Review of Tots Bots Easyfit Star Nappy.

Tots Bots are pretty big in the cloth nappy world. No matter which style of cloth nappy you prefer, they probably have a kit that suits you. Today we are talking about their ‘all in one’ pocket nappy. I say it is an ‘all in one’ because everything is sewn together and you do not need extra bits. The absorbent nappy is there, the waterproof wrap is there, and even a booster is there. I also call it a pocket nappy because you can stuff another booster in there if you want to.

The Easyfit Star looks similar to the Bambino Mio Miosolo all in one nappy. At first glance I thought the Easyfit seemed inferior. After taking it out of the packaging and comparing it to the Miosolo, the Easyfit did not seem as thick or as substantial. I was, therefore, worried about potential leaks. Thankfully I did not need to worry. It even holds messy poop in well!

Plain colourful nappies are priced £16.99 and the patterned fabrics are £17.99. I really adore their new prints and am tempted to get the ‘bee kind’ and ‘kaleidescope’ nappies. The Easyfit Star is an all-in-one that fits 8-35lbs. There is also a Teenyfit Star in the same prints for young babies that fit 5-12lbs. The Teenyfit are cheaper at £11.99. At these prices I do think the Easyfit is a little pricey but I know there are brands out there at the £20+ mark so I guess the Easyfit is more of a mid-range nappy.

Each Easyfit comes with a bamboo core, which is the best material for absorbing babies’ bodily fluids. It comes as a long ‘tongue’ that you can tuck into the nappy. If necessary, it is also possible to pop a booster in. There are four rows of poppers on the front of nappy so that the fit can be adjusted as baby grows. The nappy is closed using hook and loop (like Velcro) fastenings so fit can be adjusted for each baby.

Like I said earlier, I thought the Easyfit would leak compared to the Miosolo because the seams and gusset do not seem like they would have good containment. Fortunately I have been proved wrong (apart from one disastrous poop but I don’t think any nappy would have kept that one in). On the Miosolo I would often find marks on baby’s back as the nappy seam would appear too tight but the Easyfit generally avoids this. The bamboo is nice and soft. It does not seem as thick as the Miosolo but in my opinion feels much nicer to touch. The fact that the Easyfit is less bulky than the Miosolo is also a bonus if you struggle to fasten bodysuits over cloth nappies. They are by no means slim, but are definitely not the chunkiest nappy out there.

Washing is the same as for other cloth nappies and drying time is great because you can pull out the inner core for faster drying. The fold back laundry tabs are not that great. They are a bit flimsy but they do the job.

Overall I think the Easyfit is a good beginner nappy. They are simple to use and will be easy for carers or family members to adjust to. I personally prefer hook and loop fastenings because you can get the perfect fit. The Easyfit looks great and does not appear too bulky. Drying time is speedy so if you wash often enough you do not need to buy too many.

Have you ever tried the Easyfit Star or any other Tots Bots nappy? I have also bought the Peenut nappy to try and am excited to get that review out.

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Review – Little Angels sensitive wipes.

Brand: Asda
Pack size: 64
Price: 64p (1p per wipe / also available in multipack)

Asda says they are against animal testing but unlike some other supermarkets, their products are not Leaping Bunny certified. After researching their animal testing policy I am satisfied with their cruelty free status (otherwise I would not buy or review these wipes!).

The packaging has the plastic lid which keeps all the wipes nice and moist. Note that this is not recyclable, nor are the wipes biodegradable. The wrap, however, may be recycled but checking your local facilities.

These wipes provide great value for money. Whilst they are not the thickest or biggest wipes on the market, I had absolutely no trouble with the size and there was sufficient moisture for messy poops. Each wipe has a slight embossing of a teddybear on it but it does not cause any roughness or irritation. They really do feel ‘cotton soft’.

It is stated that these wipes are suitable from 0 months and are also hypoallergenic. I did not find Emery sensitive to these wipes and there was no redness after using the wipes.

All in all these are a great pack of wipes to pick up at a low price. When purchased in bulk, they offer even better value for money. The size is a touch on the smaller side but perfectly adequate and the wetness is appropriate. I only wish these had Leaping Bunny logo on them!

Have you tried any of the Little Angels wipes? Would you give up your current wipes to test these out?

Cruelty free household cleaners.

Having a baby around the house means you will probably want to keep the place clean so your tiny human does not get messy and dirty and contract diseases. Okay, that might be a bit farfetched but obviously you will want to clean up after cooking in the kitchen and keep mould at bay in the bathroom. Thankfully there are a lot of ‘natural’ eco-friendly brands appearing in supermarkets and you can easily get hold of a cruelty free brand at any price point.

Astonish – their whole range is 100% cruelty free and vegan, with both the Cruelty Free International leaping bunny and the Vegan Society logos on their products. Their prices are super wallet friendly and you can find them in places such as Home Bargains, B&M, The Range, Wilko, as well as Asda, Morrisons, and Booths and many more retailers.

Ecover – has been around a while and is the first eco brand I heard of. They have the leaping bunny on their products and they source their (mostly plant based) ingredients ethically and their packaging is recyclable. Their range is easily accessible in Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, and Morrisons. In some independent stores you may even be able to find their refillable products.

Method – is a US brand that has recently been acquired by Ecover and can be found in Waitrose, Tesco, and Sainsbury’s. Their packaging is bright and simple and their products smell lovely! They also operate a refill system for some products (laundry liquid, liquid hand wash and washing up liquid) which saves on packaging.

Seventh Generation – sell their products in packaging which is 100% recyclable or biodegradable which is great for the environment. Their website says they are taking a break from selling in the UK but you may be able to find them in Tesco, who stock them exclusively.

Kinn – a brand that is exclusive to Waitrose and one I have not tried yet but their chic packaging is really drawing me in. Their products are eco friendly and formulas are based on aromatherapy and stemmed from wanting non-toxic products to use on babies. Kinn also have a range of skincare products.

Faith In Nature – has a great ethos. As well as being vegan and cruelty free and avoiding ingredients such as parabens, SLES, fragrances, phthalates etc. they also ensure their ingredients are sourced ethically.

Earth Friendly Products – is found in smaller independent stores and also Holland & Barrett. Use their store locator on the website to find your nearest stockist. It is amazing that they are a carbon neutral company throughout the whole product life cycle. Their products are friendly to humans and to the earth.

Have you made the switch to eco friendly cleaners? Do you want to switch to more natural cleaners since having a baby?

Review of Childs Farm baby moisturiser.

Thankfully Emery does not suffer from eczema or another skin condition, but recently he has had a bit of dry skin on his arms and thighs. I thought his natural skin oils would sort it out but after a few days I took the Childs Farm baby moisturiser out of the bathroom cupboard to test out as his skin was still feeling a little rough.

The white moisturiser comes in a pump bottle containing 250ml product. It is normally priced at £3.99 but you may be able to find it on offer at a lower price. The soothing formula is suitable for sensitive skin and can be used from newborn age. The moisturiser is formulated with 98% natural ingredients and made without parabens, SLSs, mineral oil, and artifical colours so it is very gentle on a baby’s skin. Although it is aimed for those with sensitive skin, one of the ingredients is “parfum” so there is a slight scent but it is not overpowering and did not irritate Emery but is something to keep in mind if your child is sensitive to scents.

A small push on the pump should give you an adequate amount for both arms and another quick pump is enough for both legs. The leftover cream went on my own arms! The 250ml should last quite a while. I used this moisturiser after Emery’s night time bath and it was like a quick calming massage before bed. It sinks into the skin and dries pretty fast so there is no waiting around before you can put clothes on baby.

I thought it would take a few days for Emery’s skin to become baby soft again but after two nights of using the Childs Farm moisturiser Emery’s skin was smooth and silky again. If your child has dermatitis then it may be worth applying the moisturiser everyday (twice a day if you use it according to their instructions) but I decided to only use the moisturiser when Emery has a flare up as I want his natural skin defence to build up.

Childs Farm do not test their products on animals. They do not have a cruelty free certificate but state they are “100% compliant with the European Commission’s ‘Cosmetics Directive’ that prohibits animal testing on individual toiletries ingredients as well as finished products“. The brand also states that you can recycle their lids and bottles which is great for the environment. Furthermore, Childs Farm “are currently applying for the leaping bunny certification.”

Overall I am happy with the results of the moisturiser as Emery’s skin went from dry to baby soft very quickly and it did not appear to irritate him. I have also used the unfragranced baby wash and the sweet orange hair & body wash which are also kind on the skin and smell lovely. I have also previously tested out the biodegrable baby wipes (click to read review).

If you are unsure whether the Childs Farm products will be suitable for your child then you can purchase small sample size bottles to try out. They also do a special range just for babies including baby oil and nappy cream.

Have you ever tried Childs Farm? Do you wonder why there is no apostrophe in their name? Do you like to use baby products that do not contain parabens, SLSs, or mineral oils?

Cruelty free eyeshadow singles.

Eyeshadow palettes can be a thing of beauty. There is a new palette released almost everyday from drugstore to highend to luxury and they might be neutrals or a mix warm tones or all shimmers and have some beautiful shades in them, but would you use ALL the pans? It is hard to love every single shade in an eyeshadow palette so that is why some people choose to create their own palette using single pan eyeshadows. Depending on how many pans you buy it might be more expensive this way but it also means you end up liking every shade and thus use every colour and none will go to waste! Plus curating your own palette can give you such a smug feeling when you finally find your perfect combination of colours.

First up is Makeup Geek. You can purchase from the US website or find them on Beauty Bay. The eyeshadow formula of these singles is excellent, especially at the £4.95 price point. Marlena has avoided adding parabens in her products and most of them are also talc-free. There are even some vegan eyeshadows. If Wayne Goss mentions Makeup Geek in his yearly favourites video then you know they have to be good.

The eyeshadow singles from Anastasia Beverly Hills are pricey but they really are buttery soft and blend perfectly. Normally they are £12 per pan, but you can get four for £30 + free pan holder or eight for £50 + free pan holder. Sometimes they have 50% flash sales so keep an eye out for those. The ABH eyeshadows do not contain talc but be aware they have a short expiry once open (6 months).

Nabla eyeshadow pans are bigger than MUG or ABH and start at £5.75. They are an Italian brand and are available from Beauty Bay but if you order from their EU website, you get a free magnetic palette when buying six or twelve pans. I have not tried these but I am really curious as all the swatches I have seen look stunning.

If you like your eyeshadows bold and bright then Juvia’s Place is the brand for you. I have not tried this brand either but I think their pans are also on the bigger side of the spectrum. The pans are £6 and can also be purchased from Beauty Bay (this is starting to look like a giant BB ad).

Coloured Raine also has some colourful eyeshadow singles as well as a lot of more neutral-warm toned shades. I have heard they have a great formula and these can also be ordered off Beauty Bay or ASOS. The pans start at £4. I have only tried their liquid lipsticks. At first I found them drying but now I quite enjoy the formula.

From the people who brought you Makeup Revolution comes Freedom. It is their pro line and they have a range of eye shadow singles. Superdrug sell Freedom online but I haven’t seen them instore. I imagine the formula is similar to the shadows in the Makeup Revolution palettes, so that means you get pigmented shadows at a great price point. The magnetic palette I store my singles in is by Freedom.

Superdrug have also recently started stocking Bleach London products. They are originally a hair salon but have begun to produce cosmetics. Their makeup comes in magnetic pans and many of their eyeshadow colours are based on the brightly coloured hair dyes they use, so this is a great brand for anyone who loves rainbow colours. Pans are only £3 so you can build your collection fairly cheaply. All their products are vegan!

Another brand that is easy to get hold of in a store is Nyx and you can find them at Boots or Debenhams. You will not be able to swatch the pans as they are sealed in little packets so have a look online for swatches. Quality varies between colours but the pans start as low as £2.50 and come in a variety of finishes.

Another well priced brand is Essence and they are found at Wilko. Their range is called ‘my must haves’ and you can pop them into one of their four pan palettes. Although they are not the best quality, you cannot complain about the £1.50 price point.

Are there any brands of eyeshadow singles that you love? Do you enjoy creating your own palette or would you rather just buy a premade one? What colours would you have in your dream palette?

Review of Close Pop-in reusable nappy.

You may have heard of Close as they make baby carriers as well as cloth nappies. In fact we used the Close Caboo carrier with Emery for eight months until he got a bit too heavy for my poor shoulders. Emery enjoyed being close and snug in that sling but that’s a review for another day!

The Pop-in nappy is on its second version “gen V2” and comes with super absorbent bamboo or quick drying minkee fabric, so you trade longer wear for slower drying times. The prints on the Close nappies may not appeal to all. I don’t want to say “abstract” or “macabre” as those words are too extreme but I quite like the darker prints they do.

The Pop-in is an “all in two” style of nappy so the nappy insert and booster are clipped in. The poppers are cleverly colour coordinated so you won’t put them on back to front.

The nappy is secured at the waist using Velcro tabs so the fit can be adjusted perfectly to suit all babies. Initially I didn’t think there were any fold back tabs for the Velcro to prevent the nappy sticking to things in the washing machine but on the second wear I noticed the tabs are supposed to be tucked into the nappy which is a nice touch.

Pop-in is a birth to potty nappy and the front of the nappy has rows of poppers to alter the length of the nappy as baby grows. Close also do a newborn size nappy for smaller babies.

When I first received the Pop-in nappy I didn’t think it would fit Emery as it looks quite small compared to all the other nappies I have tried but it was surprisingly roomy when I came to put it on him. This also means it is a slimmer looking nappy therefore you probably will not struggle to get clothes to fit over the nappy. In fact, after using the Pop-in I felt like other brands were too baggy. I also liked being able to tuck the liner into the flap but that is not a reason to buy the Pop-in.

Drying time on these bad boys is reasonable. You can detach the insert and booster to create a bigger drying area. The boosters are not too thick so they dry fairly quickly but they soak up adequate amounts of urine.

The Pop-in retails for £18.95 but you may be able to find deals online. You can also buy them in a starter pack which will save you some money. I do find that “all in twos” seem to cost more but I think the Pop-in may be my favourite cloth nappy so far!

Have you ever tried the Close Pop-in nappy? Do you prefer the bamboo or the minkee? What are your thoughts on their prints?

Decluttering my makeup collection and starting a ‘project pan’.

This post is a bit of a ramble. It is mostly for myself to justify my actions but I’ve thrown in a few decluttering tips in. If you are also doing a project pan then please connect with me and we can encourage and support each other!

For those who are not aware, a ‘project pan’ is a personal challenge where you select an unspecified number of makeup items and use these often enough so that you eventually see the silver pan holder at the bottom. Some people also pick haircare or skincare items to use up. My two main reasons for starting a ‘project pan’ is because I do not want to waste the products I have spent my hard earned money on and also I do not want to be a mindless consumer who buys every new release that a beauty brand comes out with.

When I was about 15-19 years old I loved buying high end and luxury beauty products. This started off as lip glosses since they were cheapest and I gradually worked my way onto foundation, blushers, eyeshadow etc. Then at some point in my early 20s my makeup spending slowed down as I preferred to buy makeup when I visited Hong Kong or Japan, which you can imagine wasn’t that often but I would purchase enough to last me until my next trip. I used to be very good and only repurchased an item if I ran out. I would walk around with super pink cheeks as I would overload on the blush so it would run out quicker and then I could get a new one.

You may not believe it but I would have one eyeshadow quad and would use this to death and only purchase another once every single pan was empty. I happily carried on this way for a long time but since I started watching beauty vloggers on YouTube a couple of years ago my strict regime has fallen to the wayside. I used to only watch Michelle Phan or Bubz Beauty every now and again on YouTube but now I subscribe to a few “beauty gurus”. It is their job to promote products so admittedly I have been lulled into buying some of their recommendations.

This year I am going back to my original policy and do a ‘no buy’ unless I use up something in my collection. I am starting a new Instagram account to record my progress and hopefully connect with likeminded people. Here are some reasons why I want to do this.

  1. I have too much makeup. It will be a waste of money if I do not use the products I have bought.
  2. Makeup expires so I want to make sure I use it before this happens. Again, it would be a waste of money if it goes off without me having used it enough.
  3. I do not want to just throw my makeup away because there is already so much waste going to the landfill. I got sucked into the consumer culture and want to try make use of the product before it goes in the bin.

Before my project pan, I did a makeup declutter. Compared to most people I think my collection is already small but I still have more makeup than I need. I only have two eyes so I cannot use too many eyeshadow palettes. Secondly, I am not a makeup artist and not that adventurous with my looks so there is no point in me having too much choice as it would overwhelm me. I also have quite a professional occupation so i am not able to do “fun” looks with makeup for work. Here are a few ways to declutter:

  1. Take out all your products and arrange them into categories eg. blushers, bronzers, highlighters, lipsticks, nail varnishes etc.
  2. Remove and throw any items that have expired.
  3. If there are any items you no longer like then give them to friends/family or donate them. In the UK you can send lightly used products to Give & Makeup London or Wales. If you don’t like it, you won’t use it.
  4. If you are transitioning to cruelty free then this is a good time to start a project pan or to give away any non-cruelty free cosmetics.

Since I am on a ‘no buy’, I have some ways to prevent me from buying more makeup that may help you too:

  1. Read/watch reviews for everything before committing to a purchase. Never buy anything on impulse, no matter how good a deal it is. You can always go back to the store or order it online. If I leave without buying something and if I keep thinking about it then it means I really want it. If I forget about it then it means I do not really care for it. Everyone reacts differently to products but items with consistent 5 star reviews are a good place to start. Test them instore before buying.
  2. Declutter who you subscribe to on YouTube. Are the vloggers you watch honest? I avoid watching people who get paid to go on brand vacations. I know beauty gurus make money by promoting products and talking bout free PR but they should tell you when they are reviewing something they received for free.
  3. Before buying something new, have a look in your own collection and see if you already have anything similar. Is it really necessary for you to own it? Is it different enough to stand out from everything else in your stash?
  4. Think of new ways to use your items. For example you could use a bronzer as eyeshadow or lipstick as a blush. You may be surprised how different one product can look if used differently.

Some people may struggle with a ‘project pan’ as they may feel limited or bored. If this is the case then I suggest ‘shopping your stash’ which involves pulling out items from your collection that you may not have used for a while. You could also do a ‘one palette one week’ challenge so you become more creative with your looks.

Do you enjoy buying cosmetics? Do you think you have too much or do you think your collection is just right? How much do you spend on beauty per month?