Environmentally friendly cleaning brands | Simply Marcia


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Environmentally friendly cleaning brands

Inspired by many recent campaigns and programmes highlighting environmental and ecological issues, it’s time for me to properly ditch all harmful cleaning products in our home. Instead, I’m now switching to natural and environmentally friendly ones. However (ashamedly), I’m a bit new to this world so I’ve done a little research to find brands that have no impact on aquatic life, are chemical free, cruelty free and are plant based (perfect for vegans). The good news, is that there are actually loads of brilliant, environmentally-friendly brands available (some of which are stocked in major supermarkets), but these are the ones I’ve personally come across and like:

Method offer a massive range of vegan and cruelty free cleaning products for cleaning your home, doing the laundry and washing up! Think antibacterial bathroom, floor and kitchen cleaners as well as gorgeous smelling hand washes. Basically, the entire range smells as though you should be bathing or showering in it! And the great thing, is that you can buy Method products in a huge range of places: all the major supermarkets as well as stores like B&Q, John Lewis and Boots.

Faith in Nature pretty much says it all really. Have faith in nature – this range of cleaning products covers everything from household cleaners, to laundry to washing up and their refills come in 5L sizes (and are brilliantly wallet-friendly!). They also offer environmentally friendly beauty, skincare, baby and pet product ranges.

Humblestuff is a range of environmentally friendly cleaning products I found on Twitter. This is a small business, based in Scotland, creating hand-made and amazingly-scented products (thanks to the addition of essential oils). At the moment they only offer 3 products in their range – but that’s all you need right?: a multi-surface spray, a toilet freshener and a soft-cleaning paste. All their products are vegan, paraben and cruelty free.

Holland and Barrett‘s ‘Earth Friendly’ washing and laundry cleaning products range is perfect to get hold of if you’re out and about as there’s a store in most high streets – think washing up liquid, laundry tablets and eco eggs.

If you like to mix and match your cleaning products, one of the best UK sites that stocks almost every environmentally friendly cleaning brand you can think of, is Ethical Superstore. They also sell groceries, vegan skincare and other ethically sourced and fair trade products for your home and family.

Finally, there’s also the option to do-it-yourself and have a go at making some of your own cleaning products. Ok, I haven’t actually done this myself (yet!) but maybe one day! In the meantime, The Green Parent and Vegan Food and Living offers some brilliant DIY tips as well as guidelines on what to look out for if you’re more interested in ethical cleaning products.

Is there an environmentally friendly cleaning brand you use and would recommend?

Happy, ethical cleaning!


Brilliant packing-a-punch bargain moisturisers :)

Much as I love this time of year for all it’s sparkliness and glitter and the whole excitement of the entire December lead-up to the big Xmassy day; the beautifully wintry days we (sometimes!) get and the cosying-up opportunities it brings, it does however, come at a price: dehydrated skin – boo hiss 🙁

At this time of year, good skincare is essential so a moisturiser that offers a great big hydration and plumping hit is a must! Sadly, most of the face creams out there that promise miraclulous transformations of your tired and parched skin are super-expensive – so I’ve done a spot of skin-soothing research and am armed with a few bargain-priced (all cost around £10 or less – yay!) but brilliantly effective skin saviours 🙂

1. Weleda Calendula Cream (Facial)
£10.76, Amazon – this cult skincare range was originally designed for baby skincare, so it has a super-gentle formula, is enriched with lanolin and organic almond oil to soothe the skin and maintain the moisture balance to banish wind-whipped and under-hydrated skin – hooray!

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2. Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Deep Moisture Comfort Balm – 300 ml

£3.60 (yup!) – ok so technically this is a balm rather than a moisturiser but either way, it delivers a massive hit of moisture and locks it in – these Norwegian’s know a thing or two about riding out their harsh winters so it makes sense that this skincare range is going to offer a max hydration boost too 🙂

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3. Purity Facial moisturiser £6.29 – if you love all things organic and are a fan of (one of my fave organic skincare brands) Neals Yard, but are looking for an ‘easier-on-the-pursestrings’ option, then this is it: a light whipped-mousse moisturiser with a blend of moisturising, softening and moisture-retaining Coconut Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Shea Butter, and antioxidant Vitamin E which helps condition, soften and balance the skin – perfect!

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4. L’Oreal Paris Extraordinary Oils Nourishing Oil-Cream 50ml
£9.99 – this fab moisturiser is packed with anti-aging essential oils renowned for their anti-oxidant and soothing properties. It packs a massive hydration punch, plumping and soothing your winter-bashed skin, giving you a healthy glow!

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Beauty on a budget (for less than £20!)

This time of year it’s all about the sparkle and all things Christmassy! It’s all about gift and perfect present purchases – which I love. It’s also about the lead up to the office Christmas party, and that means (obvs!) wrapping ourselves up in a new dress and definitely new make-upy bits.

Buying new make-up is such a lovely treat and whilst my budget is (sadly) on the low side, I’m a huge believer that these days, budget make-up is something to be celebrated (as it’s actually, mostly, very good!).

So, my top 5 cheap and cheerful but super effective and not-to-be-scoffed-at make-up finds – totalling £19.95!!! – for the sparkly season are:

Mascara – glossy, full and super-black lashes – Collection Big Fake Curves Mascara Ultra Black WP 17WP £4.99

Lipstick – the perfect red – Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick 530 Fatal Red £6.99

Brows – for face-framing brows – Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Pencil Black/Brown £2.99

Eyeliner – for Claudia Winkleman inspired panda eyes – Collection Kohl Eyeliner Black 1 £1.99

Blusher – get glowy – Miss Sporty Insta Glow Blusher 006 9G £2.99

With change from a £20 note, you won’t be breaking the bank (hoorah!) but you will be party-ready 🙂 which makes me super-happy! Mwah x

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Pom-e-nutritious

If you ever need to pack in a massive punch of nutritious body-boosting loveliness, then head to your supermarket and grab youself some ruby-red pomegranate beauties. These Mediterranean (it’s that Med diet thing again!) fruits are not only a spectacular colour but they’re delicious and nutrient rich and are briliant for your overall health.

They’ve been medicinally used for thousands of years to help fight against heart disease, high blood pressure, inflammation and some cancers, including prostate cancer. They’re also a good source of fibre and contain vitamins A, C and E, iron and other antioxidants – umm what’s not to love about these proper little nasties fighters?!

If you’re not sure how to deseed and collect the super-red pomegranate seeds and have a couple of mins to spare, check out this Youtube video clip of a very enthusiastic pomegranate deseederer!

For a good old nutrition boost, try adding pomegranate seeds to breakfast cereals and porridge (I’m thinking with overnight yoghurt-soaked oats), cold dishes and salads. They also work really well with lamb and Moroccon inspired dishes – in fact, check out Nigella’s warm shredded lamb salad with mint and pomegranate – delish 🙂

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Furniture revitaliser :)

It’s not only our faces we can transform with a spot of makey-upy ‘painting’, but our sad or drab or child(pet)-wrecked furniture too.

I admit it; I’m a late convert to the whole upcycling, repainting and resusing or reimagining-of-furiture-movement. I’d never really understood the whole second-hand thing (eughh!) and charity shop browsing (what?!) until divorce sent my budget spiralling in the wrong direction … I am now a fully paid-up-member of second-hand furniture and bric-a-brac purchasing. In part, due to said spiralling-out-of-control-in-a-downward-fashion-budget but also because it’s very ‘of the moment’ – antiques and arts and crafts markets are springing up everywhere and are big business (my fave is the monthly bohemian and brilliant people-spotting Frome Independent Market ) – and I love them. I now totally get a buzz from a second-hand (ahem vintage!) bargain and owning something a bit different and unique and (sometimes) a bit battered (pre-loved!).

Some things however cannot be easily replaced when budgets are squeezed (think kitchen cupboards and built-in wardrobes – unless you’re a bit handy with a sledgehammer and your carpentry skills are top notch). This is where a spot of easy(‘ish) DIY but super-impressive repainting comes in (hooray). All hail then, Annie Sloane – the queen bee of repaint jobs 🙂 This great woman knows a thing or two about breathing new life in to old stuff. She is the furniture revitaliser! If anything (that doesn’t move) in your home is looking a bit tired, despondent, boring, grubby, non-sparkly … then consider a lick of furniture ‘make up’. Head over to Annie’s site for loads of inspiration, top tips, video ‘how to’s’ and stockists, and get creative. 

The thing I love most about the whole process of (re)painting is that for me, the rythmical and repeated actions have an almost calming effect (as long as a) there are no children or pets close by and b) I have sensibly covered stuff that’s most definitely not to be painted). My focus is purely on the action of painting, therefore temporarily parking all the day-to-day stuff whirring around my brain. Brilliant. And, at the end of the process I have a beautiful and bespoke piece of furniture (plus the ‘I did that’ satisfaction).

My project this weekend – to breathe new life in to two pine bedside chest of drawers (picked up at Bath artisan market for £25) … Happy repainting!

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Nail it!

If like me, the concept of ‘spare time’ is completely lost on you then this is for you. I love a glossy, neat and shiny red or coral nail however, in my case, mine are more likely to look like either a) my eight year old daughter has ‘delicately’ applied the nail varnish for me or b) they’ve chipped so much I can almost get away with rocking a weird ‘style statement’ nail … Umm I think? Most of the time I simply hope to god that no-one can actually see my nails (in a burying-my-head-in-the-sand kind of way).

The thing is, I’m always in a rush, speed-hurtling from one thing to the next and so on (note to self to address my time management issues). So this is pretty much what happens EVERY time I apply a luscious new coating of nail varnish: I forget. Immediately. My brain has already moved on to the next task (think: loading the washing machine; loading the kids in to the car; getting dressed/undressed … blah, blah …).  And without fail, the result is always smudged nails. Brilliant. Btw, this doesn’t just happen in a DIY situation, I’ve paid good money for a manicure and for a brief few seconds my nails will look absolutely fabulously perfect … and then I’ll have to pay – I reach into my bag (scrabbling around with all the crap I fill it with), pull out my purse and ta dah! At least one sacrificial nail : ( As Homer would say “doh!”.

Anyway, I think I’ve sort of found a solution 🙂 Rimmel (I know I don’t exactly fall in to their target market however my budget means I’ve elbowed my way in to it) have a new’ish range of 60 Seconds Super Shine by Rita Ora (who?!) nail varnishes and they are PERFECT! The colours are super-lovely, the brush is wide giving great and even application (one stroke is enough!) and, most importantly, it dries super-quick – so even the most easily distracted can enjoy super-glossy non-smudgy nails. Hooray – think Rimmel have nailed it 🙂

My fave is Glaston Berry 🙂 a super-sunshiney-bright colour – buy it on offer at Boots now!

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Get your glow on!

At the top of my list of beautylicious desirables is dewy-soft and super-glowy skin, however finding a product that a) doesn’t break the bank and b) does-what-it-says-on-the-tin is not akin to finding the Holy Grail … So, step forward Superdrug’s (yes, Superdrug’s)  Simply Pure Hydrating Serum.

It’s brilliant (and only £2.69 a bottle!! £2.69!!!). It rehydrates and moistens and plumps and brightens, imparts a super lovely dewy glow AND it’s got a bit of a cult following by those in the know (late last year stocks ran out as crazy women who should’ve known better, stampeded through Superdrug’s doors to bag themselves a bottle (or two, or three … literally)).

Stock up now (umm I have) …

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