
But of course sun kissed skin has been, and probably always will be a desirable beauty standard amongst young men and women alike. But fear not! You don't need to risk the chance of melanoma in order to feel confident in your bikini, or to look like you have just had a months long holiday in the Bahamas. Bondi Sands is definitely the best fake tan I have used; It’s easy, streak free, looks natural and actually smells really good! It may take a bit more work to look brown this way than it is to just lay in the sun, but it's worth it!
I have applied it to my whole body at least 7 times now, and I’m pretty sure I still have half a bottle left. You can apply a second layer over the top of your first 30 minutes after your first application if you want a darker shade. Best thing about this, I haven’t gone orange! I advise to not rub up against anything for the first 10 minutes after application though as it may stain. Also with using Bondi Sands you have absolutely no risk of obtaining bright red shoulders followed by a week of peeling. But just like any other beauty product; please do a spot test first if you know you can react to some skin products, you don't want to find out you're allergic to an ingredient after you have just applied the product to your whole body!
Exfoliate before applying is a big thing to remember as well, even if it’s just getting in the shower and rubbing your body down with a flannel. This is an important step as this gets rid of any dead skin cells and other impurities from the surface of your skin so the fake tan will apply more evenly, ensuring your tan appears more natural looking. Because if you have any dry patches on your skin, the fake tan makes that show up worse than a clown in a business meeting.
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One of the things that really irk me in life is buying a new exfoliator, then using it and after a while figuring out that it isn't doing anything for my skin. Or noticing that it actually makes me break out more; not what I want for part of a skin care regime! And lets not get me started on the fact that I don't even know how to pronounce half of the ingredients on the back of those bottles...
It's actually amazing what the things sitting in your fridge or growing in your garden can do for your skin, which is why I made up my own exfoliator this morning. I know two out of three of the above ingredients are fresh, and all of them are natural, organic and cruelty free!
After using my own face scrub this morning my skin was so soft and moisturised, and it felt so cleeeeaaan! I won't be going back to the mall anytime soon to buy a new exfoliator thats for sure!
But before I tell you how to make it, lets first break down these ingredients and look at how they benefit the skin.
Epsom salts helps exfoliate the skin to get rid of dead skin cells and black heads. And due to its anti inflammatory properties this salt can also help reduce the appearance of acne.
Lemon Juice has antibacterial properties which helps heal acne, prevent further break outs and reduce blackheads.
If you haven't heard about the benefits of coconut oil then you must have been living under a rock! Coconut oil is extremely moisturising, which can be used as an all over body and hair moisturiser or as a cooking oil alternative in your frying pan. This can be found at most supermarkets.
Mint can help soothe skin, reduce pimples and relieve itchiness, is has also been shown to reduce some symptoms of acne due to it's antiseptic properties.
Mint Epsom salts
Lemon juice Coconut oil
Melt 1 teaspoon of coconut oil on low heat in a sauce pan / Loosely tear up mint leaves and add to sauce pan / Take off heat and let to cool for a minute / Add in 1 tablespoon of epsom salts / Squeeze in juice of half a lemon.
**Any of these ingredients can be changed in amount to how thick or grainy you want the consistency to be**
Once mixture is cool enough to apply to your face, do so like you would with any other type of face scrub focusing on any blemished areas.
I let the scrub sit for a minute or two before I really scrubbed in the epsom salts. Rinse scrub off with a warm flannel and pat face dry with a clean towel.
Also don't be afraid to also rub a bit onto your lips, the salt will help exfoliate any dry or dead skin and the coconut oil will soften and moisturise.
You can continue on with your normal skin care routine as normal, I skipped toner and went straight to applying my SPF moisturiser, as my toner would remove any coconut oil left on my skin.
If you still have some left over you can store it in a container in your cupboard, but because the main ingredient is coconut oil you might have to reheat the mixture again as it will slowly harden once it fully cools.
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After nearly 6 months of my social media feeds blowing up with practically every girl being covered in Frank body scrub from head to toe, I have finally found a scrub that not everyone has tried and tested, and that I don’t have to wait 10-14 working days for it to turn up on my door step. Not that I have anything bad to say about Frank of course!
I found a coffee scrub by Aromatherapy Co. in Farmers a few weeks ago, and after using it every week since I think it’s a better time than most to share my beautifully smooth experience!
But first, lets get get down to the important stuff… Aromatherapy Co. are committed to creating pure and natural body care; which means their products are free from parabens; which overtime can pose a health risk, and fragrances which can irritate the skin. Their products are also not tested on animals. Hooray!
This scrub is packed full of goodness! With grape seed oil, beeswax and coconut oil to help remove dead skin cells and dirt, to help brighten your skin and help it feel buffed and smooth. It can also help target cellulite, stretch marks and dryness due to the antioxidant properties in the coffee.
I don’t dampen my skin before hand as the scrub is already quite wet. I apply the scrub all over my body (but not my face), and usually rub the scrub into my skin for about 2 minutes, focusing on any dry skin parts, before getting into the shower and washing it off
After using the scrub my skin felt so much smoother and hydrated, I couldn't stop feeling my arms! Didn't have to moisturise afterwards as this scrub is already quite hydrating. It also smells great!
I use this scrub once a week, but you can use it anywhere from 1 - 3 times a week if you wish!
The only down side is getting the granules all over the bathroom floor, so I would suggest standing on a towel or bath mat that your can easily chuck in the washing machine after scrubbing yourself down.
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Michaela Loye is an 22 year old blogger and free lance photographer hailing from Auckland, New Zealand. She has a passion for adventure and locally sourced beauty products.