Loving, Living, Learning… #1

(Quite) some time ago I mentioned I would be bringing back my Love:.. series – but finally here it is! This time with a twist… Every month or so, I’ll share something beauty related that I’m loving (such as a brand, trend or product) but I will also talk about things I’m learning/have discovered (books, workshops, masterclasses etc) and also something lifestyle related – all on the ethical/green/organic spectrum of course!

I just thought I’d mix it up a bit :)


This month (and admittedly every month of the year, but this is the first of these posts so lets run with it) I am loving discovering new (and forgotten) brands.

One of the things I love about writing this blog is that it gives me the opportunity (excuse) to explore new brands and products – and rediscover ones I had forgotten. During the past couple of years I have discovered some great brands and some amazing products (many of which you will see on here in the coming weeks and months).

Niche and independent British brands are a particular favourite of mine – nothing against non-British brands here but the lower the travel footprint the better! It goes without saying, ingredients are immensely important to me but it is also about the bigger picture and sustainability is key.

Some of the lovely skincare brands I’ve discovered (or got around to trying) recently include Black Palm Cosmetics, Skin Alchemists and Upcircle. Make-up wise, I think it was more a case of new products than brands. There have been huge number of product launches from brands I love such as Ilia, Ere Perez and Kjaer Weis, some of which I have had the opportunity to try but the majority are on my (ever growing) list of desire…

I have also been adding to my hair kit, something I don’t generally talk about on here as I don’t do a huge amount of hair if I can help it but thought I would share anyway. New to the hair kit are Born Beautiful naturals and Innersenses, a brand that I have recently rediscovered.

Have you discovered any new brands recently?



I don’t do resolutions (I can never keep them beyond day 10) but since the new year I’ve made a concerted effort to do some yoga every day. I’ve done yoga for years on and off and (call me a philistine) whilst I am not interested or engaged with the meditative or breathing side of it or holding poses (I don’t have the patience, I’m all about the flow), I enjoy the stretching and improvement of flexibility it gives me.

You may have seen on my Instagram stories recently that after 25 years, two cats, one child, a number of house moves and a couple of tours of Europe,  it was time to invest in a new yoga mat. I specifically wanted a mat which was as ethical as possible (whilst remaining affordable) and having investigated all the options within my price bracket available to me, I plumped for the Pro Cork Yoga Mat from Corkspace (£79.00).

The mat is made of 4mm thick natural rubber, topped with a sustainable Portuguese cork. Cork is a natural raw material that is 100% biodegradable, recyclable and renewable; harvested by stripping the bark of the Cork Oak Tree*.

The mat is beautiful! Not only to look at but also on the skin – it feels lovely to work on. The only thing I’ve having to adjust to it that it is a little more slippy than I am used to but apparently cork releases a waxy compound known as Suberin and the more you sweat the grippier the cork becomes. Hopefully once the days warm up my hands will grip a little better!

Not only are their mats something to behold but Corkspace have partnered with the Eden Reforestation Projects 501(c)3  to plant 10 new trees for every single Cork Space mat made. Trees are planted around the world, in places such as Nepal, Madagascar, Haiti and Mozambique, reforesting the land and providing much needed habitats for wildlife and local employment.

*No trees are cut down to produce cork. As a tree regrows its bark, it absorbs up to 3 times more CO2 from the air. It is estimated that Cork Oak trees in Portugal alone help offset 10 million tons of carbon every year.

Have you stuck to a resolution this year?



If you haven’t read Mike Berners-Lee’s How Bad are Bananas?: The Carbon Footprint of Everything* then I definitely recommend this thought provoking book.

First published in 2010, and updated in 2020, In How Bad are Bananas?, Berners-Lee (an authority on on sustainability) shows us the carbon footprint of well, pretty much everything! From swimming pools to a tonne of steel, funerals to a bunch of flowers, dishwashing to deforestation. It’s all here.

Once you’ve worked through the myriad of topics, the author discusses Negative Emissions (off-setting to you and I) and also what we can do to make a difference. It’s at times scary but it certainly makes you think – and question your own consumption.

Once you’ve got your head a round the numbers (which is not as tricky as it sounds thanks to the descriptions which mean you can mentally picture a quantity of CO2e*), you’ll find that it is written in an approachable, easy to digest way which doesn’t make you feel like a dunce. It is what I call a bathroom book; one of those books that you can dip in and out of as and when you fancy, without feeling committed to reading cover to cover in one go.

* A pint sized milk bottle filled to the brim with petrol and set alight would release roughly 1KG of CO2 for instance…

Have you read this or anything similar?


Book Details:
How Bad are Bananas?: The Carbon Footprint of Everything
Mike Berners-Lee
Profile Books Ltd; Main edition (3 Sept. 2020)
ISBN-13:‎ 978-1788163811
I’ve found it available from £5.79 (second hand)

Images: LJS – OMUA

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