Maple Holistics

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You may have seen beauty products from Maple Holistics floating around the blogosphere in recent months. I was lucky enough to be asked if I'd like to sample some, and after checking out their website I was keen to say yes. Based in the US, Maple Holistics create organic skin and hair care products, and pride themselves on using the purest and highest quality natural ingredients. I picked out the Argan shampoo and conditioner to try, as well as the Lavender Hybrid bubble bath.

Maple Holistics Natural Beauty Products

When the products first arrived, I wasn't too keen on the packaging, but I changed my mind somewhat once I had arranged them on my bathroom shelf. They actually look quite cute and colourful all lined up together. Besides, it's what's inside the packaging that counts, right?

Maple Holistics Organic Beauty Products

My hair, as we all know, is bleached. It also stubbornly refuses to hang in any remotely attractive way unless I force it to with straighteners or a curling iron, so it's fair to say my tresses can look a little lacklustre and in need of a serious moisture hit from time to time. The Argan shampoo and conditioner contain a blend of nourishing and moisturising ingredients, designed to "maximise smooth hairness" and deliver shiny, healthy looking hair. I couldn't wait to give them a try.

Maple Holistics Argan shampoo and conditioner

Maple Holistics Organic Beauty Products

Because the shampoo is sulphate free, I expected to have a hard time working it into my hair, but in fact it lathered up just like a regular shampoo. Best of both worlds! Both the shampoo and conditioner feel beautifully light, which is good news if you have fine hair like me as there's no need to worry about anything too rich weighing it down and making it appear greasy. After using these, my hair feels soft and gently cleansed. I wouldn't say that it looks significantly healthier or shinier than when I use regular moisturising hair care products, but I still appreciate the fact that these are free from parabens and other nasties, and packed full of gorgeous natural ingredients like almond and avocado oils which are so beneficial to hair and scalp health.

Maple Holistics Argan shampoo and conditioner

Next up, the Lavender Hybrid bubble bath. Now I love a good bubble bath, especially with aromatherapy products. It's one of my favourite ways to wind down in the evening. I've always loved lavender for its amazing power to calm - I can literally feel myself unwinding as I breathe it in - so I was really excited to try this product. As you can see, it makes beautiful bubbles.

Maple Holistics Lavender Hybrid bubble bath

Maple Holistics Lavender Hybrid bubble bath

Maple Holistics Lavender Hybrid bubble bath

Just like the shampoo and conditioner, the main thing that strikes me when using this product is how light it feels on the skin. The first time I used it, I couldn't really smell the lavender, so after that I used a much more generous amount. I could definitely smell it then, although I think it's meant to be more of a delicate fragrance than a heady one. I imagine a lot of people might prefer that. Personally, I quite like my aromatherapy products to punch me in the face with scent! Even so, I still thoroughly enjoy using this. Palmarosa and clary sage are combined with the lavender so your skin feels clean and hydrated when you step out of the bath.

All in all, I'm impressed with Maple Holistics as a brand and would certainly continue to use these products, as well as experiment with some of their facial skincare. As some one who is allergic to at least one chemical (PPD in hair dye - you can read about my experience here if you're interested) it's great to know that there are companies out there pursuing a more natural way of doing things and creating lovely and effective products as a result. If natural is important to you for whatever reason then you're probably going to love this brand.

Have you tried anything from Maple Holistics? What are your thoughts on natural beauty products?

Kate x

Maple Holistics' blogger connection is sponsored by Edumuch.com
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Stepping Out of my Comfort Zone

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The Victoriana look is something I very rarely go for. So is wearing dresses and ankle boots without tights, especially when the weather starts to get a little cooler. But look what happened the other day!

#OOTD featuring white Victoriana Dress

Dress*  - Shein, Bag - Topshop, Boots and Sunglasses - H&M

Autumnal #OOTD

We've had some gorgeous sunshine in Doncaster lately, and the temperatures haven't been too bad at all for the time of year, so I took the opportunity to wear this dress sans layers. As I said, this just isn't a style I usually gravitate towards, but there's so much of it about at the moment that I decided to step out of my comfort zone and give it a whirl. Turns out I actually love it, and now I want a Victoriana blouse too!

Fall #OOTD

This dress is so feminine and so much fun to wear, and it's pretty versatile too. I can definitely see it with some heeled over the knee boots and maybe a faux fur gilet once it's cooler.

I'm also pleasantly surprised at how nicely this fringed Topshop bag has transitioned from Summer to Autumn. I didn't think I'd get much wear out of it, but it looks like I'm going to find it useful for at least another season. It adds a seventies edge to the dress which I really like. The seventies trend is another one that's grown on me a lot recently. I wasn't too keen on it at first - I did the seventies in the nineties already! - but the shops keep bringing out all these pretty things and I'm starting to fall for it all over again.

#OOTD - Victoriana and Seventies Trends

Check me out walking in the cycle lane. Such a rebel.

#OOTD featuring Shein, Topshop and H&M

Autumn #OOTD featuring Shein, Topshop and H&M

Fall #OOTD featuring Shein, Topshop and H&M

#OOTD featuring Shein, Topshop and H&M

Which trends will you be rocking this Autumn?

Kate x

*Gifted Item
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Christmas Every Week with Magazine.co.uk

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Grab a cuppa, put your feet up and flick through a magazine. Is there a nicer way to spend a rainy Sunday afternoon? I've loved magazines since I was a teenager and I probably always will. Back in the day, of course, they were pretty much the only way for a fashion and beauty addict like myself to get some inspiration, but even after discovering the wonderful world of blogs and YouTube, I still appreciate the glossies as much as I always did.

Grazia has always been one of my favourites.

Grazia magazine from magazine.co.uk

For a start, it's weekly, which is great if you're impatient like me. Receiving a weekly magazine on subscription is such a treat - it's like a mini Christmas every week! My copy of Grazia arrives on a Tuesday and I usually save it for the weekend. Unless I'm going on a train journey during the week, in which case it makes the perfect travel companion, along with a bag of peanut M&Ms wheatgrass juice.

For me, the best part of any magazine is the fashion and styling tips, and Grazia has plenty of that going on. I love the Fashion Charts section at the beginning of each issue, and always find at least one piece to drool over. In this issue, it's the black dress at number 11. Imagine how gorgeous that would look at a Christmas party, maybe with some strappy silver sandals.

Grazia magazine from magazine.co.uk

Or how about this velvet one in the bottom right-hand corner? I love this too and think it would look amazing with berry lips and nails. It's from Oasis, which isn't a shop I often visit, so thanks to Grazia I now have a reason to pop in! I'm also eyeing up that embellished clutch...

Grazia magazine from magazine.co.uk

Fashion might be my first love, but beauty comes a close second, and Grazia's beauty section definitely doesn't disappoint. In fact, I often find magazines more "manageable" than the blogosphere when it comes to getting my head around the endless stream of new products that always seem to be coming out. I don't think anything can beat a good, honest blogger review, but a lot of the time, magazines help me narrow down what I want to look out for. Does anyone else feel this way? I'd love to know!

Grazia magazine from magazine.co.uk

And I do like a little bit of celeb gossip too, I'm not going to lie! (Side note - how amazing does Taylor Swift look here?!)

Grazia magazine from magazine.co.uk

Grazia magazine from magazine.co.uk

There are always a few recipes too, to inspire your inner domestic goddess. In my perfect world, I'd save these, add them to my repertoire, and cook them up during the week. (In the real world, my husband cooks dinner, which actually isn't a bad arrangement, now I come to think about it.)

Grazia magazine from magazine.co.uk

Finally, there's a little bit of home inspo, and the horoscopes, which I must confess, I do enjoy. So long as it's good news, of course. ;-)

Grazia magazine from magazine.co.uk

Grazia magazine from magazine.co.uk

I've been receiving Grazia from Magazine.co.uk as one of their official bloggers, and I'll be posting some articles to their blog in the near future. The first one will probably be a make-up look inspired by a feature in the beauty section, so make sure you pop over there to read it! In the meantime, if you're in the market for a new magazine subscription or feel like gifting one to somebody for Christmas (brilliant gift idea by the way!) then do check out Magazine.co.uk. It's super easy to subscribe and they have pretty much every magazine under the sun. If Grazia takes your fancy, now is the perfect time to go for it, as Magazine.co.uk are currently offering a free Orla Kiely travel pouch worth £49 with every subscription.

Do you read magazines? Which is your favourite?

Kate x
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Sponsored Video - The Art of Marks and Spencer

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Ever since Rosie Huntington-Whiteley rode that magic carpet - and we all know how much I love RHW - I've been a big fan of Marks and Spencer's advertising campaigns. Come Christmas time, when everyone else is eagerly anticipating the John Lewis offering, I'll be looking out for good old M&S. Why? Because as well as eye-catching imagery, cool music and slick production, they showcase their products like no one else. I'm a fashion blogger. Clothes get me excited. And Marks and Spencer's ads always seem to display the best of their collections in such an enticing way.

Their current Autumn campaign, "The Art of", is definitely no exception. Have you seen any of the ads on TV? The sheep with the exploding coat? You must remember that! Well, I for one have been loving them. For a start, the catchy beats of "Uptown Funk" never fail to lift my mood, and then there's the stunning, quirky visuals, combining beautiful shots of the clothes with images that nod to their craftsmanship and sustainable sourcing, qualities of which M&S is justifiably proud.

Sponsored Video - The Art of Marks and Spencer - Kate Louise Blogs

Sponsored Video - The Art of Marks and Spencer - Kate Louise Blogs

Faux fur seems to be having a moment right now, and one of my favourite ads from the current campaign has got to be this one.


How gorgeous is the white jacket at the end? And the aviator jacket with the shearling collar! I even love the way they've layered the leopard print coat over a simple black polo neck, and I normally wouldn't be attracted to a coat like that at all. After seeing this, I'm definitely keen to pop into my local branch and explore their faux fur range. 

Fashion aside, I also applaud M&S for using an older model in this ad - something that I've seen them do before. People sometimes think of them as an old-fashioned company, but they're pretty switched on when it comes to representing a diverse cross-section of women in their advertising.

Oh, and shoutout to the woolly dog, too. There should definitely be more of those on TV!

Marks and Spencer's aim with this campaign was to carry across the arresting style of their recent food ads to their fashion, and I think they've succeeded. They're often more praised for their food than their clothes, but they really do some great clothes, and one thing you can rely on with M&S is good quality. I for one will be checking them out as I build my winter wardrobe - especially the coats!

What do you think of this ad campaign? And will you be wearing faux fur this winter?

Kate x

*This post is sponsored by Marks and Spencer, but all opinions, as always, are my own
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Stormy Skies

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#OOTD - yellow maxi shirt dress from Asos

My final post from Mallorca should give you a little taste of just how changeable the weather was while we were there. We had blazing hot sunshine... and full on thunderstorms too. These pictures were taken when some particularly threatening clouds were rolling towards us. But at least my dress was bright and cheerful!

#OOTD - yellow maxi shirt dress from Asos

I'm completely in love with this maxi shirt dress from Asos. If you read my Making a Statement post, this is the second dress I found when browsing Rosie's shop. Since then, I've actually seen Sammi from Beautycrush wearing it as well, so it's clearly a blogger favourite! It somehow manages to be both elegant and effortless at the same time, and attracts a lot of compliments. It was definitely the dress I enjoyed wearing most on holiday. 

#OOTD - yellow maxi shirt dress from Asos

Dress - Asos, Sandals - Accessorize

#OOTD - yellow maxi shirt dress from Asos

#OOTD - yellow maxi shirt dress from Asos

This particular little corner of Mallorca is very special to me and I have so many precious childhood memories from here. It's the perfect place for me to reflect on my life, the choices I have made and the things that are really important to me, and every time I visit, I end up leaving feeling more in touch with myself. This time, I did a lot of thinking about my blog. I've always been someone who needs a creative outlet in life, but I never expected that my little piece of the internet would come to be as important to me as it is. While my family means everything to me and I take pride in my work, my blog is who I am. Does that make sense? I'm sure it must do to all you fellow creatives! Even if I don't post as often as I'd like to, I'm always thinking about it, and I can't imagine ever giving it up. I'd feel like there was something vital missing from my life.

#OOTD - yellow maxi shirt dress from Asos

#OOTD - yellow maxi shirt dress from Asos

Anyway, enough philosophy! The resolve I made was that no matter how busy life gets, I need to always make time for this blog. Remind me of that next time I don't post for weeks due to work commitments!

Do you make resolutions on holiday? And what do you think of this dress?

Kate x
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Transitional Nails

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When it comes to choosing nail varnish for a summer holiday, I tend to stick to brights - hot pink, coral or orange being my favourite shades. This year, however, I didn't go away till late September, and I found myself in a much more transitional frame of mind.

NOTD - Essie nail varnish in In Stitches

All the nail colours I've been drooling over on social media recently seem to be by Essie, so that's the brand I went for when treating myself to a new polish for my holiday. This shade's called In Stitches, and I love it. It's a super flattering brownish pink - just colourful enough for the Spanish sunshine, and pretty perfect for Autumn back home too. 

NOTD - Essie nail varnish in In Stitches

Application is great, as is the staying power. If there was a world record for chipping nail varnish in the fastest possible time, I'd probably be a contender, but this seems to have lasted very well, especially considering that I didn't bother to take a base or top coat away with me.

NOTD - Essie nail varnish in In Stitches

In other nail-related news, I've been experimenting with long, almond-shaped talons, which is highly unusual for me. I like the look, but it's kind of difficult to type and apply cream eye shadow with my fingers now, so we'll see how long they last!

It's been a while since I last had an Essie polish and I'd forgotten how much I like them! So I'm in the market now for a few more. Any recommendations? Let me know your favourite Essie shades.

Kate x
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