Brand Overview: Gruum

Inspired by Scandinavian ideals, British selfcare brand Gruum aims to create purposeful products without gimmicks and labels. Their products are created cruelty-free and are for everyone.

Even their packaging is simple and it really called out the small minimalist voice deep inside me.

Kori, their vegan exfoliating face wash contains orange, eucalyptus, and witch hazel to balance and soothe the skin. It has a gel consistency which feels gentle, even with the exfoliating bits it has. It cleanses the skin without leaving it feeling tight but I personally prefer a foaming cleanser to be used every day. I have this one in my office desk for emergencies though.

Their face toner Gösta has witch hazel, chamomile, and rosemary to reduce shine, prevent clogged pores, and refresh the skin. This stung at first but it subsides after a few seconds. It refreshes and cleanses the skin of impurities a cleanser couldn’t remove. This is a bit strong for every day so, I like using this when my skin is acting up.

To moisturize, Kåre contains rosemary, sage, and green tea go protect and moisturize the skin. This is a very straightforward vegan moisturizer. Its only aim is to moisturize the skin. I like that it doesn’t promise to do anything else. True to its claim, this feels like how a typical moisturizer would feel. Personally, I prefer a more hydrating moisturizer that will manage my #oilyskin but this would work to those with normal skin types.

They also have a coffee body polish aptly named Skrub, which comes in three variants – original, coconut, and strawberry. This body scrub promises to exfoliate, nourish, and illuminate the skin.

Strawberry is a favorite because I love strawberries and I’ve never had a strawberry-scented scrub before. It does smooth and exfoliates the skin with the coarse scrubs that amazingly feels gentle on the skin. My only gripe about this though is about how much mess it creates in the shower. It leaves my tiles stained so I need a few minutes to clean up after showering.

They also have a Shaving Kit that contains Oska, the razor handle made of zinc alloy, Osku, the blade razor ( I have mine in Max 5, which are 5 thin platinum-coated blades) that uses the brand’s Glydå roll system to smooth the skin and provide a closer cut, and Danne, a vegan shave gel that has aloe vera to soothe, witch hazel for its antibacterial properties, and orange for an uplifting sensation. I use this to shave my legs and the ergonomic design of the razor makes it easy to remove hair in one shave. Combined with the #shavegel, which feels light on the skin, the shaving process feels smooth and relaxing.

Its minimalist packaging comes with straightforward products that will be enjoyed by someone who wants a no-frills skincare product.

The Gruum Kori, Gösta, Kåre, Skrub, Oska, Osku, Danne were provided by @gruum. Available at

Monthly Favorites: June 2019

Leaf The Essentials

I associate metal shavers to what my father used to use when I was a kid. I look at it as something grown-up people use. Even more when I received The Essentials from Leaf Shave and found out that I have to put in the blades myself in the metal razor. Customization is a great selling point but this clumsy girl had to ask her husband to tear the blades in half and put it in the shaver. So, despite being at an age where I qualify as an actual adult, it was difficult for me to get the courage to use this.

When I did, I was amazed how it was able to get all my unwanted hairs in one swipe because of the three-bladed head and how close it shaved to my skin, leaving close to no hair, without scraping me, because of the spring-loaded head to perfectly shave even the curvier parts of the body. It honestly feels gentle on the skin, the base gliding to the skin smoothly, despite the sturdy handle. Since I used this, I never experience a nick, even in the most difficult parts of where I shave. It looks good on my shower shelf as well. I just really love using this simply because this product is so well-made. The photo-friendly rose-gold color of the razor is just an added bonus because this set is much more than that.

Leaf The Essentials was provided by @leafshave. Available for $79 at

Mamonde Pore Clean Toner

Another Mamonde product I got to try is the Pore Clean Toner, which by the name of it, it seems to be calling for my easily clogged oily skin. Also, since Mamonde’s products are infused with flowers, collecting naturally-fallen buds, petals, and seeds, to provide nourishment to the skin, I have a bias for them. I love flowers, sue me.

Of course, this vegan and cruelty-free face toner has a floral smell, its consistency watery with a slight density to it. It sinks in quickly but leaves the skin feeling rubbery and looking dewy. It contains eoseongcho, houttuynia cordata, and west coast mud extracts to remove impurities, absorb excess oil, and treat blackhead. It does the job of mattifying the skin, leaving a clean slate before I apply my other skincare products. It doesn’t feel drying, however, which I like. It also helped remove other impurities that my cleanser at the moment wasn’t able to remove. It does prevent blackheads and clogging in my pores, I noticed, but after using it for almost a month, I noticed that it wasn’t able to treat existing ones. I feel like this toner does more preventing than treating so it would be best used by those who are just starting to see changes in their skin, especially those who are younger.

The Mamonde Pore Clean Toner was provided by @mamonde and @sokoglam. Available $23 at

Lola’s Apothecary Sweet Lullaby Soothing Body Soufflé

I’m someone who likes applying my body moisturizer at night. I sweat easily and given the weather, using a creamy moisturizer, or any moisturizer for that matter will result in a sticky mess before lunch. However, with my extremely dry skin, the need for moisture is important. So, night time moisturizing it is.

The Sweet Lullaby Soothing Body Soufflé from Lola’s Apothecary promises to nourish and moisturize using shea butter, coconut oil, and rosehip CO2. Its scent is a combination of french lavender, vanilla, sweet orange, patchouli, and ylang-ylang for a comforting and calming smell.

The texture of this body cream is thicker than that of a body cream or lotion so it takes more time to be absorbed by the skin. But as it promised, it makes the skin smooth, soft, and moisturized.

On the downside, since it has shea butter and oil as ingredients it tends to be a bit greasy on the skin because of the current hot temperature. It didn’t matter to me since I use this at night. Not only does this moisturize my dry skin, but its scent also helps relieve stress after a long day.

The Lola’s Apothecary Sweet Lullaby Soothing Body Soufflé was provided by @lolasapothecary. Available for £34 at

Verb Ghost Shampoo and Conditioner

I first fell in love with that distinct grapefruit/oatmeal scent of Verb. It started with the Ghost Oil but have come to find that their Ghost Shampoo and Conditioner is IT.

Promising to be light yet moisturizing, this paraben free, gluten-free, and cruelty-free shampoo and conditioner use moringa oil as their main ingredient. The moringa oil aims to cleanse, moisturize, detangle and smooth the hair. It also contains quinoa protein and sunflower seed extract to repair damage, protect the strands, and strengthen the hair.

The shampoo and conditioner work well with my dry hair and oily skin. The Ghost Shampoo cleanses and hydrates my hair without leaving it too dry or frizzy afterward while the Ghost Conditioner moisturizes my strands without weighing it down or leaving it feeling limp and greasy. They just do my hair just right.

The Verb Ghost Shampoo and Conditioner were provided by @verbproducts as an affiliate. As an affiliate, you can shop at my link and I get a small percentage. If it’s your first purchase at verb, you can get 16% off. Available for $16 each at

Lather Pear & Lavender Sink Sidekick

I went from not applying anything on my hands at all to someone who has different hand washes and hand cream around the house and on my office desk.

One of them is the Pear & Lavender Sink Sidekick from Lather, which is by my kitchen sink. The cruelty-free set combines the refreshing scent of pear with the soothing fragrance of lavender. The hand wash aims to moisturize and cleanse the hands using aloe vera and wheat germ oil while the hand lotion contains shea butter and meadowfoam seed oil to lock in moisture and protect the skin. Used together, this set helps moisturize and soften my easily dry hands and the scent is a welcome fragrance. I like that the hand wash foams easily and rinses without leaving a film. The hand lotion, on the other hand, doesn’t feel thick and gets absorbed easily. It’s subtle but refreshing. This set is also made without parabens, sulfates, fragrance, and mineral oils.

The Lather Pear & Lavender Sink Sidekick was provided by @lather. Available for $14 each or as a set for $30 at

D’Alba Piedmont Peptide No-Sebum Repair Cream

I have tried products from D’Alba and aside from their benefits, I have always enjoyed their textures. They always have to most silky and luxurious textures my skin has experience.

Their Peptide No-Sebum Repair Cream is no exception.

It might look creamy and heavy from the packaging but it feels oh so light. It gently applies like silk on the skin. I just love it. This moisturizer contains calamine powder, white truffle, peptides, adenosine, and niacinamide to remove dead skin cell, improve elasticity, control oil, and soothe the skin.

To be honest, their No-Sebum line is just amazing. This moisturizer can be used even in the mornings as it feels so light on the skin. It sinks in quickly and just leaves the skin feeling smooth and silky. For my routine, I like applying this at night before using a thick sleeping mask. Despite the light consistency, this still feels nourishing and it envelopes the skin, sort of locking in all the products I used beforehand.

Those with oily skin would love this, even those with oily and sensitive skin, I feel like. It’s #crueltyfree and is made without parabens, pigments, artificial fragrances, and mineral oil.

The D’Alba Piedmont Peptide No-Sebum Repair Cream was provided by @dalba and @sokoglam. Available for $45 at

Monthly Favorites: December 2018

Felt Formula Restart Silky Way Cream

Claiming to be texture obsessed and formula focused, Felt Formula promises to create skincare products designed for sensitive skin that balance botanicals and actives to protect the skin from environmental stressors. Their products are also made without artificial colors, fragrances, alcohol, and parabens.

The Restart Silky Way Cream promises to act as a protective barrier to the skin, help restore the skin’s external barrier, and nourish the skin. It contains squalene to hydrate, vitamin e to protect, rose fruit to retain elasticity, peony root to treat inflammation, and rosemary to relieve skin congestion. All these ingredients also help revive, smooth, and firm your skin. It also doesn’t contain sulfates, phthalates, mineral oil, triclosan, microbeads, PEG compounds, and talc.

Silly old me assumed thought this #moisturizer would be on the heavy side because of the silky tag. However, this is so runny, light, and watery that when I scooped out some product with my finger from the back of the lid, it slipped down within seconds. The texture is unlike anything I’ve tried in a moisturizer before. I like like like it, really. It’s light, dries matte, and feels incredibly moisturizing. It doesn’t clog my pores and leaves the skin feeling silky smooth. This, for me, is best used at night as it still makes my skin a tad oily when I wake up. However, I didn’t mind because this moisturizer nourishes my skin. After cleansing in the morning, I trust that this I will have bouncy soft skin.

This product was provided by Felt Formula for review. Available for $21 at

Flamingo Shave Set (Taro & Rose Gold)

Flamingo helps with body care starting with your hair, which, if you’re like me, is everywhere. I’m not what other people would call hairy but you have to understand, I have had a beautiful part of my life without needing to shave, wax or pluck then suddenly, there’s hair everywhere – wearing a skirt is not so simple anymore and waving your arms excitedly requires a double check.

The Shave Set contains the shaving essentials. It has the Flamingo Razor with German-engineered blades in a Razor Handle that has a flexible hinge, hydrating strip with aloe vera, weighted ergonomic handle, and textured rubber grip. I have long tried to search for a sharp razor that will that cut my ankles. I have finally found it. This razor, which also comes with a Shower Hook, provides me that sharpness of a men’s razor in a handle that is able to protect my skin. It gets every hair, even in the most difficult parts.

The set also has a Foaming Shave Gel that promises to soften hair, condition the skin with aloe vera, and add a cushion to your shave. I love that they really thought about everything. The shaving gel is in a rust-free container so it wouldn’t leave a ring on the bathroom tiles. To be honest, I rarely use a shaving gel, I mostly use my moisturizing body was, but this does the job in helping me shave.

They also have the Body Lotion, formulated to hydrate and gently exfoliate the skin using white willowbark extract, papaya fruit extract, and squalane. With a fruity and feminine smell, the product applies evenly, leaving skin feeling refreshed and smooth. It is recommended to use the product to soothe the skin on shaving days, but it can be applied liberally depending on the need.

Using the set made me feel how thoughtful Flamingo is about their customers. They thought about everything that goes in a woman’s shaving journey and covered all the bases to provide the perfect shaving experience. I’m in love.

This set was provided by Flamingo for review. Available for $16 at

47 Skin Silver Chitosan Regenerative Serum

The experimentation of water purification led to the accidental founding of 47 Skin. Mixing a single atom of silver with chitosan because a new skincare formula that promotes anti-bacterial and protective benefits. After a series of tests, they have also found that the mixture helps in the regeneration of skin cells, reduction in the signs of aging, less inflammation, and eduction in breakouts and acne.

The Silver Chitosan Regenerative Serum promises to hydrate and firm using the silver and chitosan mixture. It also helps soften fine lines.

I like the minimalist packaging. It’s simple but doesn’t look cheap even though it’s in a typical serum bottle. It has a pump instead of a dropper, which works so well for my clumsy ass who have toppled many a serum bottle and wasted product. It has a runny light texture and a citrusy smell. It also applies thinly and feels very lightweight on the skin. It dries instantly so I can use this day and night. It does have a slight oiliness (because of its oil ingredients like bergamot fruit, grapefruit peel, orange peel, and tangerine peel) to it but it doesn’t feel tacky on the skin. For my #oilyskin, this hydrates but I would still need more hydrating serums to reduce oil production on my skin. What I like about this serum though is that it feel nourishing and moisturizing (because of shea butter and allantoin) to my complexion. I like using this at night as it goes well with the actives I use and helps maintain the softness of my skin. I don’t have enough fine lines to test its anti-aging benefits but I can attest this gives me healthy-looking and plump skin. I didn’t experience breakouts while I was using this so I was impressed with its protective benefits.

Overall, I was impressed with how well this aids the other skincare products that I’m using and how this gives me a smooth and glowing complexion after each use. I would recommend this to those looking for a moisturizing serum that will go well with stronger products and help the skin have a healthy-looking glow.

This product was provided by 47 Skin. Available for £29 at

Ladysuite The Lady Business Botanical Oil

I’m an early adaptor to oils – I have only begun to appreciate the benefits of face oils and the wonders of body oils. Now, this. The Lady Business Botanical Oil from Ladysuite is a concept that it foreign to me. Of course, I’m willing to give it a try.

This botanical oil is specially created for our delicate skin down there to nourish, calm, revitalize, and brighten. It contains Organic Jojoba and Sesame Seed Oils to help support skin elasticity and suppleness, Meadow Foam + Carrot Seed Oils to firm and tone, Organic Tamanu Oil to soothe, soften and decrease feelings of discomfort, Eclipta Prostrata Extract to combat minor skin discomforts including razor burn and irritation from ingrown hairs. It also contains Cedarwood + Sweet Orange Essential Oils. It’s also made without parabens, phthalates, GMOs, petroleum, silicones, sulfates, carcinogens, or artificial colorants and synthetic fragrances.

I have never tried anything like this oil so I was very excited to use it. It has a very oily texture and has a subtle sweet smell that doesn’t overpower all the other products I use in the shower. I use this every day but I apply liberally after waxing or shaving. After a couple of months of use, this has kept everything down there smooth and moisturized. It feels gentle and helps with soothing and softening the skin. I will continue to use this and I’m encouraging everyone to give it a try. We apply products on our face, following a lot of steps and I think we should also take care of the other skin in our bodies.

This product was provided by Ladysuite for review. Available for $46 at

Amika Polished Perfection Straightening Brush

When Amika via @octoly sent the Polished Perfection Straightening Brush, it came at the right time. I have already fine straight hair and coupled with me choosing sleep over more time to get ready, my hair just goes wherever it wants during the day. As a result, I almost always wear my hair into a bun. The few times I want to let my hair down, I would really need to style it because if I don’t, my hair looks like a confused “am I wavy, am I straight, or can I be both” state.

The Polished Perfection Straightening Brush promises to provide #hairspiration by easily achieving a sleek style And create smooth hair in a single stroke. Per its instructions, this is meant to be used on dry hair as you would a styler for a smooth, sleek look, sliding the brush through the hair at a moderate pace from root to tip.

For someone who never using hair tools, this is pretty easy to use. I like that it doesn’t get too warm, it’s just in that “just right” temperature that will easily straighten my hair for that sleek look I have always wanted to achieve. I use a hair oil before using this to really get the sleekness that I want and I only spend about 15mins to style my hair and make it look effortless.

This product was provided by Amika and the #OctolyFamily for review. Available for $120 at or at