Grassroots Health

I was recently sent some skincare products by Edinburgh company Grassroots Health from their Natural Body Range. Everything is 100% vegan, cruelty free and natural, as well as perfect for sensitive skin as its all unscented. Plus, you can use November discount code 10BRNOV for 10% off across their website! Read on for my review of the Grassroots Health Lotion Bar, Shampoo Bar and Soap…

Natural Unscented Lotion Bar

While the skin is a little damp, melt some of this lotion bar into your hands and massage all over the body. Although it feels a little thick and sticky, after a few minutes dry skin absorbs the nourishing Coconut oil, Candelilla Wax, Shea Butter, Sweet Almond Oil and Vitamin E. Plus it comes in the shape of a beautiful rose, woohoo!

Natural Unscented Shampoo Bar

I’ve never used a shampoo bar before, and usually opt for salon brands to protect my bleached hair, but this was quite a refreshing change, and although it doesn’t give that illustrious shine from the adverts, it truly does clean and cleanse the hair with a soapy lather, which I suppose is the purpose of shampoo!

Natural Unscented Soap

Made from organic ingredients, this is a really great moisturising body wash that gives you a lasting clean feeling unlike many mass-produced shower gels. Whats great about the palm oil used in Grassroots products is it is not produced on land that has been taken from the rain forests, nor where any orangutang have been made homeless. 

Here is some great information from Grassroots Health all about the qualities of they ingredient, and why you should treat your skin to natural products rather than nasty chemicals:

Coconut oil

As well as bringing relief to dry, itchy irritated skin coconut oil will aid in the skins healing and repairing abilities, to help bring back a youthful appearance.  Coconut oil penetrates into the deeper layers of the skin and helps to strengthen the underlying tissues.

Possesses antimicrobial, antifungal, antibacterial, antioxidant properties.  

Soothes dryness and irritation, good for fighting wrinkles and signs of ageing.  

Contains medium chain fatty acids which are absorbed into the skin, directly utilized for nutrition and energy, providing all the energy your skin needs to heal and maintain itself.  

Its is easily absorbed, keeping the skin soft and supple without leaving it feeling greasy.

Olive oil

Living with dry skin conditions can be difficult and annoying. Olive oil is a known remedy for all kinds of skin complaints, moisturising dry patches and penetrating the skin without clogging your pores.  With is potent antioxidant power and anti-inflammatory properties, Olive oil makes an excellent companion to other oils in our range.

Naturally anti-aging, Olive oil can assist in improving the skins tone and texture, combatting the signs of ageing.  Olive oil is extremely nourishing, replenishing oils lost by the skin as we get older, giving the complexion a smoother, plumped up appearance and minimising wrinkles.

Olive oil is suitable of all skin types, from babies to the elderly as it is hypoallergenic, which means it wont cause a nasty reaction when applied to the skin.

The skin can absorb all the goodness from Olive oil providing relief from eczema, psoriasis, and many skin allergies.

Olive oil is rich in anti oxidants, which contributes to healthier skin by reversing oxidation and repelling damage causing, unnatural free radicals responsible for breakouts, diseases and other health problems.

A natural source of vitamins, Olive oil contains nutrients vital to helping you feel and look your best.

Rich in Vitamin A and E, Olive oil can boost your immunity and help improve the appearance of you skin, as well as containing beta-carotene, which helps stimulate new cell growth, promoting a more youthful appearance. 

Shea butter​ 

Shea Butter is a skin superfood that comes from the seeds of the fruit of the Shea (Karite) tree and that is naturally rich in vitamins A, E and F. It offers UV protection (it is SPF ~6) and provides the skin with essential fatty acids and the nutrients necessary for collagen production.  Shea butter is a favourite choice for body products.

Shea butter is also known to reduce inflammation. A 2010 study found that due to the cinnamic acid and other natural properties found, shea butter was anti-inflammatory. One compound in particular, lupeol cinnamate, was found to reduce skin inflammation and even potentially help avoid skin mutations.  This also makes it beneficial for people with a range of skin issues.

 Shea butter is used to cure rashes at skin level, cure scars, stretch marks, burns, athletes foot, stings, insect bites, muscle fatigue and even arthritis to name but a few.  Rich in vitamin A and E, Shea butter also packs a healthy dose of catechins, a vitamin that protects the skin from harmful UV rays, free radicals as well as from damages it suffers from the environment.

Palm oil​ 

Palm oil contains toctrieriols, which are members of the Vitamin E family.  Vitamin E, a strong antioxidant that helps skin to fight free radicals that damage the skin and cause fine lines and wrinkles.  The common form of vitamin E, tocopherol has long been used to treat many skin ailments and is found in many anti-aging products.

​Palm oil also contains a re-fatting agent that helps restore the hair and skin’s natural oils, providing a deep moisturising action that leaves skin soft and supple.

​Candeillia wax

​Candeillia Wax is a plant alternative to Bees wax which makes it a great alternative for Vegans.  Made from the Euphorbia antisyphilitica (an upright, leafless growing succulent approximately 2ft high).  The plant grows in dry, hot conditions and well drained calciferous soils. Found in abundance in and around Mexico’s Chihuahuan Desert.

Candeillia wax locks in moisture and helps protect skin from the elements, allowing for a smooth application with a wonderful glide consistency, rich in nutrients and easily absorbed through the skin creates an instant barrier, locking in moisture. Candeillia wax reduces inflammation in many skin disorders and skin allergies.

 Candeillia wax is made from the plant Euphorbia antisyphilitica


Rich in Vitamin E, monosaturated fatty acids, proteins, potassium and zinc besides a number of other vitamins and minerals, makes this oil extremely good for your skin and hair.

Sweet Almond oil comes exclusively from the edible almond tree.(Prunus amygdalus var. dulcis) selectively cultivated for their sweet taste.

A mild, hypoallergenic oil, light in texture and can easily penetrate deep into the skin, softening and moisturising.  It Can aid in the relief of dry, itchy, irritated skin, especially eczema and psoriasis.

​Camellia seed oil

Also known a tea seed oil, is the actual green tea oil.

It comes from the seeds of the camellia sinoisis, the plant from which all the tea is made.  The oil is extracted from the seeds and is an outstanding natural hair conditioner and moisturiser, which makes this an excellent addition to our shampoo bar.

Ruth @ Urbanity xxx
// Comments Off on Grassroots Health

Kiko Milano

This Italian cosmetics brand has caught the attention of fashionistas throughout Glasgow where they have their Scotland flagship store (with an Aberdeen branch opening soon!). I’m really late to the Kiko Milano train, but better late than never. 

What really appealed to me, as a supporter of cruelty-free beauty, was that none of their products are tested on animals, and also, as a skint student, the prices are unbelievably affordable. They actually had a sale on some of the make-up, so I came home with more than a few bargains, including the Universal Fit Hydrating Foundation, Radiant Fusion Baked Powder, Unlimited Stylo Lipstick and the Full Coverage Concealer.



Aptly named universal fit because its a good basic liquid foundation that works for everyday use. Not too thick or oily, but needs topping up throughout the day if you want better coverage.



Amazing coverage on even really stubborn spots and blemishes, plus brightens around the eye area while acting a a great base for eyeshadow when you want a strong pigment. One of my favourite concealers I’ve yet sampled, only coming second to Bobbi Brown!



This illuminating pressed powder  has become my go-to for a glowy highlight all over the face. With a gentle shimmer, its suitable for everyday use, but can easily be built up for night.



I chose a super bright orangey-coral shade (number 05) as I’ve been told it contrasts well with blue hair and blue eyes! The formula is nice and moisturising and the colour translates to lips as well as it does on a swatch. Not very long-lasting.


Whats on my wishlist:

Mineral Brush Cleanser

Water Eyeshadow- Wet and dry

Cosmic Startlets Brush Kit

Neo Muse Eyeshadow Pallette

Have you tried Kiko yet?

Ruth @ Urbanity xxx

// Comments Off on Kiko Milano

Arbonne Cruelty-Free Skincare

On Saturday 22nd October, I hosted a Fashion and Beauty event at The Scottish Design Exchange to promote our local fashion designers with special offers, mini makeovers by Cait Owens MUA, styling advice by Kimberley Grahame of Wardrobe Conversations and contemporary portraits by Deryck Henley. We also had Iona May, brand ambassador for cruelty-free beauty brand Arbonne, with lots of lovely product samples. I took some of the all natural, botanical vegan skincare products home to try out, and thought I’d do a little review!

Calm Gentle Daily Moisturiser

I really loved the cooling formula of this light face cream, which I am told is perfect for sensitive skin. After using a face scrub to cleanse my pores, this moisturiser gently softens and calms the skin.


This smooth formula created a really smooth surface before make-up; I would definitely recommend it as an alternative to the thick, oily primers from other brands.

Facial Oil

I only needed a minuscule amount of this ‘nourishing’ facial oil, and I immediately felt my drying winter skin drink it up, without feeling greasy. It contains omega 3 and 6, which is great for vegetarians and vegans who may be deficient.

CC Cream

This is a lovely alternative to foundation on those rare good skin days! Its much like a tinted moisturiser but with added benefits, like brightening and smoothing the skin.

Ruth @ Urbanity xxx

// Comments Off on Arbonne Cruelty-Free Skincare

The Transformative Powers of a New Haircut

Last week I was treated to a re-style at Austen Thomson Hair by the talented Lauren, who has developed a unique freehand cutting technique that managed to translate my novice ramblings of what I had in mind for my lanky locks into the ideal result; a cut that liberated me from flat, limp hair and a low-maintenance look so I could indulge my lazy side. I’m now the proud owner of a tousled, layered bob in fairy-cake pink, and couldn’t be happier!

As I watched my pink hair fall to the floor of the beautiful Austen Thomson salon, I thought about the almost transformative power of getting your style revamped.  I can’t deny that having short hair has a strangely liberating feeling. 

Not in the cliche ‘New Hair New Me’ or “I broke up with a boyfriend so I became a new woman!” way, but just in terms of a new-found confidence. I think having short hair just forces me out of my comfort zone, without having the choice of just tying it up in a messy bun or hiding a make-up free face behind long curls.

The salon really is a beautiful environment to get hair treatments, without the loud blow-drying sounds (they use the new Dyson hairdryers!), toxic hairspray smell and dull small talk about holidays. 

I left with a smile after being treated like a princess by the wonderful staff, including Austen himself, who were truly passionate about new and exclusive products they use, like the Schwarzkopf Color Freeze cell perfection spray and creme, which really nourish hair thats been bleached, and lock in even semi-permanent hair dyes like my pink Manic Panic colour. Even my bad hair days with this new look are totally doable, and I can’t wait to try out new looks, like soft curls and half-up half-down dos. Can’t thank Lauren enough!

                                             Ruth @ Urbanity xxx 

// Comments Off on The Transformative Powers of a New Haircut

Big Hair Do Salon Event

On Wednesday I attended a wonderful event at boutique Leith hair salon Austen Thomson, The Big Hair Do, a nationwide celebration of hair salons organised by Layered and Creative Head, aiming to encourage people to try out new season styles, colours and products. 

Austen Thomson’s ethos is to Inspire and Evolve, with contemporary fashion trends translated into wearable hair styles, a wide selection of cutting edge product, and hugely knowledgable and talented stylists at hand. I had a wonderful time at the event and even discovered a new miracle product, read on to find out more!

Austen Thomson itself is a stunning salon with modern, luxurious interiors, and was fully kitted out for the Big Hair Do night, providing delicious food and drink from Malmaison Hotel in Edinburgh. Guests had a chance to mingle with other industry experts and the wonderful staff and PR team, as well as receive hair consultations and treatments at dedicated Style Stations. I was looked after by the truly wonderful Christie, a long-term loyal stylist at Austen Thomson Hair, who immediately jumped on my pastel pink hair

She decided to experiment with the new Scwarzkopf  Blonde Me Instant Blush Blonde Beautifiers, spray on semi-permanent pastel hair colours that are simply applied and blow dried out, specifically using the Ice shade, which is usually used to neutralise brassy tones, but turned me into a rose and lilac my little pony! I instantly fell in love and purchased the product for myself; I can’t wait to try it out at home! 

Ruth @ Urbanity xxx

// Comments Off on Big Hair Do Salon Event